Sunshine Industries Spaghetti Feed draws big turn-out

Scott Swanson

A large crowd of turned out Saturday, April 21, for Sunshine Industries’ annual Spaghetti Feed fund-raiser.

Sunshine Executive Director Brittany Donnell said the crowd was the biggest ever. Exact figures were unavailable at press time.

Donnell reported that the organization, which serves adult disabled people from as far away as Albany with employment, activities and meeting other needs, has largely redirected its focus outside of its headquarters at 1333 Clark Mill Road.

This year Sunshine has received grant funds to start an employment program.

“There’s a big push for services to help people get out into the work force,” she said. The grant money will assist with that process, as well as pay for a job developer position, for which Sunshine is hiring.

Donnell said that proceeds from the 2016 Spaghetti Feed paid for not only the lift van that Sunshine needed, but two activity buses as well.

In 2017 the need was to develop the shop to support the increased emphasis on working in the community – largely through Sunshine’s landscaping and janitorial services. That was accomplished, she said.

Funds raised this year will go toward Phase 1 of the organization’s capital improvement plan. The most immediate need, Donnell said, is to improve access to the main building, where clients gather when they are dropped off by Linn Shuttle buses and by Sunshine’s own transit vehicles.

“People show up and they congrate here,” she said. “We’re interested in increasing safety by finishing the vehicle loop with a secondary exit and a pad that is wheelchair-accessible, so we can get people out of the building with high efficiency and safety.

The estimate for that work is about $20,000, she said.