The Union Recorder

December 6, 2013

Boys & Girls Club serves up annual spaghetti feast

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Crockett’s Cafeteria is ready to serve up a hearty spaghetti feast using more than 80 pounds of noodles as part of the 25th annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Baldwin and Jones Counties.

“We use about 300 pounds of ground chunk, which is leaner and healthier meat, and about 85 pounds of noodles and 35 pounds of onions. The sauce also has celery and mushrooms,” said Paul Bernard, executive director of the local Boys & Girls Club. “This is one of our steady fundraisers every year, no matter if the economy is bad or good; it’s been consistent for us.”

The feast is slated from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Crockett’s Cafeteria, located in the Fun! Factory shopping center off North Columbia Street. Tickets are $5 in advance and $6 at the door, and can be purchased at Crockett’s, 1850 N. Columbia St., Boys & Girls Club locations and Rainforest & Reef, 1883 N. Columbia St. Spaghetti plates are available for dine-in, takeout or drive-thru.

“For $5, the dinner also includes a drink, sweet or unsweet tea, cole slaw, bread, an oatmeal cream pie and a peach,” Bernard said. “You can get a complete meal for $5; it’s a win-win for everybody. It’s the perfect time for this because everybody is out shopping, and this is one of the fundraisers that everyone can participate in because the prices are so low.”

Sponsors from the Milledgeville-Baldwin County area have made the spaghetti dinner possible. This year, Captain D’s, LongHorn Steakhouse and Golden Corral are among several businesses donating funds and supplies.

“We couldn’t do this without our sponsors. Everything is donated. We thank everybody for helping us make it possible to help keep the price low,” Bernard said. “We even have people from surrounding counties come to get a spaghetti dinner. The spaghetti has become part of the community and our tradition.”

The Boys & Girls Club initially kicked off the fundraiser 25 years ago by selling pancake plates at the former Northside Elementary School, what is now the Sears shopping center. The decision was made to alter the menu to spaghetti the following year as a way to increase funds for the club. The fundraiser has become a big hit through the community ever since.

“We’re expecting to serve about 500 people, which is about average every year,” Bernard said. “The Boys & Girls Club can make anywhere from $4,000 to $5,000 in profit to help keep our doors open. It goes into our general account, which helps pay for the cost of utilities, personnel and insurance. We’re open year-round, 12 months a year, so it also helps pay for activities that are not only after school or in the summer.”

Located at 1140 W. Charlton St., the Boys & Girls Club is a youth development organization dedicated to promoting the health, social, educational, vocational and character development of youth between the ages of 6 and 16. Its mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. The local organization is open from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information about the annual fundraiser, or to purchase a ticket, contact Bernard at 478-456-5602.