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Cloudy with a chance of meatballs -- Breakfast Rotary Club to host meatball dinner fund-raiser on March 12

Cocktail, Swedish, mozzarella, Italian or the kind you throw onto a plate of spaghetti --it rarely matters because the meatball seems to have a gravitational force capable of pulling in just about anybody.

That's why the Detroit Lakes Breakfast Rotary is once again planning its spring fund-raiser around the meatball, as they prepare to raise money for the Becker County Food Pantry.

The Meatball Supper is being held Tuesday, March 12, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the M State cafeteria.

Event co-chair Tom Seelye says they choose the pantry because they get "more bang for their buck" as donations to the food pantry are matched during the month of March.

Out of the seven years Rotary has been holding the popular meatball supper, the food pantry has been the recipient of the profits for the last three.

"We usually get around 600 people or so," said Seelye. "I think people are just caring and willing to donate to a worthy I think they just like to eat meatballs," he laughed, adding that last year they were able to donate around $1,000 to the pantry, which was then doubled to $2,000.

Rotary members will be working hand-in-hand with the cook staff at M State to prepare the big meal, which includes not only the meatballs, but also potatoes, gravy, corn, rolls, coffee and a dessert.

"And we'll be getting our Interact kids from the high school involved too," said Co-Chair Harrietta Kalberer. "They'll help us roll meatballs and serve. It's just a great event where we have a lot of fun and so do the people coming in to eat."

Some of those people coming in will also have the option of taking the big, homemade meal to go, as a separate line will be formed for those wanting to drop off a donation and bolt.

"That's become a pretty popular way of doing things," said Seelye, "so we try to get people in and out of there as fast as we can --we're not as fast as McDonald's, but we're pretty darn good."

With the motto "Service Above Self," nearly 40 Breakfast Rotarians will be helping to put on the big event, which they say not only helps feed the area's hungry, but also feeds the souls of the members putting the work into it.

"It's very enjoyable because it's one of those fund-raisers where you get to help people who need it and where you end up meeting a lot of people in the community and seeing some of the ones you already know," said Seelye. "It's just fun to serve up that many people."

Although the event is set up with a free-will offering, Rotarians are hoping people donate a minimum of $6 for adults and $3 for kids in order to cover the cost of food and make some extra for the food pantry, which this time of year typically begins to become a little barer from the winter.

There are no tickets for the event; people can simply show up and give what they can for the cause.