MADISON -- The annual St. James School Italian dinner and auction on Sunday, March 18, celebrate the diversity of the new Good Shepherd Parish.
Festivities begin at 11 a.m. and continue until 4:30 p.m. at St. James Church, located two blocks southwest of Regent and Mills Sts. at 1128 St. James Ct.
The all-you-can eat spaghetti dinner was started more than 50 years ago in honor of the Italians and Italian-Americans who joined St. James after their church, St. Joseph, was torn down in favor of urban renewal. A historic mark notes the area which now houses medical facilities and office buildings.
As the two parishes have officially merged as the Good Shepherd Parish, this year’s dinner continues the tradition of warm hospitality with school families from a diversity of ethnic backgrounds all working together.
When the new parish council and the merger committee addressed major issues, they agreed the school and Latino ministry would remain an integral part of the new parish.
The school and parish attract families from as far away as Belleville and New Glarus and as close as a few blocks away. While some parents selected the school because of its location near their work rather than where they live, they soon embraced the St. James School family and became active supporters and volunteers.
Started 15 years ago as part of a family fun night, the dinner and auction event has grown to include donations from local businesses as well as from school families. In addition to the usual restaurant gift certificates and sports tickets, the auction features a wine tasting in your home, family get-away to Kalahari, parking spots for Badger football games, a day on the farm, monthly baked goods, and unique baskets of all sorts.
One of the highlights of the day is the live auction at 1 p.m. Bidding for the silent auction begins at 11a.m. and goes until 4:30 p.m.. Proxy bidders are available for those who can’t be at the event.