Dozens of local officials, celebrities and media personalities have signed up as servers for the 11th Annual Italian Thanksgiving Feast, set for Nov. 21 at the Garlic Clove restaurant in Evans.
The annual dinner is a benefit for Columbia County Cares food pantry and the Golden Harvest Food Bank, in which diners receive a meal from a set menu for free in return for monetary donations to the food banks.
The meals are served by celebrity waiters in shifts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and to help with crowds are available dine-in or take-out.
Columbia County Emergency and Operations Division Director Pam Tucker, who is helping to coordinate the event, said the food banks this year also will have credit card machines available to take donations.
"Many have asked for that in the past and they didn't have a machine," Tucker said. "Hopefully that will help get our numbers back where they used to be."
Donations for the event has trended downward in recent years, falling from a high of $6,125 in 2007 to last year's total of $2,560, Tucker added.
The menu for the event includes antipasto salad, baked ziti with meat sauce, pasta alfredo, chicken parmesan and homemade bread, with diners receiving all of the items.
In addition to Garlic Clove, sponsors for the event include Edible Arrangements, Allegra Printing and Imaging, Fehrman Investment Group, 1 Hour Optical, Columbia County, the Murphy Allstate Agency, Supersavers and ACHS Insurance.
Servers scheduled for the event include radio talk show host Helen Blocker Adams; District 2 Columbia County Commissioners Trey Allen, Charles Allen and Bill Morris; Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle; Magistrate Judge Bobby Christine; Bill Kay, for NFL player for the Oilers and the Chargers; Neil Gordon from the Buzz on Biz; Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson; Cliff Bennett of Eagle 105.7; Jennie Montgomery Archith Seshadri, Brittany Jones and Jenna Lee Thomas of WJBF-TV; Austin Rhodes and Mary Liz Nolan of WGAC; Columbia County School Board trustee Mike Sleeper; Jake Wallace, Mark Barber, Teri Hornstein and Rachel Ann Moore of Fox 54; Blaine Bailey of Super Savers; Katie Beasley, Vicki Graf, Meredith Anderson, Tom Campbell, Richard Rogers, Tim Strong and Sheli Muniz of WRDW-TV; Donnie Fetter and Barry Paschal from The Columbia County News-Times; Rich Rogers, Jeff Rucker and Ashley Campbell of WAGT-TV; Harlem City Councilman John Thigpen; and Courtney Starr of WBBQ.