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A weekend full of spaghetti feeds

People flock to fundraisers for families

 

December 16, 2013

Lindsay Brown

Kim Bowker talks about Sunday's First Baptist Church spaghetti feed fundraiser in the kitchen beside a strainer full of noodles.

John Ita entered the dining room at First Baptist Church Sunday afternoon and headed up to the serving line where church members were dishing out spaghetti.

It was his fifth spaghetti dinner over the last two days. He also dined on Indian tacos.

He was greeted with some hearty hellos by the people dining on spaghetti and some good-natured kidding.

"John I-eata," exclaimed Brian Burrows, greeting Ita and putting an Italian spin on Ita's name. Barrows, pastor of Foursquare Church, was dining with the Baptists.

As adviser to the Havre High School Key Club, Ita was essential in organizing the massive community effort to raise money for two families who had sick children. Tia and Kadence Kallenberger suffer from a disease doctors think might be muscular dystrophy, while Dylan Hendrickson has a recurrence of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Twelve fundraisers, most of them centered at churches, were held over the past week. Key Club members coordinated the events. Ita said he had been to as many of the fundraisers as possible.

Ita said more than 200 people attended the spaghetti feed at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church. At New Beginnings Fellowship, crowds showed up for Indian tacos and other people had them delivered to their homes.

"I had breakfast with the Kallenbergers," Ita said. "They were grateful, tearful," he said.

Ita said the experience has shown him once again how giving the Havre community is.

"And I learned that you shouldn't wear a white shirt to a spaghetti feed."

Kim Bowker, a longtime church member, said church members were a bit reluctant when Ita first asked them about hosting the event.

Christmas is the busiest time of the year, and they questioned whether people would show up.

But upon reflection, they decided "this was just the time of the year we should be doing this," she said.

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