United Way of Lake County 2024 Celebrity Server Raises Over $56,000

United Way of Lake County Celebrity Server Fundraiser Brings Community Together to Raise Over $56,000

Mentor, OH (March 25, 2024) –  Five-hundred people turned out for United Way of Lake County’s (UWLC) largest annual fundraiser on Thursday, March 14, 2024, from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at the American-Croatian Lodge in Eastlake.

The popular Celebrity Server St. Patrick’s Day-themed event, presented by Dworken & Bernstein, featured a full corned beef and cabbage lunch with all the fixings along with penne pasta marinara. UWLC’s “Table O’Sweets” offered guests the opportunity to select from a large variety of cakes, cupcakes, and sweets donated by area bakeries and restaurants in return for a donation.

Radio personality Jeremy James, best known as the host of the Morning show at Mix 97.1 served as the DJ, while local personality and host Ryan Gilkerson served as the emcee.

Celebrity Servers worked to earn tips from their guests in support of UWLC’s work and many employed a variety of methods over and above table service to accomplish this.  Some were challenged by their guests to dance an Irish jig, recite an Irish limerick, reveal an embarrassing fact about themselves, and the list goes on.

The top fundraiser was Morris Beverage III, President of Lighthouse Advisers in Mentor. Morris was awarded a large green “Shamrockstar” trophy in the shape of a clover that was handcrafted for UWLC by the Madison Public Library team in their Create Space. 

A large variety of basket raffle prizes were awarded that included a TV, a Paint & Sip Party for 12 donated by local artist Yvonne Delgado Thomas of Vonnie’s Art, a $750 gift basket from Ladies & Gentlemen Salon & Spa, a Kirtland Country Club Golf Foursome Package donated by UWLC board member Andy Phelps, a Wine Country getaway, and much more.

A “Tour Around the World” 5-Course Dinner for Six prepared by Owner/Chef Keith Koenig of Bistro 70 in Painesville served as the event’s silent auction item. A 50/50 raffle, wheelbarrow of liquor raffle, and additional fun and games played out throughout the event along with a “Best Dressed” costume contest won by Celebrity Server, Crystal Adams. Crystal is the Site-Based Coordinator and Community Outreach Manager for Torchlight Youth Mentoring Alliance, whose table she served. Crystal was awarded a Pot O’Gold filled with chocolate “gold” coins that was also handcrafted by the team of the Madison Public Library.

During the event, Ray Sminchak, Managing Partner and General Manager of Mentor Nissan joined UWLC President & CEO Dione DeMitro on-stage to select the 10 finalists of UWLC’s Donor Appreciation Conest. The finalists - whose names will be released as soon as all are contacted - will have a chance to win their choice of a 2024 Nissan Sentra SV or $25,000, both donated by Mentor Nissan. The contest ran from UWLC’s campaign kickoff in August through March 1, 2024. The finalists will be invited to attend UWLC’s annual meeting in May where each will select a key fob. The finalist whose key fob starts the car will win.

The event works to raise funds in support of Lake County’s most vulnerable residents. “I'm deeply moved by the outpouring of support from our community. To all who attended, sponsored, served as Celebrity Servers, and donated prizes, desserts and liquor, your generosity speaks volumes. Together, we are making a tangible difference in the lives of those who need it most. Thank you for your commitment to our mission.”

The Lubrizol Corporation served as the event’s Presenting Sponsor. Additional sponsors included Dworken & Bernstein, CT Consultants, FirstEnergy, Fortress Law Group, Lake Metroparks, Lakeland Community College, SMART Local #33, Dollar Bank, Fredon Corporation, Global Real Estate Advisors, The News-Herald, Aqua Ohio, Citywide Solutions, Stanley Steemer, Stefanik Iosue & Associates, KeyBank, the Lake County General Health District, Somich & Associates CPS’s, and the Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library. In-kind sponsors included Clicks by Kat, Mentor Nissan, and PIP Printing.