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Spaghetti meal benefits ailing volunteer
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

* What: Spaghetti dinner benefit for Patricia Choquette

* When: 4 to 9 p.m. today

* Where: Donut Connection, 3225 Keith Bridge Road

* Cost: $7; other donations accepted

* Can’t make it? Check donations can be made out to Patricia Choquette and mailed to 3225 Keith Bridge Road, Cumming, GA 30041.

A north Forsyth business will again hold a spaghetti fundraiser for one of its neighbors.

Kirk McConnell, owner of Donut Connection and Coal Mountain Builders, will present the fundraiser from 4 to 9 p.m. today at the restaurant, 3225 Keith Bridge Road.

All proceeds from the dinner — which features spaghetti, garlic bread, Italian salad, homemade desserts and tea — will go to help Patricia Choquette for medical expenses.

Choquette, an employee of the Forsyth County Community Connection, which serves local nonprofits and matches them with volunteers, is battling Stage 4 kidney cancer.

“Patty [Choquette] is an awesome lady who has done a lot for the community and she’s having a tough time financially, so we wanted to help her out,” McConnell said.

Patrons are invited to stop by the Donut Connection to enjoy the all-you-can-eat meal for just $7, although additional donations are welcome.

McConnell said he has been holding spaghetti fundraisers for about four years, with each benefitting a different local individual battling cancer.

He said each event has raised anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 “depending on the turnout.”

“I was a little worried about tonight’s event since [there are other activities going on],” he said. “So we decided to start it a little earlier in the evening so hopefully people will come by and eat before heading [out].”

He said many people have made the dinner a tradition, and that’s probably due largely to the sauce. One of McConnell’s Donut Connection employees, Linda Morley, is of Italian descent and makes the sauce from scratch each year.

“She’s made about 50 gallons of tomato sauce, or as she calls it, ‘gravy,’ this week,” McConnell said.  

As for McConnell, he enjoys holding the dinners because he can relate to the families dealing with cancer. “I lost my father to cancer when I was 23. And my little sister had it, but thank God she’s still with us. These dinners are a small way for me to be able to help people out.”