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Caterina’s Club and Chef Bruno Serato.
It all started in 2005 when Chef Bruno Serato and his mother, Caterina, visited the Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim, where his mother noticed that there was a 6-year old boy eating potato chips for dinner, because his family couldn't afford a proper meal. Caterina insisted that Chef Bruno make some pasta for the child. They soon realized that there were many more of these hungry 'motel children', so Chef Bruno begun making pasta for 72 children, 5 nights a week. Caterina’s Club was born.
Caterina’s Club and Chef Bruno Serato have expanded their efforts to now feed nearly 300 local kids, 7 nights a week and has served over a quarter of a million meals to date. For most of these children this is the only decent meal they get in a day, their parents not being able to feed them anything for breakfast or lunch.
As Chef Bruno often says: “We should not have children in America with empty stomachs”.
Thanks to the dedication, devotion and generosity of Chef Bruno Serato, Caterina’s Club has been able to expand their efforts to improve the well-being of these local children and managed to raise funds to donate TWO 12 passenger vans to transport the children from where they live in local motels to the Boys & Girls Clubs. This transportation was also extended to their families so that they may go to and from a medical clinic in Santa Ana.
Caterina's Club has also contributed to a free dental clinic as well as piano lessons for the Boys & Girls Clubs members.
The children have been provided with one-on-one tutoring on a daily basis, allowing them to better achieve in school. In addition to the tutoring, upgraded computer software was also provided to aid the children in furthering their education.
Caterina's Club along with the help of Anaheim Ballet also began a program introducing ballet to the kids.
Caterina's Club latest project is to partner with The Illumination Fondation to help qualifying families moving out from motel rooms and into apartment, providing them with first and last month of rent as well as helping them along the way for the first year when needed.
Chef Bruno Serato’s heart is way too big for him to limit himself to helping the children in his neighborhood. His goal is to find some other restaurants and non-profit charities and clubs around the nation to join Caterina’s Club’s efforts and help feeding children in need.
As part of this effort Caterina’s Club raised and donated $30,000 to the GHH Nana’s Kidz Program allowing Chef Bruno to serve a hundred more children through this collaboration. The hope of the Caterina's Club is to reach as many kids as possible through all possible channels.
His philanthropic efforts couldn’t go unnoticed and Chef Bruno has been acclaimed and recognized locally and nationally.
In 2011 year CNN selected Chef Bruno Serato to be one of its TOP 10 finalists to become CNN Hero of the Year.