FW Kiwanis Club’s Salmon Bake returns for 68th year

Annual fundraiser is a community staple in Federal Way.

Federal Way’s favorite fish festivity is coming back this month.

The 68th annual Kiwanis Salmon Bake will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, July 26, at Steel Lake Park. Tickets are on sale for $30, giving supporters access to live entertainment, a silent auction, a wine and beer garden, and of course, a delicious baked salmon dinner.

The main course of Alder grilled maple rubbed salmon will be prepared by John Hatcher of Cafe Pacific, alongside a Caesar salad, a potato salad, corn on the cob, Jimmy Mac’s rolls with honey butter, and a non-alcoholic drink.

The event is hosted by the Federal Way Kiwanis Club, which is part of an international organization whose primary goal is helping children across the globe. All meals sold and all donations will go directly to the club in Federal Way and help complete their mission.

“Locally, we do service projects. We do activities such as park cleanups. We are out in the grade schools doing Terrific Kids programs. We address educational needs in the schools like food and security,” said Mike Brugato, president-elect of the Federal Way Kiwanis Club who is running this year’s Salmon Bake. “We recognize outstanding kids in elementary schools. We have a program called BUG (bringing up grades). We support Troop 307 Scouts. We support MSC (Multi-Service Center), FUSION. We do a lot of stuff locally to support the kids.”

The Salmon Bake is one of the club’s largest fundraisers to raise money for all of those programs.

Last year, the fundraiser sold around 900 meals, and the club projects to have roughly the same amount this summer.

While the event has blossomed into a staple of the Federal Way community, it started with humble origins.

“This started 68 years ago, and it was a group of guys who went out with salmon on Cedar Point and grilled it over an open fire,” Brugato said. “It has evolved into this thing today. Now it is catered, we have various food donors like Jimmy Mac’s donating the rolls. It is a little more evolved than the open grill it started out as, but it was a popular event, and it has persisted on for 68 years.”

Brugato, a former Navy pilot, moved to Federal Way in 1992 with his wife and first child and has never looked back. All three of his children grew up in the Federal Way Public Schools and have graduated from colleges in the state.

Brugato understands as well as anyone the importance and strength of the Federal Way community. He wants to honor the legacy of the Salmon Bake by continuing to unite the community with delicious food and relaxing entertainment.

“It’s a big nexus point for everyone to gather together, not just Kiwanis, but other service organizations,” Brugato said. “It is great to connect with citizens in the community, leaders in the community, and service organizations in the community, and just celebrate, relax, have a good time, enjoy some good music and good food.”

Scene from a past Salmon Bake at Steel Lake Park. File photo

Scene from a past Salmon Bake at Steel Lake Park. File photo