The annual Spaghetti-A-Thon at Norman's Landing restaurant means a lot to Alan Sexton.
The event has raised more than $122,000 for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, but for Sexton it's also a way to keep his late son's memory alive.
"My motivation is to do what my son, Patrick, wanted me to do all those years ago," Sexton said.
"He's the guy who came up with the idea for the event. He said, 'Dad, you cook great spaghetti, so why not cook up a bunch and we'll sell it by the plate and donate the money to help sick children.'"
Patrick Sexton died in a motorcycle accident about a year later on his 19th birthday.
"He was a kid interested in doing something for the community he loved," said his father, an Alpharetta resident.
So Sexton keeps on making spaghetti sauce each year. He said at last year's fundraiser he made about 14 gallons, and he's preparing for this year's feast, which is set for Saturday at the restaurant off Exit 13 at Ga. 400.
Sexton said Pete Toohey, who lives in Sugar Hill, helps with the cooking, making the meatballs and sausage links.
Norman's Landing owner Bill Norman said the spaghetti is "real good. Al's got it nailed down."
Plates of spaghetti are $10 for adults and $5 for children. There also will be a silent auction in Norman's Landing's ping pong room, as well as arts and crafts items, pony rides, a moon walk and live music.
Silent auction items include golf packages, an mp3 player and food coupons.
"There's a lot of great stuff to bid on, all kinds of goodies," Norman said.
Barber Marcus Wallace of Forsyth County plans to set up a chair and give haircuts. Wallace owns the Barber Shop in Roswell.
Norman described the event's atmosphere as "family-oriented and casual."
"We are hoping for at least 200 people, but with the economy we're just hoping people still come see us," he said.
The Spaghetti-A-Thon began in 1993 at the Roswell VFW post and raised $1,500.
"Patrick was very enthusiastic about it," Sexton said, "and felt that he was helping the community."
Other event sponsors include the North Fulton Friends and Neighbors and Moms Club of Alpharetta Northeast.