Celebrity Serve returns April 3

By Sherrie Norris (sherrie.norris@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Mar. 22, 2012 | Modified: Apr. 4, 2012
Celebrity Serve returns April 3

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System CEO Richard Sparks, center, serves drinks at Makoto’s in Boone during a previous Celebrity Serve event.
File photo



Celebrity Serve is returning for its seventh year to benefit another good cause in Watauga County.
On Tuesday, April 3, dozens of well-known personalities in and around the area will volunteer their time to help serve at participating restaurants in an effort to raise money for the Watauga County Emergency and Rescue Squad.

What originally started as a simple way to help fund unmet needs for hospice patients in Watauga County quickly evolved into an annual and highly anticipated event for many others.

The ongoing success of the one-day fundraiser is made possible through the generosity of local restaurant owners, who agree to participate by donating at least 10 percent of their daily proceeds to the chosen beneficiary — and to the staff who donate tips and often work for free or minimum wage on that day.

In the past six years, Celebrity Serve has raised more than $175,000 for nonprofit organizations, including Hospice, Make a Wish Foundation, High Country Soccer, the Hospitality House, Watauga Education Foundation and OASIS.

This year’s event is being coordinated by the recently formed Boone Independent Restaurant Association, which includes Pepper’s, Bandana’s and Makoto’s, whose owners, Jack and Lisa Pepper, Mary and Mike Hall, and Gwen and Ronald Dhing are charter members of the Celebrity Serve committee, along with Tim Baxter and Sherrie Norris.

“We are proud to present the seventh annual Celebrity Serve event to benefit Watauga County Rescue Squad,” said John Pepper, co-founder of BIR.

“The mission of BIR is to unite the independent restaurants in and around Boone to preserve the individuality of the community served by each member establishment, to improve quality, service and social responsibility of each one and to ensure the longevity of our member establishments.”

Bringing these establishments together for such a good cause so early in BIR formation, Pepper said, is a perfect way to prove its strength and support of community.

This year’s Celebrity Serve will include numerous dining options for lunch and dinner and an large selection of raffles, including those for airfare and park-hopper tickets to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., tickets to Dollywood, gift certificates to select resorts, restaurants, valuable merchandise and much more.

Having learned of the far-reaching effects of the Watauga County Rescue Squad and that its service could be impacted by recent budget cuts from the county, the event’s selection committee felt compelled to name the organization as this year’s Celebrity Serve beneficiary.

Celebrating its 50th year of service to Watauga County, the volunteer- staffed Watauga County Emergency and Rescue Squad Inc. is available to serve more than 45,000 residents within 313 square miles — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year — at no charge.

“We are the back-up ambulance service and the primary rescue service (extrication, carry-outs, searches, specialized rescue) for Watauga County,” Chief Randy Collins said. “Our nonpaid volunteers maintain and staff a fleet of three ambulances, two rescue trucks, one quick-response vehicle, specialty rescue unit and associated equipment.”

Watauga Rescue Squad relies upon donations from the community and fundraisers for financial support.

See future issues of this publication for more information about participating restaurants and “celebrities” or visit http://www.booneindependentrestaurants.org/celebserve.

So far, the list of participating restaurants includes Mellow Mushroom, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Sunrise Grill, Bandana’s, Canyons, Makoto’s, Pepper’s, Woodlands, Casa Rustica, The TApp Room, The Town Tavern, Dan’l Boone Inn, The Peddler, Joy Bistro and Char.

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