As a TV news anchor, Karla Heath-Sands is accustomed to the spotlight. Friday evening at Albany Technical College, however, was a totally different matter.
As the guest of honor at the ATC Foundation’s 14th annual Celebrity Roast she had no clue what to expect from a panel of roasters ranging from colleagues to good friends.
“I’ve been to several roasts but I have never been roasted,” Heath-Sands said. “I’m not that apprehensive because I know Yolanda (Amadeo) and Cade (Fowler) well. I think well see a side of Cade tonight that many have never seen before. I just hope we are still friends Monday.”
Heath-Sands said she agreed to the roast because she served on Albany Tech’s board of directors for “seven or eight years.”
“When I told (ATC President) Anthony Parker that I was leaving the board, he didn’t want me to leave,” Heath-Sands said. “He said he needed my tie-ins to the area. But it was time to go and Dr. Parker has done a great job with the college. He and his wife, Sandra, are close friends, but I am honored to be here tonight. In all my time here I never imagined being the roastee.”
Fowler, who co-anchors “Today In Georgia” with Heath-Sands, admitted to having butterflies before the event.
“Are we on the record?” Fowler asked before commenting about his WALB co-host. “I’m a little nervous, but I have gained so much respect for Karla after having worked with her over the last couple of months. But I’ve come up with a couple of things I think I can get he with.”
Before the event, State Court Judge Victoria Darrisaw was coy in her response about what she would say during her turn at the podium.
<p> “Women don’t like to give their age away, but Karla and I have been friends for more that 20 years,” Darrisaw said. “I am normally a shy person, but for her I am stepping out of my comfort zone. You will probably hear me use the Southern woman’s favorite expression — bless her heart — quite a bit tonight.
In addition to Fowler, Darrisaw and Amadeo, Michelle Polk and Sandra Parker were roasters for the event.
The Albany Tech Foundation Inc. was established in 1987 to support the college, its programs and activities. As a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, the foundation serves as the conduit through which cash, equipment and property donations pass from donors to the college. The operations of the foundation are guided by a board of trustees consisting of community leaders from throughout Albany Tech’s seven-county service delivery area.
All proceeds from the roast will benefit Albany Tech students in need of financial assistance through the Albany Tech Foundation.