Local restaurants give back

DZ Restaurants does good for the community

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Pasta, pizza and…philanthropy? That’s what DZ Restaurants owner Bill Gathen strives to achieve at his three local eateries: Chianti Il Ristorante and Forno Bistro in Saratoga Springs and Pasta Pane in Clifton Park. 

“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the community,” Gathen said. “We receive such incredible support from every aspect of Saratoga and Clifton Park so for as much as our guests give to us, we try to give back to them and this is a way for us to do that.”

Gathen is referring to Chianti’s “Twelve” program, which features a local nonprofit on the twelfth of every month and Pasta Pane’s “Raising Dough” program, which sponsors a local charity on the third Sunday of every month. 

Over the past month, DZ Restaurants raised just over $7,000 for five local charitable organizations including The American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Parsons Child and Family Center Camp to Belong, The Ryan Wersten MIOP Foundation, Saratoga Center for the Family and Friends of Hannah Hughes Fund.

“There is an application process where local charities apply for the programs the year before,” Gathen explained. “It’s a very difficult decision to make because cause is worthy, but there are only twelve months in a year so we interview the candidates and really try to keep it local and grassroots so we can see where the money is going and how it’s helping in our community.”

In May, The Ryan Wersten MIOP Foundation received $1,583 as the featured charity in Chianti’s “Twelve” program and in June, the Saratoga Center for the Family received $1048 from the same program.
After the success of the “Twelve” program at Chianti, Gathen decided to implement a similar effort at his newest venture, Pasta Pane, which opened in February, 2010 in Clifton Park. “Raising Dough” recently raised $1,660 in May for the American Cancer Society and $1,364 in June for the Parsons Child and Family Center. 

In addition to the monthly fundraising programs, Gathen recently held a special “Afternoon of Wine” tasting event at Forno Bistro on June 11. The event pulled in over $600 for the local Friends of Hannah Hughes Fund, which seeks to raise money for eight-year old Hannah Hughes who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

“Through partnerships with local organizations and nonprofits we can really pack the house,” Gathen added. “We can create a really great energy and we can help to not only raise awareness for these causes, but also to raise as much money and give back as much as possible.”



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