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The Spaghetti Social (Still Alive?)

fruglescot Dec 30, 2007 04:21 PM

Many years ago I lived in ThunderBay, Ontario. There was a large Italian population there and they would hold a Spaghetti Social dinner every couple of weeks or so as a fund raiser for their community projects. You could go and dine in a specific area with crusty bread , salad and wine etc. along with others or you could bring your own pail/bowl/pot or some other container and you could get the spaghetti and sauce to go.
All for a set price.
I loved this type of community social with the Italian ladies cooking up batches of authentic Italian "spaghet" and the gentlemen serving.
Does anyone remember these type of SPAGHETTI dine up, fund raisers. and are there any still going on today?

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    maryelizabeth RE: fruglescot Dec 30, 2007 05:15 PM

    My high school in Morris County, NJ used to do the exact same thing as a fundraiser for the music program. It was only a couple of times per year, though. It was the late-80's and I know it continued for awhile, but I don't know if they still do it.

    Around here (Union County, NJ), pancake breakfasts seem to be the big fundraising event.

    1. h
      HillJ RE: fruglescot Dec 30, 2007 05:24 PM

      VFW, Ladies Auxiliary, Lions Club, Rotary all coordinate spaghetti dinners to raise funds. We also attended cookie swaps, ice cream socials, seafood steamers and pie & cake contests to help various causes. The recipe collections that often appear for sale during the activities are some of my favorite cookbooks.

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        Anne H RE: fruglescot Dec 30, 2007 07:25 PM

        One of my most hilarious (though not at the time) near-disaster stories involves a spaghetti fundraising dinner when I was executive director of a small nonprofit 20 some years ago. We hired a local person who was just getting established as a caterer-- the staff person who recommended her didn't tell me that she was Indian-- which would have been fine, but she didn't exactly know how to make spaghetti. The sauces- one meat, one veggie-- were the most godawful stuff! My husband and I were poor enough to be very frugal, and we took the leftovers home and froze them-- two big tubs of sauce-- and then threw them out the first time we tried to eat it, because it was so very very horrid. I don't know what fat/oil the caterer had used, but it was all wrong, as was the spicing. During the dinner itself, our caterer didn't know how to keep pace with the crowd, and the spaghetti was getting crunchier and crunchier as the line moved faster than she could boil spaghetti. We were only saved from disaster by the guest speaker (the very popular mayor) arriving and we called a halt to serving while he spoke so that-- although we didn't say this-- the cook could get the spaghetti ready. 150 people at $15 a head, and they weren't coming for the food, and the mayor was a huge coup for a neighborhood group in a big city, so overall the thing was a success, financially and otherwise, but the staff rolled on the floor laughing hysterically for years afterward every time we thought of it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Anne H
          Cheese Boy RE: Anne H Dec 31, 2007 07:37 AM

          Unlike your experience, I watched an Indian prepare me pasta by placing a pound of uncooked pasta in a pot of ice cold water and bringing it to a boil. I said to myself 'That can't be right' and sat patiently expecting a disappointing meal. Believe it or not, to this day I remark about the texture that pasta had. It was PERFECT. Ironically, I don't prepare pasta this way -- I opt for the more traditional route.

          1. re: Cheese Boy
            janetofreno RE: Cheese Boy Dec 31, 2007 08:09 AM

            Interesting. Must be how they are taught. DH (also East Indian) does the exact same thing, and it drives me crazy.......the only thing that has saved him from my wrath is that the only time he cooks pasta is if he's making a quick dinner for the kids when I'm not around to eat or watch.....but apparently the kids like his pasta, so I guess it turns out ok....

            Our school once did a spaghetti fundraising dinner, and various home cooks made the sauce. It turned out fine, but we had the same problem with getting the spaghetti cooked and ready for hundreds all at once.....folks were waiting a long time...

            The worst fundraiser we ever did (at least from a $$ standpoint) was a Mexican dinner. A wonderful Mexican cook (and experienced caterer) volunteered her time to oversea preparation. She had a bunch of us moms come the night before and help her make tamales and enchiladas...it was a great cooking lesson! Then the morning of the event we woke up to snow....and school was cancelled. By that evening the snow had all melted and the skies had cleared, and we were all willing to spread the word that dinner was on...but the principal refused. She said that if school was cancelled she wasn't coming in that day, and without her there could be no fundraiser. So those of us who knew, and those who showed up anyway, got food at ridiculously cheap prices and took it home to freeze.......

            1. re: janetofreno
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              MIss G RE: janetofreno Dec 31, 2007 10:30 AM

              We did spaghetti dinners for church dinners and functions in San Francisco. Many of the elementary schools associated with the church have a gym with a small kitchen and spaghetti was quick, easy, and cheap to make.

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          Tay RE: fruglescot Dec 31, 2007 10:39 AM

          frugal
          It's still done in NY, mostly as Church, or Non Profit fundraisers. Sometimes, they
          have, "Dessert Socials" instead. It's nice to see that Grassroots fundraising is alive and well.

          1. alliedawn_98 RE: fruglescot Jan 1, 2008 11:09 AM

            Our local volunteer fire departments and some churches still hold spaghetti, ice cream, chili, all you can eat chicken and fish, and other "socials" to raise money for different causes. It can vary from buying new equipment for the firehouse to raising money for a family in need from chronic illness. loss of their home through a disaster, or other reasons. They also do pancake breakfasts from time to time. Not too long ago, my son's school did a hog roast to raise money for a bus driver who has breast cancer.

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              spellweaver16 RE: fruglescot Jan 1, 2008 01:48 PM

              In my hometown, the Girl Scout troops hold a chili/potato soup supper every year as a fundraiser. They get a lot of donations to help get the supplies, and parents supply homemade desserts. The girls bus tables and help carry food for the people so they didn't have to juggle hot soup and cutlery and drink and a dessert plate all at once. It was always a lot of fun.

              1. danhole RE: fruglescot Jan 2, 2008 11:29 AM

                We have a church in town that has weekly all you can eat spaghetti lunches. You have to get there early or they will run out of food! They also serve sausages, pork chops, lasagna, pigs feet, and much more. It is open to the entire community and it benefits local charities.

                There are also a few churches that have annual spaghetti suppers, open to the public.

                5 Replies
                1. re: danhole
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                  HollyDolly RE: danhole Jan 2, 2008 12:07 PM

                  At St.Francis Di Paola Catholic Church,the Columbus Society has a spaghetti dinner every year. The parish is mainly made up of Italians and is located in downtown San Antonio.They even have about it on the local news.And St.Sophia's Greek Orthodox Church does the Greek Funstavil also a fund raiser.Alot of churches still do this.My parish Good Shepherd has a festival with food in May.

                  1. re: HollyDolly
                    danhole RE: HollyDolly Jan 2, 2008 12:20 PM

                    My favorite food festival is the Greek Festival, sponsored by a greek church, here in Houston, in October. The food is prepared by a bunch of greek men with some (not much, they told me) help from their wives.

                    1. re: danhole
                      fruglescot RE: danhole Jan 2, 2008 09:28 PM

                      I/m hoping someone will know of one SS in Toronto, Canada or vicinity where I reside. we have a very large Italian population here

                      1. re: fruglescot
                        h
                        HillJ RE: fruglescot Jan 3, 2008 03:34 AM

                        fruglescot, if you're looking for a SS in Toronto..try also posting this topic on the regional board for a more specific response.

                        1. re: HillJ
                          fruglescot RE: HillJ Jan 3, 2008 05:09 AM

                          Thanks, Hillj.......Done.

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