Vino, Pasta & Dolci while Finding Valentino

Sunday 3rd March 2013

Close to two hundred people attended last weekend’s Finding Valentino Luncheon hosted by MDA’s Dystrophy Divas, raising more than $12,000 for MDA.


The Dystrophy Divas – Gaye Cariss, Maree McClelland, Sue & Clare Condos and Maria Kouppas

Walking down Sutton Street, North Melbourne, on a beautiful sunny day last Sunday 3rd March lunch guests and many of the general public were greeted with the beautiful sounds of the ‘Sisters and Misters’ singing group floating through the streets.

Upon entering Casa & Bottga restaurant the smell of Italian food filled the air and the atmosphere was electric with excitement. Tables were adorned with quirky centerpieces of tinned Italian tomatoes and bags of pasta.

For the majority of the day the guests were entertained by the 35 harmonic voices of the singing group and over lunch the guest of honor, author of the novel Finding Valentino Angela Di Sciascio, gave a rare insight into the writing of her book.

Describing the heartbreaking truth of her father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, Angela explained the inspiration for her novel was to explore and capture her Italian heritage to ensure her family’s story would not fade along with her father’s memory.

The crowd was entranced as Angela gave a heartfelt recount of the making of her book and aligning seamlessly with the goal of the day in raising funds for people with disabilities.

Although the inspiration for the novel stemmed from her father’s Alzheimer’s disease, and not Muscular Dystrophy, the same sentiment rang true in the difficulties that families face when a loved one has a debilitating condition.

To raise much needed funds for Muscular Dystrophy Australia, fantastic raffles were drawn with winners going home with everything from holidays to bottles of Italian wine and pasta sauce.

The luncheon was a roaring success and a wonderful day was had by all and most importantly a generous amount of money was raised to help MDA provide programs, support and research in order to provide hope for those in the community living with Muscular Dystrophy.

The next event on the Dystrophy Divas’ calendar is an afternoon showing of glass blowing and later in the year a wine auction will be held.

For more information on upcoming events please visit the MDA website: