About 150 people turned out for United Laugh, a new fundraiser unique to the area.
It was an undertaking of the United Way of Jefferson County with Rich DeLuca serving as event coordinator of the evening of chuckles that generated $7,101.91 toward the United Way's overall effort to raise $440,000 this campaign year to benefit its 19 member agencies.
United Laugh was held Saturday at the Mingo Knights of Columbus Hall and featured 16 Lemonhead celebrity servers, the majority of whom dressed in costume to complement their nicknames for the evening.
From left, celebrity servers Elisa Raubach as ‘Mama Lisa,’ Chris Elliott as ‘Zeus’ and Ann Quillen as ‘Sunshine Rainbow Girl’
-- Janice Kiaski
And that included yours truly as Giddy-Up, riding in on my "horse" Coffee. The others were: Mike Biasi as "The Situation"; Keith Murdock as "Gitter Dunn"; Ann Quillen as "Sunshine Rainbow Girl"; AJ Abrams as "Camel Jockey"; Michele Wilson as "Sandy"; Amy Colantoni as "The Gator"; Chris Elliott as "Zeus"; Rich Davis as "Beastie Boy"; Dan Carman as "Mrs. Kilowatt"; Dr. Greg McDonnell as "Doc Bender"; Ryan Vitek as "Dr. Shots"; Barry Gullen as "Change-O-G" (his outfits kept changing); Scott Campbell as "Nuts-n-Bolts"; Ralph Parissi as "Conan, the Librarian"; Elisa Raubach as "Mama Lisa"; and Brent Nemeth as "River Rat."
Here's a little insight on how it worked. Servers were responsible for a table of guests who hopefully would tip them for their attentiveness, creativity or whatever, including desperation to be able to eat dinner with utensils. One server "stole" all the silverware and made them pay a price to not eat with their hands.
As tips were accumulated we servers were to dump them in bed pans, the calculating done by John Hladek and Maggie Meyer. A running score of tips and winnings were tallied for each server, many of whom were challenged by their guests for a price to participate in a variety of contests that included "Constitutional Crackers," "Toilet Paper Hike," "Tissue Lift," "Mean, Mean Dance Machine," "Shake, Rattle, Wiggle," "Songbird Server," "Head Pong Bucket" and "Plunger Rings."
A trio of judges - Amanda Richardson, Martha Emley and Maggie Meyer - determined the winners.
A special attraction featured the comedy of Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star and the Weirton Daily Times, and Paul Giannamore, copy editor and blogger.
The evening also included a whipped cream pie auction generating $1,200. Among those getting pied were Bill Phillips and Anthony Mougianis, campaign chairman.
In a pre-pie state, Mougianis welcomed everyone to the event as did Beth Rupert-Warren, United Way executive director.
Awards at evening's end went to the following servers: First place, Chris Elliott as "Zeus;" second place, Mike Biasi as "The Situation;" and third place, Ryan Vitek as "Dr. Shots." Elisa Raubach, "Mama Lisa," went home with the Lil' Stinker Award for earning last place, the lowest tip score.
So that left me somewhere in between all that and appreciative of the pleasant table of folks I got to serve that was headed by Kathy Mills, president of the GFWC/Ohio Woman's Club of Steubenville. With her were Fran Fleishour, Fran Muni, Donna Latkiewicz and her brother Tom Veneman, Joan Underwood, Jane McCoy, Etta Pyle and Karen Majoris-Garrison and her husband Jeff Garrison.