Charity Dinner on Christmas Day donated by Phoenicia restauranteur

By Jay Braman Jr.
Two events, one just passed and the other coming on Christmas Day, really show that the Christmas spirit is alive and well in Phoenicia, where two businessmen, showing a sense of appreciation for those facing difficult times, have devised clever and effective ways to offer help directly to those in need.
In the spirit of the season, Phoenicia’s Sportsman’s Alamo Cantina will open its doors on Christmas Day to welcome Shandaken’s needy, elderly, and “shut-ins” to its “First Annual Christmas Charity Buffet.”
From 1-6 p.m. on December 25, the Ricciardella family, restaurant staff, and volunteers will prepare and serve a bountiful holiday buffet free to all residents of Shandaken who are needy or alone, are elderly or home-bound, or have no where to go on Christmas Day.
“It’s the season for giving, sharing and celebrating, especially with family,” said Cantina owner Mike Ricciardella, “and the residents of Shandaken are family to us and we want to celebrate our Christmas with them.”
Volunteers are available for those without transportation to and from the Sportsman and meals will be delivered to individuals who are physically unable to attend the buffet. The Sportsman’s Alamo Cantina is located on Main Street in Phoenicia.
For further information, please call 688-5259.
The charity buffet comes on the heels of another gift to the community from a Phoenicia Businessman. Paul Pettinato, owner of Al’s Restaurant, held a fund-raiser for the Shandaken Food Pantry, raising $11,000. Every dollar is going directly to feed and care for those in need locally.
The Shandaken Food Pantry is housed in the Phoenicia Methodist Church and is open on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon or when needed at 688-5828.