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Column: Gorilla Ball to entertain, lampoon local TV affiliates
by Sally F. White
Northside Neighbor Columnist
August 21, 2013 12:24 PM | 3794 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
The Gorilla Ball, the Atlanta Press Club’s night of hilarity and uncensored content, will poke fun at local television network affiliates Saturday night at the Defoor Centre on Defoor Avenue in west Buckhead.

Following tradition, this annual event will parody personalities from the local networks: WAGA-TV, WGCL-TV, WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. However, new for this year, the club is adding Atlanta’s Laughing Skull comedians, who will entertain members and guests through good-natured ignominy and lots of extra laughs — leave cell phones, hidden cameras and egos at the door.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available.

The club was founded in 1964 by a core group of notable local print journalists. Over the years membership expanded to include other media along with public relations professionals and rode the new wave of electronic journalism to become influential in tackling issues such as city politics and Atlanta’s growing position in the international community. Today, the club is located in the 191 Peachtree building downtown. Journalists from the print, broadcast and online communities comprise more than half of the club’s 500-member roster, making it one of the largest and most dynamic press clubs in the U.S.

The organization welcomes all professional journalists and friends, TV fans and new members to share the Gorilla Ball lampoon. Advanced ticket reservations are requested.

Reservations and information: (404) 577-7377 or visit

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The magical annual String Fling benefit for the Center for Puppetry Arts in Midtown will take stage Sept. 7 at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead.

The gala fundraiser features a cocktail hour, a formal seated dinner and a whimsical puppetry performance along with live and silent auctions. Guests will get up close and personal with puppets and puppeteers, bid with lively auctioneer Will Johnston and enjoy an open bar followed by a delicious dinner and a short puppetry performance.

Volunteers Dean and Bronson Smith are serving as event co-chairs with a committee of sponsoring volunteers.

The evening will celebrate the center’s successful past stemming from Executive Director Vincent Anthony’s background work in the 1960s with legendary puppeteers Sid and Marty Kroft and Jim Henson’s famous Kermit the Frog ensemble to become the first puppetry center in the U.S. It also will spotlight the center’s route to its present status as the largest institution dedicated to the art of puppet theater in the country. The scope of its performances, museum and educational programs is also recognized internationally.

Funds from String Fling help support the center’s arts-infused educational programs, the museum, school field trips and discounted and free admissions for underserved children. The permanent home for the resident company is in Atlanta’s former Spring Street Elementary School and is supported in part by the Fulton County Commission, Fulton Arts Council and Georgia Council for the Arts.

Tickets and information: (404) 881-5118 or visit

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The new Fix Georgia Pets nonprofit is celebrating its beginning year Sept. 6 at the Buckhead home of founder Ginny Millner and her husband Guy with an invitation-only garden party to honor Anne Cox Chambers for her meaningful contributions to reach the goal to halt the pet overpopulation in Georgia.

Last year Fix Georgia Pets was initiated by Ginny Millner, longtime philanthropist and animal friend, along with a group of her forward-looking volunteer comrades. They discovered an estimated 300,000 homeless dogs and cats are euthanized each year in Georgia, including 80,000 in metro Atlanta.

With the energetic support of founding members such as Dale Wintlend, founder of the Animal Companion Rescue Fund, along with community leaders, advocates and volunteers Barbara Joiner, Suzy Wasserman and Rubye Reid, the nonprofit has spread its reach throughout Georgia to recruit contributors and supporters and stanch the pet overpopulation crisis.

Fix Georgia Pets provides grants and monies to veterinarians and reputable spay/neuter clinics that provide the service in high pet overpopulation areas across the state. The goal is to “fix” 5,000 dogs and cats throughout Georgia communities within one year.

“I used to think adoption was the only solution, but it is not enough,” Ginny Millner said. “Georgia euthanizes more animals than any other state in the country, and that is why my heart goes out to the helpless animals. I conclude that spaying and neutering is the only real solution. Fix Georgia Pets is taking action to stop the epidemic.”

Information: (404) 835-4100 or visit

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