By SHELLEY TERRY - firstname.lastname@example.org
JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP — Former A-Tech student Tim Gran of Jefferson not only enjoyed his spaghetti dinner, but was also happy to see some of his former classmates at his old stomping grounds.
“I studied here 39 years ago,” Gran said at the A-Tech annual open house and spaghetti dinner Thursday evening.
Beverly Ryan, 17, a junior at Lakeside High School, is enrolled in the culinary arts program at A-Tech. She helped make the salads for the spaghetti dinner.
“A-Tech offers more opportunity,” she said. “When I graduate I’ll have a better chance of getting a job.”
The A-Tech culinary arts students and about 100 volunteer students served dinner to about 700 people who came to support the fundraiser, attend the open house or parent-teacher conferences, said Brian Kimmel, instructional coordinator.
“All the proceeds of the dinner go to benefit our scholarship fund which helps to fund needy students’ tools and supplies,” he said. “Plus, all of our students helping here tonight are earning community service hours.”
The first-year culinary arts students prepared the spaghetti meal, while the second-year culinary arts students prepared the ice-cream sundaes, cheesecakes, cinnamon rolls, brownies and cream puffs, Ryan said.
Conneaut High School junior Kylie Mackey, 16, who is a first-year A-Tech student, said she helped make the salads and set up tables for the dinner.
“It’s what I like to do,” she said.
Lakeside High School junior Gabrielle Novak, 16, of Ashtabula, manned the beverage table during the event. Earlier in the day, she made salads and washed dishes.
Diner Marge Calvert of Ashtabula appreciated the effort.
“It’s a very nice dinner,” she said.
Kathleen Ray came all the way from California for the meal.
“I’m visiting family here,” she said. “I always enjoy the dinner when I’m here. It’s very good.”
Tyler Hemmi, 9, a student at Rock Creek Elementary School, agreed.
“I like the meatballs,” he said.
A-Tech Principal, Jon Whipple, said the event — one of the school’s biggest of the year —- is for a great cause.
“We love sharing the success of our students,” he said. “Many of our students will get a job or go on to college as a result of the skills they learn here.”