Brenda Gantt a huge hit in Columbiana

Published 5:36 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

By Beth Chapman | Special to the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – Brenda Gantt did a phenomenal job entertaining a crowd of 325 people that gathered for a fundraiser at Columbiana’s Grande Hall on Sunday, Oct. 15. She was her typical fun and energetic self—sharing stories of her faith, family and food. Some said it was reminiscent of being at their grandmother’s house.

Gantt participated in the fundraiser to help raise money for the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Shelby County (CASA). In all, over $30,000 was raised at the event for the abused and neglected children that CASA serves in Shelby County–many of them at the Patricia M. Smith CASA House.

“I am excited to visit Shelby County to help raise money for abused and neglected children,” Gantt said. “Children are our most precious resource, and we must always work to ensure they have a safe and permanent home. CASA does that, and I am proud to support its efforts.”

Gantt also encouraged the crowd to write down their stories and experiences for the generations to come.

“If you don’t write it down, it will be lost forever,” Gantt said. “We are only remembered for three generations.”

Gantt went on to say that life is short and precious and we should not waste a single moment of it. She stressed the importance of being “uplifters of people.”

Gantt, who has become a cooking sensation and internet phenomenon, got her start when young men in her church asked her to teach their wives how to cook. Obviously, she couldn’t accomplish that goal one-on-one, so she created a video. Not only did it teach the young women in her church to cook biscuits, but it went viral on the internet. Within two weeks, her video had accumulated over 1 million views. Three-and-a-half million followers and two cookbooks later, Gantt is still cooking and making videos.

Gantt shared her faith in God and how it’s played a vital role in her life. She compared a relationship with God to a broken platter.

“God knows we’re not perfect and we’ve gone through a lot just like that old platter,” Gantt said. “But, He loves us even though we are cracked, bruised and beaten.”

Gantt also posed for photos and signed autographs for many of the attendees.

CASA’s primary mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect. In doing so, CASA recruits and trains volunteers to go through the court process with those who have been abused, provides free parenting classes and offers supervised visits to children, who might not get them otherwise.

CASA is funded in part by the Children’s Trust Fund, a Shelby County Community Grant and various corporations, individuals, and foundations.

Those interested in becoming a CASA volunteer are encouraged to visit Casaofshelbycounty.org.