A Fulham restaurant owner and charity champion has enlisted help from some of the biggest names in music and theatre to help raise money for the thousands of people left homeless by the Italian earthquakes.
Local celebrity Teo Catino, who runs the Il Pagliaccio restaurant in Wandsworth Bridge Road, is to stage an evening of entertainment in a bid to support devastated communities in his home country.
Ray Davies, the singer and guitarist with The Kinks, is among the famous faces set to perform at the restaurant while staff dish up a four-course meal.
West End star Madalena Alberto and top soprano Monique Loricchio have also been confirmed on the VIP guest list for the event.
It will be the latest in a long line of fundraising initiatives pioneered by Mr Catino, who moved to London 30 years ago.
He founded the annual Paggs Cup children’s football tournament, which takes place every year in South Park, and recently helped to fund Hurlingham Boxing Club’s new training ring.
In total, Mr Catino has raised around £300,000 for worthy causes in the community.
Now he is turning his attention to his home nation of Italy, which has been devastated by a series of major earthquakes over the last few months.
Mr Catino, who was born and raised in the town of Avellino, near Napoli, said: “I remember the quake in 1980 and seeing families who had lost everything they had. I had friends, brothers and sisters who were affected back then.
“So I know the feeling of what these people are going through now. That’s why we want to help.”
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said the nation’s “soul was unsettled” after the biggest earthquake for more than 35 years struck the country last month.
Miraculously, no one was killed by the 6.6-magnitude quake but dozens were injured and more than 15,000 were left homeless.
It followed a smaller earthquake in August that also sent shockwaves around the country.
Mr Catino said he wanted to support the relief effort and help desperate families into temporary accommodation.
“We have to do our little bit here to change their lives,” he added.
Guests at the charity music event are being offered a set menu four-course dinner and a glass of Prosecco for £50, with proceeds going towards the relief fund in Italy.
Diners will also be treated to performances from pianist Tony Pappano, tenor Domenico Colonna and Broadway crooner Dr James Dooley during the star-studded evening.
A money-spinning auction, with prices including Chelsea football tickets, a Lotus race track test drive and a weekend’s stay at the Lynton Hotel, has been lined up as a further incentive for guests to donate to the cause.
The event takes place on Sunday November 27 at Il Pagliaccio. For more information and to book tickets, call 020 7371 5253.