Superior student plans Pasta Extravaganza with purpose

The following is another "Have Fun or Get Out of the Way" column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in the Superior Telegram.

Lance and Billy

The following is another "Have Fun or Get Out of the Way" column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in the Superior Telegram.

If you like pasta with great sauce -- who doesn't -- you'll want to be at Kress Hall, in Cathedral of Christ the King, on Saturday evening. Cathedral Schools host its first Pasta Extravaganza 5:30-7 p.m. Admission for food and fun is a free will donation.

I have all the confidence in the world Superior and Douglas County residents will contribute as much as they can to this most worthy of causes.

The inspiration behind this great event is Anne Tracy, a charter member of the Lance and Billy Hall of Fame and senior at Superior High School. Tracy was searching for an idea for her senior project when her mother, Lynn, told her about a conversation she had with Jessica Poskozim, the development director at Cathedral School.

The light bulb came on and a project was born.


Poskozim thought of the pasta and sauce idea, spoke to Tracy, and they began to plan the gathering for a sweet little boy.

Landan Swenson is a second grader at Cathedral with a hearing impairment that makes it hard to listen to his teacher as she conducts daily lessons.

Second grade is not the time to fall behind, so to help Landan keep up, the school spent $5,000 for FM hearing equipment. The system allows a hearing aid to tune in automatically, blocking out background noise and amplifying sound for an equipped listener. It allows every word said to be received in the earpiece.

"As I work on this project, I imagine being 8 years old and not being able to hear my teacher clearly as she tries to help me learn to read," Poskozim said. "If my friends cheer too loudly my hearing aids amplify the sound to one that is almost unbearable. The frustration that Landan must feel would be more than most of us could take."

However, Landan takes life in stride and keeps trying his hardest. He is a sweet little boy eager to please and quick to make friends.

"I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to work with Anne Tracy on this project," Poskozim said. "It is a lot of fun to see a Cathedral alum work so hard for another Cathedral student, especially one that she did not know before taking on the project."

The Pasta Extravaganza promises to be the highlight of the spring season. Eight area chefs provide sauces featuring "many tastes of Italy." Tables set around Kress Hall will have small cups to sample the variety of sauces. When you find one you prefer, get your plate of pasta, garden fresh salad and bread sticks and load up with one or more of the incredible concoctions.

Chefs committed to bringing their secret recipes come from Vintage Italian Pizza, Italian Village and Valentini's, along with famed area pasta sauce chefs, Mrs. Ranthum, Mr. Carr, Mrs. Bloomfelt, teachers at Cathedral, and Rich Reder, Nick Garramone and Larry Price.


What is an extravaganza without a little mystery? A mystery chef creates a special sauce for all to enjoy.

Diners can vote for their favorite sauce. Awards go to the First in Class in three categories -- Fathers' Choice, People's Choice and Kids' Choice. Fathers Andrew Ricci and Edward Meulemans determine the Fathers' Choice award winner.

Father Ed will also receive an award the night before at the Lumen Christi Dinner. Welcome home and congratulations, Father Ed.

For a good cause, the people and businesses of our area are incredibly generous and donations have been received from the Duluth Noon Optimist Club, the Superior Optimist Club, Upper Lakes Foods, Hacienda Del Sol and Jim Kowitz who donated his raffle winnings from the recent Cathedral chicken dinner.

Let's see; Those attending get a great meal, enjoy the company of family and friends, touch base with two of our area's greatest, Fathers Ricci and Meulemans, help raise money to pay for equipment to help a really nice kid and feel good about yourself and your community.

This is more than a win-win.

"I feel very blessed to be given this opportunity as my senior project," Tracy said. "I had a different project originally planned, but when it ended up falling through; it felt like fate had brought me to this new project. As an alumna of Cathedral School, I have always searched for ways to give back to the place that gave me so much. And not only am I raising funds for my old school, but my efforts are going to help the life of one boy at Cathedral. It's the fact that I am helping improve his life that makes all the difference."

Thank you, Anne Tracy, for the compassion you possess.


Bon Appetit!

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