With supporters out in full force, Saturday evening’s Celebrity Dinner and Game Night proved to be a “record-breaking” event for the American Red Cross of Scotland and Robeson Counties.
Some 275 people attended the event for an evening of food, drink, dancing, and games, though top billing went to the event volunteers, many of whom come in costume and performed skits with themes from The Flintstones and Two Broke Girls to failed presidential attempts.
“We reached out to folks in the community who donated things - restaurants donated the diner items, the Waffle House donated the cups, Jerry’s donated our tray, so we had a lot of help from the community in setting up our diner items at our tables,” said Margaret Dickerson, who with Julie McLean dressed as Caroline and Max of Two Broke Girls, decorating their designated tables in a diner theme in keeping with the show. “We found the dresses online and a church member of ours added the detail to make the strips and the apron. It was funny, even walking in the parking lot people knew who we were.”
The event judges deemed Murphy-Brown, LLC’s Moonshiners act the funniest while Best Table Decor and Best in Show were given to “Harriet Potter” by Magic by Julie, Most Original Theme to Railroad Friction Products’ Bachelorette/Duck Dynasty/Grey’s Anatomy/Charlie Sheen mashup, Best Celebrity Lookalike to Eric Byrd Insurance’s Star Wars skit, and Best Parade Performance to WLNC Radio’s Peanuts act.
Following the performances, attendees were presented with a dinner of chicken, pork, beans, and potatoes by Chartwell’s Dining Services.
“There are so many people that helped this event be a success - it’s an amazing group and we really appreciate everyone: the volunteers, the sponsors, St. Andrews, the people who attended, and the committee that met for months to pull it together,” said Carol Ann Lentz, executive director of the American Red Cross of Scotland and Robeson Counties. “I’ve talked to so many people and they’re already talking about how to improve it for next year and what their theme is going to be.”
In a new dimension of the dinner, many Red Cross volunteers told about their experiences on video and posted those videos online to be voted on at a cost of $1 per vote. But Red Cross volunteer Dawn Woodard shared her Red Cross story in person on Saturday night.
In September 1995, while five months pregnant with her first child and a week after losing her mother to cancer, Woodard suffered second and third-degree burns over a third of her body as a result of a grease fire.
“I spent eight or nine weeks in Chapel Hill in ICU,” Woodard said with her 17-year-old son Seth by her side. “The doctors weren’t sure if I would make it or if my child would make it, and if it weren’t for the Red Cross and the blood that I received, my son wouldn’t be standing here today. I know I can’t praise them enough for what they’ve brought to me… I can’t do enough for what the Red Cross does, and I wish I could give back more.”
The event, chaired by John Ridge and Angi Romaine, was an overwhelming success, raising nearly $32,000 for the local Red Cross chapter, according to Lentz.
“We broke records on the silent auction and will definitely be doing the online voting this year,” she said. “We had a record dollar amount form corporate sponsors and record number of corporate sponsors. It has been a huge success; I’m very pleased with it.”