>> Saturday, April 28, 2012
By GARY ABERNATHY
When attendees began arriving at 4:30 p.m. they were greeted by booths and displays from local vendors and a variety of food choices.
By 6:30 p.m., the audience had filed into the main auditorium at SSCC, which was packed wall to wall as co-hosts Leslie Ramsey of WVNU and Sharon Hughes of The Times-Gazette greeted the crowd.
The proprietors of TwentyFour Exchange began the evening's cooking demonstrations, showing how to make "Batter Up" chocolate chip cookies, and the audience laughed as Ann Morris mostly unsuccessfully attempted to walk her daughters Amy Robinson and Jo Sanborn through the process, while Robinson's daughter, Scarlett, rounded the bases for each successful step completed.
Next up were Real Living Classic Real Estate's Jenny Cameron, Brigette Waggoner and Melissa Riffee, who demonstrated how to make eggplant parmesan - and the recipe eventually went well even considering Cameron's unique version of grated cheese.
Last came Bob Lambert and Drew Hastings, and the audience roared as Lambert did his best to complete the recipe in spite of Hastings' futile efforts to understand or help in the process.
Local singer Tanner Ayres entertained the audience with two numbers and demonstrated why he has been asked to perform as an opening act at the Festival of the Bells.
Times-Gazette advertising director Mickey Parrott said she was thrilled with the show and appreciated the support from sponsors, attendees and Southern State, and thanked ad reps Sharon Hughes, Chuck Miller and Tracie Guisinger for making the show a success.
Among this year's sponsors and participants were Kroger, Walmart, Rent-2-Own, WVNU radio, The Laurels, Community Care Hospice, 31 Purses by Bobby Jean Howard, Tastefully Simple by Jessica Bailey, Brad's Garden Center , Eat Restaurant, Highland District Hospital , Merchants National Bank, Phillips Insurance, Premier Design Jewelry by Stacie McKee, Tupperware by Tiffany Barnett , State Farm Insurance/ Amatha Farrens, US Bank, Modern Woodmen/ Angela Fleak, Seniors Helping Seniors, Highland County Hearing Aid Center, the Highland County Homeless Shelter and Our Daily Bread.
The homeless shelter collected nonperishable food items brought by many of those who attended.
Split-Man Productions handled the sound and lighting for Friday's event.