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A Hummel Report Investigation

A New Course

Walker: ``CVS has been very generous to the Autism Project and really a great supporter for a long time, for a lot of years, on a night like tonight with Crave and also the golf classic that is coming up. The funds that we’ll receive at the Autism Project will be used specifically for our summer camp: Camp Wonnagoagain and they will be used for our social skills groups. Those are our two main components, so they’re going to go right to child and youth programming.’’
And the proceeds from Crave help make it possible.
Walker: ``Not does it only help with what we have there for materials, support staff that are there but it’s also about scholarship funds that allow the kids to be able to attend the camp. No one is turned away because of their needs. What we want for these kids is to be able to come and just to have summer camp like everybody else. Like their siblings can go to summer camp, like their neighbors, like the kids sitting next to them in classroom gets to go to summer camp, they want to be able to go to summer camp and that’s what this is about.’’
Right in the middle of it all on both nights was Jennifer Behm-Lazzarini, owner of RED FIN Crudo + Kitchen in Providence. She is a Master Chef winner who gave her own cooking demonstration on Friday. We spoke with her right after the demonstration.
Behm-Lazzarini: ``Last night we served 1,500 dishes. I nearly fell over. At and at a even usually they’re like, Oh be prepared for X and you’re like okay. This event held true, people came out with their families they had their children, they had their grandchildren and it was so nice to really see them, everybody was in that community aspect.  So it was really awesome that CVS wanted it to be price point friendly so everybody could enjoy it, because sometimes at food events, they’re a little pricey. This is the perfect combination of everything.’’
And the charity component made it particularly special for her.
Behm-Lazzarini: ``Since I was a very young girl my mom instilled in me giving back - I’ve always volunteered at her nursing home. So for me it’s something isn’t unusual. We always find a charity that we really want to sink our teeth into and we give everything. We put it all on a plate, as you can see. The flavor, the food, we really think about wowing the diner every though they’re not inside our four walls and giving back to the community at the same time. It’s a win-win for everybody.’’
Santilli: ``The corporate support that we receive from CVS Health and many corporations in Rhode Island support many non profits, is critical.’’
Karen Santilli is the president and CEO of Crossroads Rhode Island - another beneficiary of charity classic funds. 
SantillI: ``The area of biggest need from Crossroads is in our shelter programs and our ability to stay open 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The funding we receive through CVS Charity classic allows us to balance that portion of thee budget when people are homeless and they have nowhere to go and it’s midnight, where are they going to go? Crossroads is open.’’
This year tournament co-host Billy Andrade’s team won - it was Andrade’s first victory at the Charity Classic in 19 tries.
And it was a Rhode Island exclamation point on another successful tournament weekend.
Behm-Lazzarini: ``You know, I had so many people come up to me last night and say `Oh my gosh this is on my bucket list to eat at and now I can try it and now I have to come,’ so it really is nice that you get this huge opening to people you wouldn’t necessarily have - especially those that live outside the city - they may not feel comfortable coming to downtown Providence.’’
Santilli: ``I think it’s awesome that they remember Rhode Island they’re right here in Rhode Island, they remember their Rhode Island charity partners, it’s actually fun for us to participate in the Charity Classic. We get to engage some of our loyal volunteers, many of our employees participate as a volunteers.’’
Merlo: ``At the heart of the Charity Classic it’s all about giving back and supporting the wonderful work that these terrific charities are doing to help those less fortunate.’’
In Barrington - and Providence - Jim Hummel, for The Rhode Island Spotlight.


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