Taste of Struthers draws more than 400, shows off 18 vendors

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By Graig Graziosi



Elaine Ginetti and eight of her relatives worked the bar in the St. Nicholas Great Hall, slinging drinks and homemade pepperoni rolls to patrons of the fifth annual Taste of Struthers on Thursday night.

Working the bar had become something of a family tradition for them. They seemed to know everyone walking into the bar, greeting them like relatives arriving at a family reunion after a long absence.

That family-reunion vibe permeated the event as more than 400 attendees arrived to sample the dishes from the 18 participating Struthers food vendors.

Catherine Cercone-Miller, president of Struthers Rotary Community Corps and one of the lead organizers for the event, said this year was the group’s largest.

“We’ve got 18 different vendors from the city, some restaurants, some catering, plus the nursing home will be showing off their fruit. We’ve got a few new vendors –The Elmton is there for first time, The Embassy is there this year; Senior Jalapenos and Lightner’s Fresh and Smoked Meats as well. It’s a perfect event for getting your name and your product out there to the community,” Cercone-Miller said.

Donavito’s, an Italian restaurant in the heart of Struthers, brought an entire wood-burning grill assembly to the event. Cercone-Miller said Donavito’s has been one of the event’s largest supporters. Bridgette Donatelli, co-owner of Donavito’s, has been attending the Taste of Struthers since its inception.

“Our restaurant is in Struthers, and we love being in Struthers. It’s a great community for us,” she said. “Plus it’s a great way for all of the local businesses to support each other as well. When we get a break from serving, we’ll go and sample other places and they’ll come by and try our food.”

Attendees pay $20 for a ticket, which buys them a sample from each vendor. All of the money generated through the event is put toward supporting Struthers organizations and initiatives.

“All of the money is to go back into Struthers through nonprofits, schools, et cetera,” Cercone-Miller said. “We’ve given to the Fallen Soldiers Project, to Shop-with-a-Cop, Steel Valley Cheer, we’ve donated to an Eagle Scout’s project, and each year we give out a scholarship to a Struthers High School senior, just to name a few. A lot of the projects we fund we do so in conjunction with the main Rotary body.”

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