Salzillo game dinner to benefit local non-profits


The Ricky Salzillo Memorial Game Dinner is one of longest running memorial events around Johnston and features what many people refer to as “the biggest raffle of the year.”

There is always fantastic food and seemingly unmatched camaraderie during an event that’s more like a huge family reunion than an actual fundraiser.

The Ricky Salzillo Memorial Game Dinner has raised thousands of dollars for Johnston High School graduating seniors and other non-profits such as the Hematology-Oncology Unit at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.

Last year’s dinner, the 41st annual, raised enough money so that organizers presented 10 Ricky Salzillo Memorial Scholarships valued at $500 each that went to JHS college-bound students.

The all volunteer organizing committee made special presentations to ALS Rhode Island, the VFW Department of Rhode Island, imPossible Dream, RIMO, Johnston Memorial Cancer Events, Race for Matt & Grace, Johnston Community Center Association and Veterans Projects.

Although the 2019 edition will be the 42nd Annual Ricky Salzillo Memorial Game Dinner and won’t be held until Sunday, Jan. 27, organizers like Steve Placella and Vincent LaFazia don’t want people who have wanted to partake in the unusual and unique event in years past but couldn’t get a ticket to be left out in 2019.

“We’re not sure what is the single biggest attraction of this game dinner really is,” said Placella, who was a close friend of the late and beloved Ricky Salzillo. “Everybody who ever came in contact with Ricky loved him and we’re proud to keep his name alive by way what has become a terrific tradition for 300 plus people.”

The 42nd Annual Ricky Salzillo Memorial Game Dinner will be held on Sunday, Jan. 27 beginning at 12 noon inside the Kelley-Gazzerro VFW Post 2812 located at 1418 Plainfield Pike on the Cranston-Johnston line.

“We have never raised prices,” Placella said while announcing tickets are only $35 per person again this year and that, he reiterated, “benefits a lot of different local non-profit groups.”

Likewise, tickets for the giant raffle, which will again be held throughout the affair, are sold in groups for valuable prizes that range from propane grills to mahogany-like wine and liquor cabinets to coolers and more.

Some people, in fact, show up just for the raffle that is coordinated by the Fede brothers, Frank and Nick, Johnston natives who own and operate Kingstown Liquors on Post Road in North Kingstown.

The raffle, Frank Fede said, “is bolstered by the many distributors we do business with; they realize the importance of this dinner and that’s why we’re able to get so many different and valuable prizes.”

So, if you like game dinners and want a chance o win a valuable raffle prize – or even a good amount of money by way of the always-lucrative 50/50 drawing – tickets are on sale at the Kelly Gazzerro VFW Post (942-9500) or Johnston Parks & Recreation Department at 272-3460. Cutline for pix on sheet slugged 11-4-18 1430


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