Warm weather and the promise of all-you-can-eat food led to a massive turnout Sunday for the 16th annual Mineola Junior Fire Department Pasta Dinner at the .
The village hall parking lot as well as the one adjacent the and the other municipal lots were all full as residents took advantage of the special day.
Mineola Fire Department member John DaVanzo reported that there had been a couple hundred of tickets sold about only an hour after the doors opened at noon.
“We let the seniors who come for lunch in at 11:30,” Ex-Mineola Fire Chief Gary Mazur said, adding that much of the work setting up for the event had been done Saturday by members working a 12-hour shift and final preparations Sunday morning.
Currently celebrating its 36th anniversary of service to the Mineola community, the junior fire department also sponsored a very large Chinese auction and a silent auction to raise money for some of their current programs. Some of the prizes included baskets with expensive toiletries, children’s toys, gift certificates and an overnight stay for two at the Oheka Castle.
The event acts as a fundraiser for the junior department, which in turn donates to various organizations such as New York State Firemen’s Home, the Wounded Warrior’s program, as well as 9/11 funds and fund programs such as the , German Junior Fire Department.
Also assisting the food line were students from nearby . “We love to help out the fire department,” Bro. Lawrence Syriac, S.M. said, handing out meatballs to diners.