Columbia County Commissioner Tom Mercer donned a full tuxedo Monday for his first attempt at waiting tables.
"It flew by," he said about his two-hour lunch shift. "There was a great turnout."
His tips, and the money collected by more than two dozen of his fellow county officials and local media personalities, raised more than $6,500 for two local food pantries helping to feed the hungry.
Though organizers did not keep a head count during the Second Annual Turkey Fest, the dining room at the Peppermill restaurant in Evans was steadily packed with patrons during the five-hour event.
Peppermill donated the free turkey meals, and diners donated money that went to the Golden Harvest Food Bank and Columbia County Cares food pantry. Both groups split the money evenly.
Columbia County Emergency Management Director Pam Tucker waits on tables at the Peppermill restaurant
during Turkey Fest. The turkey dinners were free and all donations benefited Golden Harvest Food Bank.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"They had enough turkey for 700 people, and it was gone by a quarter 'til 3," said Laurie Harmon, the events coordinator for Golden Harvest. "We are thrilled."
Jo Ann Cobb, pantry manager for Columbia County Cares, said the money raised will help pay for Christmas food bags, which are filled with hams and vegetables, that the group passes out to families in need.
"We thought it was excellent," she said. "That's absolutely wonderful that so many people came out and were so generous."
This year's lunch featured the high-profile wait staff and raised $6,000 more than last year's inaugural event.
Peppermill, at 4461 Washington Road, will continue to serve as a drop-off point during the holiday for donations to the food agencies.
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