East Band Director Wins Key to the City of Athens at Relay Fundraiser

By  | May 3, 2017 | Filed under: News

ATHENS-A band director trumped a firefighter, police officer, attorney and city councilman to raise the most in tips at Tuesday night’s City of Athens Relay for Life Celebrity Waiters Night at Applebee’s.


East Limestone Band Director Jennifer “Miss Sam” Janzen raised over $1,200 in tips to earn the top spot for the third year. She also beat Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks, as she predicted she would do, which earns her a key to the City of Athens.


“And, Mayor Marks has to present it to me in front of my band students at East Limestone,” she said.


The annual event raises money for Relay for Life to support research, patient services such as Hope Lodge in Birmingham, and local patient programs, such as wigs and scarves for chemo patients. Tuesday night’s event raised over $4,000 for Relay for Life. East Limestone band parents, band students and former band students came to Applebee’s to support their band director.


“It means a lot to me to live in community where people from Athens, East Limestone and throughout Limestone County will come together to fight cancer,” Janzen said.


Marks finished runner-up, raising $850 in tips.


“I enjoy picking at Miss Sam as much as I do volunteering for a good cause,” Marks said. “I’ll beat her one of these years.”


Firefighter Lee Marker road in on a fire truck to kick off the event and nabbed the third place spot, raising $705 in tips. His goal was to beat police officer Michael Stainbrook. Stainbrook, who dressed in a Spiderman costume and did push-ups, earned over $520 in tips.


Athens City Councilman Frank Travis and attorney Shane Black had a tight race, but Travis surpassed Black raising $439 compared to Black’s $401 in tips.

Holly Holman


“Each year the waiters and waitresses at Applebee’s support our Celebrity Waiters and help them take orders, clear tables and tabulate the cost of dinner,” said City of Athens Relay for Life Team Captain Holly Hollman. “We appreciate the hard work they put in to make our event a success.”


Hollman said this is the most raised at a City of Athens Relay for Life Celebrity Waiters event.


“Our team lost a co-worker to cancer earlier this year, and we have a team member currently fighting cancer,” Hollman said. “This is a fun event with friendly competition among the Celebrity Waiters, but it is also a way we can support our co-workers, friends and community in the fight against cancer.”

The Celebrity Waiters Earnings

  • East Limestone Band Director Jennifer “Miss Sam” Janzen – $1,231.65
  • Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks – $850
  • Athens Fire and Rescue Firefighter Lee Marker – $705
  • Athens Police Officer Michael “Spiderman” Stainbrook – $526.62
  • Athens City Councilman Frank Travis – $439
  • Athens Attorney Shane Black – $401

Total: $4,153.27

Photos by Holly Hollman

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