Austintown band hosts annual Spaghetti Dinner

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Student band members along with members of the Band Parent Association volunteered to work during the band's annual Spaghetti Dinner event on Feb. 23 at Austintown Fitch High School.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.A Chinese auction organized by members of the Band Parent Association's Spaghetti Dinner Committee was available to community members during the event on Feb. 23.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Middle School Band Director Jeremy McClaine directed students as they performed for community members during the annual Spaghetti Dinner at Austintown Fitch High School.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Donated items from around the community were part of the Chinese auction at the Austintown Fitch High School marching band's annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Band Parent Association volunteers worked the bake sale on Feb. 23 at the annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

The Austintown Band Parents Association hosted its annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser on Feb. 23.

According to Association President Ray Hartsough the event has been a tradition that predates the high school building, which was built in 1969.

Hartsough said the fundraiser is the largest the band hosts every year, usually raising from $7,000-$10,000.

“The money that this event raises is one reason that the program is able to maintain it’s excellence from year to year,” Hartsough said.

During the event community members were able to purchase tickets to a spaghetti dinner, dessert and drinks.

The spaghetti sauce recipe is a heavily guarded secret, having been passed down between event chairmen each year since it began.

Volunteers from the Austintown Band Parents association along with the high school kitchen staff prepared the food.

Bands from Austintown High School, Intermediate and Middle School perform for community members during the event, which ran from 12-7 p.m.

“We are very lucky to have support from all of the schools, all of the principals and band directors work hard for this event,” Hartsough said.

Along with dinner and music, the BPA organized a 50/50 raffle, a bake sale and a Chinese auction to help raise money for the band.

“Our volunteers are working hard non-stop and all day to pull this off,” Hartsough said. “It is a team effort.”

Members of the event committee have been meeting since November to prepare, according to 2019 chair Jen Agnone.

“There are about six of us and we met about once a month, updating each other on our individual tasks,” Agnone said.

Volunteers spend hours decorating the night before the event, Agnone said, and begin day of preparations around 6 a.m.

Hartsough said that the money raised annually from the event allows the BPA to purchase crucial items, like uniforms and instruments, for students.

“It is truly amazing to see the great turnout year after year as the community comes out to support our students, and we so grateful for that support… It is really a fun day,” said High School Band Director Wes O’Connor.

For more information about upcoming band events, go too www.afband.org.

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