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Chamber’s Celeb Dinner called fun event

August 1, 2012
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

"It was a great time and I think everyone who came to the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber Commerce's first annual Celebrity Waiter Dinner had a good time," said Gary Bright, CEO and executive director of the Chamber.

There were 13 "celebrity" guests at the event which was held Saturday night, July 21.

It was held at Hodges University in the new Student Union Building and Bright said officials there went out of their way to make the event a success.

Article Photos

From left to right, Lee County Commissioner Ray Judah, East County Water Control member Nate Stout and Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann sing for tips at the Greater Lehigh Acres Celebrity Waiter Dinner.

More than 100 people turned out for the dinner and listened to music by Hidden Agenda and guitarist Sean Bright. He is the son of the Chamber's CEO. Hidden Agenda provided music during the cocktail hour and entertained when guests danced.

Sean Bright played his guitar while the group was eating.

Visitors were invited to the fun event to help the Chamber of Commerce with fundraising which goes to help community events and also the foundation that presents scholarships to Lehigh students headed for college.

"Everybody was encouraged to bring bills, dollar bills, five dollar bills and twenties," Bright laughed. "And those at the tables would tip their waiters for doing such things as dancing and singing and more," he said. "One of the tables had a $100 bill tip on it. Don't know who it was from," he said.

The celebrity waiter was held for several years by Lehigh Community Services which agreed to let the Chamber pick up the event.

"Our group at the Chamber put it together in four weeks or so. They did a great job," Bright said.

"The chairman and co-chairman of the committee who planned the event were Al DeLeon, chairman, and Tonda Soisson-Lawson, co-chairman. Several other Chamber members served on the committee.

The "celebrities" were:

Marcia Brooks, dean of students at Hodges University; Rep. Matt Caldwell, state representative, District 79; Ron Curtis, Lee County Sheriff's Office commander in Lehigh; Linda Doggett, clerk of the Circuit Court for Lee County; Byron Donalds, candidate for U.S. Representative for District 19; Larry Hart, Lee County tax collector,

Ray Judah, board of county commissioners, District 3; Frank Mann, board of county commissioners, District 5; Matt Miller, candidate for board of county commissioners District 5; Rae Nicely, executive director at Lehigh Community Services; Joe Pearson, chairman of the board of directors for the Chamber; Mary Rawl, executive director at Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium; and Nathan Stout, East County Water Control District, Seat 5.

"We thought it would be a good and fun event to have to raise money because we didn't have anything planned at this time. The next thing we have going is the Chamber's Expo You & Your World for Sept. 15 and then a golf tournament on October 6 and a Diamonds Concert on Dec. 8," Bright said.

"Everyone enjoyed themselves. Matt Miller sang for tips and did Linda Doggett. And we had all the women at the dinner, including the celebs singing We Are Family.

"Larry Hart and Matt Caldwell sang On The Road again for tips and we had a trio singing that included Ray Judah, Ray Stout and Frank Mann," Bright said.

"The whole event went beyond what we expected. It was just a great time for everyone."



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