By Nancy L. Clark
A special evening was held recently at in San Ramon – it was taken over by “horses.”
Incontro expanded to a whole new meaning — not only does it signify the coming together of the cuisine from owner Gianni Bartoletti’s mountainous northern Italian region of Piemonte and southern Italian region of Puglia, but, on June 26, it included a coming together of Bartoletti’s wonderful cuisine and SonRise Equestrian Foundation volunteers.
To raise money for the foundation, Bartoletti invited the SonRise volunteers to wait on and bus the tables and keep all gratuities for the group.
For one night, attorneys, accountants, management consultants, store owners, etc., took orders, served food, filled water glasses and cleaned tables.
“This is hard work," said Del Chandler, who served a large group from the Danville-Sycamore Valley Rotary. "The professional staff were great and thankfully kept us all organized. I am just pleased that I got the order right and didn’t drop anything."
As one of the volunteers, I can attest to how difficult food service is. Despite having no restaurant experience, I jumped in to help.
My feet, back and patience clearly prefer the role of customer over busboy. No surprise that we needed about five volunteers for every professional. We volunteers may have fumbled our way through the evening, but the customers were delighted at our effort and our eagerness to serve.
“Gianni Bartoletti is so kind to help our foundation," said Melanie Buerke, founder of SonRise. "He definitely cares about the community and is willing to take the risk with us as his staff. We raised $2,000, which will help us continue to provide a therapy equestrian program that connects youth and horses. For all our aching feet, it is worth it to see a young person build self-esteem or to see a child with autism speak for the first time by connecting with our horses. Thanks to all our volunteers and a wonderful giving community we can help so many.”
SonRise Equestrian Foundation is a nonprofit organization guided by Christian-based values that makes a positive difference for youth living with social, emotional or physical challenges, including terminal illness. Participating children develop confidence, integrity and responsibility through mentoring and peer relationships centered around the care and enjoyment of horses. For more information, go to www.sonriseequestrianfoundation.org.
Incontro Restaurant is at 2065 San Ramon Valley Blvd. in San Ramon (925-820-6969) and is open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner. For more information, go to www.incontrosanramon.com.