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Callaway family to cook ‘spay-ghetti’ dinner for UCAPS

by Matt Hutcheson | July 19, 2021 at 8:30 p.m.

On Friday, members of the Callaway family will cook and serve spaghetti plates to benefit the Union County Animal Protection Society. The plates will be $15 apiece and will be sold from St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in El Dorado from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

UCAPS board member Sandy Maguire said the dinner was initially planned pre-COVID as a way to honor late UCAPS board member Pat Callaway.

“Pat Callaway was a board member for many years and was voted lifetime member. We talked about doing something in her memory… She was adamant about spaying and neutering. I talked to the family and brought up the idea of fundraising and ‘spay-ghetti’ was the idea that came out of that,” Maguire said.

Maguire said the group decided on the drive-through method rather than a more traditional banquet due to COVID. The meal, according to Maguire, will consist of several homemade items.

“The Callaway family is kind of known for cooking… [There are] gardening and culinary skills in the family. I think they got together in kitchen and experimented with the sauce; it’s all from Pat’s recipe. They decided to do [spaghetti] with or without meat, fresh salad, roll and homemade cookies,” Maguire said.

Those who wish to purchase a plate can do so in advance online at ucapsshelter.networkforgood.com/events/32126-spay-ghetti-noballs-dinner or by contacting UCAPS or a board member.

Thanks to some recent volunteers, delivery will also be available for orders of four or more plates.

Maguire said that funds raised through the event will go towards the shelter’s spay and neuter program.

Spreading information about the resources available through UCAPS for spaying and neutering is one of the organization’s educational goals this year, Maguire said.

Thanks to grants and funding from sources including an optional donation when paying property taxes established by the county Quorum Court, UCAPS has vouchers available to help pet owners who find themselves unable to afford the full cost of spaying or neutering.

Emphasizing the importance of spaying and neutering, Maguire said the cost of not doing so often comes back around on organizations like UCAPS.

“We picked up a dog three or four weeks ago who was pregnant and ended up having nine puppies,” Maguire said. “So that one dog we took care of — vaccinated, fed and nourished, because she was pregnant — that one dog became 10 overnight. The same can happen with kittens; statistics say it can take three years to stabilize a stray colony of cats.”

Up to 90% of UCAPS’ budget comes from donations and fundraisers, Maguire said, causing the organization to rely on the community to continue its practices of caring for, vaccinating and transporting animals along with spaying and neutering.

“Every dime or penny that gets donated goes to caring for animals. We probably have 30-plus volunteers who rotate in an out, but we still have to pay payroll, utilities and vet bills,” Maguire said.

Between transporting animals for adoption, vet bills, payroll and supplies, Maguire estimated UCAPS had a budget of around $300,000 last year and is almost entirely reliant on local donations and fundraising for that.

For more info about the Spay-Ghetti fundraiser, call 870-820-3590 or visit ucapsshelter.networkforgood.com/events/32126-spay-ghetti-noballs-dinner.

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