Celebrating a Special Sauce for Special Kids

A spoonful of spaghetti sauce, a slice of bread and a touch of compassion were on the menu Thursday for an unusual meal at Immaculate Heart of Mary school.

Students at the school served pasta, salad and bread to about a dozen kids with debilitating diseases to help launch a pasta sauce that will benefit Southern California children’s charities.

The event was sponsored by Antonello Ristorante of Santa Ana, which began placing its pasta sauce in upscale markets and department stores about three months ago.

Restaurant owner Antonio Cagnolo said he hopes to raise $100,000 for charity within the first year.


“Unfortunately,” he said, “you have to make money to give money.”

Besides drawing attention to the pasta sauce, the event was designed to dish out life lessons for the students of Immaculate Heart.

“We teach [the students] values,” Principal Andree Oscoff said. “But most of the time, it’s in books. Now, they have a chance to practice.”

Students said they enjoyed meeting the children with the diseases, including muscular dystrophy and Down syndrome.

“It’s like talking to a regular person,” said Carlos Guzman, 13, “except they’re sick.”

Lorenzo Igayac 16, who has Down syndrome, said he would buy the sauce, but then added, “I have to ask my mom.”