Arts & Culture LA Charities

The 9th Annual Feast of San Gennaro Kicks Off Italian Heritage Month with Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla

At the 9th Annual Feast of San Gennaro opening night gala, it was the who’s who of Italian Hollywood! The annual event kept with the Italian-American theme from past years’ events and raised awareness for those in the U.S. military of Italian-American descent and funds for local charities through the San Gennaro Foundation. The Feast of San Gennaro was a full weekend event, kicking off October’s Italian Heritage Month. Last year, the San Gennaro Foundation raised more than $20,000 for local organizations benefiting Los Angeles children and families.

Honorees for “Prima Notte 2010

Sept. 23 featured the festival’s start with the Prima Notte 2010”, which occupied a large set up behind the El Capitan Theatre and next to the Roosevelt Hotel. This year’s Feast of San Gennaro’s first night was led by Master of Ceremonies Mark DeCarlo, who introduced the evening’s honorees Connie Stevens and Robert Davi and hosts Adam Carolla  and  Jimmy Kimmel. DeCarlo has had his voice featured on many animated shows like “Family Guy” and “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron,” as well as hosting the Travel Channel TV series, “Taste of America.”

Recognizing charitable work by Italian-Americans in the entertainment industry, the Feast awarded actress Connie Stevens and actor Robert Davi with plaques and praise. Stevens—whose birth name is Concetta Anna Ingolia—has been acting and performing for the last 50 years, achieving worldwide fame and gaining an international reputation with her show business history. Starring in television’s “Hawaii Eye” and appearing in many works like “Grease 2,” Stevens has performed for four U.S. presidents and overseas for the U.S. military. Her humanitarian work also has a long list of achievements with receiving the “Lady of Humanities” award from the Shriners Hospital and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Sons of Italy in Washington.

Mark DeCarlo, Joe Mantegna and Frankie Competelli awarding honorees (Photo credit: Jay Tilles, KROQ.com)

“The Feast of San Gennaro is now a beloved Hollywood tradition,” Kimmel said. “Bring your family, and I’ll bring mine. Then afterwards, we’ll all get our stomachs pumped.”

Fellow comedian and Italian-American, Adam Carolla joined Kimmel during the opening gala as the two auctioned off several prize vacation packages, all benefiting the Foundation and its charities. TV personality Carson Daly and actor Zach Galifinakis were also spotted at the Feast.

Feast-of-San-Gennaro

"Prima Notte 2010" -- Feast of San Gennaro (Photo credit: Jay Tilles, KROQ.com)

“We have been bringing Italian culture to the heart of Hollywood for nine years running,” said Frankie Competelli, president of The San Gennaro Foundation, Los Angeles. “We are thrilled to, once again, celebrate tradition, family, and great food with the community.”

Precious Cheese Serves as Presenting Sponsor

One of the booths set up at the “Prima Notte 2010” was one for Precious Cheese—a brand that’s part of Lactalis Retail Dairy Inc., a division of Groupe Lactalis, one of the largest dairy companies in the world. The brand produces a large array of cheese products, including mozzarella, ricotta, string and stick cheese. The Precious Cheese booth contained samples of the company’s cheese products, as well as a prize wheel where attendees could walk away with pizza cutters, bag clips and recipe booklets.

Precious-Cheese-Wheel

Precious Cheese prize wheel (Photo Credit: Jay Tilles, KROQ.com)

“Precious® Cheese is proud to be presenting sponsor again this year helping to bring authentic Italian culture, entertainment, food and fun to the Los Angeles area,” said Jessica Ruth, spokesperson for Precious Cheese. “The San Gennaro Foundation’s commitment to preserving Italian-American heritage resonates with the Precious Cheese brand and we look forward to continuing to raise funds for the organization and its programs.”

For more information on Precious Cheese, visit www.preciouscheese.com and for more details on the annual Feast of San Gennaro, visit www.feastofla.org.

For more photos from the opening gala, visit www.KROQ.radio.com.

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