Seventh annual Mardi Gras for a Cause raises a record of more than $16,000
The funds will fill 2,700 backpacks for the children supported by the Backpack Snack Attack program


Frank Sorino and the Bomb Squad performers at La Piazza Wine & Martini Bar for Mardi Gras are joined by friends and supporters of Backpack Snack Attack.

By Roger Gavan
WARWICK — Once again Warwick restaurants, local musicians, volunteers, residents and others stepped up to the plate to insure the success beyond expectations of the seventh annual Mardi Gras for a Cause.
More than 500 participants enjoyed an evening of live music and fun for all ages celebrated in the tradition of New Orleans.
The event, held in the Village of Warwick on Tuesday, March 5, raised $16,179 - and still counting - for Backpack Snack Attack, a non-profit organization that provides nutritional snacks for almost 300 needy school children each week of the school year.
No overhead, no administrative costsThe program is run entirely by a group of volunteers and supported by donations and fund raising.
Backpack Snack Attack has no overhead and 100 percent of the donated money goes to food and backpacks for the children.
The proceeds from the 2019 Mardi Gras for a Cause, more than $2,400 more than last year, brought the total raised since the inaugural event to $70,257.
It will help fill more than 2,700 backpacks.
It takes a village"It really does take a village to organize, implement and support an initiative like Mardi Gras for a Cause," said Mardi Gras impresario and volunteer John Desibia. "And the Village of Warwick, the Town of Warwick and neighboring communities have been very supportive. Special shout outs of heartfelt thanks."
Desibia also expressed his organization's thanks to all the acts and bands and performers, including Open Mic hosts Jim Elwell, Gene Focarelli and E'lissa Jones, the Mardi Gras Jam and Dance Party host Jeremy Langdale, Sound Man Will Orosz and all the local restaurants, pubs, Fat Tuesday Venues and their staff along with all 34 volunteers.
Event Chairman Jeff Alario also expressed kudos for the Mardi Gras Planning Committee and volunteers.
He especially thanked Organizer John Desibia, Web Master Mary Schweitser and Jennifer Price, volunteer recruiter and Golden Ticket raffle sales coordinator.
"We are so blessed," said Backpack Snack Executive Director Shirley Puett, "and because of the support of the community we have never had to turn away any family or child needing the support of our program services."