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The Columbia Star
Columbia, South Carolina
May 13, 2004     The Columbia Star
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May 13, 2004

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4 -   3. 20o4 People  T. co-o.. s,' Friends help Aid enefit Foundation For any Midlands organization to generate more than $100,000 from one event could only be achieved via lots of friends, and Dining with Friends had hundreds of them. Their lucky 13th year of hosting the community-wide event surpassed the expectations of the all-volunteer AIDS Benefit Foundation. The 117 individual parties and dessert finale for all dinner guests, plus the sale of original art plat- ters and other fine art brought in more than $110,000 for research and direct assistance to be returned to the local community. Matt Chisling, who oversaw several committees, said the event's most essen- tial friend is Palmetto Government Benefits Administration (PGBS), the division of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, in whose expansive headquarters the dessert finale is held. "The building is perfect far the dessert finale and for displaying the art," Chisling said, "In fact, I can't think of any other that would work as well." To get the desserts to the site required nearly a dozen volunteer-driven vehicles, picking up around town. Beginning on Friday and continuing up 'til time for guests to start arriving, more than 200 trays of desserts, donated by as many as 67 local caterers and restau- rants, were arranged in the corporate kitchen. Then volunteers, including some PBGS staff members, took over with cake knives and pudding spoons. "In addition to allowing us to have the event there, PBGAjust helps us in so many other ways. They even remove fur- niture and store it off-site to make room for a couple a thousand guests. They pro- vide coffee and juices, tableware, and linens for the gala," Chisling said. "Some of their staff members are part of the clean up crew, they have their own secu- rity,staffon site the night of the event. A number of their top executives even give us their personal checks to help in this important cause." Chisling explained that all guests who attended any of the 117 parties around town were invited to the closing gala, and anyone who did not attend a party was still able to purchase a ticket for just the dessert finale. "The event brings out a diversity of people you don't see any other time, any other place in Columbia," Chiseling said. "I'm always pleasantly surprised not only by the size of the crowd, but also the mix." Even the lure of the city's most sumptuous desserts has not always brought out guests from every party being held around town. "In the past guests have sometimes been having such a good time at the parties, they haven't made it to the dessert finale." This year several host groups held their dinner parties a week or so ahead of the designated evening so their guests would not feel conflicted about making it to the gala. Those arriving earliest had the eas- iest view of the art that has become inte- gral to the financial success of the event. The 31 Rosenthal platters that had been painted by some of the Midlands' most revered artists, as well as other original paintings and sculptures, were on view and for sale during the event. "Never, to my knowledge, can you get 1,800 people in this state looking at 167 pieces of art in a two-hour period," Chisling said, "much less selling three- quarters of it." He said art sales were significant to the total revenues generat- ed by the event. Acknowledging that putting the multi-faceted event together each year has become easier as committee chairs gained experienced, Chisling said the plans for next year are already in the works. Wie always have more artists willing to paint platters than we have platters to give them. And many people who hosted parties tell us at the dessert finale to count on them again next year." Those who hosted Dining With Friends parties this year were Jill Arehart Bruce Bahr and Christian Thee Janice Baker Den and Eleanor Barton Mary Lou Benton Thomas W. Black Jean Bohner and Lynn Weber James Bouknight and Ramsey Still Joey Bouknight Brenda Bowen Sally Boyd and Les W'flson Tara Branham Stacey Brennan Franchot Brown Julie Brown and Susan Childs Todd Burkett Toby Burleson and John Shelton Jim Burns Kevin Bush and Brian Banks Robert Butt Dayne Campbell Russell Cann Carlynn Cary Jennifer Chapman Sammy Clemons and Paul McMfllan Carolyn and Alan I. Conway Betty Cox John Cox Rosie Craig Bess Crawford-Dawson Stephen Creed and Patty Walters Tommy Cross and Bill Yates Stan Cummings Marilyn Curry Anne Cushman and Jay Bender Den Danford and Vasa Cate Jayne Darke Heidi Darr-Hope Pat Derajtys and Daphne Joseph Theresa Derrick Diana Diana Jeff Diehl Kimberly Dressier Monica Duvall Eddie Early Glenn Farr Susan Fedor Rick Felder and Dave Borrell Pearl Fernandes Kim and Bruce Field David Fisher and Mitch Livingston Sylvia Flint Dennie Floyd Artie Folk and David Ray Frankie Fort and Jane (}timer Karla Fulmer Susan Fnlmer Bambi Gaddist Bruce Gainey Ethan Cmllagher & Abigail Tyson-CmUai0ter Ken Gill and Bryan Camp Sam Givens and David Hardee Frances and Sara June Goldstein Andy and Carrie Graves Paula Griffin Stann Gwynn and Edd Thornburg Harold Haddox Michael Haigler Bob Hall Deborah Haney and Kate Kleinfelter Manley Harrison and Aaron Jophlin Scott and Indi Hawkins Larry Hembre and Joe Hudson Torri Hiett and Cheryl Loretan Mary Beth Holman Robyn Holmes Pei Hughes Erin Hundley Becky Hunter Sam Hunter Anthony Imperial Esther Isom and  Coward Graham Jarrett Brian W. Jeffcoat Kathy Johnson Sandra Johnson Scott Johnson Kerry Johnston Mitch Journey and Keith Blanton Michelle Kelly Gina Langston Joella Lastica James Lee and Deborah Leverette Cynnie Longworth Ed Madden and Nigel Mahaffey and Jeff March Leyle and Cleveland McBeth 1 Reggie McCarn Barbara and Elizabeth McLendo Jemie Meachem Edena G. Meetze John Miller Brian Morgan Gary Morris Phil Morris and Sheila Morris Roger Mull Lidia Navarrette Glen Neely Susie Newman Janet and Sabrina Odom Kurt Olivier and Kaya Outen Chalica and Harris and Patricis Larry Pearco Beth Phibbs Vicki Phipps David Pittman Pare Presley Tony Price Nancy Raley Mims and Ron Rust Irma Santana Tom Shaw Kirby Shealy Lynn Shirley Nekki Shutt and Andy Sidden Myron Singleton and Wil Sligh Pare Smith Robbie Sockwell Jason Sprankie William Starrett Michael and Elizabeth Sweat Mitch Turner and USC Dennie Waish Lyn Walsh Marilyn Watkins Carolyn West and, David Williamson Mike Wilson Tombo Grille IIIII I I I IIII I IIIII HARPER Insurance Agency NEW Auto Insurance plan Btsr  psymnt Idln 256-7114 [ I IIII I I IIII II II I I I HARPER Insurance Agency Bulinen Pr 1 256-7114 Eau Claire Commun Rosen Appraisal Associates serving the public since 1956 Joe Rosen, MAI Harvey Rosen, SRA 1717 Laurel Street 252.9321 765.9889 (fax) I I I II II II II I I lllNllm Ptum bdd Pub r-,o  Mfg. of quality mattresses & box springs Family owned & operated for more tlum $0 years Is your graduate moving out? We sell mattresses in every size and price raqe. 400 CALHOUN STREET I I i i i iiii iii ii ii I ii iii .'b muc ,. * New & Used Instruments ""-" .Lessons (/1, * CDs, Tapes & Books .0000.sso00s cgm' lmLmt 710 Meeting Street W. Columbia 796-6477http :// Council honors its The Eau Claire Community Council recog- nised at its recent appreci- ation banquet area resi- dents who have con- tributed significantly to the quality of life in the neighborhoods over the last year. Lutheran Theologiel Seminary President Dr. H. Frederick Reisz Jr. received the evening's highest honor, the Dorcas J. Elledge Award which recognizes a community activist who has had the greatest impact on creating and securing a better Eau Claire/North Columbia image and life. Reisz has been active in the community since becoming president of the seminary in 1992. He fre- quently employs magic in his sermons and theologi- cal presentations and teachings. His wife May is an award-winning artist. They have two daughters, Katherine and Heather. The Educator of the Year award was presented to Irish Burrell-Anderson, an administrative assis- tant for Project GOAL, and Charmaine Randolph-Primus, also with Project GOAL. Randolph-Primns is a youth advocate and men- tot for adolescent girls. The Business Award went to three sisters whose new enterprise, Kernels and Kreme, was among the first to occupy the new North Main Plaza. Jennifer Clyburn Reed, Mignon Clyburn, and Angela Clyburn are the business owners, The Friends o Eau Claire Award wu present- ed to Mrs, Wardell Ameen, Mrs. Marion Harrison, and Mike Manis. Ameen is a VISTA worker at the Eau Claire Community Council with special emphasis on Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Intervention. She is also a Girl Scout leader and chair of the Islamic Parents, Teachers, Students Community Association. Harrison, a women's, youth and health advocate, is a can- cer survivors. She walks five miles a day, mentors youth and inspires com- munity leaders. Manis has served as executive direc- Park tot of the Eau Claire Development Corporation since 1997. He is the cur- rent chair of the SC Association of Community Corporations Board of Directors. Student Achievement Awards were Eau presented to Connie Barnes, a senior master of Dugan divinity student at Alvin Lutheran Seminary; elect, Tahlia Robinson, Columbia College; Marion Charlese Frizzel, ColumbiS i Yvonne MarloW, School. the year AdamS, Terra;