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Livingstone donates bar equipment to Salisbury Country Club

By Laurie D. Willis

Livingstone College News Service

SALISBURY – An exact timetable hasn’t yet been set, but eventually The Country Club of Salisbury will operate a full-service bar in the Grill Room – thanks in part to Livingstone College.

That’s because bar equipment from Livingstone’s School of Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts, housed in the former Holiday Inn on Jake Alexander Boulevard, was recently donated to the club by Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr.

“Our long-range plan is to offer a full-service bar with an expanded seating and kitchen area,” said Country Club General Manager Antwaun Thompson. “Based on estimates we were getting, it was going to cost us about a half million to expand, and about $20,000 of that would be for bar equipment and labor.”

Thompson said he contacted Jenkins about the possibility of buying the bar equipment that wasn’t being used at the hotel and was pleasantly surprised when Jenkins said the club could just have it.

“Dr. Jenkins understands the importance of working together as a community, and his donation of the bar equipment was an excellent way to demonstrate that,” Thompson said. “We’re immeasurably grateful to Livingstone for donating the equipment, which ultimately will mean we’re able to provide better service for our guests.”

If all goes well, Thompson said he hopes to have the bar fully operational by year’s end.

“Our members have been asking for us to install a bar for several years,” he said. “We have everything here; it’s just a matter of the preparation, including the plumbing and electrical work.”

Jenkins said the college was happy to donate the equipment to The County Club of Salisbury, where on Friday Livingstone will hold its annual Faith-Based Golf Tournament.

“Our goal is and has always been to collaborate with our corporate partners to improve the quality of life for our community,” Jenkins said. “We play our annual golf tournament at the Country Club of Salisbury, and the people who participate in our tournament give great kudos to the quality of the course and the excellent service they receive at the club.

“This donation should be seen as a symbiotic relationship where both parties benefit by being together,” Jenkins continued. “I cannot say enough about Mr. Antwaun Thompson, the club’s general manager. He’s a great salesman, and his strong, positive personality and attitude epitomize the spirit of collaboration.”

Vivian Ray, director of Livingstone’s School of Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts, said she’s thankful for the partnership that’s been established between Livingstone and The County Club.

“Mr. Thompson has been supportive of our program since its inception,” Ray said. “He’s demonstrated support by hiring some of our students as interns. He’s served as the keynote speaker at our annual hospitality leadership meeting, where students learn the importance of being professional and the ins and outs of hospitality management and culinary arts. He has also done an excellent job of telling students keys to success. ”

Ray said she’s glad the college donated the equipment to the club. And so is Maintenance Manager Ron Slack, who plans to convert it into a full-service Tiki bar.

“This equipment is a lifesaver for us,” Slack said recently while pointing to a three-tap Kegerator donated by the college. “Thanks to Livingstone, we’ve got about $20,000 worth of equipment here. This will be great for our revenue and is a big boost for us.”

That’s music to Ray’s ears.

“Mr. Thompson has been a sounding board for our hospitality management and culinary arts students when they’ve needed career guidance, and we’re really glad they’re going to be able to put the bar equipment to good use,” Ray said. “Likewise, I look forward to continuing our relationship with the club and to more Livingstone students gaining employment there in the future.”

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