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Famous Author Cheers Local Charity

Adriana Trigiani comes to Richmond Feb. 27 to support Commonwealth Catholic Charities and visit with her friend Bishop Walter Sullivan.

After all, Trigiani is Catholic, a Virginian, the granddaughter of Italian immigrants — and a close friend of Bishop Walter Sullivan.

It's why Trigiani says she's happy to be part of the charity's special guest list for its 2003 Community Service Awards dinner Feb. 27 at the Holiday Inn Select at Koger South Conference Center. The annual fund-raiser will honor the Markel Corp. for community service as well as local philanthropist Frank J. Stumpf.

"It's not a popular time in the world to be Catholic," Trigiani says, referring to fissures and scandal within the church. Consequently, she notes, it's particularly important to recognize people and organizations for positive outreach and contributions to social programs.

Trigiani even plans to sweeten the pot for attendees. She's offering prizes from and tickets to the "Late Show with David Letterman," jewelry donated by celebrities and a walk-on part in her film "Big Stone Gap," which Trigiani is producing and directing.

Her fourth novel, "Lucia, Lucia," a departure from the "Big Stone Gap" series, is scheduled to hit bookstores in July. In addition to work on her film and her new novel, she juggles her roles as a wife and as a mother to her 7-month-old daughter. The work has made Trigiani more aware of her reliance on faith, she says. "Every day I feel like I've failed on some level. And everyday I pat myself on the back," she says, adding: "Life's a conundrum."

Tickets to the event are $65 per person and are available by calling (804) 285-5900. —

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