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Local Celebrities Serve up Pasta at the Annual Oak Tree Pasta Dinner

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Plates were filled with pasta at Broome Tioga BOCES Thursday night, as teachers, students, and parents came out to raise money and awareness for Autism. 

The annual Oak Tree Celebrity Pasta Dinner started a few years ago, and Principal Ilene Monico said it continues to grow each year. This year she said she anticipates around 500 people to come out for the event, and not only does the dinner continue to grow, but the Oak Tree program does too. 

"The Oak Tree program is for kids with Autism, and we put this event on each year, and I'm always getting local celebrities and officials reaching out to me asking when the date is for the next pasta dinner, they are just all so eager to get involved," said Monico. 

The money raised from the annual dinner mainly goes to the program's end of the year carnival. Parents donated raffle baskets, while the kids helped prepare behind the scenes and set up for the dinner.

Christine Catarella has been a teacher at the program for 18 years now, she said the classes are small to meet every student's needs. Catarella said the students learn job skills, and they learn to be the best person they can be.

Teachers said it's a great way for the community to come together and learn more about the Oak Tree Program.