For half a century as of this year, the Sebring Rotary Club has held its annual spaghetti dinner that benefits middle school bands and other events for youths.
This year's event was named in honor of Bill Jernigan, a local veterinarian, who has been involved for 49 of those years. He started helping his father-in-law, Louis Alsmeyer, in 1965.
Jernigan joked that he doesn't know whether he's happy to be honored that way because if the event is not as successful as previous years, he will get the blame.
The event will be held today from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Highlands County Fairgounds. Tickets cost $7 and the meal includes spaghetti, green beans, rolls and desert.
Preparing the meal began this morning with 400 pounds of spaghetti and 700 pounds of lean meat.
Jernigan said that before the meal started in 1964, generally the Rotary did not hold its own events. The dinner was viewed as an event for which the community could look forward to each year.
Currently, about 1,500 people usually attend the meal, he said.
Any leftover food is donated to New Testament Mission and the Highlands County Jail.