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Helen Hansen and Melissa Guevara serve up spaghetti and smiles at the recent Saddle Club spaghetti dinner.

Once again, the Hood River Saddle Club’s spaghetti dinner scholarship fundraiser was a success; and, once again, clubhouse manager Helen Hansen’s secret sauce had folks lining up at the door before the 5 p.m. start time, bringing many back for seconds. 

A dozen or so years ago, Hansen led the charge to create a club-sponsored event to provide scholarships for local high school graduates seeking higher education. And so the annual spaghetti dinner came to be and is still the group’s largest charitable fundraiser.

No doubt for most of us, the thought of preparing enough spaghetti sauce for 200 people (starting with 55 pounds of hamburger) would be overwhelming. But not for Hansen and husband Ken. They have the process down to a science — from shopping not only for the secret sauce ingredients but procuring the rest of the meal as well, then constantly monitoring six electric cookers full of sauce all day long so the final product is just right. And it always is!

The annual event is a joint effort between HRSC and the Mt. Hood Pony Club’s young members, who set, clear and reset tables and serve beverages and dessert. With big smiles on their faces, these young equestrians take very good care of dinner patrons. MHPC provides the pasta and desserts, and the evening is also home for the Pony Club’s silent auction, which raises funds to support their equine activities.

“Our community is so supportive,” said Hansen. “We want to thank Rosauers for donating 30 loaves of French bread and romaine lettuce for salads, and to Mike’s for three tubs of ice cream. Our thanks also to the Nazarene Church for folding chairs, which they loan to us for the dinner every year. And to each one of our 190-plus diners who came through the door, thank you!”

HRSC welcomes new members any time. Visit www.facebook.com/HoodRiverSaddleClub or contact email hrsaddleclub@yahoo.com

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