Capuchins to play bocce ball at fundraising event

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published January 8, 2018

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A classic lawn game like bocce might normally seem out of season in January, but an annual charity event is once again bringing the activity indoors to help the Capuchin Ministries.

The sixth annual Bocce with the Brothers fundraising event will occur Jan. 26 at Villa Penna in Sterling Heights.

Mike Schodowski, vice president of sales at Shelving Inc., said his business organizes Bocce with the Brothers and underwrites the event to ensure that 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Capuchin Ministries.

Schodowski said the event has drawn more than 300 attendees in the past, and he said it has a business casual dress code.  He said the event offers a Villa Penna buffet, a silent auction with around 30 items, entertainment from speed painter Dave Santia and live music.

“The Capuchin choir will be performing a few songs,” he said. “At 9 o’clock we have live entertainment in the front room of Villa Penna’s, which is almost created like a lounge. There will be a three-piece band.”

And of course, guests can also meet some Capuchin friars from the Franciscan Province of St. Joseph and play lots of bocce with them throughout the evening, Schodowski said.

Colleen Crane, public relations director for the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, said the organization is most commonly known for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit, which she said feeds over 2,000 people per day.

However, she said the Capuchins have other ministries, such as the Detroit-based Solanus Casey Center, named after a priest who was beatified last fall by the Catholic Church.

“That is a pilgrimage site for people to reflect on Father Solanus’ spirituality and his holiness,” Crane said.

Crane said fundraising also takes care of the friars’ everyday living needs.

“The friars do not receive any type of government assistance. They rely primarily on donations,” she said. “It’s only through the goodness of those who are going to be playing bocce with the brothers and supporting our Capuchin Ministries that the friars are able to do everything that they do.”

The sixth annual Bocce with the Brothers event will take place starting at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 at Villa Penna, 43985 Hayes Road in Sterling Heights. All event proceeds will benefit the Capuchin Ministries.  Admission costs $50 per individual. Learn more about tickets by calling (313) 579-2100, ext. 153.

Learn more about the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph by visiting Find out more about Shelving Inc. by visiting