Ground Hog Day Dinner almost a sell out in Tonasket

Tonasket dentist and Kiwanian Rob Nau sells sausage at the dinner. The Kiwanis club sold bulk meat in addition to plates of cooked food. Photo by Amy Veneziano

Tonasket dentist and Kiwanian Rob Nau sells sausage at the dinner. The Kiwanis club sold bulk meat in addition to plates of cooked food. Photo by Amy Veneziano

TONASKET – Even though Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow in Pennsylvania and snow came down outside, the mood within the high school commons was cheery as the diners ate sausage, potatoes, veggies and a selection of desserts.

It took 15 hogs and almost 400 people, but the Tonasket Kiwanis Club hopes to have raised several thousand dollars for students in the Tonasket school district during their Ground Hog Day Dinner Feb. 2.

“We’ve sold very well,” said Betty Bair, a Kiwanis Club member. “We always sell out. It’s unusual if we don’t.”

This year, they didn’t quite sell out. There’s about 80 pounds of meat left, said Kiwanis member Jack Gavin. That’s 80 pounds left of the original 1,860 pounds of meat. Even if it wasn’t a sell out, 93 percent of the meat had still disappeared by the end of the night.

At the dinner last year, the Kiwanis served sausage to about 500 people, said Steve Erbeck, who was selling the sausage in bulk.

He said the weather didn’t seem to have much of an impact.

“We have tough people around here,” he said.

There were also basketball games going on at the high school, which contributed to a crowded parking lot.

The leftover sausage is still available for purchase. People should contact Gavin at 486-2480 or Herb and Bertha Wandler at 486-4577, Gavin said.

Although the dinner officially started at 5 p.m., the common area was already in full swing. By 5:30, the place was full. Diners included several city council and chamber of commerce members, as well as the Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers and his wife

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