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Party on the Plaza

A Benefit for Church Health

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger | Photos by Don Perry

With little-to-no advertising except through sponsorships, the new kid on the block brought in a sold-out crowd as people gathered at Crosstown Concourse for the inaugural Party on the Plaza event. Tables for 10 dotted the plaza in front of a large stage where Walrus was the opening act. Party-goers dressed in “fireside chic” attire and settled in for the evening. Ken Hall, Church Health Special Events Manager, and Janie Lowery, Gifts Officer, were co-producers of the party.

“Party on the Plaza was a first year effort from Church Health as we sought to create a new signature event. Our chairs Melissa and Kevin McEniry, our great host committee who signed on for an unknown event, generous restaurants, and an army of volunteers made this event a tremendous success,” said Hall.

Sampling stations from 18 local restaurants rimmed the perimeter, tempting guests with offerings like mini crab cakes, bacon-wrapped shrimp, smoked trout tarts, muffalottas, seafood chowder, pork tenderloin sandwiches, sherried wild mushroom soup, bread pudding and cannoli. Liquid refreshments from an open bar featured wine and beer, as well as vodka and bourbon drinks.

Dr. Scott Morris, founder and CEO of Church Health, welcomed the crowd and spoke about the organization’s mission of offering healthcare for the working uninsured. Joining Dr. Morris on stage was John Herold, a patient who recently received a cancer diagnosis. Herold, a life-long stagehand, who volunteered with the planning of the event, told how the medical treatment he received from Church Health had helped him.

Afterwards Robert Randolph and his all-star friends rocked the night away. The hand-picked, ad hoc band which Randolph recruited at the request of his friend Kevin McEniry included sidemen from the Dave Matthews Band, Neville Brothers Band, and more. As a result, the music was at the level of a major concert and provided an atmosphere that was perfect for an evening soiree under the stars.

Event sponsors included nexAir, Delta Dental, First Tennessee Foundation, AutoZone, Bluff City Jaguar/Range Rover, CBIZ, Diversified Trust, Grinder,Tabor & Grinder, International Paper, Kendra Scott, LEDIC, NovaCopy, Social (A Shop for Gracious Living) and The Shopping Center Group. Additional support was provided by Elijah Craig Bourbon, Juice Bar, Larceny Bourbon, Liberty School Winery, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Treana Winery. Adding to the evening’s coffers, Kendra Scott held an on-site jewelry pull.

Proceeds from Party on the Plaza will help with the programs which Church Health has now combined into the Crosstown Concourse  building – medical, dental, physical therapy, culinary medicine, nutrition counseling, social work, and urgent care — all for working people of the Memphis area with little or no access to healthcare.

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