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Kiwanis spaghetti dinner good for community, charity

Jonesboro Kiwanis Club members Todd Williams (left) and Charlie Banks prepare to go boxes during the club’s second annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser at the Jonesboro Firehouse Museum and Community Center Friday night.

Jonesboro Kiwanis Club members Todd Williams (left) and Charlie Banks prepare to go boxes during the club’s second annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser at the Jonesboro Firehouse Museum and Community Center Friday night.

— Euell and Patsy Busby could have simply gotten dinner, eaten it and then gone home Friday.

Instead, the Stockbridge couple decided to linger for awhile and socialize with friends and family. They slowly ate their spaghetti dinners while mixing in conversation.

A couple of bites here. A pause there. Some talking and laughter thrown in as well. At one point, everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to a young girl from Locust Grove who was sitting at the Busbys’ table.

“We need to leave and let other people have the table but we’re having too much fun,” Patsy Busby said.

“We like to eat and we like to socialize,” Euell Busby added as he let out a hearty laugh.

That was how things went at the Jonesboro Kiwanis Club’s second annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Within the first hour, 125 people came by the Jonesboro Firehouse Museum and Community Center. Many of them were pushing retirement age, but there were still a large number of younger people who came by.

photo

Curt Yeomans

Jonesboro Salvation Army Capt. Christina Taylor (center) clears away a table for a group of residents who decided to stay and socialize at the Kiwanis Club's second annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser Friday night.

photo

Curt Yeomans

Many of the attendees at the Jonesboro Kiwanis Club's second annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser Friday night decided to stay and socialize after they finished eating.

Many of them lingered after they ate and the center remained packed for much of the two hours set aside for the dinner.

“It’s great,” said Kiwanis Club President David Knowles. “This is a community center and that’s what it for.”

So many people came this year the Kiwanis club first ran out of salad dressing. Once they got more, they ran out of salad.

“Well, I’ve got plenty of salad dressing now, but no salad,” said Knowles as he laughed about the predicament.

But, the lack of salad didn’t seem to put much of a damper of the festivities. People were so busy chatting each other up, it’s possible they never noticed the dilemma.

“It’s almost like everybody knows everybody here,” said Hampton resident Loretta Wright, whose husband is a Kiwanis Club member.

However, the primary purpose of the event was not to give residents an opportunity to visit with each other for a spell. All of the money raised from the event will be used to pay for the club’s children’s-related activities.

Those activities include donating money to buy hearing aids for kids and helping out at shelters that assist children including Rainbow House, House of Dawn and the Clayton County Department of Family and Children’s Services.

And, with that in mind, many of the attendees said their little social time was extra important.

“It’s good that the money goes to a good cause,” Patsy Busby said.