Spaghetti feed to help raise funds for fire-damaged GEMS

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Know and Go: GEMS Spaghetti Feed When: 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday Where: McBean Park Pavilion, 65 McBean Park Drive Cost: $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets can be purchased in advance Info: Melissa Benjamin at 645-1107 Spaghetti and memories will be served up Wednesday during a benefit dinner for Glen Edwards Middle School, which sustained considerable damage from a fire on Oct. 10. Former parents from the school and the GEMS Association of Parents and Students are organizing the dinner. “We just want to bring the community together because of all of the years Lori (Reitman) has worked for our kids,” said Melissa Benjamin, a parent helping to organize the event. “We should do something for Lori after the years she put in for our kids, the Washington D.C. trips she’s done and the activities she’s put together for the kids.” Reitman’s classroom was destroyed in the early morning Oct. 10 fire. Two other classrooms sustained smoke damage and physical education equipment, including field hockey sticks and playground balls were destroyed, according to previous News Messenger reports. The damage is estimated to be $300,000, according to Western Placer Unified School District Superintendent Scott Leaman. Also destroyed in the fire were photos and keepsakes Reitman had collected during the 19 years she has taught at the school. “We are looking for people to bring old photos, cards and memories, and share them with (Reitman),” Benjamin said. Proceeds from the dinner will be used to purchase P.E. equipment, including footballs, volleyballs and jerseys, as well as items destroyed from Reitman’s classroom, including a refrigerator, books and teaching materials, according to Benjamin. The dinner will include spaghetti, salad and bread. Benjamin said mothers from the school have volunteered to cook the dinner and she will contact area grocery stores for pasta donations. Reitman said she is looking forward to the dinner. “It’s extremely thoughtful and generous,” Reitman said. “It’ll be fun to see the kids and see the photos. It’s a good time for us all to get together. It’s so overwhelming.” Reitman teaches a number of classes at the school, including sixth- and seventh-grade math and eighth-grade leadership. “The kids have kept me going and the community has been extremely supportive,” Reitman said. “The kids make me smile. The community is amazing and I’ll get through it, and each day, I get stronger.”