For years, a spaghetti dinner has been a staple fundraiser for Ardmore Village. But recent years have seen a decline in those participating and money made.
So this year, residents decided it was time for a change.
Enter Betty Turner.
"I just thought we needed a change, and other people agreed with me," Turner says.
Each year, the spaghetti dinner brings in 300 to 500 hungry donors. But to make sure they have enough food, Ardmore Village volunteers must cook for 500 to 600 people so as not to run out of food.
But that often results in a loss.
"We spent $1,500 on sauce alone last year; we have it catered," Turner says. "But we ended up with so much left over last year, and didn't bring in much after expenses."
This year, instead of catering sauce, a group of ladies will be making Turner's own homemade chili recipe.
"It's my recipe, and we will put beans in it," Turner explains, noting that some people don't agree with chili having beans in it. "But with chili, whatever we don't use, we can freeze, and we can use the beans as part of our potato bingo nights later."
The thought being, even if they don't sell all the food, they'll still be able to use what's left over instead of eventually throwing it away.
"Plus, there are other organizations that have spaghetti dinners, too, so we kind of compete with them," Turner concedes. "This way, we're at least original."
From 5-7 p.m. Sunday, the ladies of Ardmore Village will be serving Turner's chili at the Sutton Center. All orders will be prepared as if they are "to-go," with water or tea, a dessert and all of the chili fixin's provided for $5.
"The desserts won't be chocolate or have nuts or peanut butter, as some people are allergic to those things," Turner explains. "But we'll still have homemade desserts from the ladies."
While some of the residents at Ardmore Village were a little leery of the change, Turner says there was a good amount of support for the "trial run" of the new dinner fundraiser.
"Not everyone likes change, but sometimes it's a good thing," she decides.
Residents will begin cooking and preparing days in advance, planning for nearly 400 people to show up. Turner hopes that number is enough to feed everyone who comes, but admittedly says if they run out, she wouldn't be too upset.
"Plus, the weather's changing, and people could use a good bowl of chili before going to the football games Friday night," she says. "So come and have some chili with us."