The event, which serves as the only significant fundraising initiative for the organization, promotes creativity among its patrons in various ways.
“Pull out your favorite children’s book and pick out a character to dress as for the dinner,” said Wilson Books from Birth director Peggy Simpson. “We encourage everyone to come dressed up in a theme. Every table has its own theme. In other words, the eight people at a table will dress in the same theme, and that table has a server who will be dressed in that theme.”
In previous years, some themes have included “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and “The Cat in the Hat.”
Sometimes groups will be issued a fun challenge, as well.
“Last year, Anycare 24, out here on 231 South, they were there, their first year to be there,” said Simpson. “Another table challenged them to sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic. I thought, ‘this is not going to go anywhere.’ I think this was a set-up deal, because Dr. Robinson pulled out a pitch pipe, and it was really good. They sang it through, and then the whole crowd stood, and we sang it through.”
This year’s event follows a “wacky waiter” format. By sponsoring a table, patrons can select a person to be their waiter for the evening.
“Every table has a server. It’s a table for eight, and they have a server. That’s the “wacky waiter,” said Simpson. “That wacky waiter serves you, but he charges you tips for good service. In other words, if you want sugar in your tea, or if you want a fork to eat with, butter on your bread, you might pay $1. You might pay 50 cents. You might pay even more than that. One year, we had a girl, and there were folding tables. The table was on the floor, and you had to pay to raise the table.”
This year marks the events 13th running. The cost to sponsor a table is $250, and each table seats eight people. Sammy B’s will cater the event.
This year’s event will also feature a silent auction, which will include a week stay at a timeshare in Lake Tansi in Crossville, tickets to next year’s Vanderbilt-University of Tennessee football game and an American Girl doll.
“I don’t think that the people in town realize how much fun it is,” said Simpson. “I mean, you don’t really have to dress up that much.”
Last year’s event raised $21,000 for the organization, which provides a free age-appropriate book in the mail each month to every child in Wilson County from birth to 5 years old.
For more information about the event or to reserve a table, contact Wilson Books from Birth at 615-444-5586 or visit wilsonbooksfrombirth.com.