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Ettore’s Coffee Break for Youth Development Network

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Guests will indulge in Ettore’s European Bakery pastries, Peerless coffee and mid-morning chat Wednesday at the third annual Ettore’s Coffee Break to benefit local nonprofit Youth Development Network.

“A lot of fundraisers are at dinnertime and at lunchtime, so this is something different and unique,” Ettore Ravazzolo, owner of Ettore’s European Bakery said.

Ravazollo said it has always been one of his goals to have his own fundraiser for a nonprofit in the community, so three years ago he teamed up with Sharon Gerber, president and founder of marketing and outreach firm Six Degreez, Inc., and the Youth Development Network to do just that.

“I thought ‘though, why don’t we do a coffee break?” Gerber said. “Because everybody wants to take a little break about 9:30 a.m. and get a little nosh and a little coffee and have a little chat.”

According to Gerber, the $35 ticket buys you entrance into the event, Peerless coffee and eight or 10 different breakfast pastries, including a special cheese Danish pizza pastry that Ravazollo designed specifically for this event.

“It’s a Danish but rolled out like pizza dough,” Ettore said. “So instead of cheese I will use custard and top it with apples, strawberries and blueberries to make it look like pizza toppings.”

He said the dessert will be topped with shaved white chocolate to resemble grated cheese.

Ravazzolo said he plans on making between 600 and 700 pastries. The pastry selection will include mini croissants, chocolate croissants, scones, all kinds of Danish, muffins, small cinnamon rolls and more.

“We’ll have about anything you can find at a pastry shop,” Ravazzolo said.

In addition to the coffee and pastries, Gerber creates a different competition for the event every year. The two previous Coffee Breaks included a muffin-scooping competition and cake-decorating contest, and this year’s competition will be a pizza-making competition between local celebrities.

These local celebrities will make up “The Dough Boys” and “The Dough Girls,” with the men competing against the men and the women against the women, Gerber said.

The Dough Girls will be made up of Councilmember Angelique Ashby, Michelle Odell, Lucy Eidam Crocker and Alisa Okelo-Odongo, and The Dough Boys will consist of Leroy Tripette, Phillip Arndt, Gary Maisel and Rick Nelson.

The contestants will have to throw the pizza dough into the air, making it fit for the pizza pan, and then put on the toppings – cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms and sauce. Whoever gets it done the fastest, assuming it looks decent, will be the pizza-making champion, Gerber said.

The competition will take place on a stage in front of all the guests, and the contestants will be able take their pizzas home in boxes to bake and eat later.

Gerber said Ettore’s Coffee Break raised a net $13,000 last year and this year it is expected to raise a net $25,000 to $30,000.

100 percent of the net proceeds are going to the YDN, said Barbara O’Connor, a member of the YDN board of directors. She also championed the cake-decorating contest last year.

YDN trains youth and their adult companions and teachers how to make them more responsible and proactive citizens. O’Connor said the proceeds will go directly into YDN’s operating budget and will be used to fund scholarship, training and summer camp programs for the teens and their teachers.

“I think in a democracy you have to train young people to care about getting involved in their communities, and you have to equip them with the skills to be effective at it,” O’Connor said. “And that’s what (Youth Development Network) does.”

Local celebrity radio show host Kitty O’Neal will emcee the event, as she has in the two years past. Steve Winlock, who works for the Sacramento County Office of Education, will sing “Good Morning Starshine” a cappella at the event. He has performed on Broadway and as an on-air personality for KVIE, Gerber said.

The Coffee Break will begin at 9:30 a.m. and last until 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

It will be held at the Elks Building.

Tickets cost $35. To purchase tickets online, click here. Tickets may also be purchased at the door. 

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