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Local leaders tend bar for charity
Funds benefit Rotary Interact, scholarships
Bartenders 1
Coldwell Banker Holtzman, Realtors employee Kristie Bricker Brown takes a customers order while Coldwell Banker Holtzman, Realtors owner George Holtzman, Flemington Mayor Pro Tem Paul Hawkins and Midway Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington fix drinks during Wednesdays nights celebrity bartending event at the La Quinta Inn in Flemington. - photo by Photo by Randy C. Murray

Local government, military and business leaders vied for tips Wednesday evening as they took part in a bartending competition at the Blue Fountain Lounge in the La Quinta Inn in Flemington.
The winning bartending team was Leah Poole, CEO of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, and Evanne Floyd, program assistant for the Liberty County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Poole and Floyd collected $235 in tips for the Hinesville Rotary Club’s scholarship and Interact programs.
Second place went to the team of Jason Stewart, of the local band 3rd Class Citizens, and Liberty County Commissioner Justin Frasier. They raised $88 in tips. Third place went to the team of Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas and retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jeff Ashmen of Caldwell Banker Holtzman, Realtors with $76 in tips.
The annual event was hosted by Lisette Vila, general manager of the Flemington La Quinta Inn, and Hasit Patel, owner of the inn. This year’s bartending competition was sponsored by the Hinesville Rotary Club. 3rd Class Citizens provided the music.
Rotary Vice President Brigitte Shanken said the celebrity bartenders were supervised by a licensed bartender to ensure public safety and fair play.
“We had a great time, and we collected over $400 for the Rotary’s scholarship and Interact funds,” Shanken said. “We had a lot of support from the community, including Fort Stewart. In all, we had a great turnout, and everybody had a lot of fun.”
Government leaders participating but not necessarily competing in the event included the above as well as Mayor Clemontine Washington of Midway, Flemington Mayor Pro Tem Paul Hawkins, Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission Executive Director Jeff Ricketson, and Gregg Higgins, director of Hinesville public-works contractor CH2MHILL/OMI.
Also showing their support were Garrison Commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Col. Kevin Gregory and Command Sgt. Maj. Louis Felicioni, and the new Winn Army Community Hospital commander and commander of the U.S. Army Fort Stewart Medical Department Activity, Col. Kirk Eggleston, and his wife, Rhonda.
Many of the non-celebrities attending were Rotary members, who were there to support their organization. Vila and Shanken, who are business leaders and Rotary members, participated in the merriment while ensuring the event ran smoothly, helping guests get the drinks they wanted and directing attendees to the food.
“We were happy to be able to help the Rotary add to their scholarship and Interact fund,” Poole said, speaking on behalf of the chamber and visitors bureau. “It helps to be able to do so in such a fun way and in such a fun setting. Kudos to Brigitte (Shanken) and Lisette (Vila) for another great event!”

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