Oregano Pizzeria named 'Best Port Pairing'

Courtesy photoOregano Pizzeria and Ristorante was picked by participants as the “Best Port Pairing of 2019” in the recent Pennies for Poverty fundraiser. Pictured, from left, are Diego Rodriguez, Molly Edson and Claude Elias (all of Oregano), Sue McKittrick (Pennies for Poverty) and Florancio Rodriguez (Oregano).

NEWBURYPORT — Oregano Pizzeria and Ristorante has been declared the winner of the 2019 Port Pairings Charity Competition in a close race.

Michael’s Harborside, Sea Level Oyster Bar, Brick & Ash, The Paddle Inn and Loretta Restaurant also competed for the title.

Oregano Pizzeria and Ristorante’s ravioli di funghi, paired with raspberry rose sangria, drew the most votes by a slim margin.

All the restaurants generously donated the pairings and made room for the event in their restaurants.

Pennies for Poverty: 2 Cents 4 Change Inc. will direct all proceeds from the charity competition to nine local nonprofits that enable people in Greater Newburyport to receive needed food, housing and emergency assistance.

“We are proud to participate in this fun event for a such worthy cause, and this year it’s really special,” said Claude Elias, owner and operator of Oregano Pizzeria and Ristorante.

“We are thrilled to have won the Port Pairings Charity Competition, which included some of the best restaurants in town,” he added. “The restaurant and the entire staff look forward to putting their creativity to work for this yearly event. It’s what makes it special to have a business in Newburyport.” 

Sue McKittrick, board president for Pennies for Poverty, expressed her appreciation.

“We are grateful to the restaurants and the broader Greater Newburyport community for supporting this charity competition so enthusiastically,” McKittrick said.

“It was so successful that we plan to make it an annual event,” she added. 

“There are nearly 20 charity events for local social service organizations held in the area every year. We know because we help publicize them on our website and in our newsletter. Year after year, the community comes out to support each and every event. That says something about our community. We care.”

The competition was organized by Pennies for Poverty. Pennies’ mission is to ease the impact of poverty on the people of Greater Newburyport by endorsing models of assistance that promote dignity, supporting allied organizations financially and collaboratively, increasing community awareness of poverty through citizen education, and inspiring and encouraging volunteerism.

Find more information at www.penneisforpoverty.org and support the GrogRaiser on Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. The Grog donates 20% of each check to Pennies if patrons mention the organization’s name. 

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