CL spaghetti dinner has full house

Laurie Grant
By Laurie Grant
October 22nd, 2013

Renowned opera singer Andrea Bocelli’s music filled the Christina Lake Community hall parking lot as guests arrived to the Fall Frolic Spaghetti Dinner and Dance, Saturday night. The music set the scene for the Italian-themed dinner, which serves as a fundraiser for the hall.  

According to organizers from the Christina Lake Community Association (CLAC) the 220-plus tickets have sold out for the last 10 years.

It was a group effort, according to volunteers, to get the feast ready. This is one of three meals the community association puts on thoughout the year to raise money for the hall. The Ladies Auxiliary to the Christina Lake Community Association organize spring and fall sit-down dinners – including Saturday’s event — and the Pasta Fiesta take-out meal in the summer.

It all started in the late 90s when the community hall needed repair. The late Fran D’Applononia and Rosa Abanante, of the ladies auxiliary, came up with the idea for a spaghetti dinner to raise money for the hall’s upkeep.

Diana (Mama) Mitri, who had a catering company in Trail and a restaurant in Grand Forks, provided the authentic Italian recipe and the pots and pans.

“I used to help making the meatballs,” shared Gladys Henshilwood, who no longer volunteers, but came from the Silver Kettle Village – an assisted living community — to enjoy the meal. “Mama Mitri would ensure they were just right or she would send them back. Everyone knows it’s always going to be good!”

Many of the volunteers from that first year are still volunteering today. “Back in the beginning we would also have to pay for our dinner too,” remembers Lina Marino.  “The 75 tickets would go on sale at 10:30 and be sold out by noon.”

These days Mitri still keeps an eye on the proceedings but other auxiliary volunteers do the leg-work. Italian-born Roseanne Brewer runs the kitchen and Leo Sitter cooks the 45 pounds of spaghetti. Edna Kazakoff manages around 15 high school students, who serve the food and clean up afterwards.

Kazakoff got up in front of the crowd to thank everyone for supporting the community, and introduced her hard-working students. She made mention of previous volunteers sitting in the crowd, including Glendine Brettell, who was accompanied by her son Barry Hamilton and his wife Diahann Hamilton.

“We have heard about this dinner for years and finally are able to try it ourselves,” said Hamilton. “It is just as good as the Colander meal we had yesterday!”

“The fundraising dinners are community events that offer residents a chance to get together before leaving for the winter and again returning in the spring,” said volunteer and emcee Brenda Auge.

Organizers add special touches to the event like allowing people to book in advance so groups can sit together. Their spots were held using personalized place markers.

Auge noted that the event is an example of Christina Lake unity and quoted a participant who labelled the venue the “heart of Christina Lake.” Door prizes were awarded to winning ticket holders for passes to Serenity Spa and tickets to the Spring Spaghetti Feast.

 Upcoming Christina Lake Events

Saturday, Nov. 16 – 2 to 4 pm Health Care Auxiliary Bake Sale – including ‘Attic Treasures’ – good place to buy gently used and new Christmas gifts

Sunday, Nov. 17 – Christina Lake Community Association AGM – join the board, find out what’s been going on and plans for the future.

Categories: General

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