'Celebrities' Serve: Dine Out For the Cure kick-off party for race

Published on Sunday, 4 May 2014 22:54 - Written by Victor Texcucano, vtexcucano@tylerpaper.com

An unusual batch of new servers lent their hand at Bruno’s Pizza and Pasta on Sunday evening during the annual Dine Out For the Cure event.

The event, which served as a kick-off party for the Susan G. Komen Tyler Race for the Cure, consisted of local doctors, business owners, firefighters and other local “celebrities” serving as guest servers at the local pizzeria.

A percentage of proceeds from the night, including all tips from diners, will benefit the local affiliate of the national nonprofit, which, since its inception in 1982, has spent more than $1 billion for breast cancer research, education, advocacy, health services and social support programs in the United States.

There also were registration tables in the restaurant for people to sign up for the 16th Annual Komen Tyler Race, which race co-chairwoman Kristen McPherson, said is expected to be the biggest yet.

“We’re really excited. We’re up on registration numbers and (fundraising) money, and we’re hoping to have a huge turnout” at the race, she said.

The 16th Annual Komen Tyler Race is scheduled for Saturday at Bergfeld Park. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m., followed by the race at 8:00 a.m.

Karen Durham, honorary race chairwoman, who also is a breast cancer survivor, said it is fun to see the guest servers perform their new temporary jobs.

“It’s a very fun event. It’s hilarious” to see guest servers wait tables, she said.

One of the guest servers was Dr. Arielle Lee, oncologist at Texas Hematology and Oncology Center. Dr. Lee, who has been participating in the event for several years, said she enjoys the day and called it a fun event, even though she’s not a good server.

“I’m terrible, but that’s what’s funny,” she said.

Her special strategy, however, is to perform the chicken dance for extra tips.

“That is my specialty,” she said.

Dr. Laura O’Halloran, plastic surgeon at Trinity Mother Frances, who has participated in the event for about three years, said serving tables is definitely not one of her strengths.

“It kind of gets you out of your comfort zone. It gives you respect for people who do this for a living,” she said. “It’s a little bit stressful.”

Dr. O’Halloran said she also was willing to sing and dance for tips.