The Bird - 2007

For over a decade, Newport restaurateur Richard Sardella is donating 170 turkeys to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (MLK Center) in Newport for its holiday food drive.

This is the 11th year that Sardella’s Ristorante Italiano has provided the main attraction of the distinctly American holiday so that all local families can enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving. Sardella has arranged to purchase turkeys from foodservice wholesaler PFG which is also making a donation to the holiday drive.  Cooking instructions are being provided by Sardella’s Chef Kevin Fitzgerald.

MLK Center’s Executive Director Marilyn Warren said that in 2016, the Center provided Thanksgiving baskets to 849 people from 271 families in Newport County.

“This year we are including single individuals in addition to families of 2 or more. Despite the widely reported rise in real estate values, many in our community remain below the poverty line even despite being employed.”  Warren said in a news release. “Thanks to the generosity of business people like Richard and individuals in the community, we are going to ensure many happy holiday tables!”

A community resource since 1922, the MLC Center’s innovative programs provide hunger relief, educational and community support for nearly 3,000 diverse residents of Newport County, Rhode Island.

“In keeping with spirit of giving at the holiday, we have increased our donation and urge our colleagues in the hospitality industry, our guests and Newport business people and citizens to join us in donating,” said Richard Sardella in a news release.

Patrick Fitzgerald, Sardella’s Ristorante Vice-President and General Manager, said, in the release, “Our heart is in this community. We are giving back in keeping with this tradition of sharing with those who might not have Thanksgiving otherwise.”

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.