Members from Sharon Baptist Church not only enjoyed a great meal of turkey and dressing at the Peppermill Restaurant on Monday but also had their meals served to them by local celebrities as part of the restaurant's third annual Turkey Fest.
Pam Tucker, Columbia County Emergency Services director, and Steve Szablewski, county administrator, wait on tables at the Peppermill Restaurant during Turkey Fest. Free Thanksgiving dinners were served with donations benefiting the Golden Harvest Food Bank and Columbia County Cares Food Pantry.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The fund-raiser, which was started by restaurant owners Ling-Feng Tang and Glen Kersch, began as their way to give back to the community.
They provided the meals, and area media personalities and Columbia County officials volunteered to serve the food for donations for the Golden Harvest Food Bank and Columbia County Cares food pantry.
Teresa Dye, of Harlem, and Christy Popplewell, of Appling, were among the crowd being served at the event.
"I knew they had this every year," Popplewell said. "I wanted to come. (Sharon Baptist Church) has a senior group. They get together for lunches all the time, and they made it a point to come here today. I begged along."
The event surpassed 2003's proceeds by a few hundred dollars.
A total of $6,785 was split between Golden Harvest and Columbia County Cares, said Laurie Harmon, Golden Harvest's events coordinator.
County commission Chairman Ron Cross, Commissioner Tom Mercer and Harlem Mayor Scott Dean donned tuxes for their lunch shift. Board of Education employees served for the dinner shift.
"It was obvious who had waited tables before," Harmon said. "But they're great. The celebrity servers, they do whatever we tell them to."
With each dollar raised, Golden Harvest can purchase $7 worth of food for needy families, meaning the $3,392.50 donation will buy nearly $24,000 worth of food.
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