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Luck of the Irish: Genuine Italian dinner on St. Patty’s Day

By David Knopf, News Editor

There may be lots of people wearing green Sunday at the Veterans Building in Richmond.
They’ll be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with green attire, but the spaghetti and meatballs on their plates will be covered with nothing but traditional Italian red sauce.
As many as 500 dinners will be served between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., including those who eat at the vets’ hall on 312 Clark St. and the others who carry dinners out.
The dinner is sponsored annually by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a service organization affiliated with Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Richmond.
Dave and Ellen Daniels, representatives of the parishioners who put the event together, said this year’s community fundraiser will feature the traditional recipe passed on by Adelina and Delores Watson’s mother.
The recipe for the meatballs and sauce is a family secret, but the sisters will be on hand to supervise, the Daniels said.
“It was their mother’s recipe,” Ellen Daniels said last week, the day before parish members gathered to begin the process of making the meatballs.
“We’re making meatballs tomorrow, and they’re (the sisters) going to be there,” Dave Daniels said. “We have fun making meatballs.”
It’s all part of the community nature of the event, from the preparation, to the serving, to the dinner’s popularity with area residents, to the good the money raised does.
“It’s a bunch of people working together and having fun,” Dave Daniels said. “The community has always been so supportive. All of the money stays in Richmond and Ray County.”
In light of St. Vincent de Paul’s mission of charitable service, Ellen Daniels said money raised each year typically supports Salvation Army services and the backpack program that sends food home for the weekend with less fortunate students.
The dinner will include spaghetti, the Watson family’s meatballs, salad, garlic bread, a dessert and drink.
Dinner costs $7 for adults, $4 for children and $25 for a family.
Money will also be raised through a raffle. Tickets costing $1 apiece or six for $5 will be sold at the door.
Prizes include a queen-size, hand-made quilt for first place, $100 cash for second and a $75 gift card to Apple Market for third.
Central Missouri Credit Union donated the second-place prize and the grocery store contributed the gift card.

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