DiTondo’s hosts backyard picnic for Cradle Beach Camp fundraiser - The Buffalo News
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DiTondo’s hosts backyard picnic for Cradle Beach Camp fundraiser

Summer is officially over, and children are back in school. But there’s still time for one more “End of Summer Party.”

That’s the name for the Cradle Beach Camp fundraiser that DiTondo’s Tavern (370 Seneca St., 855-8838) throws every year. This year it’s at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $25 at the door.

Instead of the spaghetti parm and meatballs that draw DiTondo’s lunch regulars to the popular tavern across the street from the Buffalo Police Department garage, the menu is backyard cookout. “It’s hot dogs, sausage with peppers and onions, potato salad, macaroni salad and baked beans,” said owner Al Rohloff. “This is strictly a picnic thing.”

Rohloff, who has owned the tavern since 1985, said the party to benefit the camp for disabled and disadvantaged kids started in the 1990s. “We’ve done this for probably 20 years,” he said. “There’s a lot of less-fortunate people, like these kids. We just decided, ‘Let’s do something for the community,’ and we’ve done it ever since.”

Donating food and relying on donations to close any gaps, DiTondo’s makes sure it all goes to charity. “There is nothing taken out for anything,” he said. “The whole $25 goes to Cradle Beach.”

There will be raffles and auctions, but the main draw is the food, an open bar and live music with Wide Right.

“It’s a fun night,” Rohloff said. “We start at 5 o’clock and go to 10, and actually we’ll probably be here till 11 or 11:30. The band just keeps on playing, and the drinks keep on flowing. It’s really a good time.”

Foodie find:

St. Mary & St. Moses Coptic Orthodox Church Annual Festival.

Parish cooks will offer visitors Egyptian cuisine like falafel, grilled minced meat skewers called kofta, chicken and beef kabobs including shish tawook and vegetarian dishes such as the rice and lentil pilaf called koshary. Desserts include baklava and mango mousse. The festival is held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday at the church (350 Wheatfield St., North Tonawanda). For more information, visit www.buffalocopts.org.

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