Spaghetti dinner fundraiser expects more profit

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By Camryn Ginsberg
Meridian Times staff writer

OKEMOS — The Okemos Music Patrons are preparing for the 38th annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser held in the Okemos High School cafeteria on Feb. 24.

“It’s fantastic. Thousands of dollars worth of instruments, like tubas and clarinets, have been given to us,” said Kevin Culling, Chippewa band director.

The money also goes to music books for elementary students, auditorium equipment, busing and risers.

The event has been a success in the past. Attendees enjoy the sounds of music while enjoying spaghetti, salad, garlic bread and a spread of desserts. This is an opportunity for the 5th to 12th grade band and orchestra students to perform for their friends and family.

Chanin Heise, an Okemos resident, has been a part of this fundraiser for several years. She attended even before her daughter, Katie, was in the Kinawa 5-6 School orchestra.

“It seems like the entire community comes together to support the students,” said Heise. “You walk in and see everyone you know.”

Some band and orchestra students have been practicing since November for the fundraiser.

“My 7th and 8th grade jazz band has been working really hard to perform next week,” said Culling. “It’s a big event and a lot of people will be there.”

Anyone is welcome to attend. The Okemos Music Patrons are looking to more than a thousand attendees.

“It’s really important for us that the community supports the music program. Especially when money is tight, the school district relies on the money from this fundraiser,” said Mark Stice, Okemos High School band director.

Typically, around $18,000 is raised, but the district is hoping to increase this.

“We really just want the students to entertain the crowd and everyone to eat a lot of spaghetti,” said Stice.

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