Hastings Catholic Schools hosts Chicken Noodle Dinner and Bazaar

A kid eats chicken noodle at Hastings Catholic Schools Chicken Noodle Dinner and Bazar
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 7:16 AM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - A Hastings tradition was held inside the St. Cecilia gymnasium, as Hastings Catholic Schools held their annual Chicken Noodle Dinner and Bazaar fundraiser. The event that has been in place since the 1950s had the entire community craving chicken noodle.

Father Tom Brouillette remembers when everything was in the school’s smaller gym, now they use the bigger gym for both the chicken noodle dinner and games.

Chairperson Joely Goodman said set up for this event happens months in advance. Part of this tradition is having parents and students volunteer to work at least two hours. All families involved bring baked items or items donated for the raffle. The bazaar featured raffles, a book sale, a cake walk, and carnival games for kids. It also brings everyone in Hastings Catholic Community together.

“You see people whose families or their children may no longer be in the school system, but they just been part of it for so long that it’s a tradition,” said Goodman. “Every weekend before Thanksgiving, they spend their Sundays here at the Hastings Catholic Schools Chicken Noodle Dinner and bazaar.”

Goodman observed that people will often stay for the entire event to win a raffle prize.

Father Brouillette added they feed approximately 2,500 at the event. The chicken noodle dinner raises around $25,000 and the bazaar raises around $60,000. He said these funds go towards designed needs and operating cost. It could also create new bonds.

“Having something like this that does take so much involvement from all of the families definitely helps bring some community within the school system,” said Goodman. “You get to see all of the parents that your children may be in classes with. You get to see many of your children classmates helping out as well.”

Goodman said seeing everyone come together for a common cause makes the Hastings Catholic community stronger.

Father Brouillette commented that the event also provides those who aren’t a part of Hastings Catholic Schools a glimpse of what HCS is about.

“It’s not just a Catholic event,” said Brouillette. “You know, we’re so grateful for everybody that comes and for all the generosity that we see. The donors the volunteers, again the kids, the teachers, the parents and past parents. We have parishioners that come and help us out that have done it for decades.”

Father Brouillette said there are some that have been volunteering since he was attending Hastings Catholic Schools. The Chicken Noodle Dinner has been a stable in not just the catholic community, but the entire community of Hastings.

“You see people that you know are not in the Catholic community, so everybody hears about it,” said Maria Butler, 6th grade art teacher at St. Cecilia Middle School. “A lot of people think ‘Well I’m going to go, I’ll eat the chicken noodle,’ and businesses buy dinners for their employees.”

Student Abigail Musalek said this event often attracts people she doesn’t see at church every week.

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