Thursday night proved to be a good night for the Ninth Annual Celebrity Waiter Dinner, hosted by Baptist Memorial Hospital – Huntingdon Relay for Life team.
According to team captain Jennifer Britt, the event raised a walloping $10,146.
The 150 guests who attended the dinner dined on Hawaiian chicken or grilled steak, green beans, baked potatoes, rolls, salad, and various kinds of cakes. Wendy’s of Huntingdon donated the dressing.
Britt said she was elated with the amount raised.
“I would like to send out a personal thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who contributed in any way to the huge success of our Celebrity Waiter Dinner,” she said. “Whether you worked at the event, made a cake, bought food, came and ate, bought a center piece, donated money, helped set up or clean up, it is because of you that we were able to bring in this much money.”
She noted that Carroll South Relay for Life, based in Huntingdon, and Carroll North Relay for Life, based in McKenzie, had united to become one Relay.
Emcee/auctioneer Mike Foster brightened the auction with his antidotes from time to time during the auction. Each table donated its centerpiece that was auctioned to the highest bidder.
Each table of guests donated tips to the waitress that waited on them. Tips raised amounted to $3,811 with Dr. Lee Butler raising the highest amount of $1,051.
The waitresses were Susan Breeden, Dr. Lee Butler, Carl Byars, Mike Cary, Dareth Davis, Ken Folkes,
Heidi Hawkins, Michael King, Darlene Kirk, Sandy Roditis, Dr. Mark Smith, Natalie Sumrok, Dr. Scott Portis and Natalie Porter.
Cooking the meal were Harold Miller, Carl Nolen and Paul Horton. Donna Butler served as the hostess with Johnny Beth Nolen and Kathy Whitehead serving as food committee chairs.
Following the meal and auction, Ariell White, community manager for the American Cancer Society, addressed the gathering.
“Your hard work and dedication to this organization has shown great strides over the years,” she said.
“Because of your fundraising dollars, research was able to decrease cancer death rates by 23 percent since 1991.”
She added that currently in Tennessee there are 15 grants and over $8.5 million dollars in research grant money.
In 2016 she said, 11 Carroll County residents stayed in the Memphis Hope Lodge and one person stayed at the Nashville Hope Lodge. Currently there are six countians that are staying at the Memphis Hope Lodge.
She mentioned that she has been Relaying since she was in high school and started her current job two years ago.
“I originally started to Relay to just give back to the community,” she said. “That all changed when my Nana (grandmother) was diagnosed with ovarian and peritoneal cancer in 2012 because my passion became personal.”
Her grandmother died June 3 of last year. Then six months later she received a call that her other grandmother had cancer. She passed away just this month, on March 2.
“I Relay for them. I Relay for my family, friends, and for all of you so that one day we won’t have to hear the words, ‘You have cancer,’” she said.