Those who attended last year’s event witnessed Derek Conrad Brown being roasted, toasted and charred around the edges by Jim Nolen, Ginger Marsh, Phil Webb, David Mashburn and Ted Hooks. Ginger, who teamed up with Derek for “Dancing With Our Stars,” told the crowd that with Derek as a partner, it should be renamed “Dancing With Our Scars,” while Ted Hooks asked, “How do you roast a young Billy Graham?” before announcing that Derek was actually the secret love child of Doris Day and Mister Rogers. When David Mashburn had his turn, he pointed out a special spot in the back of the room, reserved especially, he said, for any of Derek’s ex-girlfriends who wanted to see him again. All heads turned to see (of course) an empty table!
“It was a night of laughter,” said Mandi King, Center of Concern board member. “I’ve worked with both Jim Nolen and Phil Webb through Knox Concert Series and I never knew what comedians they could be! It really was a fun night.”
Judy Myers, a new addition to the Center’s board, attended last year’s roast with her husband, Dan Myers, and their friends Jim and Margaret Roberts. “We had a fantastic time,” she said. “I didn’t know Derek before the roast, but I sure felt like I knew him after!”
Derek must not have suffered too badly at the hands of his roasters, since he has agreed to return and emcee this year’s event, in which Jacksonville State University President William Meehan will be the “Man of the Hour.”
Like Derek before him, Dr. Meehan graciously agreed to take his place in the “hot seat” in order to raise money for the All Saints Interfaith Center of Concern, a non-profit charitable organization that has been serving the needy in this area since the 1950s.
“The Center was originally founded as a food and clothing bank,” explained Bert Oelschig, chairman of the Center’s board of directors, “but has expanded over the years to include medical assistance and help with utility bills or transportation.”
Tickets for the event will once again be $50 per person, and include a three-course Classic on Noble dinner, provided by restaurant owners David and Cathy Mashburn. Cathy is also a Center of Concern board member, and is serving as co-chair of this fundraiser.
The evening will begin with appetizers and drinks at 6:30, followed by dinner at 7. Then, at 8, the roasting of Dr. Meehan gets under way! This year’s roasting panel includes Rodney Owens, the assistant general manager of the Anniston Water Works and Sewer board, Calhoun County District Judge Beth Rogers and Ronnie Smith, chairman of Noble Bank board of directors and the McClellan Development Authority. Also taking a seat at the roasting table is JSU professor and eminent scholar in history, Hardy Jackson, an Anniston Star columnist and author of several books including “The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera: An Insider’s History of the Florida-Alabama Coast.”
But a word of caution to all of the guest roasters: Once they are done having their fun, Dr. Meehan will have his turn to share a story or two about THEM. “The last word,” it’s called.
Tables — for six or eight guests — can be reserved in advance at no extra charge by calling board member Donna Barton at 256-237-1713.
“But the sooner one calls, the better,” Donna cautions. “It will be first-come, first-served on table location.” Patty Hobbs, JSU public relations director, was the first to reserve a table once she heard about the event.
Tickets for this Second Annual Celebrity Roast can be purchased at Classic on Noble in downtown Anniston, Noble Bank in Anniston or Oxford, Sacred Heart Church office at McClellan or Jillybean’s Cupcakes on the square in Jacksonville. Tickets can also be purchased from any Center of Concern board member including Charlie Doster, Hank Waide, Bill Manning, Dianne Green or Father Bryan Lowe.
To share your news with Small Talk, contact Annette Maddox at email@example.com.
Save the Date
Hop on down to the Mellow Mushroom Saturday, August 25, for the annual Beer Tasting & Pizza Party, presented by Children’s Services, Inc., and benefiting the Parris Home for Children. From 3-5 p.m., enjoy a large variety of beer (including local and craft beer), pizza and live music for only $30. Must be 21 or older to attend; cash bar available. Watch for details in an upcoming Small Talk.