Dining for dollars

Borough’s first ‘Foodfest’

nets $3,500 for Rescue Squad
By:Alec Moore
   Local residents were treated to a bevy of culinary sensations during the borough’s first Foodfest on Sunday.
   Sponsored by the Manville First Aid and Rescue Squad and the Rescue Squad Auxiliary, the inaugural event — held at the VFW Hall — raised roughly $3,500 for the rescue squad. The proceeds will go toward the purchase of a new ambulance.
   During the Foodfest a total of 18 restaurants — 15 of which were from Manville — offered a range of delicacies to the crowd ranging from exotic Asian cuisine, traditional Italian cuisine and authentic Mexican fare as well as pastries and other dessert treats.
   "Everything went great, it was better than we expected," said Rescue Squad Chief Calvin Salter, who praised Betty Cowen, president of the Rescue Squad Auxiliary, for her idea of sponsoring the event.
   Ms. Cowen modestly expressed that the success of the event was not due to her, but to the efforts of all rescue squad and auxiliary members who pitched in to help bring the event together successfully.
   "The combination of our squad and the auxiliary helped everything run very smoothly," she said, adding that she very much appreciates the support all of the restaurants that were involved as well.
   Ms. Cowen came up with the idea of holding Foodfest after seeing how successful similar events had been in other communities.
   She admits that she did have some trepidation about embarking on such a massive undertaking, but believed that a culinary food-tasting event could be just as successful in Manville as it could anywhere else.
   "The restaurants were very supportive, they were very cooperative from day one and the whole night turned out to be phenomenal," she said, noting that while she and fellow auxiliary organizers had anticipated a maximum turnout of about 125 people, they were very surprised when they quickly sold 175 tickets, at a price of $20 per ticket.
   The response was so overwhelming that they could not sell any additional tickets for fear there would not be enough food to go around. "The number of tickets we sold just kept growing," she said.
   Ms. Cowen noted that the rescue squad and auxiliary are planning to hold a second Foodfest next year and say they will try to open up the event to even more people. "Anyone who’s thinking about coming next year should just be ready to buy their tickets fast," said Mr. Salter.
   Arby’s, Billy’s Pizza. Corner Café, Dunkin Donuts, European Deli, Franks Italian Restaurant, Here’s the Scoop, Lin’s Kosher Chinese Kitchen, Manville Pastry Shoppe, Manville Pizzeria and Restaurant, Mia Sorella Ristorante, Mi Casita, Our Place Deli and Pizza n’ Pasta.
   Culinary Creations from Hillsborough and Bobby B’s Barbecue restaurant and a Coca-Cola vendor from Somerville also participated.
   Ms. Cowen said the rescue squad and auxiliary are both looking for new members. Residents interested in joining the First Aid Squad are invited to call 725-0903 and residents interested in getting involved with the auxiliary may call Ms. Cowen at 725-3694.