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Mary Michael Kells, Sue O’Conner and Charlene Rogers were the driving force behind the most prestigious fundraising event to ever take place in Grant County.
The three “First Ladies of Fine Dining” spearheaded the Feed The People Charity Dinner held last Friday in the beautiful, brick dinning room at the former Forum Restaurant in downtown Williamstown.
Also endowed with great responsibilities were Candace Faulkner, Cindy Reynolds, Jessica Reynolds, Larry Spears and someone from the local chamber that does not want to be recognized and whom I will call, Madam X.
The dinner netted over $1,500 that will be used to keep the Free Kitchen in Dry Ridge open and providing nutritious lunchtime meals to the community’s hungry.
Thirty-six individuals filling the beautifully decorated dining room paid a hefty $50 per person price tag. Charlene Rogers provided beautifully hand-scripted nameplates for those who had made early reservations. Woodcarvings decorated the room.
Two weeks earlier, the event was thrown into turmoil when the Forum Restaurant suddenly closed. Alternate plans were discussed but Faye and Dana Haynes, owners of Creative Cabinet Concepts and owners of the building where the Forum was, stepped up and offered the use of the facility.
The next problem was that the kitchen was unusable. Marlene McComas, owner of Marlene’s a few steps up the street, came to the rescue by offering the use of her catering kitchen. She also provided the china, silverware, drinking glasses and other associated items.
Gary Barber, manager of the Dry Ridge Save-A-Lot, a generous supporter of the Free Kitchen, offered free Cornish hens when he heard about the menu choice.
The menu choice, oh my, did a cornucopia in Heaven break open and fall to Earth?
“The food was great, the entertainment was fabulous and it was all for a good cause,” said Bryan Miles, a guest.
The menu consisted of a salad of three varieties of lettuce with a special marinated topping of colorful red, yellow, orange and green bell peppers with artichokes.
Then came the plate with an entire Cornish hen, cornmeal dressing with a special sautéed mixture of vegetables, sweet potatoes, spicy green beans and a fresh whole warm cranberry mixture in a special cup on the plate. Finally, along with some toasted bread, a small test tasting of specially prepared hot and spicy hominy was offered in a special cup.
Then, Mary Michael Kells, Sue O’Connor and Charlene Rogers bestowed upon the diners a choice of six desserts that may have been created in Heaven because they were heavenly. One cake was an offering from Karen Faulkner.
The dining room was abuzz with excitement and anticipation and quite a few guests asked for and received seconds and thirds.
Comedians Ray Price, from Cincinnati, and mad-Matt Linville, from Harrison County, took the stage and entertained everyone with a wide spectrum of humor. Larry Spears, of the Spears Foundation, also stepped up and tried his hand at standup comedy.
The charity dinner was the final dinner of the season in what became known as the Historic Hogan House dinners. Each dinner was extremely unique and seating was limited to the first who called.
Dinner organizers, the names mentioned above and myself, may offer three more events beginning in May 2010.
But, though the dinners are over for this year, there is one more exciting event coming Nov. 20.
Richard Osterlind, richardosterlind.com, travels the world entertaining people with his abilities in ESP, mind reading, psychogeneses and suggestion. His unique blend of ability, talent and humor crease a comfortable and relaxed, yet challenging and stimulating experience for participants as well as member of the audience.
He will perform at the Grant County High School Auditorium on Nov. 20. The show is from 7 to 9 p.m. and tickets are pre-sold at $12 or $15 at the event. All proceeds go to help keep the Free Kitchen open and serving food. Watch for details in next week’s Grant County Express.
You will be amazed and bewildered by Richard Osterlind’s talent. Mark the date on your calendar.
(Ken Stone is the publisher for the Grant County News. He can be reached at 824-3343 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)