Gentlemen’s Sampler brings cash for scholarships
By Josiah George
The food was good. So was the cause.
Stands the reason hundreds of people anxiously flocked to get into the Pavilion Center last Saturday.
While folks enjoyed the variety of dishes, they also contributed to the Delta Kappa Omega scholarship drive for another year. The first Gentlemen’s Sampler was held 15 years ago.
It has since become one of the Delta Kappa Omega biggest fund-raiser.
“The funds that were raised at the event will contribute to scholarships for high school and collegiate students, assisting with programs with the youth services,” said Tiffany A. Randolph, president of the organization.
It wasn’t clear how much Saturday’s event raised, although the organization reported that donors have given $11,850 so far this year.
A high-profile cast of servers, including Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil and former state representative Alan Williams were among the servers. They dished out Southern dishes, but supporters had a vast variety of cuisines from around the world to choose from.
All to the backdrop of music that included a variety of old-school and today’s music. Children even mingled with the adults.
While the event was held at the Pavilion for the first time, it was Shauntae Deas’Banks’ fifth time supporting the fund-raiser.
She found the strawberry parfait especially appealing.
“The strawberries tasted very fresh and the cake was mouthwatering every time you took a bite,” she said.
Dishes were catered by chefs who had to submit an application with their dish.
Some presented the traditional.
“I signed up to do shrimp and grits initially but that was too common. So, I decided to bring the collard green egg rolls to the event instead,” said chief Tashi Williams. “Nobody could get enough of my dish and it was all gone before the event was over.”
Organizers said it took six months of planning to pull of the fund-raiser. It seemingly was worthwhile, though.
“We are super excited and happy that the community came together to buy tickets for this event that we are hosting this year,” said chair Tammy Hamlet, who added that plans are already in the works for the next sampler on June 27 next year. “Save the date and we will return here again to make it bigger and better.”