FARMINGTON — Moose burgers and a moose-calling contest are highlights of the  Wild Game Dinner served Saturday, Jan. 20, at Tuck’s Ale House on Main Street.

“We need a break from the cold and to have some fun,” Tom Saviello, head cook, said.

The event, from 3 to 6 p.m., will benefit Life Enrichment Advancing People, a local, private nonprofit devoted to supporting people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities in western and central Maine. Proceeds will help with non-budgeted items such as recreational opportunities for clients, employee scholarships and special events, Wood said.

Saviello and Nate Morin, head bartender and owner of Tuck’s Ale House, came up with the idea last summer to provide winter entertainment while benefiting LEAP.

“I have an interest in LEAP and admire the people who work there,” Saviello said.

A large grill will be set up on the sidewalk and bear stew, moose stew, pheasant sausage and bear summer sausage served, along with grilled moose and venison burgers.

Wildlife meat cannot be sold but donations for the meal can be accepted, Saviello said. The suggested amount is $10.

Darryl Wood, LEAP executive director, is donating about 50 moose burgers from a moose he shot last fall in the Allagash. James Cote and Zach Frechette are donating moose and venison. Larry Lord and Russell Black are donating pheasant sausage.

Master Maine Guide and owner of the Maine Guide Service, Roger Lambert, of Strong is providing gourmet relishes, and there will be bacon, blue cheese and roasted garlic sriracha for the moose burgers. 

There will be food for about 100 people and when it’s gone, it’s gone, Saviello said.

 A moose-calling contest tops off the fundraiser. It was added to the event to “make a hoot of it,” Wood said.

Lambert and Niilo Sillanpaa of Kingfield will judge the contest about 5 p.m. Those interested in competing can call LEAP or show up Saturday. The winner will have their name engraved on a moose antler that will hang at Tuck’s.  

Morin and Wood started a chili contest at Tuck’s in February 2017 as a fundraiser for LEAP. It went well and will be repeated next month, Wood said.

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Wild game, including moose burgers, is on the menu of the first Wild Game Dinner on Saturday, Jan. 20, at Tuck’s Ale House in Farmington. (File Photo)

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