Ricky Salzillo Memorial Game Dinner slated for Feb. 6

Strict COVID protocols will be in place at Johnston man's memorial dinner


In an all-out effort to continue one of Rhode Island’s oldest and most successful fundraising events, organizers of the ageless Ricky Salzillo Memorial Game Dinner have announced some strict safety guidelines for the Feb. 6 food and fun fest that will be held inside the Kelley Gazzerro VFW Post 2812 located at 1418 Plainfield St. on the Cranston-Johnston line.

For starters every person who attends the annual affair that’s named in honor of the late Johnston resident who was tragically killed in an auto accident back in 1976, must be vaccinated against the on-going COVID-19 Pandemic.

Moreover, all tickets must be paid in advance to avoid a line on Sunday, Feb. 6. Tickets are priced at $35 per person.

“We will be taking each person’s temperature when they enter the Post,” said Vin LaFazia, who shares co-chairperson honors with Johnston-based Attorney Steve Placella, who was a long-time friend of the late Salzillo. “We also want people to mask-up when entering and leaving and to purchase raffle tickets during the dinner.”

What Placella described as a “special courtesy,” valet parking will be available, if desired, and a special police detail will be on duty when people park their vehicles.

“We’re taking all the necessary steps to make sure everyone is safe,” LaFazia added. “The dinner is — and has been — a highly-popular and important event that has funded everything from college scholarships for graduating high school seniors to programs for kids fighting cancer at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.”

Placella, meanwhile, added: “We don’t want any blemishes on the dinner’s record. We’ve funded many charitable causes throughout the years and we want to follow all the guidelines that have been set down by the Rhode Island Department of Healthy during the COVID-19 crisis.”

So, after a year’s hiatus due to COCVID-19, the Ricky Salzillo Memorial Game Dinner will be back on Feb. 6 — the Sunday between the NFL finals and Super Bowl, and an extensive menu will be prepared by Cozy Caterers that operates Bella Cucina that’s located inside the VFW post.

The always-delicious dinner, which will again feature the famed “Best Raffle Ever” that’s coordinated by Johnston natives Frank and Nick Fede, who own and operate Kingstown Liquors on Post Road in North Kingstown, will begin with Pheasant Soup and includes Antipasto, Venison Chili, Wild Boar Spitzatta with Mushrooms, Pasta with Venison Meatballs and Sausage and Venison Meatloaf with Herbed Potatoes.

If you’d like to purchase an advance ticket and enjoy the 2022 chapter for extraordinary five-decade old social tradition, call Placella at 401-255-3478, the Kelley Gazzerro VFW Post at 401-942-9500, or the Johnston Recreation Department at 401-272-3460.

“We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on Feb. 6,” the co-chairmen concluded while announcing there will be a pre-dinner ceremony with the singing of the National Anthem followed by fantastic food and classic camaraderie that people have in past year’s called “a huge family reunion/memorial honoring a mighty man whose young life was filled with helping others before he was tragically killed in 1976.”


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