BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  Spaghetti and meatballs…and a whole lot more!  It’s all part of a big fundraiser you can enjoy in Baltimore this weekend.

Ron Matz reports on Sunday all roads lead to Little Italy.

St. Leo’s Church is the heartbeat of Little Italy. It’s home to Sunday’s Ravioli and Spaghetti Dinner. All of the food is homemade and delicious.

“In the past two weeks when I joined the volunteers in making the ravioli, there was a lot of love there,” said Father Sal Furnari of St. Leo’s Church. “And they did it from scratch, from hand kneading the dough right to the very end.”

Volunteers like Tina DeFranco will make 5,000 meatballs for this big Italian meal.  She says they use about 360 pounds of beef and pork.

“A lot of the people who donate or come back to work have some sort of roots in Little Italy,” she said. “It’s wonderful to see everybody come back and help the community.”

Pizelles, cannolis and cookies are being made for dessert. More than 100 volunteers have made the dinner a major event for more than 50 years.

“It’s important to us at St. Leo’s, not only because it’s a fundraiser — which helps us on the financial end — but it’s more important for the gathering of fellowship.   It’s a coming together and meeting new friends and old friends,” said Furnari.

“I’ve been volunteering for 27 years, and every year I see new and younger people. So it’s great to see them coming back to help St. Leo’s stay alive and do what they do best,” said Jerry Elliott.

The big dinner will draw more than 2,000 people. There will be more than 12,000 homemade ravioli prepared for the dinner.

“We get at least 50 people to make the ravioli.  We do it in two segments, two Saturdays.  We have to do it that way because we make 12,000 ravioli.  So without this group of volunteers, it wouldn’t be able to be done,” said Elliott.

“If you want to have a really good dinner with all the trimmings for about $12, you can’t get anything better than to come to St. Leo’s for the Spaghetti Ravioli Dinner,” Furnari said. “I look forward to seeing everybody here Sunday.”

The big dinner is from noon to 6 p.m. at St. Leo’s. It’s $12 for adults and $6 for children. Carry-out will also be available.

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