While most other fall events around the area have been canceled in recent weeks, one perennial event, the annual Lions Club Spaghetti Fundraiser, will go on Thursday.
The event will again take place at the Bryan County Community Building but with a different twist, according to club President Mark Swearingen.
Although there will be an opportunity to dine in, the group is focusing more on takeout orders and even delivery.
"It’s going to be somewhat different with the pandemic situation," Swearingen stated. "People can still eat at the Community Building, but there will be limited seating available. We are encouraging people to take orders to go but this year, if someone wants to call in an order of 10 or more dinners, we will be glad to deliver."
Serving times will be from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for lunch, and 5 p.m.-7 p.m. for dinner. Cost is $10, which include spaghetti, salad, dessert and tea. All proceeds will go toward different public service projects the Lions Club is involved in throughout the year.
"The Lions Club has been doing this fundraiser since well before I joined over 20 years ago, but there was a lot of debate whether to postpone the dinner (this year) until spring," Swearingen said. "With our biggest event being Toys for Tots, and that right (being) around the corner, we felt like we couldn’t really afford to cancel. We gave out close to 2,000 toys last year, and we didn’t want those kids to be without this year if we could help it.
"We were kind of inspired by the type of success Roma’s (restaurant) had with their fundraiser not too long ago as well as several others. Ticket sales have really been brisk, and we think the citizens are ready for something like this. It’s the first big project that any organization has done since the coronavirus pandemic hit, so hopefully we can show the lead for others as we try to get back to some sense of normalcy," he said.
Toys for Tots is one of many projects of the local Lions Club, which is one of the oldest charters in the entire United States.
It also maintains an emphasis on providing eyeglasses for those needing assistance, providing scholarships to local students to attend college, cleaning up local parks and providing disaster assistance when needed.
This will be the 22nd year that the club will be heading up the Toys for Tots program for area youngsters.