Putting the ‘fun’ in fundraiser: At this year’s Celebrity Waiter

A team of the red-and-white-striped-shirt wearing Waldos joined some bloodthirsty sharks, blacked-out-teeth-having rednecks, voluptuous Shakira and a — er, black faced — Pharrell as part of this year’s creative attire for Southwest Healthcare Services’ annual fundraising event.

By Bryce Martin | Pioneer Editor |

Where’s Waldo?

He (well several of him) was finally spotted — hanging out at this year’s Celebrity Waiter event.

A team of the red-and-white-striped-shirt wearing Waldos joined some bloodthirsty sharks, blacked-out-teeth-having rednecks, voluptuous Shakira and a — er, black faced — Pharrell as part of this year’s creative attire for Southwest Healthcare Services’ annual fundraising event.

The evening, aimed at raising funds for local health care, was held Feb. 28 at the Four Seasons Pavilion in Bowman. This year’s event was one that should not have been missed, according to Katie Harris, the event committee’s chairperson.

The night had its usual whimsy. It serves as a mid-winter escape for ticketholders to break free and don some captivating costumes while they help raise money for SWHC in both a live and silent auction. Guests were provided a meal, catered by Jabbr’s Restaurant in Bowman, and treated to a night of entertainment from dueling pianos.

“It was so fun; I think it was probably the most fun I’ve had in the six years we’ve been doing it,” Harris said.

The night brought in about $68,000 for the local hospital, with proceeds coming from ticket sales, the auctions and proceeds from the raffle of a 1984 Jaguar XJ6, valued at $5,250 and donated by Chris and Dan Peterson of Bowman.

A little more than 300 tickets were sold for the event, compared with last year’s more than 400. Last year, however, was a special circumstance as Bowman resident Deb Patterson was raffling off a 2013 Dodge Challenger that attracted many to the event.

A painting donated by Marsha Lehmann, an artist from Bowman County, was auctioned off as the top-dollar item of the evening, getting a winning bid of $5,500 from Dan Swanson, owner of Southwest Ag in Bowman. Lehmann’s paintings have become a hotly anticipated item each year. The painting was a realistic depiction of a bull charging from the gates of a rodeo in Bowman.

The second highest-grossing item was a full-course meal served by the Hardy, Brosz, Jones and Septon families. The guns were also a hot item, as they are most years, according to Harris.

Along the many devoted people that attend the event each year, Harris said there were some new tables with people that had never before attended a Celebrity Waiter event. “That’s always nice to see,” she said.

Those tables were surrounded by almost every member of legendary rock group KISS, a group paying homage to Dr. Seuss by dressing as many of his fabled characters and even a table transformed into the famed set of NBC’s “The Voice,” complete with its trademark swiveling chairs that seated the show’s four judges — Swanson as Adam Levine, Tom Burke as Blake Shelton, Bowman City Commission President Lyn James as Shakira and James’ husband, Gordon, as an “overly convincing” Pharrell, donning black face makeup.

“He was a perfect Pharrell. Maybe not politically correct, but he was a perfect Pharrell,” Harris laughed.

There were also fisherman, gods and goddesses, NDSU fans and, to much surprise, a table comprised of representatives from West River Health Services.

“They’ve been hearing about it for a couple years and so they came over, had a good time, spent a little money and went home with a very favorable impression of our event,” Harris said.

Allison McLean, wife of the new SWHC hospital’s architect John McLean, won the raffle for the Jaguar. That thoroughly surprised Harris, who was seated at her table.

“She was thrilled. In the afternoon she told me she wanted that car so bad she could taste it,” Harris said.

When they called McLean’s name, the table was amazed, she said.

A wrap-up meeting for the event will be held in late March where the committee will discuss what did and did not work and begin fielding plans for next year’s event.

“Every year you have your strengths and your challenges,” Harris said. “This year I just had such a good support system with the rest of the committee. There weren’t really any snafus we had to deal with.”

DONORS FOR THIS YEAR’S CELEBRITY WAITER INCLUDED: Able, Ace, Amanda Njos, American Family Ins., Anderson Family Dentistry, Aurora Keppler, Baker Furniture, Barry and Becky Mason, Becky Hansen, Bob and Nancy Wiffler, Borderline Bar & Grill/Dr. Meadows, Bowman Auction Market, Bowman Chiropractic – James/Mia Stafford, Bowman County Pioneer/The Finder, Bowman Drug, Bowman Theater, C.Lizzy’s- Fargo, Cameron and Laci Coates, Cary and Margie Hande, Cashway, Cathy Hedge- Origami Owl, Cathy Sime, Cedar Canyon Spa-Medora, Charlene Hansen, Chris Fulton, Chrissy Blankenbaker-Scentsy, Cindy McVay, Classic, Coca Cola, Consolidated, Coyle Electric, Crooked Creek #1, Dakota Farm Equip., Dakota West Credit Union, Dakota Western Bank, Dale’s Clothing: Smolnikars, Deb Holmgren, Debbie Patterson/ Vicky Swanson, Discovery Toys/Jen Jahner, Double EE Services, Dr. Lanchbury, Dr. Meadows, Dr. Oksa, DSU, Eats n Treats, Eide Bailey, Fair Board, Farm Credit, Farmer Union Oil Company (Cenex), First Gold Hotel Deadwood, Flower Nook , Friends of the NRA, Frontier Travel Center – Becky Brooks, GG’s, Has Been’s, Healing Path/Bachmier Chiropractic, Investment Centers of America, J. Septon/Jones/Brosz/Hardy, Jabber’s, Jackie Lambourn, Janel Bagley, Jason and Jackie Fisher, Jewels by Park Lane/ Peggy Allen, Jill Anderson, Jim Septon, Jody Stafford, John and Jody Paulson, Judy and Lynn Brackle, Julie Kruger, Karen Salter and Celebrity Waiter Committee, Kat Perkins, Kayla Nelson/ Deb Gunderson, Kneads Relief, Body Benefits, Theraputic Kneads, Krebs Kreations / Tom Kreb, Krebsbach & Kulseth Funeral Services, Kristy VanDaele, Lacey Juelfs, Larry Lambourn, Leanne Rafferty, Little Missouri Smoke Shop, Logan Silha, Luff Exploration-Rick, Marsha Lehmann, Martian Haygrinding, Mary Simonson, Matheson Gas, Megan H. and Chris Peterson Melissa Grahm, Meredythe Bagley, Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Wilds, Mortenson, Mrnak Ranch, MultiChem, Nancy Schaefer, Napa- Doug and Jody Rojewsky, New Beginnings Gym – John Rasmussen, Northwest Tire, Northwinds Lodge, Pam Harris, Pastor Jerry and Carolyn Erickson, Phil Berg, Pifers, Prairie Dental, Prairie Fire- Jerry and Tama Smith, Prairie Fitness, Prairie Knights, Randy’s Welding, Renee Hendrickson, Rhame Café, Rhame Fire Department, Rhame Café, Waterhole, Ricochet Western Wear, Ron & Sheila Palczewski, Rox and Steve McFarland, Roy Riehl, Sadowsky and Wild Law Office, Sara Wolbaum, Shear Designs, Stampin Up, Stuber Ranch, Style Plus, Subway, Sue & Dan Swanson, Lyn& Gordy James, Sue Juntunen, Sunrise Foundation, Super Valu, SW Auto Supply/Pronto, SWHS Hospital Nurses, Therapy Solutions, Thrivent/Bryan and Jeanine Clendenen, Twin Butte Liquor, UND, Uniform Center, University of Mary, Uptown Bar and Grill, US Foods, Walter Piehl, Waterhole, Wells Fargo Bank, West Plains (Case), Windy’s, Woodleys.

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