March 13, 2013 —
Oh, my aching feet! If ever I wondered whether I had missed my calling to work in food service, the answer is now crystal clear. A few months ago, I accepted an invitation to represent The River Reporter and take part in the 5th annual Sullivan County Boys and Girls Club Celebrity Dinner (www.bgorange.org) held this past weekend in Callicoon, NY (www.villaroma.com).
The event was an opportunity to raise funds for the organization and to provide those donating an evening of great food served by local celebrities, along with a fantastic show that amuses and entertains. This year’s theme, “Music from Your Youth,” allowed more than 40 well known Sullivan County residents to strut their stuff in outlandish costumes. Divided into teams, these celebs waited on tables to compete for “bragging rights” as the ultimate Tip Challenge winners, top honors ($5,732) going to first timers, Team Bethel Woods, for their Woodstock Hippies photo booth and regalia.
Truth be told, I was asked to be on a variety of teams. I’m guessing that it was not me but Dharma (the wonder dog) that was desirable as a member, but ultimately I decided to align myself (and her) with Team Italian Stallions, led by Thunder 102’s Paul Ciliberto and Michelle Semerano along with Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini, Sullivan County Partnership’s Allan Scott (www.scpartnership.com) and newly appointed Partnership VP Michele Klugman-Resnick as we donned wigs, costumes and makeup to perform as “Legends in Concert.” Cellini and Ciliberto’s “Blues Brothers” routine was a smash, in addition to the Partnership duo’s Ike and Tina Turner and Semerano’s Liza Minnelli. I was elected to impersonate Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and did my best to keep up with the rest of the pack, but of course, Dharma stole what little thunder I might have had.
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther again was in demand, but her team of hippies had some stiff competition from the Bethel Woods “stoners,” not to mention the fierce contest and incredible performances from Team KISS, Team ABBA, Team Roscoe (and their bagpipers), The Beatles, the B-52’s, Kenny G, and Simon and Garfunkel. Oh, the list goes on. I thought my crew was joking when informing me that we, the “entertainers” would be serving (and busing) the four-course meal, but they were quite serious, and as a result, three days later my dogs are still barkin.’