Big helpings of spaghetti were served to those with hungry appetites last Saturday night as the community supported a giant spaghetti dinner at the local fire station.
The large gathering was treated to the South Pasadena Firefighters’ Association and South Pasadena Police Officers’ Association’s first event of its kind in more than a decade as a way for the men and women in uniform to meet local residents, and at the same time raise funds for City of Hope.
It was all in keeping with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month and aiding research to fight the deadly disease.
The firehouse, usually filled with engines, ambulance units and other apparatuses, was transformed into a huge dining area, complete with checkered red and white tablecloths covering tables. Outside on Mound Avenue in front of the station, kids of all ages were busy climbing aboard SPFD trucks, one with its ladder extended, reaching high into the sky.
“We’re grateful for all that the community has given us over the years,” said Daniel Dunn, a captain with SPFD. “It’s an opportunity to give back, to meet everyone and have a fun night together.”
Justin Miller, firefighter/engineer with the department who spent long hours organizing the dinner, liked the idea that all the proceeds were going to fight breast cancer. “We want to thank the whole community for coming out and supporting us,” he said. “There have been many businesses that have supported us.”
Among the larger sponsorships came from Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta, which donated the spaghetti, meatballs and salad, and Ellen’s Silkscreening, providing pink t-shirts, that were worn by firefighters and sold at the event. U.S. Foods and a sprinkling of small businesses around the area also supported the effort.
Ellen Daigle, owner of Ellen’s Silkscreening, a member of the city’s Public Safety Commission, has interacted with many of the firefighters as a neighboring business for more than 40 years. Her South Pasadena store sits across the street on the corner of Mound Avenue and Mission Street.
“They worked so hard to put all this on, and we wanted to partner with Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza to help make it a success,” she said. “The firefighters really reached out to the community and got great response.”
Mamma’s donated all the food with exception of the dessert, which came from Bristol Farms. “The dinner is for a great cause, put together by our local heroes in the local fire department,” said Steve Inzunza, who owns Mamma’s with his wife Jamie.
T-shirt sales will continue until the end of October at the fire station.
When the funds are tabulated after the expenses are paid, Miller said the fire department hopes to drop off a big check to the City of Hope around the middle of November.
Mike Palmieri, treasurer of the South Pasadena Police Association and a detective with the department, agrees making a donation to the City of Hope is a “great cause, being that it’s for cancer research,” noting: “We like the idea the money raised from this through dinner ticket sales, raffle ticket sales, merchandise sales will go to the City of Hope,” he said. “It’s also great for people to socialize, to come out and meet our police officers and firefighters. It’s a great opportunity for us to meet the community and say hello.”