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Dinner for Derek
Benvenutos donating 15% of Sundays bills to Derek Lendosky Memorial Fund
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A young man’s desire to do more for a Fennimore family has overcome a friendly rivalry on the basketball court.

Fennimore’s Jeff Hoehne and Steve Lendosky battle in the paint annually during the Fennimore Alumni Basketball Tournament and in the Dodgeville Recreational League.

“Last season, Steve ran into my elbow,” said Hoehne. “But, I want to publicly apologize to him for that.”

Putting their rivalry aside, Hoehne has organized a Dine-Out Day in honor of Derek Lendosky at Benvenuto’s in Platteville. The fundraiser will be held Sunday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. When guests mention the Dine-Out Day event, 15 percent of their bill will be donated to the Derek Lendosky Memorial Fund.

Derek, Steve’s son, died as the result of a farming accident on Aug. 4, three days shy of his 10th birthday. The overwhelming show of support in the wake of Derek’s death — from Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, Derek’s favorite player, or the many “Random Acts of Kindness” in honor of Derek — have inspired Hoehne, a student at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College.

“I’ve known Steve as an involved community member who gives a lot back to Fennimore,” said Hoehne. “He is always doing things to support Fennimore schools and athletics, and has been a supporter of Southwest Tech.

“When I heard about the difficult time his family was going through, I knew this was an opportunity to give back.”

Hoehne, a server at Benvenuto’s, approached Benvenuto’s owner/general manager Julie Klein about the possibility of doing a Dine-Out Day as a fundraiser. Having been part of other community benefit events at work, Hoehne knew they would be excited to help.

“Benvenuto’s is very community oriented and was happy to help,” said Hoehne. “It took a little bit of time, but it had to be done.”

What suggestions does Hoehne have for first-time guests to Benvenuto’s?

“Everything is really good, but the pasta dishes are the way to go,” he said. “If you come out that day, you won’t leave unhappy. It is excellent.”

To learn more about the Dine-Out Day for Derek, contact Hoehne, 778-7794, or Benvenuto’s, 348-5000. Benvenuto’s is located at 1621 Progressive Parkway in Platteville.

Contributions to the Derek Lendosky Memorial Fund may be directed to Livingston State Bank, 125 N. Center St., P.O. Box 99, Livingston, WI 53554.