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Festival of Tables brings in $10,000 for free medical clinic

Photo submitted
The television show ‘Duck Dynasty’ is the theme of Warren Shepherd’s table, which also features individuals dressed as the show’s popular characters roaming around Saturday’s event.

Originally published: Aug. 29, 2013
Last modified: Aug. 29, 2013

Heather Samudio

The West Jefferson United Methodist Church Women welcomed 140 people to the 4th annual Festival of Tables, which raised about $10,000 for the Ashe County Free Medical Clinic on Saturday.
Added to this year’s total, the event has raised more than $45,000 during the last four years.

The festival allows individuals or groups to sign up to purchase a table to decorate with a theme and “highlights the creativity of our community,” Greg Bolac, clinic director, said in a press release. “Each table was uniquely decorated and the details were astounding.”

Participants create a themed centerpiece with eight place settings to match. Some place settings include goodies and surprises for each diner. During a previous festival, Bolac said one table designer painted a picture for each of the diners at her table.

This year some of the various themes included White Christmas, Mountain Music, Duck Dynasty, Bingo, Over the Rainbow and Visions of October.

In addition to the decorated tables, attendees enjoyed a catered dinner by Chef Rozie Bolac. The meal and desserts were served to attendees by the WJUMC Boy Scout Troop 214.

“The scouts did such an outstanding job that they earned $550 in tips to support their troop events,” Bolac said.

Russell Killen served as auctioneer for the live auction which included a Skeeter Boat, 50-inch flat-screen TV and a private dinner for six at Jefferson Landing, among other items. The live auction and a silent auction were the closing events for the evening.

Bolac said the board wanted to show their appreciation to the WJUMC women for starting the event four years ago, to WJUMC for the use of Hensley Hall, to all the individuals and businesses who donated items for the auctions and to everyone who attended.

The board also offered thanks for the work of Barbara Robinson and Betty Combs for mentoring and assisting this year’s committee, which included Nancy Kautz, Mary Rogers, Sue Hampton, Cameron Keziah, Richard Blackburn, Howell Pruett, Harold Parks, Margaret Edmondson, Linda Elliott, Shelley Elliott, Walt Davis and Jill Breton.

Bolac said the support from all the individuals, businesses and the community was phenomenal.

“This is such a special event and the community support not only sends needed funding for operations of the clinic but also goes far in helping to leverage other funds,” he said. “We couldn’t do it without the volunteers and the support from the community.”

The clinic has already seen 520 individual patients this year and Bolac said it would probably see about 2,500 visits by year’s end.

“One thing that we emphasize is that the majority of the people coming to the clinic work, but just don’t make enough to pay for insurance,” Bolac said.

At Saturday’s events, Bolac said individuals were already talking about participating next year.

“Some people have already expressed interest to sign up for next year’s festival,” he said. “Many times they see what was done this year and get excited about ideas for next year’s tables.”

For more information about the Festival of Tables or the clinic, call (336) 846-4649 or visit the clinic’s website at http://www.acfmc.org. The clinic is located at 225 Court Street, Jefferson, behind the Museum of Ashe County History.
For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.