Columbia County officials and local media personalities will take on a new role Monday at the Peppermill Restaurant in Evans - that of restaurant server.
Columbia County Commissioner Tom Mercer waited on Ellen Cox (left) and Dale Daniel at Peppermill during the 2003 Turkey Fest.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The effort will be part of the third annual Turkey Fest to raise money for two area food pantries.
Restaurant owners Glenn Kersch and Ling-Feng Tang began the fund-raiser in 2002 when they donated nearly 150 Thanksgiving meals with all the fixings in exchange for donations from patrons. That event raised $1,425 for the Golden Harvest Food Bank.
"(We hope) to do this every year we are open. It is for a good cause," Kersch said.
A full Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing, gravy, green beans, cranberry relish, rolls and a drink will be served for a donation at the restaurant at 4461 Washington Road across from the Evans Wal-Mart .
A year ago, Kersch and Tang prepared nearly 800 meals and raised $6,500 with the help of celebrity servers, including local media personalities, county Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker and county Commissioner Tom Mercer.
The proceeds were split between Golden Harvest and Columbia County Cares food pantry. At Golden Harvest, every dollar donated can purchase $7 worth of food, said Laurie Harmon, Golden Harvest's events coordinator.
"Imagine if you take $22,000 or $23,000 to the grocery store," Harmon said of 2003's Turket Fest donation. "We are talking about providing several thousand meals. It is definitely welcome, and it's nothing to sneeze at."
Celebrity servers, including television station WJBF's Brad Means and Jennie Montgomery, Sheriff Clay Whittle, Harlem Mayor Scott Dean and county commission Chairman Ron Cross, will wait tables in shifts from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Another set of school board employees, including school Superintendent Tommy Price and school board member Lee Muns, will serve the dinner shift from 5 to 8 p.m.
In honor of the fund-raiser, Tang said the restaurant, which normally closes between lunch and dinner, will stay open all day. Kersch said the restaurant is preparing for as many as 2,500 guests but does not have a fund-raising goal for the event.
"As much as we can get is the goal," Kersch said. "But not a real dollar amount. If it were up to me, it would be $100,000."
Celebrity Server Schedule
11 a.m. to noon: Mary Liz Nolan, WAGC-AM; Steve Cherry, WBBQ-FM; Carrie Jones, WFXG-TV; Kavin Harbison, WEKL-FM; Amy Cowman and Chrystina Head, WAGT-TV; county commission Chairman Ron C. Cross; Clerk of Court Cindy Mason; Sheriff Clay Whittle; Sen.-elect Jim Whitehead; Barry Smith, county Community and Leisure Services director; and Pam Tucker, county Emergency Management Division director.
Noon to 1 p.m.: Mary Liz Nolan, WAGC-AM; Shannon Myers, Jim Pinkerton, Jeff Rucker and Chris Kane, WAGT-TV; Erich Spivey, WRDW-TV; Deanna Brown, WAKB-FM; Sister Mary Kingcannon, WTHB-FM; Harlem Mayor Scott Dean; Clerk of Court Cindy Mason; County Administrator Steve Szablewski; Sheriff Clay Whittle; Sen.-elect Jim Whitehead; Kevin Lear, county Construction and Maintenance Division director; and Sen. Joey Brush.
1 to 2 p.m.: Jennie Montgomery and Brad Means, WJBF-TV; KDO, WFXA-FM; Barry Paschal, Columbia County News-Times publisher; Sheriff Clay Whittle; Sen.-elect Jim Whitehead; Clerk of Court Cindy Mason; and County Administrator Steve Szablewski.
5 to 6 p.m.: Charles Nagle, Gloria Hamilton, Dr. Deborah Franklin, Lee Muns, Karen Ribble, Pat Sullivan, Phyllis Mean, Bill Morris and Connie Davis.
6 to 7 p.m.: Tommy Price, Gloria Hamilton, Lee Muns and Karen Ribble.
7 to 8 p.m.: Tommy Price, Gloria Hamilton and Wayne Bridges.
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