BY LEANN DILBECK –
Friday night’s 2nd Annual Celebrity Waiter Event was successful in raising just over $17,000 to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Polk County Relay for Life held at the Mena Mountain Resort. Almost 200 guests attended.
This year’s Relay Chair Crystal Mos said that the event had grown, with 20 tables sold, up from 17 the previous year. She expressed her gratitude to the community who continually shows overwhelming support to help fund cancer research and support to families battling the disease.
Guests showed their support once again in full grandeur, all while having fun. Various eras like the 60’s, and 80’s were represented, along with Beatniks and T-Birds from the 50’s. Crews from Nascar, Duck Dynasty and the Big Bang Theory also made their appearances along with various others. An occasional cowboy and cowgirl were even seen.
The event was dedicated to local cancer survivor Chris Jones. Jones was surrounded by his parents (Jimmy and Belinda Jones), wife (Leslie), and daughters (Marley and Keeley) to accept the honor. His son and daughter-in-law (Bobby and Taylor) were unable to attend.
Following the auction led by Shannon Hunter, Elvis was in the house to entertain guests as he performed on stage before taking to the crowd, singing many of the legend’s well-known favorites.
Taking this year’s top awards were Monroe Miller for “Sneakiest.” Earning the Best Spirit Award was the crew from the Big Bang Theory led by Andy and Tracy Youngblood and Greg and Lavonne Hickl. The “Beatniks” led by Scott and Ashley Vacca won Best Theme. Jim Stroope earned multiple top awards including Best Dressed, Most Tips, and the coveted Celebrity of the Year.
At the close of the event, the local Relay Committee challenged guests for an additional $100 and they would take a plunge into the pool. Norma Rocha graciously arose to the challenge and the Committee took the plunge, showing their amazing spirit for their cause.