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Meals on Wheels Week kicks off with spaghetti dinner

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MASSENA - It’s that time of the year when local officials ask residents to “Keep the Wheels Rolling.”

Massena Mayor James F. Hidy has signed a proclamation declaring Meals on Wheels Week beginning today and rolling through next Friday.

As part of that effort, 32 businesses around town have “wheels” that customers can buy for $1 each to keep the wheels rolling at Massena Meals on Wheels, according to Meals on Wheels Executive Director Jessica J. Fregoe.

Another fundraiser is today’s spaghetti dinner, which runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Meals on Wheels, East Hatfield Street. They’ve received donations to help with this year’s meal.

“This is our kickoff,” Ms. Fregoe said. “The sauce and the meatballs are from Vino Vidi Vici. Salad and bread are being donated by On a Roll Deli. We’re cooking the spaghetti.”

The meal also includes apple crisp, she said, and the cost is $8 a person or $30 for a family of four or more. Take-outs will be available by calling 769-5083.

The annual radio/telethon to benefit Meals on Wheels takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Meals on Wheels building. Their goal is $15,000, which they exceeded last year.

Ms. Fregoe said she expects the boards to once again be filled with items that can be bid on throughout the day.

Among them, she said, are a necklace from Peets Jewelers, fuel from MX Fuel and “lots and lots of gift cards” including some from Burger King, Bear’s Dean and JAC Tower. More donations are always needed and welcomed, she said.

They’ve had help from the Massena Rotary Club this year.

“The Rotary has been doing a lot of the legwork calling businesses. They’re a big helper,” Ms. Fregoe said.

Massena Rotary Club members will also be on hand to answer the telephones during the radio/telethon.

Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver a hot meal to recipients Monday through Friday. Ms. Fregoe said the need is always there.

“The need is probably going up,” she said.

Their summer numbers were in the high 70s, she said, and they’re up to between 80 and 90 recipients now. They delivered meals to 105 recipients last winter, according to the executive director.

At the end of August, they had delivered more than 14,000 meals so far this year, she said.

Massena Meals on Wheels is partially funded by the New York State Office of the Aging, and they receive annual donations from the towns of Massena and Louisville. But donations are what help fund the meals, Ms. Fregoe said, and through the annual fundraisers like the telethon and spaghetti dinner the board is able to meet its budget.

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