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Apr 18

Celebrity Waiters entertain patrons and raise over $5,000 for Relay for Life

Posted on April 18, 2018 at 11:31 AM by Holly Hollman

Celebrity Waiter group photo 2018

As children walked into Applebee’s in Athens on Tuesday night (April 17, 2018), the excited exclamations and finger pointing began. 

“It’s Captain America!” many said. 

Athens Officer Michael Stainbrook exchanged his police uniform for the Captain America costume to wait tables and earn tip money for the American Cancer Society for the City of Athens Relay for Life Celebrity Waiters Night. The Celebrity Waiters earned $5,130.25 in tips.

“That is the most we have raised at this event,” said City of Athens Relay for Life Team Captain Holly Hollman. “There was a steady crowd throughout the evening.”

 East Limestone Band Director Jennifer “Miss Sam” Janzen raised the most in tips with $1,640.23. Some of her students rolled quarters to give to her as tips.

 “My supporters helped me make an apron that said, ‘I fight for,’ and the apron included names of teachers, students and others in the community who have fought or are fighting cancer,” Janzen said.

Included on the apron was the name “Jimmy Gill,” the former city councilman who enjoyed competing to raise the most tips at Celebrity Waiters Night. Gill died from cancer before he could reach his goal of raising $1,000.

Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks placed second, raising $1,267.38. A post on the East Limestone Band page stated that although Marks was their “adopted mayor,” the East community would support Janzen. When the East community saw on Facebook that Janzen won for the fourth time, one supporter suggested that Marks help conduct band camp this year.

“I like getting Miss Sam’s supporters stirred up because they’ll donate so she can beat me,” Marks said.

Athens City Councilman Frank Travis placed third with $717.23. Travis joked his goal was to outraise the police officer and firefighter.

Captain America, aka Officer Stainbrook, raised $620.82. Athens High Football Coach Cody Gross raised $456.23, and Athens Firefighter Jordan Pugh raised $428.36. Pugh, like Captain America, was popular with children. He wore part of his turnout gear to wait tables, and children asked to meet the firefighter.

Gross and Janzen are collaborating on how they can improve the competition next year by possibly incorporating both Athens and East bands and football teams.

“Not only did we raise a lot of money for Relay, but we also impressed citizens and visitors to our community who saw volunteers working hard to support a worthy cause,” Marks said. “One woman who just moved here from West Virginia said she loved Athens, and she would never leave our city.”

Hollman commended the Applebee’s managers and wait staff for collaborating with the city team to accomplish a record setting event. Each Celebrity Waiter worked with a waiter or waitress throughout the night.

“Thanks for all who came out and supported this great cause,” Gross wrote on his Twitter feed. “By the way, waiters and waitresses have a tough job. Thankful for what they do