Despite a busy curling rink a street over and an evening packed with events, the crowds still turned out at Erskine’s International Order of Odd Fellows’ (IOOF) hall for their annual spring spaghetti dinner.
Patrons queued up for a plate full of spaghetti with the Odd Fellows’ signature, meaty spaghetti sauce, toasted garlic bread and caesar salad before taking a seat at one of the many set up tables to chow down in the company of friends on Saturday, March 19.
Now in its fourth year, this is the first time the event has had a smaller turn-out, but given the many events going on at the same time, IOOF secretary Scott Kruk said it wasn’t surprising to have a decrease in attendance. The group still brought in enough people to make a profit on the evening, which in turn will go into the causes supported by the community organization.
“We started the spring supper to see if we’d have interest from the community,” Kruk said. “This is the first time attendance has been down.”
The event has grown each year, typically, he noted, with the group’s delicious dinner and unique sauce being a big hit.
“We had one woman who made it clear she doesn’t like spaghetti sauce call to get the recipe,” he said. “She made it clear: ‘I don’t like spaghetti sauce, but I like yours.'”
The trick to the sauce is to make it full of almost everything besides tomato sauce.
“We put 40 pounds of hamburger, seven pounds of onions, six big stalks of celery and three great big cans of mushrooms into the sauce,” Kruk said. The actual tomato sauce is added to hold it all together, rather than be the star of the dish.
The next event for the Odd Fellows is its Mother’s Day breakfast on Sunday, May 8, followed by a Father’s Day breakfast on Sunday, June 19. A roast beef supper in the Autumn wraps up the events held by the Odd Fellows.
The money raised at these events goes to maintaining the hall as well as to charities and organizations that support the community. In the past, the organization has supported Handi-Transit, the Food Bank and the Stettler hospital.
It also is prepared to help those in the community suffering from tragedies and emergencies.
With only about 16 active members, though, the Odd Fellows are looking for more members. Members must be 16-years-old, can be a man or a woman, and the membership fees are covered by fundraising during the year.