Restaurant turns 40 and gets saucy for Oxfam Canada

By Jo Salilba de Chery

When we arrived at The Old Spaghetti Factory for its 40th Anniversary celebration, I wasn’t surprised to find a lineup – who wouldn’t line up for a menu with the same prices that were charged in 1971 – and for a good cause too!

In honour of the occasion, The Old Spaghetti Factory had decided to contribute part of the day's proceeds to Oxfam. We arrived to set up our information table to promote Oxfam's GROW campaign and our work in response to the East Africa food crisis.

There was such diversity among those who came out - families, tourists, out-of-towners, students, children, seniors and business women and men, some who came for lunch and dinner! We had an opportunity to meet and chat with many customers about our important work, especially during the evening when the wait for a table was longer than an hour!

One particularly touching story I heard was from a waitress at the restaurant who had lost her wallet on the weekend. She was so grateful to the man who returned it to her she offered him a reward. But he declined. In his honour, she made a $50 donation to the East Africa Crisis. Now that’s “paying it forward”!

The generosity of The Old Spaghetti Factory resulted in Oxfam receiving a donation of $4,313.50 (all revenue generated by the food items that day) as well as another $335.46 received from customers as they entered and exited the restaurant. These funds will be contributed to Oxfam's East Africa fund.

I would like to extend a big thanks from Oxfam to General Manager Graham Hnatiw, Gabe Nicolau, the rest of the staff of The Old Spaghetti Factory and everyone who made this event such a huge success.

Please consider donating to the East Africa fund. Companies should contact me about running fundrasing events. Individuals can donate online -- donations before September 16 will be matched by the Government of Canada.