For the Boys

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Lots of good food for good causes at two upcoming charity dinners -- one at Luca d'Italia, the other at Vesta Dipping Grill.

On June 2 at Luca d’Italia (711 Grant Street), Frank and Jacqueline Bonanno (owners of Luca, along with Mizuna and Osteria Marco) are throwing a benefit for the neurology department at Children’s Hospital. “We’re getting a late start on putting it together,” Jacqueline tells me, “because our guest chef is Lachlan [Mackinnon-Patterson, of Frasca], and he and Frank had a heck of a time working out their schedules -- so we need to book it very quickly to raise the dollars we’re looking for. Our vendors donate the food and booze, our staff donates their time, and every penny we collect goes directly to Children’s. The first year we raised $15K, last year $25K; this year we’re hoping for $50K.”

The dinner will be five courses, with cocktails starting at 5:30 p.m. The staff of Luca will be on hand, as will Lachlan and his partner, Bobby Stuckey. Thought tickets aren’t cheap ($350 per person or $600 for patron level), it's all for a good cause: Jacqueline and Frank’s son, Luca, had brain surgery at Children’s three years ago.

“This is personal,” Jacqueline explains. For details, call 303-832-6600 or visit www.lucadenver.com. And on June 16, Vesta Dipping Grill will be throwing a bash for one of its own: bartender Travis Van-Cleave, who cauught himself a case of autoimmune hemolytic anemia (that’s okay, I didn’t know what it was, either) and, in the process of getting himself well, racked up a killer hospital bill.

“We will donate all proceeds from the evening to help put a small dent in the medical expenses that are hopefully all that remain of Travis’s bout with anemia,” says Vesta owner Josh Wolkon. The shindig will get underway at 7 p.m., with a select open bar, passed apps, a DJ, silent auction and “surprises,” according to Wolkon. The price is $60 per person.

Vesta is located at 1822 Blake Street; for details, call 303-296-1970 or go to www.vestagrill.com.

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