Tidewater Academy ‘Meal Night’ a success, second planned later this month

By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: February 11, 2020 | 2:31 p.m.

SURRY – Tidewater Academy’s Senior Class of 2020 recently participated in a special fundraiser when they teamed up for the first official Meal Night at the Virginia Diner, according to Jeanette Francis, Tidewater Academy’s head of Development and Fundraising.  

From 5 – 8 p.m. on Jan. 29, 11 members of the senior class paired up with Diner staff and took turns as servers, hostesses, and cashiers, Francis said.  Tidewater Academy earned 15% of all meal sales and 20% of all gift shop sales during this time frame, plus they sold diner peanut pies before and during the event as part of the fundraiser.  And for their efforts, they earned approximately $972 for TA, with $462 of the total going to the seniors’ Tips for Seniors.      

Another plus for the students, Francis said, was that many of the seniors who helped that night are looking for possible summer employment now, and the Diner is pleased to have piqued their interest.  

“It was a great energy in the restaurant that night, seeing young people smiling with such enthusiasm,” related general manager, Ricardo Lee. 

Titas Mikalopas, a TA Senior and two-year exchange student from Lithuania known as “T”, said all of the waiting staff, cook staff, and management at the Virginia Diner were so friendly, welcoming, and helpful.  He added that he really enjoyed his role as waiter, and said that if he still is in the area in the summer, he just might ask for a job at the diner!  

Stacey Franchok, another senior, enthused,  “It was a fun opportunity for the seniors; TA got to show our school spirit and it felt homey and exciting in the restaurant – like family!” 

Guests, like Pam Rogers of Wakefield, commented that it was great to visit with local TA family and friends, and according to Francis, guests outside of the TA family also became fans and friends of TA that night.   

Head of Tidewater Academy Lisa Francis, who was there greeting guests and cheering on students described the event as a great night of TA family and fellowship. 

Afterward, Jeanette Francis said, “It was such a great event-comprised of community engagement, student service, and school spirit – all valuable parts of an education at Tidewater Academy!”  

Andrew Whisler, President and COO of the Diner, described the fundraising event as, “a great opportunity to help out the school and invite in the community, and planning is in the works for the next meal night.” 

That next event will be a buffet scheduled for Feb. 26, from 5 til 8 p.m., when Juniors will provide the same types of service as the seniors provided. They also will be promoting apple pies to earn some extra tips for this spring’s prom decorations and expenses.

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