‘Tots’ total climbs

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PONDERAY — Quick, name your favorite holiday meal. Turkey (or tofurky), pumpkin, apple and pecan pies, stuffing, mashed potatoes — the works — are all likely to make the list.

But for many, it’s spaghetti. Yep, you read that right, spaghetti. More acurately, it’s the Hoot’s Own’s annual spaghetti dinner — one of the tastiest Christmas benefits you’re likely to see anywhere where the holiday is celebrated.

For more than 10 years, the Hoot Owls has hosted a spaghetti feed to raise money to make Christmas merry for the community’s children. This year’s spaghetti feed will be held Friday, Dec. 14, from 4-7 p.m. at the Hoot Owl in Ponderay.

The Hoot Owl donates all the food, along with the help of their suppliers, the use of the restaurant, and the restaurant’s wait staff work for free. That means every penny raised at the fundraiser goes to the Lions’ Christmas program.

If you’re looking for a good meal — and a chance to stay out of the kitchen — while helping a great cause, head over to the Hoot Owl on Friday enjoy a delicious spaghetti dinner

Wendy Frank, owner of the Hoot Owl, has been putting on the dinner for the Sandpoint Lions to benefit their Toys for Tots for 19 years as of this year. The dinner costs $7 for everyone — and all proceeds are turned over to the Lions for Toys for Tots.

Today’s generous donations add up $635, bringing the overall total to $6,650.89, were received from: Debra Moy and Steven Hein, $250; Jack and Janice Debaun, $200; John and Mary Campbell, $25; Cravens Taxidermy/Terry Cravens, $50; Ruth Wimberly, $40; John Elsa, $20; and Brian and Kathryn Powell, $50.

The goal for this year’s Toys for Tots campaign is $50,000 — the same as it has been in past years. The Lions make the most of the money by shopping bargains, and with the assistance of generous local businesses. The Toys for Tots program provides free new toys for children living in the Lake Pend Oreille School District, from Sandpoint to Clark Fork and all points in-between. A Christmas dinner for the family is also provided.

If you know someone, or need help yourself, the Lions are taking applications for the 2018 Toys for Tots program. Members are at the Lions Den, 607 S. Ella Street in Sandpoint, on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, until Monday, Dec. 17 Applications are also available at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare office, 207 Larkspur St., Ponderay.

Donations for Toys for Tots can be dropped off at the front desk at the Bonner County Daily Bee, 310 Church St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also drop off donations at Columbia Bank’s main branch in Sandpoint, 414 Church St., or at the Ponderay branch, 300 Bonner Mall Way.

Donations may be mailed to the Sandpoint Lions Club, Box 414, Sandpoint, ID 83864.

Donations made by check are preferred. Be sure to include a note with your check indicating that it is a Toys for Tots donation. If you wish to make an anonymous donation, please include a note.

If the donation is being made in someone’s name, be sure to also include a note.

Information: Sandpoint Lions Club, 208-263-4118

Caroline Lobsinger can be reached by email at clobsinger@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @CarolDailyBee.

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