Many Hands, One Heart: A Recap of the Annual Covered Dish Supper…

Thanks to the hundreds of people who helped create the experience of our 32nd Annual Covered Dish Supper and Annual Meeting this year! We wanted the evening to reflect the spirit of our work – lots of people, lots of action, lots of love.


Thirty tables were decorated, each by a different volunteer. Thirty different sets of china, placemats and centerpieces…All were different, and each a reflection of the table decorator’s personal sense of community. We had homemakers, handymen, baristas, bread makers, attorneys, architects, artists and art students… all creating their design of community.


Hundreds of people brought delicious food. Trey Matthews and Michael Strickland covered platters with shrimp, cheeses and fruit for the appetizers. Gary Mueller smoked his famous Boston butts, Mr. Gadson rolled up with black eyed peas and mac and cheese, Suzanne Aiken served up some delicious homemade lasagna and Cindy Vaughn Sinclair shared a delicious cheesy chicken pasta. Add the salads and salsa, veggies for vegans, fried and roasted chicken, mashed and scalloped potatoes, pastas, squash casseroles, stewed corn and cakes and pies as well. More than 300 people made it through the buffet lines just fine.


The music was eclectic. The band SOAP rocked the social hour reception. Our very own “Yes You Can Community Choir” led by Jessica Feucht, Mae Ola Mason and Bill Smith opened with Imagine and closed with Lean on Me. Thanks to the singers and musicians including Ellen Gross, Mike English, Rigel Crockett, Regina Thomas, Chuck McDew and Betsy Cain and the wonderful sound technicians from StageFront Presentation Systems. And thanks to everyone who jumped in big and bold from the floor to sing along.


Master of Ceremonies Wade Herring kept the evening flowing and introduced four citizen advocates who turned into storytellers for the evening.


  • Phil Peterman has been an advocate since 2007. “I was an angry young man many years ago. I am trying to help an angry young man find his way today.”


  • Mike Drabeck has been an advocate since 2004. “Peter is part of our family. Our boys have known him their whole lives… he is Mr. Peter to them.”
  • Lyle Mackenzie is the son of citizen advocate Malcolm Mackenzie and has grown up knowing Malcolm’s protégé for almost 20 years. “I was 12 when this story about my dad being a citizen advocate was written. I stand here tonight, age 25, happy to read it and hoping to become an advocate one day myself.”


  • Louisa Abbot has been an advocate since 1994. “Teresa helped me raise my children. My daughter Julia, just back from college, came tonight so she could see Teresa.”


Our set up crew made sure that everything was in place. Thanks to head planner Kristin Russell, Laura Greene Smith, Susan Earl, Ben Oxnard, Sylvester Brown, Alice Kohler, Maggie Grimm, Ali Wyland, Simone Wilkinson, Sabrina Manganella Simmons, Mary Simmons and Savannah Simmons, Emma Varland, Sienna Varland, Delores Wilson, folks from HostSouth and Theresa Reed from the Savannah Station.


Greeters included Dicky Stone, Robert Cohen, Irving Tate, Tammy Stokes, Gordon Matthews, Sean Brandon, Herman Days, Laura Greene Smith and Sha Dishong.


Our kitchen and beverage crew, led by Rebecca Freeman from Lulu’s Chocolate Bar, kept food and drinks flowing. Thanks to Jamie Maury, Dan Snyder, Jerry Wright, Robyn Joffe, Sam Carroll, Suzanne Aiken, Delores Wilson, Timmy Welter, Simone Wilkinson, Carmela Aliffi, Juanita Tucker, Brad Baugh and Sebastian Edwards.


And we can’t forget the clean up crew who worked until 10 p.m. to make sure that the Savannah Station will have us back again next year. Thanks to Rob O’Brien, Pat O’Brien, Jeanne O’Brien, Ann Fuller, Rebecca Freeman, Joel Varland, Simone Wilkinson, Sam Spencer, Alix Baptiste, Laura Greene Smith, Delores Wilson, Juanita Tucker, Mike Williams, Kristin Russell, Brad Baugh, Robyn Joffe and Sam Carroll.


If we left your name off of this quick list, we apologize and to all we offer a big thank you!

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