By LISA WHALEY
Sometimes, a good recipe takes years to perfect.
At Saturday’s Kiwanis Club Spaghetti Supper, held at the Jonesborough Middle School, club members served up their famous pasta dish, seasoned by decades of experience, to a crowd all-too-happy to slurp platefuls of noodles and sauce.
“This takes a long time to prepare,” said current Kiwanis president, Glen Walker. “You get the right people in the right places.”
And the rest is magic.
Club members estimated that the Feb. 27 event raised more than $7,000, money that will go to a number of child-centered projects in the county.
“It was a good day for the children of Washington County,” Walker said.
Diners started arriving hungry and ready to spend their money at 4 p.m.
The meal featured, as it does every year, all-you-can eat spaghetti, salad, drink, bread and homemade desserts.
“When I was Kiwanis president, Judd Thornton and I started this,” Lloyd Fleenor said, slowly stirring the secret sauce. Other Kiwanis Club members and volunteers took on any task that needed to be done, from cooking noodles, filling plates and even wiping down tables.
“It is organized chaos,” Walker said with a grin.
It is also, he said, a lot of fun.
“This is a big social event, as much for us and the community,” he said.
Everyone, it seemed, was ready to join in — either behind the scenes or up front, filling their plates and laughing with friends.
“We come here every year,” said Virginia Clark from Johnson City, with her friend, Louise Jackson. Both volunteer at the hospital, she said, and they like to be able to contribute to the Kiwanis causes.
David Crockett High School students Melissa Buena and Kailee Amburgey are also members of the Key Club, a strong Kiwanis Club supporter, and were happy to be on hand opening doors for customers.
“We call the Kiwanis Club the ‘big Key Club,’” Buena said. “And I just enjoy watching everyone here with happy faces.”
Pat Wolfe, known as the dinner’s “noodle man,” explained his secret to the perfect noodle — vegetable oil, salt, a 12-minute cook time and “you keep stirring the noodles.”
And Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal kept tables wiped down and ready for the next set of diners.
“It’s a good thing,” Graybeal said. “We do a lot of good things for the community.”