Salute E Vita Ristorante to host wine event benefiting veterans on Thanksgiving

Launch party for Menbe's Way Fund on Aug. 23 to kick-start expansion of Salute owner's charitable efforts

Menbere Aklilu, owner of well-known Richmond restaurant Salute E Vita Ristorante, is inviting the community to wine and dine at her eatery next week in the first of three fundraisers for her annual Thanksgiving Day feast benefiting veterans.

On Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the eatery at 1900 Esplanade Drive will host “Grateful for Grapes,” featuring tastings from three prestigious California wineries, hors d’oeuvres, and a small silent auction. While there is no admission fee, donations are encouraged to support the Thanksgiving event.

Aklilu recently received the coveted Jefferson Award honoring community and public volunteerism, partly for the work she’s been doing for veterans on Thanksgiving. She annually invites them and other struggling individuals for a fine-dining meal and other offerings. Last Thanksgiving, she served about 1,300 people while managing to inspire multiple local businesses and organizations to contribute to the effort.

If you can’t make it to next week’s fundraiser, two similar events will be held in the coming months to support the Thanksgiving event, including on Aug. 23 called “Blessings by the Bay” (2 p.m. to 5 p.m.) and another Grateful for Grapes on Oct. 8 (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.)  Both will also feature wine tastings and hors d’oeuvres, but not a silent auction.

See the below flyer for more information on next Thursday’s wine event: