Grab and go serves up supper and support for fire victim

Jan 11, 2022

The community broke bread and then dipped it into pasta at an Italian feast that served as a fundraiser for John Menezes, whose business, Mattapoisett Power Equipment, was badly damaged by fire last month.

The Italian dinner, held Sunday, Jan. 9, was offered in a grab and go style at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 57 Fairhaven Road. The Mattapoisett Lions Club and Mattapoisett Knights of Columbus co-sponsored the dinner.

More than $4,000 was raised in the effort, said James Rottler, treasurer of the Knights of Columbus. Two hundred sixty-one meals were ordered at $20 each.

The two organizations joined forces to support Menezes, whose business is patronized by some of the groups’ members, Rottler said.

But even more importantly, he said, their shared goal is to “help out the local community’’ and to “help people that need help.’’

The meals included ziti, chicken parmesan, two stuffed shells, two meatballs, sausage, bread, salad and dessert.

“It was $40 worth of food for $20,’’ he said.

The food was made from scratch by volunteers, he said. A number of community members, including entire families, came out to help, he said. Two students from ORR stopped by to earn community service credit by helping Menezes rebound from the fire.

The fire on Dec. 20 badly damaged the mixed-use building which also houses a private residence.

The business opened in 2007 as a family-owned small engine repair shop, according to its website. The business also sells and rents power equipment like lawn mowers, chainsaws, and snow blowers.

Damage was estimated at $300,000.

A  total of 22 firefighters were at the scene of the fire, working to get it under control, including fire chiefs from Marion and Fairhaven. 

In the wake of such a disaster, Rottler hoped that the Jan. 9 event “made people smile’’ and lifted spirits. 

A GoFundMe account was also opened to help Menezes. The site can be accessed at