FARMINGTON — Donations totalling $5,315 were given to the Care and Share Food Closet here Wednesday.

The money was raised from a speak-easy dance party held earlier this month at The Homestead Kitchen, Bar & Bakery in Farmington.

Flappers and gangsters came dressed for the second annual 1920s party, coordinators Sherry and Doug Walrath said. It raised funds and food for the local ecumenical food pantry at 508 Fairbanks Road. Ticket sales and other contributions amounted to $2,815, Walrath said.

This year, Franklin Savings Bank matched the first $1,500 in ticket sales and Rebecca Ryder, CEO of Franklin Community Health Network, promised a personal match of $500.

Realizing the total was just shy of $5,000, Ryder upped her donation to $1,000 Wednesday, boosting the grand total to $5,315.

“This money will go far toward feeding the many hungry people who come through our doors,” Carolyn McLaughlin, food closet co-chairwoman said prior to Wednesday. Carole Godomsky accepted the donations for the food closet.

More than 700 households depend on the food closet each month for help with feeding local families.

“At a time when the realities of a bad economy are faced every day by our neighbors, as they struggle to feed their families, Franklin Savings Bank is happy to be able to help out the good work being done at the food closet to fill those cupboards,” Peter Judkins, bank president, said.

“The evening was just fun,” Sherry Walrath said.

The Walraths and their band, South Strong Road Crew, provided a musical flashback to the 1920s speak-easy days. They danced the 1920s style Peabody and taught the Charleston in what became the Zebra Club for the night.

Tom Saviello, dressed as a gangster for the evening, humorously bribed police officer Shane Cote to arrest members of the audience during a musical intermission.

The Homestead Kitchen, Bar & Bakery served dishes and beverages with 1920s gangster-style names.

The Walraths said they appreciated the support of the community and are already thinking ahead to next year’s speak-easy dance party.

“The amazing support shows how much people from Farmington and surrounding communities care about our neighbors. It’s a fun party and benefits a  good cause. People loved dressing up as flappers and gangsters, coming down the alley, knocking three times on the back door, giving the password ‘Joe sent me’ to enter. We’ll do it again next year,” according to a statement they issued.

The Homestead is also committed to continuing its support of the Care and Share Food Closet. The restaurant hosts the annual benefit party and contributes food staples to the closet throughout the year.  

“It’s our way of giving back to the community,” Laurie Danforth said for the restaurant’s family and staff.

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