Dear editor,

Exhaustive planning, precision teamwork and fine talent came together on behalf of the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence (TCFEE). On arrival, guests were greeted by the voice and guitar melodies of Stan Smith, a 2010 Excellence in Teaching (EIT) Award winner.

As the lobsters and steaks came off the grills, President Paige Keith called on Dr. Wayne Roe to bless the evening as the 200 guests joined their table hosts for a delightful dinner.

Tom Coogle proposed LOBSTERFEST four years ago as a fundraiser for the TCFEE and once more procured the entrees. Joe West once again offered the University of Georgia’s Black Shank Pavilion as the venue. Mike Bland and Lamar Martin rounded up a stellar grilling team (Joe Gray, Philip Roberts, Ryan Branch, J Michael Moore and Adam Riley) while Judy Bland and Sissy Martin brought an outstanding team from First Methodist Church to do the kitchen cooking.

Richard Fisher, 1994 Excellence in Teaching (EIT) Award Winner, spoke on what the TCFEE has meant during his 28 years as teacher and principal in the Tift County Schools.

Then came the booming voice of Tyron Spearman auctioning off the Benefield house on St. George Island, the Kelley annex in Highlands, the Simmons timeshare in Ponta Vedra and the Ron Branch fishing weekend on Lake Henry.

Thank you Table Hosts (Tommy and Diane Bargeron, Moppy and Mike Brumby, Tom and Jill Coogle, Laura and Chris Cutts, Mike and Dee Davis, Annie Dimon, Bill and Donna Jackson, Nathan and Alice Johnson, Marianna Keesee, Paige and Stewart Keith, Andy and Cindy Marzen, Carla and Bobby Miles, Tracy and David Monk, Jack and Sue Perry, Tyler and Jenna Claire Riddle, Jacquie and Larry Riner, Meredith and Ryan Rutland, Frank and Bonnie Sayles, Bret Wagenhorst and Joe and Joy West) for inviting and looking after your guests.

Individuals contributing brains and muscle during the ‘set-up’ and ‘take-down’ were Sherry McCullough, Craig Kvien, Jacquie Riner, Kim Cutchins, Larry Riner, Andy Marzen, Laura Cutts, Tracy Monk and  Zach Rosenfield. Of course, Moppy was invaluable!

Thank you to all. Let’s do it again next year!

Mike Brumby

Executive Director, Tift County Foundation for Excellence in Education

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