story by Charli Depner and Richard Bermack, photos by Richard Bermack
A Celebration of ashby Village volunteers
"You are the engine that makes Ashby Village work . . . an engine of change,” Executive Director Andy Gaines told the crowd at Ashby Village’s recent Volunteer Appreciation Event. It is often said that the lifeblood of Ashby Village’s culture of giving is its 320 volunteers, many of whom are also members. On June 3, the Ashby Village community celebrated volunteers at Festival Italiano. Volunteer Manager Pat Carvalho returned from a trip to Italy, bringing back a taste of the Italian spirit. With her Volunteer Team (and her co-worker Manuela Pegoraro, who is a native Italian) the office courtyard was transitioned into an Italian piazza decorated with Italian colors and featured an espresso bar and specialty cocktails of prosecco and elderflower syrup. Inside the Julia Morgan Hall was a spread of antipasti, pastas, insalate, and Italian cannoli (donated by the local bakery PIQ in Berkeley).
The event included Italian opera music and a photo booth where attendees could pose wearing carnival bauta masks. There was also a demonstration of how to gesture in Italian and say everything from “I’m hungry,” or “I’d like an espresso,” to “buzz off,” with your hands. And to close, a sing-a-long with an old time rendition of the song Volare.
The appreciation theme was “Mangia con noi and be Italiano for a day!” We think the event certainly did that!
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