Homecoming dance raises $30K for St. Michaels Community Center
ST. MICHAELS — Residents of St. Michaels and supporters of the St. Michaels Community Center danced the night away Saturday, Aug. 26, at the St. Michaels Inn to raise funds for the community center’s programs.
Trish Payne, SMCC executive director, said the homecoming dance, “Dancing Through the Decades,” raised nearly $30,000 for the community center’s afterschool programs and the newly created Aunt Jeannie’s Soup Kitchen.
During the event, eight couples, including Laura and Jason Chance; Crystal Foxwell and Derrick Richardson; Peter and Lucka Paris; Jen Shatwell and Jonathan “JD” Dietrich; Karen and Langley Shook; St. Michaels Police Chief Anthony Smith and his daughter, A’knea Smith; Kathy Lash and Joe Trippi; and Shawn and Marissa Carter vied for the title of homecoming king and queen.
In order to win that title, the contestants had to commit themselves to doing whatever it took to raising cash and in-kind donations for SMCC, which is now in its 26th year of serving children, the elderly and other neighbors throughout the Bay Hundred area.
Shatwell, who is a member of SMCC’s advisory board and team, and Dietrich were crowned homecoming queen and king during the dance, with SMCC advisory board President Kathy Lash and her husband, Joe Trippi, coming in a close second, Payne said. Lash also organized the Aug. 26 event.
Contestants Peter and Lucka Paris took home the award for best dressed of the evening. Several items also were raffled off during the event and a live auction was held, as well. Live auction items included tickets and parking for an Orioles and a Redskins game; a one-week vacation rental in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands; and a two-week vacation rental in Key West, Fla.
Payne said in addition to raising funds for the center’s fall after-school programs, which will run from the end of September through November, the money raised also will go toward Aunt Jeannie’s Soup Kitchen, which is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday at SMCC.
Jeannie Butler, the kitchen’s namesake and head chef, graduated December 2016 with an advanced culinary arts degree, magna cum laude, from Stratford University. Her dreams of opening a soup kitchen in her hometown were realized when the kitchen launched at the end of July.
Butler also teaches a “Cooking and Conversation” class from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the community center. The students, young women from fifth grade through high school, help to determine what the soup kitchen menu will be each Friday. Those that can help prepare, set up, serve and clean up are given the opportunity to take over those responsibilities at the soup kitchen and learn about community service.
The soup kitchen is a donationbased community meal open to ever yone. Guests are not required to pay, but donations are accepted. There also is no tuition fee for the “Cooking and Conversation” class. The funding of the class and the soup kitchen is supported by donations from local restaurants, the Maryland Food Bank and individual donations, foundations, grants and the money raised from the homecoming dance
For more information, to donate financial support to the community center, or to donate paper products, food items or efforts to the soup kitchen, call SMCC at 410-745-6073 or send checks to SMCC at P.O. Box 354, St. Michaels, MD 21663, and note “Soup Kitchen” on the memo line.
Peter and Lucka Paris, contestants for the title of homecoming king and queen, took home the prize for best dressed of the evening.
From left are A’knea Smith, Njielah Fru, Yasin Seay, St. Michaels Police Chief Anthony Smith, and Aaron and Kathleen Smith. Chief Smith and his daughter, A’knea, competed against seven other couples as contestants for homecoming king and queen.
From left are Mattie Fountain, member of St. Michaels Community Center’s advisory board and team; Trish Payne, SMCC executive director; and Jeannie Butler, creator of Aunt Jeannie’s Soup Kitchen at SMCC.
From left are Homecoming Queen Jen Shatwell and Homecoming King Jonathan “JD” Dietrich who were crowned during the fundraiser event on Saturday, Aug. 26.
Trish Payne, St. Michaels Community Center executive director, celebrates the community center with guests during the Aug. 26 Homecoming dance. The event raised nearly $30,000 for the community center’s after-school programs and the newly created Aunt Jeannie’s Soup Kitchen.
From left are Karen Moaney and Kathy Lash. Lash is the St. Michaels Community Center’s advisory board president and she organized the Aug. 26 homecoming event.
From left are Andy Miller and Jackie Kinney who attended the homecoming dance Saturday, Aug. 26, to raise money for St. Michaels Community Center. Guests were encouraged to dress up in costume for the event.