Despite the frigid cold on Sunday night, hundreds came out for the 9th Annual CityFeast benefit, “Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes.” Former Mayor Thomas Menino and wife Angela joined the crowd at Antico Forno, the North End home base for CityFeast founder Carla Agrippino Gomes.
“I am a diabetic and this disease is our modern-day polio” said the 71 year-old Tom Menino, a perennial attendee at the event who recently left office after deciding not to run again due to health issues. Also hosting the event of behalf of Joslin Diabetes Center was CEO and President John L. Brooks, III who spoke to attendees about how the center is helping those with diabetes.
The longest table of supporters at Antico Forno was filled with members of the Madonna Della Cava Society who sponsor the annual summer feast and other events from their Battery Street club. Also supporting the event was Fr. Antonio Nardoianni of St. Leonard Church. Attracting a citywide crowd, CityFeast has expanded beyond its North End roots to include restaurants from the South End and Seaport District, including Antico Forno 93 Salem Street, Aria Trattoria 253 Hanover Street, The Gallows 1393 Washington Blvd, Lucca 226 Hanover Street, Lucia 415 Hanover Street, TAMO 1 Seaport Lane, Taranta 210 Hanover Street, Temazcal 250 Northern Ave, Terramia Ristorante 98 Salem Street and Tresca 233 Hanover Street. Participating restaurants contribute by serving a five-course meal with wine pairings at a deep discount. Diners pay $150 for tickets of which $100 is tax-deductible.
Carla Agrippino Gomes, of the North End’s Antico Forno and Terramia, has championed the charity event for the past nine years. Gomes founded CityFeast to help raise awareness of the disease and support Joslin Diabetes Center’s mission of conquering diabetes in all of its forms. Carla’s son David, now 24 years old, was diagnosed on his first birthday and continues to live with the terrible disease. Juvenile diabetes (Type 1 diabetes) is an autoimmune disease that strikes children suddenly and forces lifelong insulin dependence and can cause long term devastating health complications if not treated appropriately.