Mannequin challenge accepted: Cornerstone Services Champagne Luncheon in 26th year
November 26, 2016
The lights are twinkling and the ballroom is buzzing from wall to wall as the waiter fills a glass with foam-topped champagne for a woman seated at a table with two of her friends. The afternoon soon sped into action with laughter and cheer swirling in a sea of fine china and crystal.
The festivities at the Nov. 23 event at the Patrick C. Haley Mansion, 17 S. Center St. in Joliet, marked the 26th annual Champagne Luncheon to support Cornerstone Services.
A number of community leaders and guests poured in to giveback to the agency.
Highlights at the event included live entertainment, dinner and an auction.
Vice President/Chief Development Officer Michelle Allen said holding the event is a great way kickoff to the holiday season.
“We have waiters that come out and they’re celebrity waiters, so they ask people for tips,” she said. “We have a stage in the center of the room. A lot of people at the table will tip to get their waiter do something silly. So, maybe it’s singing a song, maybe it’s juggling balls, maybe it’s try to hula-hoop. But with that, we’re earning money for it in order to help our agency, which works with people with developmental disabilities.”
Among those serving as celebrity waiters this year were a number of elected officials and business professionals. Allen said having the community’s support is important to the agency.
“It’s really nice, too, because we see a lot of people that support our agency throughout the year, who come in and assist us and help us earn those dollars especially in the state budget crisis,” she said.
Chad Kodiak, a pharmacist at Kodo Pharmacy, was one of 30 celebrity waiters providing guests with entertainment. He said he was enjoying his time at the luncheon and that he’s pleased to help support the agency in raising funds.
“They called me up and asked me to tell a joke,” he said.
Kodiak said it was a fun experience to take center stage and tell the room a mushroom joke.
“That definitely got some laughs and some groans, which is the kind of joke that it is,” he said.
Kodiak said it makes him happy to see the community of support shown for Cornerstone Services. The event’s turnout is always a positive to see, he said.
“This is my fourth year doing it, and I just think it’s incredible that this many people show up to help this organization,” he said.