Mama Mia! FCCLA hosts Italian dinner

Students finish up the last touches on the food while the first few people arrive the Mama Mia dinner. Family, Career and Community leaders of America sponsor Cheryl Clower uses this dinner as a fundraiser for the club.

Daniella Vivas, Staff Writer

“Mama Mia is a great way to allow us an opportunity to explore our interest in family and consumer science education,” said junior Alyssa Loesch, co-president of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America club. 

On Nov. 5 at 5:30 p.m., the annual fundraiser Mama Mia was held in FCCLA sponsor Cheryl Clower’s room. Eight years ago, Hope Via, Early Childhood Education teacher, and Clower sat down to find a way to raise money for FCCLA because they did not have a budget that covered the state competition registration. 

I worked the event, and I loved the food from Mama Mia because it was delicious, convenient and very affordable.”

— Junior Ansley Peurifoy

Mama Mia is a pasta dinner that is fully made by the club members of FCCLA with the help of a donation of pasta sauce from Pascal’s Bistro. “Pascal’s daughter graduated from Starr’s Mill a few years back, and he feels that it’s his duty to give back to his community,” Clower said. Mama Mia received donations from students and parents, covering all the food expect the meatballs.

Clower came up with the name of the fundraiser after years of watching the movie “The Lady and the Tramp” with her daughter. “That movie was one of my daughter’s favorites. I think I watched that movie about a gazillion times and it just stuck in my head,” Clower said.

The club sold tickets about three weeks prior to the event. The tickets were sold to anyone interested in a quality Italian meal either to eat at the school or to pick up to take home. The adult meal, consisting of spaghetti with sauce and meatballs along with bread, salad, dessert and a drink, was $5 and the children’s plate was $3.

“I worked the event, and I loved the food from Mama Mia because it was delicious, convenient and very affordable,” junior Ansley Peurifoy said.

Junior Milani Patel, secretary and treasurer of FCCLA, agreed with Peurifoy. “The food was amazing and the room had a Italian theme to it because the lights were dimmed and there was Italian music playing in the background, setting a calming vibe,” she said.

Along with the meal, a variety of themed baskets were available for purchase to the attendees. Sold in the style of a silent auction, every basket had a detailed list of what the contents were. One of the crowd favorites over the years has been the “Family Fun” basket. This basket consists of a movie and snacks.

“When Mrs. Toney was here, she loved to bid on baskets, and it was hilarious because teachers would come back and would up the bid by 50 cents, turning it into a bidding war on certain baskets,” Clower said. Via’s classes put together all of the baskets with donations from the students and FCCLA.

All of the money is profit for the organization. According to Clower, the club has averaged $1,500 over the last few years.

The money the club raises from Mama Mia is mostly handled by the student officers. Whenever the money is spent, it has to go through the votes and approval of the club officers. “We think of things that the program is lacking and that we don’t have a budget for,” Clower said.  

Items that are going to be purchased this year include cutting board for the students competing in the culinary competition and a storage set for toys in Via’s room.

“Mama Mia has been very profitable for us throughout the years, and it benefits the students in advancing in the state competition,” Clower said.