Spaghetti benefit dinner April 15

Spaghetti benefit dinner April 15 The Luther Center, Lutheran Campus Ministry at The University of South Dakota, will hold its annual spaghetti benefit dinner at Trinity Lutheran Church, 816 E. Clark Street, on Friday, April 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Members of the Campus Council, the Luther Center's volunteer board of directors, host this event each year to raise funds for the Luther Center's operating budget. The Luther Center and its ministry is funded by a partnership between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the South Dakota Synod and locally raised funds.

For 2005, however, only 8 percent of the Luther Center's resources will come from the ELCA; 51 percent will come from the S.D. Synod, and 41 percent of the annual budget must be raised locally. These percentages have changed dramatically in the past 10 years; in 1995, 80 percent of the Luther Center's budget came through the South Dakota Synod.

The April 15 benefit dinner will feature authentic home-made spaghetti, prepared by Pastor "Chef Michael" Girlinghouse. Pastor Mike's special sauce has been traditional fare of the dinner, and has created a loyal following for each year's benefit supper. No one leaves from this dinner hungry!

Each heaping plate of spaghetti is surrounded with leafy green salad and Mr. Smith's delicious baguettes. The meal is topped off with, possibly the best in the world, heavenly cheesecake prepared by Ilene Lerseth, family and consumer science teacher at Vermillion High School and member of the Campus Council. Dinner is served by Luther Center's staff, volunteers, board members and peer ministers, and 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the ministry of the Luther Center.

"We're looking forward to a strong turnout on April 15," said Director of Development Julie Hammontree. "Last year we had terrible weather and a conflict with sporting events in the area. This year, we hope that the weather will be pleasant, people will come out � and come hungry! � in the spirit of fun, to celebrate Income Tax Day, and to support the Luther Center's presence at USD.

"This year, we did something new. We mailed tickets out to our most loyal supporters and those who attended last year's dinner, anticipating that those folks will continue to support our ministry, and to take advantage of a delicious dinner in a beautiful atmosphere. We also mailed tickets out to all the local churches in Vermillion, and to ELCA churches throughout the surrounding communities. I'm very excited about this event, and I think we may have a record turn-out," she said.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children, and are available from the Luther Center at 723 E. Cherry Street, or by calling 624-2834. The community is invited!

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