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Serving up smiles
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Hairy Dawg and University of Georgia cheerleaders Hannah Lech, left, and Maddie Batch wave motorists on Thursday into the Mellow Mushroom on Green Street in Gainesville for Celebrity Server Night to benefit the Edmondson-Telford Center for Children. Twenty-two celebrities, including eight current Atlanta Falcons, former Falcons and NFL players, as well as local figures, served Mellow Mushroom customers from 6 p.m. to closing, with all tips and 20 percent of all sales going to the Hall-Dawson County center that serves an average of 500 children each year. - photo by NAT GURLEY

Twenty-two current and former sports figures and notable locals can add “celebrity server” to their resumes after working restaurant tables Thursday night for a local child abuse advocacy center.

The Hall and Dawson County nonprofit Edmondson-Telford Center for Children will benefit from the servers’ tips, a raffle and 20 percent of all sales at the Mellow Mushroom on Green Street in Gainesville. Last year’s event raised slightly more than $12,000, said Edmondson-Telford program director Jane Carpenter.

The center is a first-stop advocate for an average 500 local child abuse victims each year, Carpenter said. Edmondson-Telford performs medical exams for physically and sexually abused children and works with law enforcement, the Department of Family and Children Services and the courts, she said. It also refers victims for counseling.

The Mellow Mushroom fed the servers pizza before their 6 p.m.-to-closing shifts. Carpenter told the group they didn’t have to keep up with the orders or billing at the crowded pizza eatery, as the regular servers would do that.

More information on the Edmondson-Telford Center for Children is available online at

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