provided to Santiva Chronicle
After three-plus decades of serving up spaghetti and meatballs to the community each February, the Kiwanis Club of Sanibel & Captiva has announced it will not be holding its annual Spaghetti Dinner this year due to concerns about COVID-19. The announcement was made with regret, given the long history of this popular event. The Spaghetti Dinner has become an Island tradition as a moment each year when Islanders can come together for comfort food, good fun, and a chance to socialize with neighbors and friends. It’s the longest-running community event in town.
The cancellation is particularly sad for Kiwanis members who look forward to putting on the Spaghetti Dinner. Working at the dinner is an “all hands on deck” occasion that builds Club spirit, and it’s an opportunity for the members to give back to the community by literally serving the people of Sanibel.
Not being able to hold this year’s event is also sad because Spaghetti Dinner is one of the Club’s major fundraising events, supporting the Kiwanis Scholarship Program for local youth and the Club’s grants to other Island non-profits that provide recreation and education activities for young people. The mission of Kiwanis International is “Serving the Children of the World”, and the local Kiwanis Club executes that mission with a tight focus on the Children of Sanibel and Captiva.
Said Kiwanis President Bill Hay: “We hated to pull the plug on this year’s event since so many people look forward to Spaghetti Dinner each February. But we’ll be back next year, and we hope everyone will come out then to celebrate the end of this pandemic.”
In the meantime, Spaghetti Dinner fans can help to keep Island youth scholarships and activities going by participating in the Spaghetti Dinner Silent Auction and Raffle, which WILL be held this year in a virtual format online. Those participating will be able to bid on exciting items including restaurant packages, vacation stays, fishing trips and some unusual experiences not available every day. Details on the Auction/Raffle will be announced in the coming weeks.
In addition Islanders can support youth scholarships and activities by making a tax deductible donation to the Kiwanis Foundation for the Scholarship Fund. Contributions can be directed to the Kiwanis of Sanibel-Captiva at P.O. Box 1, Sanibel, FL 33957.