By Sue Moore
A spaghetti dinner preceding the show has been a part of the Vicksburg Rotary Club’s Showboat performances since the Boy Scouts of Troop 251 began it four years ago. “It’s been a nice collaboration,” said Todd White, the chairperson for the scouts. “Rotary does the theater superbly and we put on a fine dinner with spaghetti and all the fixings. It makes the partnership stronger as we feel Rotary’s values align well with the scouting purposes.”
For the second year in a row, a brunch will be offered on Sunday, March 4 for the matinee presentation of the Showboat. Tickets for the dinner and brunch are the same price at $8 for adults, $5 for children 10 and under and $25 for a family. Doors open at the high school cafeteria at 5 p.m. on March 2 and 3 with serving taking place until curtain time at 7 p.m. The Sunday brunch on March 4 begins at noon and ends at 2 p.m., when the show gets underway.
Previous to the scouts’ offering the dinner in the high school cafeteria before curtain time, the troop offered dinner for the public. It was held at the United Methodist Church in Vicksburg as a fundraiser on the same weekend. “Coming together to stage the dinner and show at the high school just seemed like it would be a win-win for everybody,” White said.
There will also be a silent auction chaired by Jessica Hawkins with some unusual donations. One is a free driver training session for a student. Another is a guided fishing trip to Lake Michigan. The scouts are constructing cornhole stands and selling them in the silent auction along with bean bags made by Valerie Tassell.
Money from the scouts’ fundraisers go toward the cost of the boys’ camping experiences in a 60/40 split. The 40 percent goes to rebuilding expendable camping supplies according to White. Each scout is encouraged to put in extra hours to work toward the amount it costs to go to camp, which is $375 per person. Each scout has an account that tracks volunteer hours, worth $1 for each hour the scout participates in an activity.
Troop 251 is fortunate to have a scout cabin on Barton Lake, built in the 1940s by Rotarians and other volunteers. Its roof was leaking badly in recent years and destroyed much of the camping gear stored there. Through generous private donations, the roof has been repaired and the inside restored, White said.
The menu for the spaghetti dinner includes green beans, salad, garlic bread, beverages, cupcakes and of course the requisite spaghetti. It is prepared by head chefs Jim Butler and Ken Heikes, long-time scoutmasters from the troop. The brunch offers scrambled eggs, sausage, garlic bread, green beans, finger sandwiches, beverages and cupcakes donated by Molly Morgan.
Tickets may be purchased in advance from the scout troop members or at the door of the cafeteria.