Imagine what you could do with $1,700. You could buy all of your school books, put a down payment on a car, go on a shopping spree –or you could go to El Salvador. Well, with that and a little more.
On Jan. 31 the Blue Cat Bistro on Main Street in Castleton held its first fund-raiser ever, a spaghetti dinner to help fund the Project El Salvador trip.
“It was a great experience,” said John Rhelen, owner of the Bistro.
The dinner was the idea of student Jessica Duncan, who is going on the trip and who works at the Bistro.
Rhelen, she said, immediately felt it was “a good cause.”
The Bistro had its chef work on the spaghetti, while the Birdseye Diner staff helped by cooking the meatballs and the students helped with anything they could.
One student, Kimberly Turner, sat at the front of the restaurant selling souvenirs from El Salvador.
“It was a really cool atmosphere. Everyone seemed really excited to help out,” said Talia Roy, another student attending the trip.
The Bistro was packed with tables, making a little tighter than usual, but not uncomfortably so.
The dinner ran from 4-10 p.m. and had a steady flow of people entering and exiting as the night progressed. Approximately 100 people dined at the event.
The students who are going to El Salvador leave on Feb. 19 and will arrive in El Salvador between 8-9 p.m.
“I leave in a week!” Roy said excitedly.
While the students are there, they’re going to be spending Monday Tuesday, Thursday and Friday helping out a local school there by making repairs and helping students.
On Wednesday and the weekend, however, they will be having a little fun and learning about the area.
They plan to go zip lining and see one of the museums in El Salvador. There’s also the chance of going to see some actual Mayan ruins.
“That’s like a natural museum, and I really hope we can do it,” Roy said.
The spaghetti dinner will help pay to rent a van to take them to the airport the morning of departure.
When asked if John Rhelen would do another fund-raiser, he said another is already lined up, though the date for which remains unknown.
“The dinner brought together the college and the local community, which was really terrific,” Rhelen said.