Cimmarusti chairs Glendale Memorial Hospital event

Top local chefs will re-create gourmet cuisine of Tuscany, Italy, for the Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center's 23rd annual "Evening of Wine and Roses — A Tuscan Affair!" beginning at 5:30 p.m. Sunday on back lot of the hospital.

The theme was the dream of Larry Cimmarusti of La Cañada Flintridge, who is serving his fifth year as chairman of the fundraising gala.

"I'm Italian and I just got back from Italy, so I thought, 'let's make it all Italian,'" Cimmarusti said.

Proceeds will benefit the Chest Pain Center at Glendale Memorial Hospital, which is designed to provide rapid assessment and evaluation to determine the cause of a person's chest pain.

"Anything to make the hospital better, I'm in support of," he said.

Cimmarusti is coordinating the event in honor of his parents, Pat and Ann Cimmarusti, who built the fifth-floor surgery room at Glendale Memorial Hospital. The Cimmarusti family also built the Glendale Community College Cimmarusti Science Center on the campus and the bell tower at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, and it continues to support and honor fallen police officers by holding a day-long fundraiser for their families, he said.

For the Tuscan Affair, festivities will begin with a reception featuring hors d'oeuvres and Tuscan-inspired cocktails created by award-winning mixologist Jacopo Falleni. There will also be a silent auction.

Instead of the serving stations seen in previous years, guests will be treated to a sit-down, four-course Italian gourmet dinner created by local celebrity chefs. They include Chef Fabio Viviani, owner of Firenze Osteria; Chef Celestino Drago, owner of Drago Centro and Drago; Chef Lucio Bedon, executive chef of Zucca Ristorante; and Antonio Guberti, owner of Far Niente Ristorante.

Regional wines have been selected by world-class sommelier Eric Espuny from the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles.

Masters of ceremonies Mark Wallengren and Kristin Cruz, radio hosts from KOST (103.5 FM), will conduct the live auction.

The band Splash will perform during the evening. The group recently played for Cimmarusti's daughter's wedding reception at Dodger Stadium.

"They are absolutely spectacular." he said. "They play everything!"

Cimmarusti stays involved in planning the gala because of his respect for three doctors at the hospital, he said. They are Dr. Lawrence O'Connor and the late Dr. John Goodwin, who was formerly head of the cardio-vascular surgery department, and his son Dr. Dan Goodwin, who is now in the cardiology department at the hospital. He's also proud that his first grandchild will be born on there in March under the care of Dr. Ignacio Valdez, head of the OB/GYN department at the hospital.

"We hope guests have such a great evening that they want to come back," he said, adding that there are already 780 reservations.

"That tells you that it's a great event for a great cause," Cimmarusti said.

Glendale Memorial Hospital is at 1420 S. Central Ave. in Glendale. For tickets, call (818) 502-2375 or visit

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