Spaghetti dinner raises $1,100 for starving children

More than 200 people slurped spaghetti over placemats coloured with messages of holiday cheer at a fundraising dinner Tuesday night which raised $1,100 for children in the Third World.
Grade seven and eight students at St. Francis School hosted the event at St. Mary’s Church to raise money for the Holy Childhood Association—a Catholic charity that helps impoverished children in developing countries.
In previous years, the school held “poor man’s” dinners of Kraft Dinner or chicken noodle soup in support of the local Salvation Army. But this year, the school decided to try something different, said grade eight teacher Tricia Allan, who helped organize the event.
“We really wondered if we would have anybody,” Allan said.
But the room was far from empty as students, staff, and parents fed some 220 people in the basement of St. Mary’s.
“The dinner is sold out, it’s a capacity crowd,” Allan said, adding all the tickets were snatched up a week before the event.
At $7 a plate, Allan said the school never imagined to raise $1,100. “I think it’s great, I’m really astounded that we raised so much money,” she enthused.
“Part of the reason we were able to raise so much was the tremendous deal Safeway gave us on the food,” she added.
Allan also said the students were thrilled their fundraiser was such a success.
“They feel pretty good and excited to have raised that much money,” she said. “Like anyone, they feel good when they’ve done good for someone else.”
Andrew Easton, a grade seven student, couldn’t believe the supper raised so much money.
“I think it’s a great idea,” he said after a few moments of shock when told how much he helped raise.
Brianne Herbert, 13, said the food was great.
“Pretty cool,” she said as a steady stream of people lined up behind her to get a plate full of spaghetti and salad.
In addition to helping prepare and serve dinner, the students also performed a re-enactment of the Christmas story and sang Christ-mas carols to their guests.
Allan said being involved in the fundraiser sends the right message to students.
“I think it probably teaches them to look out for others in this world,” she remarked. “It teaches the spirit of generosity and it teaches them that by working together for a common cause, they can achieve a whole lot.”