Hundreds mark Fat Tuesday at Salem Community Center

SALEM- Hundreds turned out to the Salem Community Center Tuesday, raising money for those in need through a traditional Fat Tuesday celebration.

Over 300 community members attended the Mardi Gras=themed event sponsored by the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs. The fifth annual event benefits the Salem Community Pantry, raising over $2,000 each year, according to event coordinator Gina Dermotta.

“It’s a worthwhile event for the community and our way of giving back, especially after the holidays, help stock the pantry,” she said.

The party featured food from 29 local businesses, chefs and individuals. Visitors were able to select from a variety of dishes ranging from wild game and oriental chicken salad to jambalaya and white chili, from sausages and meatballs to cookies and mini cupcakes.

Volunteer cooks included Lori Weingart, Patty Keefer, Bill Anderson, Mike Emigh, Wendy Saltsman, Frank Zamarelli, Matt Butts, Wayland Wong, Patti Bauman, Alma Apicella, Stephanie Pierson, Gina Dermotta, Sara Masterangelo and Janet Keene, as well as businesses and organizations Jalisco’s, Consumer’s Bank, Kiwanis Club, Ricky’s English Pub, St. Ann’s Church, Sweet Temptations Bakery, Big Dog Grill, Giant Eagle, Sterling House, Walmart, Essex of Salem, Family Recovery, Stark Memorial Funeral Home, United Way and Visiting Angels.

Kevin Howell can be reached at