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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spaghetti + Auction = Steilacoom Scholarships & Tribal Museum Funding

Just after sunset on what had been a picture postcard-perfect day last Friday, upwards of 200 members of the community formed a steady stream of people of all ages, who turned out for Steilacoom Chamber of Commerce’s Spaghetti Feed. Ticket sales for the feast, a February tradition for upwards of 20 years, generate funding for four $1,000 scholarships.

The Pierce College Foundation provides matching funds and the scholarships are awarded to deserving students at Steilacoom High School

The annual Spaghetti Feed at the Steilacoom Community Center features Col. Don Rehburg’s special spaghetti sauce recipe. He has a dedicated team with well-defined roles who kept the hot food coming with military precision. And speaking of the military, there was a contingent of service members who volunteered their muscle for set-up and tear-down, as well. Rehburg (shown in image above) has been bottling and marketing several of his gourmet sauces for years all across the US via the Internet, but it was all originally cooked up right in Steilacoom.

The kitchen crew at the Steilacoom Community Center on Friday evening worked seamlessly preparing the massive volume of spaghetti and sauce, turning out pan after pan of hot garlic bread from the oven, freshly chopped vegetables for the salad, and a team spirit that was evident under the watchful eye of Col. Don Rehburg. Lee Hay was staffing the reception desk at the Center during the event and always has a ready smile.

Among the volunteers who donned aprons were longtime Chamber member and local author Nancy Covert ensuring that any guest needing another cup of lemonade received it promptly; Cyndi Fugate, Dining Services Director from Bridgeport Place, was seen tirelessly smiling despite having been on her feet from early that morning all the way through the end of the evening at the Steilacoom Community Center (and who even went bowling afterward at Tower Lanes); and Jaynie Jones, Community Relations Director, from Bridgeport Place served the sauce after Fugate portioned the pasta appropriately on each plate. Pat Malone, Visitor Information Coordinator for the City of DuPont, kept the garlic bread flying onto the plates piled high with spaghetti. There was lively banter and camaraderie throughout the event.

The Steilacoom Chamber of Commerce sponsors the dinner, which also includes an auction. Previously, the Steilacoom Historical Museum Association has put on the auction part of the program. However, this year it was the Steilacoom Tribal Museum that was featured and provided an array of high quality hand-crafted items including everything from exquisite jewelry, to a cedar picnic table and benches, to rawhide drums. Pies, quick breads, and other baked goods were also available for bidding. The auction itself was lively as the auctioneer and his assistant worked the crowd, walking from table to table with the auction pieces giving everyone a close look at what they might be bidding on. There was Steilacoom pride radiating in the face of the little boy whose dad won the bidding on a stunning red tribal blanket.

Steilacoom Chamber President, Cindy McKitrick, co-owner of Custom Hardwood Floors, observed that “Danny Marshall from the Steilacoom Tribal Museum did such a good job interacting with the people so warmly, and was pleased with the proceeds the auction yielded.” Cindy and Doug McKitrick are shown in one of the photos as Cindy is serving him a plate of spaghetti.

Even as diners feasted on the pasta and sometimes returned for second helpings, “Steilacoom’s Own Music Man” Larry Juhnke performed a mellow array of musical stylings as a one-man band. Children danced about enjoying the melodies.

Mike Maddox of Steilacoom Marine and Spirits greeted guests and helped with ticket sales on-site. Advance ticket sales were available through Steilacoom Marine and Spirits, and by PayPal to streamline ticketing.

Membership in the Steilacoom Chamber of Commerce is open to individuals for $25, home-based businesses for $35, and other businesses for $70 per year. Membership is inexpensive and a great value. Application is available online along with news of upcoming Chamber events such as are included in the February 2010 newsletter Visit for more details about Chamber businesses. Information on scheduling events at the Community Center is available at

1 comment:

JosephMcG said...

thanks for this inspiring post. I am so delighted to see so many folks coming together to take care of our children and have a good time...