By Kim Steele

Harker Heights Herald

For the first time, Boy Scout Troop 255 is creating its own big fundraiser to pay for badly needed repairs to a trailer that hauls all the troop's camping supplies.

"We typically stick with council-organized fundraisers like popcorn sales," said Marlene Powell, who handles fundraising for the group. "This year, we decided to have a spaghetti dinner. We haven't done anything like this before. Am I nervous? No. Am I panic-stricken? Yes. But so far, everything is going good."

The spaghetti dinner fundraiser is scheduled from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church, 1000 E. Farm-to-Market 2410 in Harker Heights. Tickets are a donation of $5 each, and children younger than 2 years old eat free. Tickets are available at the door or by calling (254) 423-6903. Eat-in or take-out dinners will be available.

The menu includes salad, regular or gluten-free noodles, plain or meat sauce, desserts, coffee and sweetened or unsweetened tea. All leftover food will be donated to local food kitchens. Powell said the troop's goal is to sell 300 to 600 tickets by Monday. Troop 255, which meets at the church, includes 36 members between the ages of 11 and 18.

Powell said the 12-year-old trailer measures 8 feet tall and 14 feet long and is in dire need of refurbishing. Large gray spots of primer are visible on the outside, and the hitch is broken. Powell said one Boy Scout's father recently got an estimate of $1,100 to have the outside primed, painted and sealed.

Ty Gehring, 13, an eighth-grader at Union Grove Middle School, said he and his father have been working on the trailer's exterior since February. Gehring, a Boy Scout for two years, said the work has included removing rust spots, fixing holes and applying primer.

"The trailer's in bad shape," he said. "It still needs a lot of work. The trailer is really important to us and we must have it because it carries our gear and clothes. I don't know how much money we'll make from the spaghetti dinner, but whatever we bring in will help us get at least some of the repairs done."

The inside of the trailer is another story, said Powell, with damaged wood panels and shelves from years of heavy use. Also, some of the equipment carried on every trip - propane tanks, stoves, cookware, utensils and storage containers - need to be replaced. Powell estimated it would take another $900 to fix up the inside of the trailer.

Billy Powell, 13, a seventh-grader at Eastern Hills Middle School, said the trailer is used to carry all the troop's camping gear, including tents, sleeping bags and backpacks. Two big camps are scheduled in June, and a smaller camp will take place this weekend.

"Our trailer looks really bad right now," he said. "And it's really important for us to have the trailer, because if it rains, it's the only place for our stuff to stay dry. We've got to get it fixed soon."

Marlene Powell said the troop is hoping to make at least $1,500 from the fundraiser. Already, parents have received enough $25 sponsorship donations to pay for the ingredients to feed 300 people, said Powell. Also, troop members have sold about 125 tickets so far. Marlene Powell said she is prepared to feed up to 500 ople and would embrace the challenge.

"I'm excited and nervous at the same time," said Marlene Powell. "I'm hoping we'll be able to at least get the outside of the trailer done from this fundraiser. You don't get anything you don't shoot for, and I'm shooting for help from the community to get this done for the boys. You have to ask for it - and I'm asking for it."

Contact Kim Steele at or (254) 501-7567.

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