The Doc makes good gravy

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Former Superintendent of the Margate Schools Dr. Dominick Potena and former Principal of the Tighe School Phil Munafo stir the pot.  Former Superintendent of the Margate Schools Dr. Dominick Potena and former Principal of the Tighe School Phil Munafo stir the pot. MARGATE – For more than two decades, the Margate School District’s former Superintendent of Schools has been making good gravy, or sauce, if you insist.

“We make marinara, but to me, it’s gravy,” former Superintendent Dr. Dominick Potena said.

He and former Principal Phil Munafo both retired from the Margate schools years ago, but they still come back every year to cook pasta, meatballs and gravy for the Margate Education Foundation’s annual Spaghetti Dinner, held on Wednesday, macaroni night for many Italians, May 28.

“He retired. I retired. And we still come back every year because this is so much fun,” Potena said.

 

 

Savannah Robertson, Mackenzie Smith and Catherine Agostini, all seventh graders at the Tighe School welcome folks to the annual Spaghetti Dinner, inviting them to take a selfie with Lucy to win a prize. Savannah Robertson, Mackenzie Smith and Catherine Agostini, all seventh graders at the Tighe School welcome folks to the annual Spaghetti Dinner, inviting them to take a selfie with Lucy to win a prize. Former Margate Superintendent of Schools Dominick Potena takes a cork from Margate Education Foundation Co-president Anita Grimley, hoping he picked the big prize bottle of wine. Former Margate Superintendent of Schools Dominick Potena takes a cork from Margate Education Foundation Co-president Anita Grimley, hoping he picked the big prize bottle of wine. There’s a method to their pasta madness, an exact  Tyler Lawler enjoys a spaghetti sandwich, will his classmate Gavin Horn enjoys penne pasta with butter. Both are in the fourth grade.  Tyler Lawler enjoys a spaghetti sandwich, will his classmate Gavin Horn enjoys penne pasta with butter. Both are in the fourth grade. science,Potena said.“We sauce and bake the meatballs separately, which are donated by Sophia’s, and we cook some penne plain so people who don’t like gravy can eat it with butter,” Potena said.

 

At least one youngster was seen eating penne with butter.

They started cooking at 9 a.m. for dinner served up from 4-7 p.m.

All the food, including the ingredients to make the marinara, meatballs, salad, and bread and butter, was donated by area businesses. Homemade desserts lined four banquet tables set up against the back wall of the Eugene A. Tighe School multipurpose room.

Seventh graders Savannah Robertson, Mackenzie Smith and Catherine Agostini welcomed guests and pitched the opportunity to take a selfie with Lucy the Elephant. One lucky person who got the most likes after posting their selfie on the foundation’s Facebook page would be the winner of an “Everything Lucy” gift card, the girls said.

New this year was the foundation’s inaugural “Wine Grab.” For a $20 contribution to the foundation, the donor received a cork with a number on it that corresponded to a newspaper-wrapped bottle of wine, worth from $15 to $50. The grand prize was a cabernet worth $150. More than 60 bottles were sold, and the big prize went to a Margate firefighter.

“I heard about the wine grab idea, then made it happen,” foundation Co-President Anita Grimley said. “That’s what the foundation is all about – trying new and exciting things.”

Former language arts, and social studies teacher in the Margate schools and longtime Brigantine Superintendent Ralph Levin, 86, comes to the spaghetti dinner every year. He said he wouldn’t miss it.

“When the French teacher was out, I taught French, and when the music teacher was out, I taught music. That’s the way it was back then,” said Levin, who is currently seeking to publish his master’s degree dissertation on Margate’s history, which could very well include a chapter about the spaghetti dinner.

LeeAnne and Michael Gregory brought the entire family, and then some. The DeLeon family joined them at the banquet table as their children downed spaghetti and meatballs before playing on the bleachers.

“We love the community spirit, the coming together with friends to support the schools,”
the Gregorys said in unison.

Grimley said the foundation would use the proceeds of the spaghetti dinner for a semi-formal dance and end of year events for Tighe’s eighth grade graduating class. The foundation’s donation will help the dance committee decorate the multi-purpose room with the theme for the June 20 dance, Neon Lights.

“They go all out for the kids,” she said.

The foundation is currently planning its next big event, Grimley said. The foundation’s inaugural “Mud Run” on the beach will be held the first week of September.

“We are grateful that the entire community, including the city government and businesses, is supporting the event. It’s going to be big,” she said. “It’s a great way to welcome the kids and the staff back to school.”


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