Not only did Jack ask Bud to make his special cioppino, but he needed it that weekend. Bud rushed home from Mammoth, pooled help from a group of friends (and a lot of sherry) and bought out almost every seafood vendor in Reno. Somehow it all came together, and the 80 guests in attendance that night experienced the very first Jack T. Reviglio Cioppino Feed & Auction.
Over the next five years, the event more than doubled in size. Bob Capurro became a permanent volunteer, adding his Italian culinary expertise. Soon, the event outgrew the Club kitchen, and in 1986 and 1987, everything was cooked offsite and trucked to the Club. The kitchen was upgraded in 1988, but Cioppino was expanding full force.
It wasn’t until 2004 that a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation provided funds for a major facility expansion, including the installation of a commercial-grade kitchen. Of course, the construction on the building was in midstream in February 2004, which meant that our volunteers had to prepare food at the Washoe County School District headquarters and transport more than 1,200 cioppino dinners to the Club. In 2005, the new kitchen was complete. We like to say that the kitchen was built for Cioppino and just happens to work well for the kids the rest of the year.
The Cioppino Feed remains the Club’s signature fundraiser, bringing in almost 15% of our annual budget and impacting the lives of thousands of our local children. The star of the evening is the cioppino, which is still made from scratch by Bud, Bob and a talented team of Italian cooks. But the real fun comes with the live auction, where you can buy items and experiences you can’t find anywhere else (like one ton of potatoes).