‘Spayghetti’ dinner draws big crowd

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  • Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Participants check out the auction items at the annual Spayghetti Dinner, benefiting the Grant County Animal Outreach, Saturday night.

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    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Volunteers from Haunted Attractions served up the food at the Spayghetti Dinner Saturday night. It benefits Grant County Animal Outreach.

  • Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Participants check out the auction items at the annual Spayghetti Dinner, benefiting the Grant County Animal Outreach, Saturday night.

  • 1

    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Volunteers from Haunted Attractions served up the food at the Spayghetti Dinner Saturday night. It benefits Grant County Animal Outreach.

EPHRATA — Animal lovers got together for spaghetti and to support Grant County Animal Outreach at the annual Spayghetti Dinner Saturday night.

The crowd almost overflowed the parking lot and filled the dining room at the Ephrata American Legion hall. The evening included a silent auction, a live auction and raffles along with spaghetti and salad.

Volunteers from Haunted Attractions (an organization that runs a haunted house in October) helped serve the food, ran the raffles and did other jobs.

The money raised helps GCAO take care of the cats and dogs that come through its doors. That’s not just a matter of dog and cat food, and treatment – and sometimes expensive treatment – for injured animals. The shelter offers microchipping for pets, and licensing for animals whose owners live in Moses Lake. Animal Outreach just sponsored its first spay and neuter clinic, said director Carmen Derting, and the second is scheduled for March 23 in Ephrata. Pet owners will pay $30, which is cheaper than most other options, she said.

Clinic staff transport dogs and cats to Yakima for spaying and neutering, and cats for adoption through a partnership with a Seattle-area organization. “We do a lot of running around,” Derting said.

The annual dinner is the GCAO’s biggest fundraiser, Derting said.

The Haunted Attractions crew helps out at the dinner, and sponsors the fundraising haunted house in the weeks before Halloween. “About 30 to 40 of us” volunteer their time and talents for the project, said Tristan Jones, the group’s leader.

Haunted Attractions members run a booth at the Gorge Amphitheater during the summer to pay haunted house expenses, Jones said. All proceeds from the haunted house itself go to GCAO. “We do that because we’re big animal lovers.” It’s a way for Haunted Attractions volunteers, many of them teens, to give back, Jones said – and it’s a fun way to celebrate a holiday they all like.

People can donate to GCAO any time through PayPal, or by cash or check, Derting said. “Or you can come visit us at the shelter.”

Animals can be adopted from the shelter, and there are some adoption specials during the month of February, Derting said.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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