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Column: Brookhaven Dines In to benefit local charities
October 09, 2012 06:29 PM | 3628 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
A series of Brookhaven Dines In dinners, parties and a luncheon hosted in the Historic Brookhaven community Sunday through Nov. 2 will benefit Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Residents of Brookhaven are partnering with top Atlanta chefs and restaurants to prepare and serve fabulous cuisine in the neighborhood’s elegant homes for unparalleled dining pleasure — all to support the nonprofit that provides temporary housing and support services to families of critically ill and injured children being treated at local hospitals.

Funds will go to the two Atlanta houses that since 1979 have provided “a home away from home” to more than 40,000 out-of-town families of ill and injured children who must travel to receive treatment at Atlanta-area hospitals.

Co-chairs are Brookhaven residents Tami Ayres and Donna Davidson. The hospitality committee includes: Dawn Anderson, Cathy Brewer, Carol Brunstad, Evelyn Dukes, Claire Ford, Melanie Hong, Melissa Longosz, Kathy Morrison, Christy Roberts, Ruth Skogstad, Shanna Smith, Katherine Strickland and Elizabeth Strom.

Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities is a volunteer organization offering many of the comforts of home including nutritious meals prepared and served by volunteers as well as emotional support through contact with other families experiencing similar situations. No family is turned away if they cannot afford the small $20 requested contribution. Families may stay at the houses for weeks, sometimes months, while their children receive medical treatment.

Tickets and information: (678) 704-8099 or visit

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The classical Georgian Chamber Players are keyed up for their annual Divertimento benefit performance Sunday afternoon at the Sandy Springs home of Dr. Dorothy Mitchell-Leef and Forrest Leef.

The invitational concert will star five professional musicians: concertmaster David Coucheron of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, principal cellist Christopher Rex and principal violist Reid Harris along with distinguished soloist and chamber pianist Elizabeth Pridgen and pianist Julie Coucheron, David’s sister.

The fundraising event will feature a brief concert by the players’ ensemble in an intimate setting reminiscent of the original purpose of “chamber music.” Wine and hors d’oeuvres will follow the performance.Among Northsiders on the players’ board of sponsors supporting the Leefs in hosting the annual benefit are: board chair Scott Calhoun, Anne and Bill Lester, Sally and Carl Gable, Sally Hawkins, Helga Siegel, Alex Simmons, Dick and Adair White and Martha Brewer.

The players are a nonprofit which has been a beacon of excellence on the local classical music landscape since they were formed in 1984.

Originally organized by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra principals to perform masterpieces from their chamber repertoire in more intimate venues, the musicians began playing in the Walter Hill Auditorium at the High Museum of Art in Midtown and performed for several years at the Georgia Pacific Auditorium in downtown Atlanta before moving in 1997 to the acoustically perfect Spivey Hall on the campus of Clayton State University in Morrow for major performances and to other local venues and private residences to showcase talented professional musicians.

Invitation and information: (770) 333-9417 or visit

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Guy LoFaro, author of “The Sword of St. Michael: The 82nd Airborne Division in World War II,” will be the Oct. 18 luncheon speaker for the Atlanta WW II Round Table at Petite Auberge restaurant in DeKalb County.

LoFaro served two tours with the 82nd Airborne and two tours teaching military history at West Point. His book tells the story of the U.S. Army’s first airborne division and traces the unit from concept through formation, training and combat in Italy and Europe to eventual occupation duty in Germany. Along the way he relates grand strategy and major battles as he reveals military personalities in high and low positions.

Originated in 1986, the nonprofit round table meets monthly from September through June. Its goal is to offer retired and active servicemen a chance to visit and share memories as they hear inspirational speakers review experiences and patriotic deeds and pass along love of country to the next generation. Members partner with other nonprofits to offer special services to veterans and maintain a lending library of books pertaining to history and patriotism.

Randolph Goulding is the current commander and John Kovach serves as adjutant.

Interested veterans and friends do not need a formal invitation. Just come to the restaurant for the $15 lunch at 11 a.m.

Information: (770) 436-4254 or visit

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The eager 1873 Society Club is hosting its third annual fundraiser, The Humane Event, for the Atlanta Humane Society Oct. 18 at Summerour Studio in West Midtown. The party is designed to raise awareness and generate funds to support the venerable local pet institution.

“This is our major social fundraising event and an integral part of our success in supporting the Atlanta Humane Society programs — last year’s event hosted 225 guests and raised $80,000!” club chair Sam Henderson said.

Junior board members serving as the event’s co-chairs are Johanna Ellis, Marian Goldberg and Kitsy Rose. Founded in 1873, the society is the oldest private animal welfare nonprofit in metro Atlanta and one of the oldest humane agencies in the U.S. In 2009, the board of directors created a junior board to involve young professionals and philanthropists and broaden the scope of interest and fundraising possibilities. The club was named for the Atlanta Humane Society’s founding year.

Services of the organization at its Howell Mill Road campus in northwest Atlanta and its Mansell Road campus in Alpharetta also have expanded over the years to include a wide range of programs: adoptions, a charitable veterinary clinic, pet-facilitated therapy, an animal behavior hotline, low-cost spay/neuter services, a pet food bank and canine play yards.

The overall mission is to prevent neglect, abuse, cruelty and exploitation of animals and to assure their interests and well-being are fully protected.

Tickets and information: (404) 974-2877 or visit

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Step back in time to the tantalizing time of underground gambling of the Prohibition era and join the Atlanta Symphony Associates for the third annual Bravo! Casino Night Oct. 19 at Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead.

The family owned luxury dealership will be converted to a Boardwalk empire featuring a variety of Vegas-style play-money games including poker, craps, black jack and roulette. Vixen Vodka specialty drinks will add to the nightlife ambiance with Red Sky Tapas and Bar delivering an exceptional social experience through food service and entertainment that crosses the spectrum of many regions and cultures.

Guests will step up to one of the hot tables and test their luck to win one of many prizes. The grand prize of the evening is a one-week stay at Le Pechoir — a “petite maison de village” located in Haut de Cagnes overlooking the majestic Mediterranean Sea and legendary Côte d’Azur. Other prizes include a signed guitar by Trey Anastasio, luxury hotel visits, original artwork, a dog lover’s gift package and tickets to Manheim Steamroller at the Fox Theatre in Midtown.

Shannon Smith and Natalie Ransom, co-chairs from the young professional group of associates, are organizing the evening of fun and games to benefit the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its education and community engagement programs. Included in the initiatives are the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and Talent Development Program as well as partnerships with local community institutions offing a variety of musical and educational experiences for citizens of all ages.

The associates are a nationally recognized all-volunteer group that coordinates projects throughout the year to promote and benefit the orchestra. For more than 60 years the associates have hosted the signature Casino Night, along with the Decorator’s Show House, A King Celebration Concert and the Atlanta Symphony Golf Classic.

Tickets and information: (877) 725-8849 or visit

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The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s seventh annual Night of Hope black-tie gala is all about finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.Staged at the InterContinental Hotel in Buckhead Oct. 19, the festive evening will include fine dining, silent and live auctions, music and heart-rending testimony.

Co-chair Joseph Carragher knows the heartache associated with the terrible disease. His wife Elaine lost her battle with ALS in 2010, and he is motivated to join in the fight to find a cure. Bill Leffler is sharing co-chair duties with a dedicated 38-member gala committee.

The association is the voluntary national nonprofit dedicated to the eradication of 43 neuromuscular diseases that affect more than a million Americans. The partnership between health care professionals, scientists and concerned citizens helps provide hope to families facing challenges of living with neuromuscular diseases and seeking a cure.

ALS is a tragic, incurable illness and starved for new science. But there is real hope on the horizon, and it comes in a significant, hometown Atlanta package. Twenty percent of the net proceeds from Night of Hope are designated to Emory University’s ALS research projects.

Tickets and information: (770) 491-6045 or visit

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Ideas and ways to transform your property into a personal oasis will be the inspirational subject of landscape architect and author Mary Palmer Dargan for a free 4 p.m. public lecture, book signing and reception at the Atlanta History Center’s McElreath Hall Oct. 24.

Dargan’s latest book, “Lifelong Landscape Design,” takes a holistic approach to enhancing health and longevity through the creation of outdoor spaces. She urges “landscaping your life” as you transform personal property into an environment where your family will flourish and thrive. The writing covers not only the beauty and peace of outdoor landscapes but includes healthy homegrown food, areas for children to play and outdoor spaces to entertain family and friends.

A practicing landscape architect for almost 40 years, Dargan and her landscape architect partner in life, Hugh Dargan, have designed personal utopias from England to the sunny coast of California and the urban center of New Orleans to historic Charleston, S.C.

Hosted by the Cherokee Garden Library and co-chaired by Virginia Almand and Yvonne Wade, the lecture is part of an ongoing series of shared horticultural events implemented by dedicated library volunteers. Other committee members helping organize the Dargan event are: Adelaide Burton, Fluffy McDuffie, Tracy Monk and Julie Durkee. Due to limited space, reservations are requested.

The library was founded by the historic Buckhead-area Cherokee Garden Club of Atlanta under the leadership of Anne C. Carr in 1975. Since becoming a part of the Atlanta History Center campus, the library serves as an educational resource center for gardening, landscape design, garden history, horticulture, floral design, botanical art and ecology.

With more than 25,000 books, photographs, manuscripts, seed catalogs and landscape drawings, the facility is a significant source of American horticulture and botanical history.

Reservations and information: (404) 814-4046 or visit

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