Relay for Life team hosts dinner theater

COVINGTON -- This year, the Caldwell and Cowan Funeral Home Relay for Life Team decided to try a different approach to fundraising. Looking for a way to get the community involved, the team settled on hosting a dinner theater, something team member Ronda Ellis said she can't recall ever being done locally.

Her husband, Scott Ellis, is funeral director at Caldwell and Cowan. The funeral home has had a Relay for Life team for about four years, he said, as several employees, including owner Judson Caldwell, and their family members are cancer survivors.

So far, tickets to the dinner theater are selling fast: the venue only accommodates 304 audience members, and 200 tickets have already been purchased.

The evening will include a production of "The Red Velvet Cake War," a play co-written by one of the writers of the hit TV sitcom "The Golden Girls."

"It's a Southern comedy about three women trying to put on a family reunion that nobody wants to have," Ronda Ellis said.

The 12-member cast is comprised of local actors with experience in community theater.

Dinner will include baked chicken, green beans, vegetable medley, garlic mashed potatoes, salad and, for dessert, of course, red velvet cake.

The event takes place at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at Georgia Piedmont Technical College at 8100 Bob Williams Parkway. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling Caldwell and Cowan at 770-786-7062 or emailing kari.s@caldwellandcowan.com.

Community partners have been generous in coming forward to help with the event. Georgia Piedmont Technical College donated the space and Key Clubs at local high schools and Circle K International at Oxford College are volunteering. That will leave only food costs to be covered by entry fees, with the rest of the money to go to the American Cancer Society, Ronda Ellis said.

Newton County Relay for Life takes place April 26 at The Church at Covington.