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Hundreds enjoy Italian Festa to benefit local charities

February 25, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • Laura Moser of Rohrersville, left, is served by John Best Sunday afternoon during the Antietam Exchange Club's fundraiser held at Williamsport Volunteer Fire & Emergency Medical Services.
Joe Crocetta / Joe Crocetta

WILLIAMSPORT, Md. — For 40 years, people have been coming out for a meal served by the Antietam Exchange Club to help the organization raise money for charities it supports.

The event started at the Venice Inn on Dual Highway and then moved to South Hagerstown High School, said George Hill, chairman of the fundraiser.

Hundreds of people turned out Sunday for the Italian Festa, now held at Williamsport Volunteer Fire & Emergency Medical Services.

“It seems a lot of the same faces come out each year,” Hill said as he scanned the crowd.

Plates of spaghetti were quickly disappearing as guests gave high marks for the tasty meal.

The sauce was prepared by Leiters’ Fine Catering Inc., and the Antietam Exchange Club cooked the pasta. Salad, bread, desserts and drinks also were served.

Club members planned to serve close to 700 people and nearly 500 had been served by about 3 p.m., Hill said.

Hill said the fire hall was “absolutely packed” between noon and 1 p.m. Guests paid $9 before the dinner and $10 at the door Sunday for the meal that was scheduled to be served until 5 p.m.

Antietam Exchange Club supports 13 charities, including Baby Basics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Mason-Dixon Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Washington County, Craig Wibberly Memorial Scholarship and Food Resources Inc.

Krista Hart of Williamsport said Sunday marked the first time she had been to the fundraiser.

Hart said her boss, county Public Works Director Joseph Kroboth III, was selling tickets to the dinner. Hart was joined at her table by her parents, Ted Hart and his wife, Sharon, and her daughter, Kelsey Cline.

When asked what she thought of the event, Krista Hart looked down at her table with satisfaction.

“Empty plates,” she said.

Sue Hawbaker of Greencastle, Pa., said Sunday also was the first time she attended Italian Festa.

Hawbaker said she decided to join her family at the dinner after the daughter of a friend started selling tickets to the event.

“They certainly give you enough,” Hawbaker said as her two daughters, a son-in-law and others joined her.

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