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Anaheim Film Festival names Humanitarian of the Year

Organizers will present the award to Anaheim White House's Bruno Serato at closing gala.

BY JENNA SWEENEYPublished: October 08, 2010 08:24 AM

Anaheim White House restaurateur Bruno Serato will be honored with a Humanitarian of the Year award at the Anaheim International Film Festival’s red-carpet gala on Oct. 16.

Serato is being recognized for his commitment to charity in Orange County. His nonprofit Caterina’s Club has fed more than 250,000 underprivileged children since 2003.

“It is amazing to be recognized by the AIFF and to be a part of this first-time event,” said Serato. “My commitment to kids in need is one that I cherish and pledge to continue doing throughout my life.”

At the age of 25, with less than $200 in his pocket, Serato emigrated from Italy. After developing a love for culinary delights, he moved to Orange County and launched a career as a restaurateur.

In 1987, Serato bought and opened the Anaheim White House, crafting a menu featuring creative dishes that blend his native Northern Italian cuisine with an infusion of French succulence. Today, Anaheim White House is considered one of Orange County’s most unique and beloved restaurants.

It was Serato’s humble beginnings that prompted his philanthropic work, supporting organizations such as Paint Your Heart Out, a program that restores homes of the elderly, and The Boys & Girls Club. (Serato opted out of traditional gifts for his 50th birthday party and instead asked friends to donate to Caterina’s Club. He raised more than $20,000 dollars to benefit the Boys & Girl’s Club.)

His efforts have captured national coverage, including a feature segment that aired on the “CBS Evening News” with Katie Couric.

The awards ceremony will be the highlight of the five-day Anaheim International Film Festival, which will be held Oct. 13-17. Celebrating its inaugural year, the event will feature about 100 the most promising narrative films, notable documentaries, live action and animated shorts and student works.

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