By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
With a total of $13,477 in contributions as of October 7, Campaign Chair Cathy Bass said that the United Way was “off to a good start.” The United Way goal for Madison County is $120,000 by Nov. 15, but the Celebrity Waiter Dinner, a major fundraiser at Shelby’s, was still in the offing for that evening, and those present were in high spirits and looking forward to it.
The team met at the Madison Senior Center for a spaghetti lunch to discuss business, with a little dose of levity to make everything more enjoyable. Ginger Jarvis played a little “dinner music” on the piano, “Nothing Could be Finer Than to Be in Carolina,” and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to Megan Earnhardt, Campaign Associate of United Way of Big Bend, whose birthday was the following day. Two of the men who had worn white shirts to the spaghetti meal took turns tying large bibs around each other’s necks.
When the discussion turned to the celebrity waiter dinner, there was discussion of United Way table cards, brochures, posters and a large banner for the dining area; everyone was pleased to have so many people who had volunteered to participate as Celebrity Waiters, enough to divide up into three teams so all the volunteers would get a chance to serve. Although there were other events scheduled for the same evening, since the Celebrity Waiter Dinner would run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., most felt that there would be enough time for people to fit in the dinner at Shelby’s with their other events.
The second major event, the appreciation dinner given by the United Way team for the “Leadership Level” contributors of $500 or more, took up the remainder of the meeting. The original date of Nov. 5 would not have allowed enough time to get invitations out, and no one wanted to go as late as December because there were too many holiday conflicts by then. Weekend dates were discussed, but some of those present felt that November weekends would be far too crowded with family obligations for a lot of people. Fridays belong to football in Madison County, and Wednesdays are church nights for many.
That left Tuesdays and Thursdays. The date chosen was Nov. 29, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving; time enough for people to get hungry again after Thanksgiving dinner, but before the busy Christmas season had begun; there was no football and no other foreseeable conflicts that anyone was aware of. The event will be a reception held in the dining hall at the Senior Center, chosen so that the contributors could see firsthand where some of their contributions were going.
Kim Halfhill mentioned the possibility of coming up with some really creative invitations to make the event more memorable.
“No singing postcards, Kim,” someone laughed. “We don’t want to scare off contributors!”
“Oh, but the idea is, they’d pay us to STOP singing,” said Ginger Jarvis. “Believe me, they’d pony up.”