Grappa Ristorante's outdoor barbeque raises nearly $5,000 for Backpack Snack Attack

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  • Backpack Snack Attack volunteer Len Singer (center) with Grappa partners Nick Ahmetaj (left) and Tony Sylaj at the Grappa barbeque on May 19 that raised nearly $5,000 for Backpack Snack Attack..

  • A large group of Grappa patrons and Backpack Snack Attack volunteers came to the courtyard on Railroad Ave. for a free barbecue and fund raiser fo the program that feeds Warwick's elementary school kids in need.

  • Grappa not only donated all the food and beverages for the event but all staff members volunteered their time. Some of the regular customers and friends even helped with the barbecue. Bill Iurato, owner of Peck's Wines and Spirits, served hamburgers.

o celebrate the spring opening of its outdoor patio in the courtyard on Railroad Ave., Grappa Ristorante held a complimentary food festival on Monday evening, May 19, to benefit Backpack Snack Attack.

Backpack Snack Attack volunteers as well as Grappa patrons and others were invited to the barbecue, which featured a large variety of special meat and vegetable dishes as well as traditional hamburgers and corn on the cob served with wine or beer.

For the past five years elementary school children in this area have been taking advantage of Backpack Snack Attack, a charitable program designed to insure that needy children always have enough to eat. The program is available to public elementary schools in Warwick, Florida, Pine Island, and Greenwood Lake. Approximately 300 children are currently enrolled.

Grappa Ristorante partners Tony Sylaj and Nick Ahmetaj are strong supporters of the program.

That evening there was a suggested donation of $20 per person for Backpack Snack Attack. The proceeds from those donations along with a 50/50 raffle came to $4,718.

Grappa not only donated all the food and beverages for the event but all staff members volunteered their time. And the live entertainment groups, "Strings Attached" and "Peter and Friends" performed free of charge. Some of the regular customers and friends even helped out with the barbecue.

"I am continually overwhelmed by the generosity of the Town of Warwick community," said Backpack Snack Attack Program Director Shirley Puett. "The people of this town understand the importance of helping others. Specifically, Tony Sylaj and Nick Ahmetaj are not only willing participants in our fundraising efforts but initiate ideas that allow Backpack Snack Attack to benefit from their wonderful businesses."

For additional information about the Backpack Snack Attack program visit

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