Celebrity waiters raise money for One Book One Community

Professor Edmund La Clair reads off the winning numbers for the raffle prizes at Public House Mon. evening 

It’s not often the mayor of Monroe takes your dinner order and refills your drink, but for those who came out to Public House on Monday night, there was a chance of that happening.

For the third year in a row, celebrities from around the Monroe County area participated in the One Book, One Community (OBOC) Celebrity Waiter event at Public House, 138 N. Monroe St., in downtown Monroe.

The servers included Monroe Mayor Robert E. Clark, MCCC President Dr. Kojo Quartey and Monroe News President and Publisher Vince Bodiford.

Even some MCCC staff and professors made appearances.

The owners of Public House, Jackie and Fred Corser, are big supporters of both the college and One Book, One Community.

“As business owners, we believe education should be a priority,” Jackie said. “We try and instill in our employees a connection to learning.”

Jackie Corser is a graduate of MCCC who also teaches classes there. Her support of One Book was greatly appreciated, committee members said.

“I am very thankful,” said Cheryl Johnston, who retired from MCCC in 2017, but still oversees the One Book committee.

Participants said the night was an overwhelming success and the celebrity waiters were a hit.

Tricia McCloskey was seated in Clark’s section.

“He did a tremendous job,” she said. “Everything was absolutely wonderful!”

All the celebrity servers were paired with experienced Public House staff. Stephanie Gessner was impressed by the celebrity wait staff.

“Honestly, they did a pretty good job,” Gessner said. “They got into the server mindset pretty quickly.”

Krystal Mendez was happy with both the food and Quartey’s service.

“Both were amazing,” Mendez said. “He was so sweet, and the sauce, oh my goodness. The food here is out of this world. The best ever. Seriously!”

All of the tips made by the celebrity waiters as well as the money earned from the sale of raffle tickets will benefit One Book. Since 2007, One Book has sought to revitalize the arts in Monroe County.

“This event has grown every year,” Jackie said. “This was the best of the three.”

This year’s selection is “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford. The month-long event starts in March.


President Kojo Quartey waits on a table during the OBOC celebrity waiter event at Public House Mon. evening