Paula Deen coming to Ozark

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Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 5:27 pm | Updated: 6:42 pm, Wed Jul 24, 2013.

OZARK — The southern, Emmy Award-winning television cook known for her charm, restaurants and cookbooks will be coming to Ozark next month to help raise funds for medical care and honor a local doctor.

Paula Deen is set to come to the Ozark Civic Center Aug. 29, during a ceremony held in honor of longtime Ozark physician Dr. Connie Chandler. The event is expected to raise funds for the Dr. L.D. McLaughlin Memorial Fund, which event coordinator Jenny Tidmore said was established in honor of his service to the community and to assist with growing the number and quality of services provided by the hospital.

Tidmore said proceeds from the event will go toward capital improvements for the hospital to better serve its patients and community.

Tidmore said August’s event will mark the second one the foundation has held.

“People in the Dale County community have such respect for the McLaughlin Foundation and for Dr. Chandler, so a lot of local businesses have already come on board,” she said.

“Paula Deen is a personal friend of Dr. Chandler’s, so we figured this would be an opportunity to make even more proceeds for the foundation by having her here to entertain the audience by being her witty, Southern, charming self.”

According to her website, Deen is a Georgia native who, as a single mother, launched a home-based catering company in 1989 before rising to stardom around 2002, when she first premiered on the Food Network.

The Food Network announced last month it would not renew the two-time Emmy Award winner’s contract after she admitted during a deposition in a discrimination lawsuit that she had used a racial slur in the past.

Deen has since apologized.

Tidmore said Deen agreed in January to attend the event.

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