SAN ANTONIO – For 21 years, the 100 Club of San Antonio has teamed up with the Christopher Columbus Italian Society to put on a spaghetti dinner to raise money for families that have lost loved ones in the line of duty.
The money raised goes toward scholarships funds for children of fallen police officers or firefighters.
Linda Gorrell and her two children are one of the many families that have benefited from the 100 Club scholarships after her husband, Officer Edward Gorrell, was killed while fighting off a gunman in downtown San Antonio in 1988.
“He shot my husband under the left eye and in the chest,” Linda Gorrell said. “That was the hardest thing in the world to do, to let them know their father wasn’t coming home.”
It was the community’s support from the 100 Club that gave Gorrell and her family comfort and strength to keep going forward.
“To know that there’s people out there that care for you and your children, that means the world to you, that your children at least will have a future,” Gorrell said.
Gorrell is one of the many volunteers that helps during the annual spaghetti dinner at the Christopher Columbus Italian Society. Last year, the dinner raised $71,000 for scholarships, selling more than 7,000 plates.
Chief Joseph Salvaggio, with the Leon Valley Police Department, has helped with the dinner for 21 years. He said it’s not just the sacred recipe of that sauce and meatballs that keeps the community and other members of the force coming back year after year.
“It’s very good for those survivors, those children, those wives, to see the public come out here. Yes, it’s great food. There is a great reason behind coming here above the great food.” Salvaggio said. “It’s very beneficial to all of us to hear and see those things.”