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The Southern Boone middle school expansion and renovation was funded by a voter-approved $7.7 million bond issue in April 2021 (November 2022 file photo courtesy of Southern Boone School District spokesman Matt Sharp)

(LISTEN): Big turnout in Ashland for fundraiser aimed at eliminating student lunch debt

Ashland Mayor Dorise Slinker is thanking the community for its generosity during Saturday’s spaghetti lunch/dinner aimed at eliminating student lunch debt (March 16, 2024 photo from 939 the Eagle’s Brian Hauswirth

Ashland’s mayor praises the big turnout at Saturday’s spaghetti lunch/dinner aimed at eliminating student lunch debt in the fast-growing Southern Boone R-1 school district.

Mayor Dorise Slinker greeted each patron who came into the middle school, thanking them. He also thanks the Southern Boone lunch ladies for cooking the food.

“Right now our total in Southern Boone (R-1 schools) is $32,000. I would love to eliminate that today if I could. I know that goal was pretty high, but I think we can come very close to it,” Mayor Slinker says.

While final numbers are still being calculated, Ashland’s mayor is optimistic that Saturday’s spaghetti lunch/dinner will significantly reduce student lunch debt in the district. Mayor Slinker tells 939 the Eagle that this issue is important to him:

“I’ve got two children in the school system now. I had two stepdaughters in the system and I’ve got a grandson going into the system soon. But it’s very important because no kid … they don’t go hungry but we want them to be able to eat their food and be nourished. When you’ve got a full stomach, your brain works better,” says Mayor Slinker.

The cost of a spaghetti meal was a cash or check donation. The menu included spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, dessert and lemonade. Boone County Commissioner Justin Aldred also encouraged residents to attend the fundraiser. A 939 the Eagle reporter was at the event on Saturday afternoon and saw most the tables full. Others made donations and took the meals home.

“One thing about our community and why I love being the mayor of Ashland, is because we all pitch in together. Especially when it’s a school-related issue like this, everybody comes out and donates. Everybody comes out and talks about how wonderful everything is going. So we help each other out,” says Slinker.

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