Georgia Southern University

Seventh annual Farm-to-Table Dinner fundraiser to support Henderson Library

The Friends of the Zach S. Henderson Library and the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers Market have teamed up to present the seventh annual Farm-to-Table fundraising dinner on Thursday, June 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the belle house, 380 Westside Road in Statesboro.


Lissa Leege, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sustainability

The keynote speaker for this year’s dinner is Georgia Southern University’s Center for Sustainability Director Lissa Leege, Ph.D. Leege will share the mission and values of the Center, and share highlights from events and activities hosted by the center that encourages sustainable living. Leege is also a professor of biology at Georgia Southern.

“The mission and range of activities of the Center for Sustainability are consistent with the farm-to-table trend in which the emphasis is on producing food locally and delivering that food to local consumers,” said W. Bede Mitchell, Ed.D., dean of the Library.

Executive Chef Thomas Sweatt with Georgia Southern’s Blue Tie Catering will prepare the menu for the evening. The three-course menu includes:

First course:

– Southern style sweet potato salad with a savory dressing, red onions, dates and toasted Georgia peanuts

– Tossed salad of arugula and spinach with cornbread croutons, Georgia peaches, candied pecans and heirloom tomatoes with salty country ham and red onion with assorted dressings

– Smoked and fried pig tails tossed in a peach barbecue sauce topped with toasted Georgia peanuts and chives

– Buttermilk cornbread served with honey butter, made with local honey, and compound herb butter, made with herbs from the University’s garden

Second course:

– Lightly smoked Hunter Cattle Co. ribeye served with a variety of sauces

– Lemon grilled sheepshead or triggerfish served with lemon and butter

– Savannah red rice risotto with lemon thyme

– Roasted fingerling potatoes with sage

– Two assorted vegetables depending on availability at harvest

– Buttermilk cornbread served with honey butter, made with local honey, and compound herb butter, made with herbs from the University’s garden

Third course:

– Peach bread pudding with candied pecans served with whipped cream and pecan ice cream

Sweatt grew up in Billings, Montana, where he was a regular and and admiring presence in his grandmother’s kitchen as she cooked everything from scratch. This early exposure to the art of cooking led him as a teenager to seek jobs in restaurants, and when at age 17 he joined the Army, he became a member of the Army Quarter Masters. After his Army career, he had the opportunity to develop his expertise under the tutelage of many accomplished chefs at several resorts and restaurants. His desire to experience the low country has brought him to Georgia Southern University.

Funds raised from the culinary event and other Friends of the Library activities has contributed to the Library’s Foundation account, “Library Book Fund.” The annual interest from the endowment purchases approximately 150 scholarly works that the Library might not otherwise be able to afford.

Over the past six years, each dinner has raised between $1,500 and $2,500. Last year, the dinner raised more than $1,700.

“This year, our goal is to surpass $2,000,” Mitchell said. “We plan to use the money from this dinner to fund a special series of events – a surprise to be announced at the dinner. I look forward to announcing this unique opportunity for sharing with our community some rare and famous historical resources.”

In addition to the meal and guest speaker, Michael Braz, Ph.D., professor emeritus of music, will again provide musical entertainment during the pre-dinner cocktail mingling.

Tickets are $75 and may be purchased through the dean of the Library. Contact (912) 478-5115 or email for tickets and more information.

Friends of the Henderson Library was founded in 2002 and is dedicated to supporting and strengthening the Library’s services and collections.

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