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'Celebrities' raise money at breakfast
Funds connect community efforts
From left, Rich Pilch, A.J. Puckett, Terry Gillim and Sam Frankhouser of the North Georgia Barbershop Singers were among the entertainers during the event. - photo by Michele Hester

A few glasses were dropped and a plate or two landed in the trash, but overall the “celebrity” waiters at LongHorn Steakhouse got the job done Friday morning.

Nearly a dozen local "celebrities" donned aprons for Dawson County Family Connection’s fourth annual breakfast, which raised nearly $3,000 for community efforts.

“This is not your standard fundraiser. It’s such a good time, and Family Connection does so much for the community,” said Chris Gaines, board member. “There are so many people out there that need help and they make the process so much easier.”

The funding from the breakfast will help the organization address challenges facing children and families in the community.

Part of a statewide initiative of community collaboratives, the local Family Connection aids area nonprofits such as the church alliance, child abuse prevention and youth mentoring, among others.

The group recently received funds to address the county’s growing drug problem and hired a director to oversee Dawson Against Substance Abuse.

More than 200 people attended the breakfast Friday. The "celebrity" wait staff also included county commissioners, city council members, several political candidates and a variety of volunteers from numerous service organizations.

“I love that they [Family Connection] thought out of the box with this unique fundraiser,” said Pat Anderson, who watched as her “celebrity” husband Larry served drinks, cleared plates and reset tables for a buffet-style breakfast of biscuits, eggs, bacon and sausage.

“The food is excellent and it has become a community event that so many look forward to every year.”

Family Connection Director Nancy Stites said she’s not sure who had the most fun — the diners or the waiters.

“There’s a lot of smiling. It just seems to be a picture of a very happy community,” she said. “We had a good continuous flow of diners throughout the morning.

“I like that this fundraiser attracts both adults and children and turns into good family time.”

A juggler, barbershop quartet, face painter and Jimmy Buffett look-a-like entertained the diners.

“Thanks to our sponsors, waiters, Tim Singleton and staff, board members and community for their support of families in Dawson County,” Stites said.