Benefit planned for ‘Chookie’ Alberini

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

Over the years, it’s hard to imagine how many benefits Alberini’s Restaurant hosted, provide food for or donated to in other ways.

Now it is time to return the favor.

Richard “Chookie” Alberini was diagnosed earlier this year with stage 3 sarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer. Treatment is expensive, and Alberini won’t be able to work while he’s being treated.

A benefit last month was a quick sell out and rousing success, and a second benefit is scheduled Sunday at ITAM 29, 625 High St. N.E., Warren. It’s starts at 4 p.m. with an Italian-style buffet and cash bar. There will be door prizes, a Chinese auction and 50/50 raffle and the Main Street Lions will perform starting at 5 p.m.

Tickets are $40. For more information, call Linda Cetrone at 330-609-5559 or ITAM 29 at 330-399-1911.

Raffle tickets will be available at the benefit for a chance to win a Martin acoustic guitar autographed by the members of the Foo Fighters, including Warren native Dave Grohl. The tickets are $20 each or three for $50, and the winner will be drawn on Dec. 22.

Those interested in raffle tickets who can’t make it on Sunday can contact Molly Halliday at 330-680-6641.

Several performers and artists will come together later this month to raise money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at The Knox Building, 110 W. Federal St., Youngstown, and will feature performances by DrGoo, Baker, The Tribe of Eos, Eminent Domain, Rare Elements featuring Evelooption, Will & Dowd, Bernadette Lim featuring Katherine O’Neill, Natalie Sprouse, David Pokrivnak and Rick Jacob Morrow.

Ray Beiersdorfer will start off the evening with “Dr. Ray’s Amazing Sideshow of Science.” Photographer Melanie Rae Buonavolonta will provide professional photo booth sessions for donation. There also will be a Chinese auction and 50/50 raffle.

Kravitz Deli has donated food, and the Knox Building will have food and drink specials during the event with a percentage of the food sales donated to the cause.

Proceeds will go to the Red Cross of the Philippines to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. A suggested donation of $5 is requested.

In an effort to be a more consistent blogger, I’m posting links to seasonal favorites every day between Dec. 1-24 to Another Gray Area blog at

I’m starting out focusing on songs with local ties, and the first entries in the “Songs of Christmas” include Steve Earle’s “Nothing But a Child” (with Leavittsburg native Jerry Douglas on dobro), a free download of “They Shined Up Rudolph’s Nose” by Newton Falls native David Mayfield, a Christmas mashup by JD Eicher & the Goodnights and – by far the oddest of all – Warren native Dave Grohl singing a snippet of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” with his Nirvana bandmates Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic in the early ’90s. And if that isn’t strange enough, they’re doing it while holding up Barbie-sized paper cutouts of a drag queen.

Look for songs from Slack Jaw, Red Wanting Blue, Prince, The Pogues and others before the month is over. And in some cases, like Mayfield’s song, the links not only allow folks to listen but also to download them for free.

Feel free to email me with suggestions for songs to feature.

Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at