published Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Paula Deen to visit Alabama for hospital fund-raiser

OZARK, Ala. — Celebrity chef Paula Deen is planning to visit a hospital in an Alabama town to help raise money for a hospital and its foundation.

Deen is set to appear at an Aug. 29 ceremony at the Ozark Civic Center in honor of longtime Ozark physician Connie Chandler.

Event coordinator Jenny Tidmore said Deen and Chandler are friends, and Deen agreed in January to attend the event.

“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,” Tidmore told the Dothan Eagle.

In recent weeks, controversy over comments Deen made in a court case have left her network of business deals in shambles. Her troubles began within days of the public disclosure of a legal deposition, in which Deen admitted to having used the N-word to describe black people.

Proceeds from the August event will go toward capital improvements for the hospital, Tidmore said.

“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.

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