Diner feeds local veterans

Some of the volunteers who helped prepare and serve local veterans a hot meal last week pose for a photo. Pictured are Melisssa Ferguson, Tristan Blakeman, Bill Chappell, Melissa Blakeman, Gail Blasi, Tiffani Loveridge, Venice Saltz, Travis Burton, Jody Burton and Vikki Norwood. (HERALD PHOTO/Kayne Pyatt)

EVANSTON — Thirty-seven veterans were treated to a free spaghetti dinner at Jody’s Diner in Evanston on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 3 to 6 p.m. Owner Jody Burton and her staff volunteered many hours to prepare and serve the meal in order to honor veterans for their service. The local Veterans Board and Jody’s Diner collaborated on the event.

Desserts were donated by Denise Koval, Barb Spruill, Elisabeth Haggerty, Venice Saltz, Chris Ellison and Judy Jones.

Veterans Board members Steve Fowler, Paul Barnard, Vikki Norwood and Amelia Rutner greeted guests at the door and presented two lucky guests with door prizes. The first door prize, donated by Ivory and Iron, was won by Randy Kearns. The second door prize, donated by Home Décor, was won by Hadley Huffaker.

Norwood said an anonymous teacher had delivered thank-you cards created by her second-grade students to be given to veterans.

A total of 97 meals were served at the restaurant to veterans and their families, another 17 were delivered and Jody’s sent 25 meals home with community members.

A donation basket placed on a table near the entry was filled before the end of the event. Burton said that at the end of the evening they had received a $100 check and approximately $150 in additional donations.

“I did this free dinner for the vets because God inspires me,” Burton said. “I try to be a good example to others to not be self-centered. I like giving to others and this community that does so much for me.”

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