The Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center spaghetti dinner has become a community tradition that continues to provide the funds to support the year-round operations at the center, according to P.J. Reindel, center director.
Reindel said the annual event, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, is a "wonderful" community event that has become their biggest fundraiser of the year.
"What's amazing is we have pretty much the same core group of volunteers who help out every year, whether they are cooking or waiting tables," Reindel said. "Each year you'll see familiar faces who like to come out and support the event. ... It's a tradition."
Photo by Scott McCloskey
Volunteers accomplish many of the year-round tasks of the Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center. The center’s annual spaghetti dinner is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Pictured working in the kitchen are volunteers, from foreground, Roberta Petrella of Bridgeport, Boston College student Sourabh Banthia and John Petrella of Bridgeport.
Reindel said the center - which is a day shelter for the homeless - continues to assist the less fortunate by providing them with hot meals, clothes, cleaning supplies, diapers, laundry services and food pantry supplies. Additionally, the center offers a walk-in health clinic and provides utility assistance for families who are at risk of utility termination.
"We've got meal deliveries six days a week. ... This event ensures that we are going to be here for the people who come to us," Reindel said.
The center accomplishes its mission with just five full-time and two part-time employees and more than 200 volunteers who accomplish much of the center's year-round tasks. In 2013, the volunteers contributed over 39,000 hours of service, according to Reindel.
"The day of the dinner we will have over 100 volunteers working," Reindel said. "We rely on our volunteers to do most of the work you see visible here."
Reindel said he is hopeful local residents will come out and support what he calls a "great community event."
Tickets for the spaghetti dinner will be available at the door ,along with take-out orders.
All available services at the Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center are provided at no cost to their clients.
For more information about cost of the dinner, to make a donation or to become a volunteer, contact Reindel at 304-232-7157.