By Kim Steele
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS - To repair a well-used camping-supply trailer, Boy Scout Troop 255 created a fundraiser for the first time.
"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 12-year-old trailer, which measures 8 feet tall and 14 feet long, is in dire need of refurbishing. Powell said one Boy Scout's father recently got an estimate of $1,100 to have the outside primed, painted and sealed.
To raise money for the repairs, the troop is holding a spaghetti dinner March 31 at St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church. Troop 255, which meets at the church, has 36 members between the ages of 11 and 18.
Ty Gehring, an eighth-grader who has been a Boy Scout for two years, said he and his father have been working on the trailer's exterior since February doing things such as removing rust spots, fixing holes and applying primer.
"The trailer's in bad shape," said the 13-year-old student at Union Grove Middle School. "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. Some of the equipment carried on every trip - propane tanks, stoves, cookware, utensils and storage containers - also need replacing. Powell estimated it would take another $900 to fix up the inside of the trailer.
Billy Powell, a seventh-grader, said the troop has two big camps scheduled in June. "Our trailer looks really bad right now," said the 13-year-old student at Eastern Hills Middle School. "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 hopes to raise at least $1,500. Parents have received enough $25 sponsorship donations to feed 300 people, said Powell, adding that she's prepared to feed 500 people.
"I'm excited and nervous at the same time," she said. "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."
Troop members have sold about 125 tickets but hope to reach 300 to 600 tickets by March 26.
Contact Kim Steele at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7567.
If you go
What: Boy Scout Troop 255 spaghetti dinner
When: March 31, 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church, 1000 E. Farmer Market 2410, Harker Heights
Cost: Tickets are $5 each, and children younger than age 2 eat free.
Other: Tickets are available at the door or by calling (254) 423-6903.
Besides spaghetti, the menu includes salad, regular or gluten-free noodles, plain or meat sauce, desserts, coffee and sweetened or unsweetened tea.
Eat-in or take-out dinners will be available, and leftover food will be donated to local food kitchens.