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A good cause
Celebrity breakfast raises $5,200
4 Celebrity Waiter pic1
LeeAnn Harter dressed as Minnie Pearl, Hee Haws comedic matriarch, collects tips from diners Friday during Family Connections fifth annual Celebrity Waiter fundraiser at Longhorn Steakhouse. The event raised more than $5,200 for the groups efforts that support local children. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Local "celebrities" say they're going to stick to their day jobs after spending Friday morning in the grueling food service industry.

More than a dozen celebrity waiters poured coffee, cleaned up spills and cleared plates during Dawson County Family Connection's fifth annual breakfast at Longhorn Steakhouse.

After three years as a "celebrity" waiter at the event, Sen. Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega, said he's getting more comfortable in the food service role that "is harder than it looks."

"I've done this for several years and it's finally getting easier. It's always fun to participate in these charities to give back to the community," he said. "It's a great organization with a good cause. They do a lot for the community, so I was proud to be a part of it."

The "celebrity" wait staff also included county commissioners, city council members, state leaders and a variety of volunteers from numerous service organizations.

More than 200 people attended the breakfast Friday that raised more than $5,200. The funds are reinvested in the community through various Family Connections programs that benefit local children.

Commission Chair Mike Berg, who represents the county on Family Connection's board of directors, said he looks forward to the event year after year.

"What a wonderful experience to bring the public out not only to look at Family Connection, but the ability to get together to talk to one another, and that's just about as important to me," he said. "For us, it works both ways. This does a lot for Family Connection. It's their only fundraiser, but it also gets the community out to talk to the leadership and that's a positive."

Part of a statewide initiative of community collaboratives, Family Connection brings community partners together to develop, implement and evaluate plans that address the serious challenges facing local children and families.

Tim Singleton, who owns the Dawsonville Longhorn, is currently serving as chairman of the local Family Connection board of directors.

"This shows what a strong community can do when they come together in support of bettering the lives of families and children in Dawson County," he said.

A barbershop quartet, face painter and a look-a-like of Hee Haw's comedic matriarch Minnie Pearl entertained the crowds.

"Thanks to all the volunteers, local elected city and county and state officials and community leaders that put on an apron," Singleton said. "You ‘served' your community well."