For almost 60 years, the congregation at Saints Helen and Constantine Greek Orthodox Church has pulled together to feed their friends and neighbors, the Fayetteville community, a delicious hot spaghetti meal. And every year, the community shows up in droves to enjoy the delicious offerings. This year, the 57th Annual Spaghetti Dinner falls on Wednesday, Nov. 18. It is a one-day only event and something that is worth attending.
This dinner is not only a treasured tradition for the Fayetteville community, it’s an event that pulls the Greek congregation together, too. More than 40 volunteers, including 15 cooks join ranks to put together between 12,000 and 13,000 meals in just 10 short hours. That equates to 4,000 lbs. of dry pasta, 900 gallons of meat sauce and 400 lbs. of grated cheese.
Tony Kotsopoulos started helping with the event in 1989. He took over as the head chef in 1993 and has been running things ever since. The amount of work that goes into it is crazy, but when the cars start lining up at the Hellenic Center and the volunteers are bustling to fill orders, it is all worth it. Not many events get that kind of community support, and that is not lost on the volunteers.
While the pasta is definitely a great reason to support the spaghetti dinner, anyone with a sweet tooth knows that the Greek Pastry Sale that happens in conjunction with the dinner is in its own right worth a trip to the Hellenic Center.
Twice a year, the public is treated to delicious Greek pastries and desserts, complete with traditional recipes and presentation. The Spaghetti Dinner is one of them. The other is the Greek Festival, which happens every September. Dripping with honey, coated in powdered sugar, with coffee or on the go, the pastry sale offers a little something for anyone craving a little something sweet from the islands of the Mediterranean.
The entire day-long event is a big commitment, but what is even bigger is the generosity of the Greek congregation. The World’s Largest Spaghetti Dinner is a fundraiser for local nonprofits. The money raised from this event goes right back to the community. The beneficiaries might change from year to year, but the spirit behind Spaghetti Dinner does not.
This is a carry-out only event. Each meal costs $7. Tickets are available at the door. This all takes place at the Hellenic Center at 614 Oakridge Ave. It runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit http://stsch.nc.goarch.org/spaghetti-dinner or call the church at 484-8925 for information.