Saugus turns out strong at Taste for Education

DANVERS – Supporters of education in Saugus packed the Danversport Yacht Club Monday where 21 North Shore restaurants dished out all you could eat while auctions and raffles brought in funds to help the town’s schools.More than 360 people attended the 19th annual Taste for Education fundraiser where a disc jockey played Big Band music and guests milled about, moving from one restaurant station to the next. The cuisines ranged from Asian fusion and northern Italian to spicy Mexican and classic American.”We’re fortunate they do this every year. It keeps getting bigger and bigger,” said School Superintendent Richard Langlois, referring to the Saugus Business Education Collaborative. “It’s just a great community event.”For the first time at the event, students from the Saugus High School Fine Arts Department displayed 15 works of art for auction. Live and silent auctions were conducted throughout the evening, the items donated from local businesses and organizations.”In this economy, the corporate donations just aren’t there any more, so it’s up to the local people,” said David Ventola, owner of the North End Bistro in Saugus. “We give to the community but we also get back because this is good advertising for us.”Dean Murphy, director of operations for Kelly’s Roast Beef, said the company enjoys donating to the community, especially the schools.Joseph Ruocco, owner of the Pushcart restaurant, echoed their sentiments as he ladled soup and served slices of eggplant and cheese lasagna.The lengthy list of participating restaurants included big names like Kowloon, Hilltop Steak House and Prince Pizza, along with smaller but equally alluring eateries such as Teresa’s Italian Catering, La Vita Mia restaurant and the Danversport Yacht Club.Out of Asia doled out won tons and stir-fried greens, while the Hooters girls dispensed chicken and good cheer. As the evening progressed, a gaggle of people formed near the Edible Arrangements station where the chocolate covered fruits were going like hot cakes.Saugus Federal Credit Union President John Smolinsky, a founder and master of ceremonies at the event, said the night’s take can approach $20,000. “And that’s on a Monday night,” he said.

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