Westerville Senior Center members have invited the community to break bread in a 30-year-old tradition: its annual ham and bean dinner.
The dinner, which began when an active senior center member put a big pot of the dish over a fire in the center's parking lot 30 years ago, said event chairman Lloyd Kuschner, will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the senior center, 310 W. Main St.
For $6, members can dine in for an all-you-can-eat meal, or they can carry out. The meal includes ham and beans, coleslaw, applesauce, corn bread, dessert and drinks.
Everything is homemade except for the coleslaw and the applesauce, Kuschner said.
While the tradition began 30 years ago, the recipe has evolved as new members have joined the center and helped with the meal, Kuschner said.
"It's been changed several times over the years. We think we've got it right," Kuschner said.
Last year's event brought in about 250 diners. About 40 volunteers get involved to cook, wait tables, serve and provide carry-out meals, Kuschner said.
The money raised through the dinner goes back to the senior center to support programs and provide new equipment, Kuschner said.
The center's fundraising arm, the Westerville Senior Association, also donates money back to the city, by supporting programs such as Honor Flight and the Parks and Recreation Department's buy-a-brick programs.
"The city gives us a lot; we give back to the city," Kuschner said.
Kuschner said he encouraged anyone to come out to the dinner; it draws more than just senior center regulars and provides a meal that will leave customers satisfied.
"We get people from all over. It isn't just the senior center," he said. "We give them so much food, people don't usually come back for seconds."