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Local Celebrities Wait Tables for Eighth Annual Celebrity Serve, Hosted by Boone Independent Restaurants


by Mariel Gambino 

May 28, 2013. Celebrity Serve, a fundraiser where local celebrities volunteer to act as waitresses and waiters at participating members of Boone Independent Restaurants, is holding its eighth annual benefit on June 4, 5 and 6.

viewerThis year, at least ten percent or more of all proceeds from the three-day event benefit High Country United Way (HCUW), an organization that serves Watauga and Avery County. HCUW encourages local members of the community to give, advocate, and volunteer. Their mission is to unite people and resources to improve lives in the High Country.

“We are very, very excited.” said Ashley Cook, Development Director for HCUW.

HCUW was selected to be the charity in the 2013 Celebrity Serve event by Tim Baxter, campaign co-chair, a Celebrity Serve committee member and a broker and realtor for Baxter Mountain Properties.

The other five members of the Celebrity Serve committee are Jack and Lisa Pepper, owners of Pepper’s Restaurant; Gwen Dhing, owner of Makotos; Mary Hall, owner of Bandana’s Bar B Que & Grill; and Sherrie Norris, editor of All About Women.

“Right now, their focus is on education, income and health.” said Gwen Dhing, owner of Makoto’s and also a member of the Celebrity Serve committee.

Dhing reminisced about the very first Celebrity Serve event in 2006, which profited High Country Hospice. Over the years, Celebrity Serve has helped organizations such as OASIS, the Hospitality House, High Country Soccer Association and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 2012, the committee, restaurants and celebrities raised $25,000 to profit the Watauga Country Emergency and Rescue Squad, the back-up ambulance service and the primary rescue service of Watauga County.

Local celebrities such as Coach Moore and the ASU football team, Coaches Jason Capel, Bobby Kummer and the ASU men’s basketball team, and Richard Sparks, President and CEO of the healthcare system are participating in the 2013 event.

Dhing was animated as she discussed this year’s upcoming Celebrity Serve, explaining how the celebrity works alongside with the server to do as much as they can. Usual waiters and waitresses look forward to this night as their civic duty as well, forfeiting all tips for the benefit of the HCUW.

Jack Pepper, owner of Pepper’s Restaurant, commended sacrifices made by the wait staff along this three-day event.

“I’m very proud of the servers that take part in this event.” Pepper said.

Dhing encouraged the community to come out and support the restaurants that are giving a portion of their proceeds to the HCUW.

Here is a list of participating restaurants and celebrities:

Tuesday June 4th

Makoto’s (Lunch & Dinner):

Lunch: Richard Sparks (Pres/CEO APRHS), Gene Fowler (Publisher Mountain Times Publications), Paul Moore (Asst. Director of The Wellness Center) 
Dinner: Headliner Celebrity:   Dexter Jackson (Former ASU Football Player), John Mena (Haircut 101), Dr. Wayne Eberle (WCS), Jason Triplett (Wells Fargo), Jason Capel and Bobby Kummer (ASU basketball coaches).

Casa Rustica (Dinner):

Elizabeth & Luci Pedroni, Ashley Cook (High Country United Way & Appalachian Rhythm Clogging Studio), Elise Sigmon (Appalachian Rhythm Clogging Studio) & Tommy Light (Hair Stylist)

Town Tavern (Dinner):

Blake Brown, Chris Moore (Coach Moore’s Son), Denise Brown, Billy Grimes (retired Deputy), Brad Vines (Town of Boone), Nate Dogg Seamone (ASUTailgate winner)

Canyons (Dinner):

Tracy Brown, Cindy Benson, Ray Gouge and Susanna Russell

Woodlands (Dinner):

Rhonda Gailes, Bob Miller, Keith McDonald, Beth Clark, Tim Knight, Cowboy Mike and Billy Barker

Wednesday June 5th

Pepper’s Restaurant (Dinner):

Pasta Wench – Andrea Morrell, Bald Guy (Bald Guy Brew), Bone Thugs N Carmody (Appalachian Rollergirl), Jim Cottrell (President French Swiss Ski College), Brian Crutchfield (Retired BREMCO)

The Rock (Dinner):

Patrick Sukow (Blowing Rock Principal), Mrs. Clawson (Mayor of Boone) & Kevin Richardson (ASU band director)

Mr Original Gyros (Dinner):

Noah Lockamy (Perennial Sidekick (CasaNoah)- Highway 106 and 102.3)

Johnathon Roten (Roten in the Morning- WATA AM 1450) & David Still (Meteorologist Raysweather.com)

Café Portofino (Dinner):

Appalachian Roller Girls: Sarah Holt, Lisa Everhart, Eliza Hare, Autumn Reagan, Mason Herman & Katie Betz

Char (Dinner):

Ray Russell (raysweather.com), Ashley Wilson (Mid-day Host- Ashley Wilson’s Short Order Lunch – Highway 106/102.3)

Joel Gillie (Morning Drive Host-Joel Gillie in the Mornings- Highway 106 and 102.3)

The Peddler (Dinner):

Andy Harkins (Nationwide Harkins Agency), Kay Harkins (Studio K), Daniel Minton (High Country Insurance), Vanessa Minton (High Country Dance Studio) Jim Godwin (Hardin Park)

Thursday June 6th

Bandana’s (Dinner):

Lynn Haggaman (Sheriff), Ruth Haggaman, Dee Dee Rominger (Captain), Gunther Doer (Chief of ASU Police), Dana Crawford (Chief of Boone PD), Alford Glover (Owner of Boone Ford)

Jerry Moore, Former ASU Football Coach Appearance Schedule









The Rock


Earth Fare










Mr. Original Gyros


Mellow Mushroom


Casa Rustica


Dan’l Boone Inn




Town Tavern


Café Portofino


















For further information regarding HCUW, click at http://www.highcountryunitedway.org/.