Singed: Annual roast fires up crowd
by Rebecca Johnston rjohnston@cherokeetribune.com
September 30, 2012 12:55 AM | 2016 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rebecca Johnston<br>Cherokee Tribune Managing Editor
Rebecca Johnston
Cherokee Tribune Managing Editor
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The annual Cherokee County Boys and Girls Celebrity Roast usually raises a lot of money and plenty of chuckles.

This year’s event succeeded in the first category, and County Manager Jerry Cooper gets the kudos as usual for making it one of the premier fundraisers in Cherokee County again this year.

While the money was flowing in abundance, and more than $80,000 came in for the Boys and Girls Club programs, the laughs were a little harder to come by.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens was a good sport for the evening, enduring more than enough jokes about his short stature from his buddies from Cobb County, Commission Chair Tim Lee and Chamber President David Connell.

When Lee tried to sit in the same seat with Connell, emcee Jamie Bendell of the Punchline Comedy Club quipped “Isn’t that still against the law?” referring to the Cobb Commission’s anti-gay resolution they adopted in the 1990s.

All four of the roasters lamented the lack of material provided by Olens, who was a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention in what one roaster termed “near prime time.”

Lee, who alluded to plenty of situations relevant to Cobb insiders, told the crowd he actually voted against Olens when he ran for commission chair because “Sam wanted 450 homes when the land use plan called for 50.”

Lee also referenced a farm Cobb County bought while Olens was county commissioner, saying that Olens wanted the two mules that occupied the land to provide a petting experience for school children. The mules were later sold.

“He wanted to save the two donkeys, but now I think we have them in Minnesota,” Lee joked.

The roaster who got the most laughs from the Cherokee crowd in attendance was, of course, the always humourous State Court Judge Alan Jordan.

Jordan got in more digs against retiring District Attorney Garry Moss than he did against Olens.

Moss, according to Jordan, was supposed to attend but didn’t show up, although perhaps he should have been there as his height and dour personality was the butt of several jokes.

Jordan said the reason Moss was not in attendance was that “flying monkeys carried the little Munchkin away.”

Jordan also shot off some volleys at the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners for their involvement in the Ball Ground Recycling mess.

He went a little easier on them though, since Chairman Buzz Ahrens and commissioners Jason Nelms, Karen Bosch and Harry Johnston were all in attendance at the event.

Olens did a great job of getting in some jabs himself once he was able to silence emcee Bendall, a self-professed Democrat.

While the event usually draws more than its share of legislators and other state politicians, this year the local judges were out in force, thanks to the prominence of the night’s honoree.

Superior Court Judges Jackson Harris and Ellen McElyea sat at Olens’ table, and Superior Court Judge-elect David Cannon Jr. and District Attorney-elect Shannon Wallace were in attendance.

The fourth roaster was Wallace’s father-in-law, Republican chair for the 11th District, John Wallace.

***

THE HARDY SOULS who make up the Cherokee County Democrats were holding an event at the same as the roast Thursday evening at the Fork and Tavern in downtown Canton.

Designed to showcase Democratic candidate for the 11th District Congressional seat Patrick Thompson and Lillian Burnaman, who is running as a Democrat Nov. 6 for the District 20 state House seat against Republican Michael Caldwell, the event drew about 75 people, a respectable number for the minority party in Cherokee County.

Cherokee County Democratic Party Chair Georgette Thaler called the night a great success and gave a shout out to Lisa Murad, first vice chair, for organizing the rally.

The event raised a lot of funds, and people came from all the counties in the 11th District, Thaler said.

Thompson used the opportunity to emphasize his stands on ethics, lobbyists, climate change and energy alternatives and urged people to go to the polls in November.

Burnaman, a public school teacher, wants to give educators and local school districts more of a voice in the state legislature.

***

CHEROKEE COUNTY REPUBLICANS are planning a Romney/Ryan Rally for the 11th Congressional District on Sunday Oct. 14 at the Hobgood Park “old“ Amphitheater at 4 p.m.

According to Republican Women’s Chair Lori Pesta this will be a fall Sunday afternoon at the park. Families can bring their children, blanket, and lawn chair and enjoy an afternoon with music, fun and listen to guest speakers address why Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the best team to lead the country.

Romney yard signs and other materials will be available.

“Around Cherokee” is compiled by Rebecca Johnston and the editorial staff of the Cherokee Tribune.

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