Rotary rules bean dinner a tasty success

Published 10:44 am Monday, March 23, 2015

Star Photo/Brandon Hicks Greg Bowers ladles out some beans in a bowl.

The 44th Rotary Bean Dinner has been ruled a tasty success.

The Elizabethton Rotary Club hosted their annual fundraiser Thursday night at T.A. Dugger Junior High School and served hundreds of soup bean dinners to diners who came out to support their community.

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The club served between 550 and 575 meals, which is more than in previous years Rotary member and Bean Supper chairman Joe Alexander said.

“Our numbers were up,” Alexander said. “We had around 400 carry out meals, and between 150 and 175 eat in meals. We usually do around 300 carry outs and have around 100 who eat at the dinner.”

The extra diners likely came from a partnership with students at TAD who helped the club sell the tickets for a portion of the proceeds. The students sold an extra 170 tickets for the Rotary club, Alexander said.

“They had set a goal of 1,000 tickets,” Alexander said. “But, they missed a couple of weeks of school for snow, so they didn’t sell as many as they wanted to. It worked out because it gave us a chance to see how it would work with a bigger crowd.”

Rotary Club members and TAD students worked to sell tickets while the cafeteria staff at TAD prepared the meal. Rotary members supplied dessert.

“The food was good and everyone was very complimentary,” Alexander said. “The ladies from the cafeteria did a wonderful job, as always.”

The exact amount raised by the dinner has not yet been tallied but Alexander estimates the dinner grossed close to $3,500. After expenses are taken from that amount, the remaining amount will distributed to different agencies in the county.

In 2014, the Elizabethton Rotary Club contributed to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County, camp scholarships for 4H, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, scholarships for East Tennessee State University, Northeast State Community College and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology; the Carter County GED grant program, the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library, the Elizabethton/Carter County United Way and Rotary International programs.

“We like to keep it as local as best we can,” Alexander said. “It was a success. Everyone enjoyed themselves and got a good meal, and everyone got to help out the community too.”