Thomas Davis, Jeff King, Damione Lewis, Mike Rucker, Dan Morgan and Matt Moore were some of the guys on hand to mingle with guests at the annual Taste of the Panthers event, which featured food and wine from the area's top restaurants.
(My favorite dishes of the night: Ember Grille's Shrimp and Grits and Bonterra's Pork Belly with Cornbread.)
It was all part of a fundraiser for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina as the organization works to keep up with increasing demand in an economy where donations are down. (Tickets for the Taste event, however, were up by more than double over last year's party.)
The Panthers did their part by auctioning off autographed memorabilia, jewelry from Perry's and a Harley Davidson that went to one very thrilled couple.
As holiday season quickly approaches, Taste of the Panthers offered some good reminders for others planning similar fundraising fetes:
- Do have enough high-top tables for people to perch with their food. It's a good way to get people to socializing and takes the awkwardness out of eating standing up. (Ushers also swiftly cleared tables of trash to keep them clean and open to other partygoers.)
- Don't keep the fluorescent lights on. It's never flattering and it takes away from the festive atmosphere.
- Do book an appropriate band. The Carey Simms Trio provided a perfect mix of party tunes Monday at a decibel level that suited the event (read: people could actually hold a conversation, but still enjoy the music if they wanted to).
All in all, it was a good night for the Panthers to put aside their record and focus on raising money for an organization in need. Well done, guys.