The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 9, 2013

Dining for dollars

The Register-Herald

— The giving spirit of the people of southern West Virginia is legendary. They give from their hearts for just about any worthy cause put before them.

Add a twist to the cause — something that allows them to have fun with it — and the purse strings get a lot looser.

A case in point is the 25th annual Celebrity Night, held Monday at 10 restaurants across the Beckley area. Local celebrities, including bankers, stylists, car dealers, broadcasting personalities and others give their time on this one evening a year to act as servers for their friends and family at one of the eateries. The regular waitstaff aid the celebrities and let them keep the tips.

This year, those tips added up to a record-breaking total of over $40,000 — $10,000 more than was raised in 2012 — that will be split between the sponsoring agencies, the United Way of Southern West Virginia and the Women’s Resource Center.

We can’t think of two better organizations to be the ones to enjoy the benefits of this largesse.

The United Way serves more than 30 agencies in Raleigh, Fayette, Summers, Nicholas and Wyoming counties, including the American Red Cross, Beckley Dream Center, The Salvation Army, Just for Kids Inc., food banks, a baby pantry and more.

The Women’s Resource Center provides temporary shelter, counseling, advocacy and supportive services for victims, survivors and witnesses of domestic violence and sexual violence.

United Way Executive Director Margaret O’Neal said, “It is truly amazing that on a rainy night we raised more than we ever have at Celebrity Night. It speaks volumes of the kindness of our community and of our businesses, who stepped up and made sure this 25th annual event was special and fun.”

In our eyes, there is no better way for your charitable dollars to be spent.