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Money from fundraiser will protect children

Ashley McKnight-Taylor

Ever wish the mayor was at your beck and call? How would you like to order the Suffolk Clerk of the Circuit Court around?

If that sounds like your idea of a good time, then head to Pisces Restaurant, 115 North Main St., tonight for the 24th Annual Celebrity Night.

Pisces is one of 11 restaurants throughout Tidewater to participate in the event, which benefits Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads.

“This is it,” said Betty Wade Coyle, the organization’s executive director. “This is our one big fundraiser.”

Media, political and entertainment celebrities will be serving at each location from 6-10 p.m. All celebrity tips and a percentage of restaurant receipts will be donated to PCAHR, Coyle said. Restaurant staff will be on hand to assist the celebrities.

Suffolk celebrities include: Sen. Fred Quayle; Mayor Bobby Ralph; The Addison Group’s Tom Powell; WAVY TV-10 & Anderson’s Home & Garden’s Dabney Morgan; City Council Member Joseph Barlow; Hampton Roads Partnership’s President Dana Dickens; WNIS News Radio 790 AM’s Christie Lynn Hodge; and Randolph Carter, Suffolk Clerk of Circuit Court.

Pisces Owner Margaret Gellas said that Elvis also will make an appearance. Don’t expect The King to be serving, though; he’ll just be mingling with guests.

“U Can’t Beat Kids!” T-shirts and coffee mugs will be on sale during the evening, too.

The goal for this year’s event is to raise $20,000 to be used to protect children by providing programming, resources and public education for communities throughout Hampton Roads, Coyle said.

In fiscal year 2004, there were 29 children in Virginia who died as a result of child abuse and neglect, according to a PCAHR press release. Twelve, or 41 percent of those deaths, occurred in Hampton Roads. As the abuse and neglect of our children increases, an overburdened system faces the real threat of even fewer resources to help save children, and countless cases go unreported, according to the release.

Celebrity Night provides a fun opportunity for the community to support the agency’s efforts and get the word out that “U Can’t Beat Kids”!

“It’s a lot of fun,” Coyle said.

Reservations are not required, but are recommended, she said.

Call Pisces at 923-9740 to make reservations.

Other participating restaurants are: Azalea Inn, Baker’s Crust (Ghent) and Byrd & Baldwin Brother Steakhouse, all in Norfolk; Baker’s Crust Bread Market and Restaurant, Croc’s Restaurant, Federico’s Italian Restaurant, Havana and II Giardino’s Ristorante, all in Virginia Beach; Roger Brown’s Restaurant & Sports Bar in Portsmouth; and Vivo’s Italian Eatery at Greenbrier in Chesapeake. For more information about Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads, visit the organization’s Web site at www.ucantbeatkids.org

ashley.taylor@suffolknewsherald.com