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Column: Hope and Will Ball to benefit Children’s Healthcare
by Sally F. White
Neighbor Newspapers Columnist
January 30, 2014 12:41 PM | 3726 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
The 11th annual Hope and Will Ball Saturday at the St. Regis in Buckhead will support Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta programs and help make kids “better and healthier tomorrow.”

The sold-out black-tie cocktail reception and dinner will recognize Helen and Jimmy Carlos as honorary co-chairs. The Atlanta couple exemplifies the spirit of philanthropy through extraordinary support and volunteerism as they inspire others.

The first Hope and Will Ball in 2003 was named for the Children’s little boy and girl logo symbols and has been a sold-out dining, dancing and lively auction success over the years as it funds vital programs to keep kids safe and healthy.

The benefit is hosted by the Children’s Friends organization, just one of 32 community volunteer groups supporting the nonprofit hospital system. As one of the leading pediatric healthcare systems in the U.S. responsible for operating three hospitals with more than half a million patients using their facilities annually, Children’s has a great need for community involvement in volunteer services as well as donated funds.

Proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will go toward equipment for treating critically ill and injured children along with prevention education, social work, school programs and clinical research.


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Seven exceptional professional women will present an innovative Beyond 9 to 5 panel discussion Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. as part of the Atlanta History Center’s Members Guild spring luncheon in the Grand Overlook Ballroom in Buckhead. The dialogue will center on ability, balance, community and causes and how these dynamic women manage their lives in the world of corporate business, arts, entertainment and volunteer commitments.

All of the panelists are supporters of the guild and range in professions from interior designer and nonprofit foundations to media, real estate and C-level executives of vital Atlanta-based companies: Ruth Anthony, Wendy Kopp, Vikki Locke, Cynthia Moreland, Jenny Pruitt, Carol Tomé and Valery Voyles.

Guild member Susan Tucker is serving as chairwoman and moderator, and Cyndae Arrendale is heading the host committee.

The center is an all-inclusive, 33-acre destination in Buckhead featuring a history museum, two historic houses, the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, the Kenan Research Center, a museum shop and acres of historic gardens and paths. In addition, it operates the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown.

The guild is a volunteer auxiliary group supporting the nonprofit center complex. Funds raised at the luncheon will benefit the center’s educational activities that serve more than 50,000 metro Atlanta schoolchildren and their families each year.

Tickets and information: (404) 814-4102 or

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This year will mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s Battle of Atlanta. Many local organizations and sites will evaluate the history-making event and review implications of the historic year on Atlanta residents and locations.

 “Commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War’s Battle of Atlanta will be centered at the Atlanta Cyclorama in 2014,” said Camille Russell Love, director of the city of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “The site in Grant Park will be host for 25 events at the museum and other locations around the city beginning Feb. 6, featuring programs about those who fought and those who stayed home — events for families, students, book clubs, teachers, historians and art lovers.”

The Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum opened in 1921 in its location in historic Grant Park on Cherokee Avenue near downtown. The two-story building houses the largest oil painting in the world. The circular art, known as a “cyclorama,” is 42 feet high and 358 feet long and depicts the entire series of conflicts which encompass the Battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864.

Public tours of the Cyclorama include stadium seating on a revolving platform affording a 360-degree view while visitors listen to details of the events depicted in the painting. An accompanying digital film is narrated by actor James Earl Jones.

The other centerpiece in the museum area is the Texas locomotive which was involved in the Civil War conflict and chronicled in “The Great Locomotive Chase.”

First in the free public series are one-hour screenings Feb. 6 with historian and educator Nasir Muhammad, who will lead the audience in facilitated dialogue on films such as “The Story of the Greensboro Four.” Feb. 20, author and history professor Barbara Krauthamer will talk about her book, “Black Slaves, Indian Masters.”

March 13 features author Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s lecture titled That Which Survives: Love Lost and Found in the Shadow of War (1861-1865).

April 3, “At the River I Stand: The 1968 Sanitation Workers’ Strike and the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” a riveting documentary set in Memphis, Tenn., will be shown.

One week later author Charles McNair will talk about his historical novel, “Pickett’s Charge,” about the last surviving Confederate veteran, 114-year-old Threadgill Pickett.

May and June will feature a talk on Jews in the garment industry at the William Bremen Jewish Heritage Museum in Midtown and a Juneteenth Celebration at the Cyclorama.

Continuing the commemorative series will be art exhibits at Atlanta galleries July through October and a September poetry reading by professor and author Natasha Trethewey.

Check for complete details on free events, sites and tickets to participate in the February through October commemoratory events.

Information and tickets: (404) 658-7625 or

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To celebrate today’s epic television and film industry growth and to champion the next wave of talent, the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Atlanta campus in Midtown is expanding and opening its second TVfest to the public Feb. 6 through 8. It will include three days of screenings, workshops, conversation and networking along with recognition of television and film luminaries.

The series will bring together professionals from all spheres of content, production, broadcast, cable, web, social media, film and advertising to discuss and showcase the best industry trends. It is modeled for graduate-level students but SCAD is sharing it with the public, including high school students.

The events combine television and film luminaries with SCAD’s community of students and faculty in a collaborative and immersive atmosphere. Activities will range from actual studio production and screenings to panels discussions and informal networking session in SCAD main classrooms on Peachtree Street to the off-campus studio, digital media center and newly acquired 14th Street Playhouse, also in Midtown.

Receptions and informal sessions will illuminate television and film in all spheres of production — from network to cable to the web — and enrich the advance study programs at SCAD’s expanding technical and conceptual studies of TV and filmmaking.

The private, nonprofit, accredited school was founded in Savannah in 1978 by Richard G. Rowan, Paula S. Wallace, May L. Poetter and Paul E. Poetter to provide college degree programs not previously available in southeast Georgia and to create a specialized professional art college to attract students from throughout the U.S. and abroad.

The curriculum was established with dual goals in education and career preparation for students. Today, with multiple locations — Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, Lacoste, France, and online offerings — SCAD continues to adhere to its goals and offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in film and television.

TVfest schedules, information and tickets: (404) 253-2740 or

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The Rotary Club of Buckhead’s annual Rotary Foundation Ball Feb. 8 at 103 West in Buckhead will salute two exceptional hands-on environmentalists and philanthropists.

This year Buckhead members are putting the spotlight on two volunteers who support protecting and improving the environment. Honorees are Laura Turner Seydel, chairwoman of the Captain Planet Foundation and active board member of her family’s Turner Foundation as well as other national conservation entities. Her attorney husband, Rutherford Seydel, focuses on environmental and conservation law, commerce and residential real estate and is co-founder and chairman of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, board chairman of the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology and is active in a number of other local and national conservation organizations.

Elizabeth Gill, Buckhead Rotary’s 2014 president-elect, and member Kathleen Geegan are co-chairing the benefit. Bill Knight is this year’s club president.

The world’s first nonprofit service organization, the Rotary Club, was founded in 1905 in Chicago with the objective of community service in the workplace — around the globe. The Buckhead group was created in 1951 and is now the second largest in metro Atlanta, with 175 members.

It is one of 32,000 clubs in 194 countries worldwide sharing a dedication to the ideal of service above self. Rotary is open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and is not affiliated with any political or religious organization.

Proceeds from the ball will fund the club’s signature project through 2016, which is a new Ronald McDonald House in Sandy Springs. The foundation has pledged to give $100,000 over the next three years. Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities is a nonprofit dedicated to serving the needs of children by providing temporary housing and support services to families of ill and injured children being treated at local hospitals.

The current house  has 11 bedrooms and has hosted more than 9,500 families since opening its doors in 1994, but its limited number of bedrooms has resulted in turning away more than 250 families per year. The new house will have 31 bedrooms and will expand their abilities to serve more families in a state-of-the-art facility.

Tickets and information: (404) 933-6637 or

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Once a year, staff and volunteers of Senior Services North Fulton reach out to the greater community for support through an annual Valentine-spirited fundraiser. The Feb. 8 Open Hearts for Seniors event will take place at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek. It will include a Champagne reception, a formal dinner, dancing to live music by Grapevine and silent and live auctions to build financial support for the varied senior citizen programs.

Senior Services North Fulton is a nonprofit founded in 1991 to provide programs and services for older adults living in the north Fulton sector including the cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Roswell and Sandy Springs. The consortium operates four senior centers, including one inside the Dorothy Benson Multipurpose Center in Sandy Springs. The staffs coordinate care for clients including Meals on Wheels, transportation and supportive in-home services. All clients are served regardless of ability to pay.

Like many nonprofit service providers across the state, the north sector Fulton County facilities are augmented by dedicated community volunteers who support and give financial aid to vulnerable older adults. Board member and longtime volunteer Bonnie Sammons is chairing the event.

This year the Sandy Springs Society is being recognized for its contributions and leadership in improving the quality of life for seniors in north Fulton. Organized by 16 energetic women 25 years ago, the nonprofit today numbers more than 300 members and over the years has raised more than $2.5 million to support the community.

Other 2014 honorees are volunteer Ray Doan and the Kimberly Clark Corp.

Tickets and information: (770) 993-1906, ext. 223 or

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It’s that time of year again! Every February the Taste of Love stylish black-tie event at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead treats guest to a gourmet Valentine dining experience prepared by the Ritz-Carlton chefs with live entertainment and luxury auctions to benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia.

Feb. 8 will mark the 10th signature affair with an impressive host committee lineup: Laura Buoch, Pam Murphy, Greg Embry, Anita Patterson, Bonnie Ledbetter, Stephanie Boswell, Patricia Terwilliger, Tracy Dean and Rebecca King.

The foundation is a nonprofit volunteer and professional organization committed to prevention and control of epilepsy and seizure disorders and to alleviate their effects, promote independence and enhance the quality of life for people who have it. The agency is active in a broad range of programs from information, education and advocacy to support of research, job placement, camp scholarships and delivery of specialized services.

The foundation holds numerous programs and events throughout the year to meet the needs of the more than 150,000 Georgians with a seizure disorder. This year’s Taste of Love is directing proceeds to programs designed to ensure affected Georgians are able to participate in life experiences.

Tickets and information: (404) 527-7155 or

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Don’t fuss about the weather — join friends and family Feb. 9 for the Big-To-Do at Stone Mountain Park’s Snow Mountain to play in the manmade snow while benefiting the Visiting Nurse Health System children’s program.

Folks of all ages can participate in an exhilarating adventure, set for 2 to 6 p.m.

Big-To-Do benefit tickets will include entrance to the park, two hours of snow tubing, snowmen and igloo building, access to the Snow Zone and much more. Participants can warm up inside with snacks and hot chocolate while enjoying the Snow Angel and other entertainment. Activities are wheelchair-accessible.

“Our children’s program cares for pediatric patients regardless of their diagnosis or ability to pay. In most cases reimbursement from Medicaid or private insurance covers only half of the costs,” said Dawn Dwyer, who is co-chairing the fundraiser with her husband Kevin Dwyer. “Big-To-Do is one way for all of us to help these families and at the same time enjoy a day of winter fun.”

Founded in 1948, Visiting Nurse Health System is Georgia’s largest nonprofit provider of health care at home. Its mission is to improve lives of patient of all ages and their families. Thanks to the support of generous individuals, foundations and corporations, Visiting Nurse provides quality home care to more than 28,000 patients each year regardless of diagnosis or ability to pay.

Tickets and information: (404) 215-6010 or

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