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School to raise money with Mardi Gras Gala
by Savannah Weeks
January 30, 2013 07:46 AM | 2243 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self <br>
From left, Mardi Gras Gala co-chairs Susan Jones, of Vinings, and Annette Ring, of east Cobb, prepare for the event, which benefits Cumberland Academy of Georgia.
Staff / Nathan Self
From left, Mardi Gras Gala co-chairs Susan Jones, of Vinings, and Annette Ring, of east Cobb, prepare for the event, which benefits Cumberland Academy of Georgia.
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The Cumberland Academy of Georgia in Sandy Springs began with one student five years ago. Now the school serves about 80 students with high-functioning autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD and other learning disabilities.

The school’s major fundraiser is its annual Mardi Gras Gala.

In 2012, the school raised almost $100,000, and this year’s co-chairs and parents Susan Jones and Annette Ring hope to bring in at least that much at this year’s Feb. 9 gala.

The event will feature live and silent auctions, which the co-chairs said have been a big draw in the past. Some items featured in the live auction include a stay at a house in Costa Rica and a Nantucket beach house.

Silent auction items featured include James Avery jewelry, Disney resort tickets, restaurant gift cards and wine baskets.

A New Orleans-style dinner will be served by Avenue Catering.

There will be a blackjack table and a poker table and live entertainment will be provided by the band Comrade Blue, an alternative rock band whose drummer is the father of a Cumberland student.

In addition, Cumberland parent Jennifer Andersen, known as the Southern Psychic, will give psychic readings for donations.

Money raised from the gala will go toward hiring an on-site speech therapist, the purchase of iPads for teacher use of special software and a special curriculum called brainjogging, which helps with students’ focus and learning.

“It’s really going to aid in the growth of the school,” said Ring. “In order to be competitive in learning right now, schools need special curriculum.”

Jones said many students currently work with speech therapists outside of the school.

“We’re always looking for new technology and new ways of teaching our kids, because they don’t learn the way other kids learn,” she said. “We want to help the kids succeed in a way they might not in a public school environment.”

If you go:

 What:
Cumberland Academy of Georgia’s fifth annual Mardi Gras Gala

 When: Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.

 Where: on campus, 650 Mount Vernon Hwy., Sandy Springs.

 Tickets: $150 each. Attire is carnival casual, and masks are encouraged.

 Information: www.cumberlandacademy.org/

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