Pasta, politics served up in Troy election eve tradition

TROY – An election eve tradition in Rensselaer County is going on despite the pandemic, but it’s looking a little different once again because of coronavirus.

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Spanning the last six decades, an auditorium at the Italian Community Center in Troy would have been filled with politicians, pasta and people.

The pandemic has forced organizers to transform their sit down dinner into a takeout operation.

The organizers haven’t skipped a beat. Spaghetti and meatballs were still being served up.

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The volunteers keep coming. The spirit of charitable giving is alive and well in the city of Troy, with or without a political gathering.

Proceeds raised benefit several local food pantries and soup kitchens.

Some of the proceeds go toward the Father Harry Memorial Scholarship at La Salle Institute.

Father Harry was at St. Mary’s Church when the spaghetti and meatballs tradition began 60 years ago.

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Even though politicians couldn’t mingle, they could still drive through and pick up their dinner.

"It’s been a tradition of mine around election time to come the day before the election, way back since it was when in St. Mary’s Church, then it went up to St. Anthony’s. Now it’s here at the ICC. So I come here with my staff every single year. We miss being here in person – it’s just pick up today, but we’ll be back next year," said Former Congressman Mike McNulty.

Hear an organizer discuss how support has stayed strong through the pandemic, by watching the video of Dan Levy’s story.

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