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Shrimp feed to benefit scholarships, research
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The Italian Catholic Federation in Manteca is one of the most generous organizations around. Last year alone, the independent faith-based group which is not affiliated with St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, donated money to St. Anthony of Padua School to give away as scholarships to five deserving students.

“I believe there were five (scholarships awarded) last year,” said Marilyn Amoral of the money donated by ICF-Manteca to the school last year.

Additionally, the ICF-Manteca along with two other ICF chapters in the Stockton area (which includes Tracy, Modesto, Manteca and Angels Camp) give three other scholarships to students in the jurisdiction covered by the three groups.

Where does the ICF get the money that they give away for scholarships? It comes from the fund-raisers that they sponsor throughout the year. One of those fund-raising venues is being held this Saturday, April 16, in the St. Anthony’s Church gym, corner of Fremont and Sutter streets. The more tickets they sell, the more money they raise for scholarships and other good causes that they support including the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation.

“Cooley’s Anemia is a disease that is very prevalent among Italian people or any nationality from the Mediterranean region,” said former five-time ICF president Marilyn Amoral who is the federation’s treasurer this year.

Saturday’s all-you-can-eat shrimp feed dinner will start with antipasto or Italian appetizers, followed by salad with bread, pesto, and a bowl – or bowls – of shrimp.

“The shrimp comes out in big bowls, like the crab that they serve at a crab feed. We’ll feed you till you’re full. We’ll also have wine with the dinner, and we’ll have dessert, all included in the $30 ticket per person,” Amoral said.

That’s just half of the evening’s offerings which will begin with no-host cocktails at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7.

“We’re known for our big raffles, and we have beautiful raffle prizes. We have around 50 raffle prizes. I’m not talking $15 cards. They come up in big baskets. Most of them are worth $40 to $80 a basket. Our gifts are very, very nice. A lot of the stuff are donated, and then we make some of the baskets,” Amoral said.

For the first time in five years since they started the annual shrimp feed, the silent auction will feature home-made Italian cookies donated by ICF members. Other items on the auction block this year include a wine tour for 50 people.

“We’ve had silent auctions before but the one with the dessert is new. It’s just something that we’re excited to try,” Amoral said.

The shrimp feed is also not the only fund-raiser sponsored by the ICF during the year. The all-you-can-eat-shrimp feed is held around April. In the fall, “we do our big polenta and sausage or chicken in the fall,” said Amoral.

“Then around Thanksgiving just before Christmas, we have our sale of Italian cookies – our biscotti and cookie sale,” she added.

In addition to scholarships and the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, ICF also donates money “to support seminarians” who are studying for the priesthood.

“But our big one is St. Anthony’s School. We give them fairly good-sized scholarships each year to give out to several students,” Amoral said.

Succeeding Amoral as the Manteca ICF president this year is Anna Mello.

For tickets to the shrimp feed on  Saturday, or how to become a member of ICF, call Marilyn Amoral at (209) 612-7770 or Ida Queirolo at (209) 982-5710.