Celebrity waiters huge hit

Published 7:33 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2009

By By Adam Prestridge
My dogs were barking Monday night following the First National Bank &Trust Celebrity Waiters event at David’s Catfish House.
I have served as a “celebrity,” and I use that word lightly, waiter for the last four years during the annual Relay for Life fundraiser. Each year the event serves its purpose and raises much-needed funds for cancer research, but this year’s event was different.
From the get-go, early Monday afternoon while decorating my table for my guests, I noted that the participation was much greater. I don’t mean the number of waiters and waitresses, but the enthusiasm by the wait staff in getting prepared for the event. I must admit, in the past I have not decorated my table like others, but this year I decided to go all out, as did everyone else. Green blanketed the dining area as many decorated their tables sticking with the St. Patrick’s Day theme. Others went patriotic with red, white and blue dominating their decor; others chose to be creative with themes such as fishing and camouflage, and even a few went formal bringing in their own China and silverware.
The event began this year with a social hour at 5 p.m., which served as a great time for everyone to “catch-up” and loosen their pocketbooks. Dinner began at 6 p.m. and, in my opinion, went off without a hitch. After being a part of the event for several years, I can say that dinner service was the easiest it has ever been. Waiters were patient and worked together to get their food out quickly to their tables.
Officials with the bank announced Tuesday morning that the event cleared more than $7,500, which I believe is a direct result of the new format. Drinks served during the social hour generated additional funds not collected in years past and patrons were pleased with their service, which resulted in BIG tips.
Nick Drew and Caleb Dortch won bragging rights by winning the $50 prize for the best-decorated table, which I thought was hard to see in camo. They also raised more than $1,000 in tips, the most of any of the 14 waiters. The duo stepped up to the plate again when they agreed to donate their $50 prize back to the cause.
Besides the good feeling received for helping with such a great cause, the event once again gave me respect for waiters and waitresses and cooking staff. It’s not as easy as it looks.
Adam Prestridge is publisher of The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123.

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