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Celebrity challenge: Chamber to host annual dinner July 26

July 16, 2014
By MEL TOADVINE (mtoadvine@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

If you haven't bought your ticket yet, you better not wait much longer because tickets sell out fast to the Celebrity Challenge Dinner put on by the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce, Saturday July 26.

And talk about having fun. You haven't seen anything yet, says Inke Baker, executive director of the chamber, who said this is the third year for the annual event which is one of the chamber's main fundraisers.

"This is the time to come and have a great dinner, bring a lot of dollar bills with you and you and your table guests can challenge the 'celebrities' who will be serving your dinner. Throwing a dollar bill or several dollar bills their way will not only get you great service, but you can make them dance a jig, sing a popular tune or almost anything else that is legal.

Article Photos

Larry Becker

"That's the fun of it all," Baker said.

The Celebrity Challenge dinner 2014 starts at 6 p.m. with dinner and the "challenges," music and dancing and it's all held at The Hut restaurant at 5150 Buckingham Road, just outside Lehigh.

Tickets are $50 a person with limited seating and a table of eight costs $360 ($45 a person), and that ticket includes a free round of golf at Mirror lakes Golf Club.

"What it is," Baker said, "is a chance to get served by celebs and politicians from Lehigh Acres and Lee County. You can take advantage of paying your waiter to do almost everything for you," Baker said. Those bucks will go to help the chamber as a major fundraiser along with the cost of the dinner.

On the serious side though, Baker asks that those who attend bring food such as peanut butter, jelly or pasta sauce with you to help Lehigh Community Services and if you do, you will get your silverware free, she said. Lehigh Community Services aids the needy in Lehigh with food.

On hand as "waiters" are some 17 or so politicians, and office-holders in the area.

There's an opportunity that is free to all who attend and that is to have your picture taken in the photo booth like the one used as the January gala.

"We have a capacity of 150 people at The Hut," Baker said. "And tickets are selling fast. Usually we have sell-outs so call the chamber at 369-3322 to see if there are tickets left," she said.

And who's going as a political celebrity? In addition to all the locals in the area, there is a chance of a candidate for Florida governor to show up," Baker hints.

The 17 others confirmed already include three candidates for the Lee County commissioners' race and incumbent Brian Hamman, who will be running to keep his shortly-held seat.

There will be David Deetscreek and Mike Bonacolta from the East County Water Control District.

"They're the lucky ones who didn't have anyone to file to fun against them in November," Baker laughed.

Lehigh's new Honorary Mayor Osman Gruhonjic will read to perform and do tricks for the guests if you tip him.

There's candidates for the county school board who plan to be on hand.

Larry Becker, who heads the Lehigh Acres Fire & Rescue District, will be there and lots of people may want to tip him to dance a jig or sing some favorite song.

Lt. Paul Cummins, the second in command at the East District Lee County Sheriff's Office in Lehigh will be there in good spirits and candidates Terry B. Cramer for State Representative of District 77 and Larry Aguilar, State Representative for district 79 will be there.

Lots of people in Lehigh will really enjoy throwing tips Matt Caldwell's way, Baker said. He is your state representative, representing District 79 in Tallahassee.

And there may be a surprise for the political celebs who raise the most tips for the night, Baker said.

It's not a harbinger as who will win the elections though, she laughed.

In addition to the entertainment by the political celebs, DJ Judy will be on hand to provide music.

If you own a business and haven't sponsored a table yet, Baker suggests you call fast as time is close for the big event.

The event in the past was known as the Celebrity Waiters and Waitress Dinner and was put on by Lehigh Community Services. It has gained in popularity over the years until now when it is considered one of the most popular events in Lehigh for local folks.

 
 

 

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