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Quincy Outdoor Theater project volunteers (from left) Tristan McMichael, Chloe Emmot, Nick Caiazzo and Sabina Winter were part of a small army of helpers hosting the Feb. 29 spaghetti dinner fundraiser to support the proposed amphitheater. Photo by Roni Java

Spaghetti dinner raises nearly $3,000 for amphitheater project

Just about every seat was taken in the Tulsa Scott Pavilion at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds on Feb. 29 when Tristan McMichael and a small army of helpers hosted a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for his community project to build an outdoor amphitheater in Quincy.

The young activist is a student and musician at Quincy Junior-Senior High and he really thinks ahead. Building a future Quincy Outdoor Theater downtown will be his senior project.

Patrons purchased more than 200 dinner tickets and scads of drawing coupons. Some 67 local businesses, friends and families also donated supplies for the fundraiser and gifts for the prize drawing held throughout the evening. All together, the event raised nearly $3,000 toward the proposed construction of the outdoor facility that will serve the whole community.

Many hands made light work throughout the dinner gathering. Teens managed the check-in table and circulated with hefty rolls of drawing tickets, frequently measuring out coupons by the yard to enthusiastic buyers. Friends served heaping portions of spaghetti and meat sauce, garlic bread, Caesar salad and chunks of cake. Family members ran the drawing and drinks tables.

“I’m very fortunate to have such supportive classmates and friends in my adventures,” McMichael said with a broad smile, making another round of the busy room where conversations and laughter were reaching to the roof.

Plumas County companies and individuals were generous in their support. The prize tables were filled with wrapped gift baskets, art, jewelry, beauty supplies and many other tempting offerings. Wine, power tools, picnic baskets, auto services and gift certificates were displayed and ticket buyers looked carefully before dropping their stubs into each container.

“What?” laughed one diner at a nearby table. “I sent my grandkids to put tickets in for the gifts they wanted most and all they picked were toys and jewelry. No wine?”

Elsewhere, friends reconnected and caught up, going from table to table seeing folks they recognized. Periodically, the McMichael family drew tickets and announced winners over the P.A. system. Applause rang out for each winner and a hush came over the crowd when it was time to give out the drill set, then the sliding miter saw.

McMichael expressed his overwhelming gratitude for the many people who supported the spaghetti feed event and lent their assistance with the million little details it takes to host a large gathering.

“I would like to thank our extremely generous community!” he said. “Our project would not be rolling without your continued support. Thank you so much!”

Tristan is an organized young man with a busy schedule — he volunteers with the new Plumas Performing Arts nonprofit he founded with Marty Walters of Quincy and performs in the high school band and community orchestra. It makes sense that he is on track with his project for the proposed amphitheater.

“My next steps are to meet with the engineer I plan to work with, then start the paperwork necessary to construct the theater,” he said. “Of course, I plan to have community meetings where I will be taking public input about the theater prior to construction.”

As the evening wound down and there were a few moments for photos, McMichael paused to say how much he appreciated all the help he has received from supporters and friends, and most especially the pride he feels for his family.

“I am so fortunate to have such a supportive family,” he said.  “Without their support, none of the projects I take on would happen.”

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