Havre Daily News
What began as a benefit spaghetti feed, turned into a fettuccini feed - and then a rotini feed - when a larger-than-expected crowd turned out.
The highly anticipated sauce contest fell short when the chefs ran out of all four concoctions within the first hour of the dinner and ended up having to borrow noodles and sauce from the Havre High School food service kitchen.
Wednesday night's dinner in the Havre High School cafeteria was a benefit for HHS teacher Kim Kirby, who was diagnosed with liver cancer in February.
By the end of the night, the chefs had cooked 110 pounds of dry pasta and served 481 people 32 gallons of sauce. The cooks had prepared a total of 20 gallons of sauce and had brought 50 pounds of spaghetti.
Between the $5-per-person dinner cost, the silent auction and other donations, the dinner made about $9,000.
Kirby and his wife, Debbie, will use the money to cover travel expenses for their trip to Seattle for medical procedures and bills.
Kim Kirby got in front of the crowd at the dinner for a tearful thank you.
“It's beyond description the way I feel right now. It confirms everything I have known and believed about the town of Havre,” he said after the night came to a close.
“If there is anyone out there who doubts the quality of people in Havre - they should have been here tonight,” he added.
One of the highlights of the night was supposed to be a spaghetti sauce competition between four chefs: school board member Joe Marino, Havre Public Schools operations director Ric Floren, Havre High School principal Jim Donovan and assistant principal Jerry Vandersloot. Very few diners got to try all four chef's creations because each cook only made five gallons.
“After that, we called it the ‘house special,'” Floren said today.
Vandersloot dusted the competition with 209 votes. The other three each had between 115 and 120 votes. Diners voted by putting dollar bills in their favorite chef's bucket. The
denomination on the bills did not matter, only the number of bills was counted.
“The three losers concluded that being short and good looking was an advantage,” Floren said.
“We are also wondering why all of the kids who were on the detention list are no longer on there,” he joked.
Jona Bear, a Havre High School freshman, put cash in Donovan's bucket.
“He's the best principal and his sauce was the best,” Bear said.
HHS freshman Jamee Vaughn, said Kim Kirby, her teacher, is great with his students.
“He helps a lot and knows what he is doing,” Jamee
She asked her father, William Vaughn, to sculpt a piece for to be auctioned at the event. He made a three-foot butterfly sculpture out of scrap metal, which sold for $300, one of the largest amounts in the auc-
tion, which included about 40 items.
William Vaughn said the evening was “pretty awesome.”
“The cooks were overwhelmed to say the very least,” he said.
Jamee Vaughn said she thought Floren's sauce was the best .
“I want the tall, handsome guy with a gray beard to win. That'd be Mr. Floren - at least that's what he told me to say,” she said.