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Column: Act3, Mary Hall Freedom House partner for benefit
August 07, 2013 02:41 PM | 3547 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Act3 Playhouse on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs will stage the powerful play “A Piece of My Heart” by Shirley Lauro Aug. 14 through 17 as a benefit for the nonprofit Mary Hall Freedom House, also located in Sandy Springs.

The theater is operated by Act3 Productions and offers a full repertoire of musicals, dramas, improvisations and original productions performed by professional and amateur actors of all ages.

The award-winning play is based on the true accounts of six courageous women who served in the Vietnam War and their struggles to make sense of a war that irrevocably changed them and the nation that shunned them.

Performances will be scheduled for special audiences. Aug 14 is Industry/Veterans Night and tickets are $15 each. Events Aug. 15 and 16 will include performances, a pre-show reception at 7 p.m., a silent auction and a Q&A session for the audience with veterans who have been served by the Freedom House, and tickets are $100 each. The Aug. 17 performance will round out the week and will cost $25 per person.

“We are delighted to partner with Mary Hall Freedom House to bring this timely play to Atlanta audiences and to introduce them to this special nonprofit organization that serves women and children, including female veterans,” said Patti Mactas, artistic director of Act3 Productions. “This play puts a face on the women who served their country, many of whom struggled to readjust to civilian life once they returned home”

The founding team of Act3, affectionately known as the “Drama Mamas,” is committed to creating new works and supporting emerging artists through classes, workshops, camps and performing opportunities. The nonprofit strives to expose young people to drama, dance, music, visual arts, technical production and more — both onstage and behind the scenes.

Founded in 1996, the Freedom House is a national leader in providing gender-specific treatment recovery, housing and support services to help women and women with children break the cycle of addiction, poverty and homelessness. Wrap-around services include medical care, child care, job readiness training, mental health treatment and client-centered substance abuse treatment.

Tickets and information: (770) 241-1905 or visit or

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The picturesque championship golf course at Chateau Élan on Charlemagne Drive in Braselton will be the site of Atlanta-based Variety Club’s Golf Fest benefit Aug. 22.

Golfers — men and women of all ages — are invited to tee off at 8:30 a.m. and join big-hearted competitors for lunch and awards afterwards.

The open-to-the-public golfing day is the 44th annual Georgia tournament hosted by Variety-The Children’s Charity Tent 21 to support the nonprofit’s children-oriented programs.

Golf Fest Co-Chairs Norm Shindler and Kip Smiley Jr. and an active local golf committee are working to make the 2013 fest a memorable fundraising event. George Lefont of Lefont Theatres is a longtime Variety board member and serves on the golf committee.

Known as “The World’s Greatest Children’s Charity” since 1928, the national nonprofit was created by the motion picture and entertainment industry with the mission to enrich, improve and fulfill the lives of children living with disabilities and disadvantages. Its Georgia chapter was founded in 1939.

The vernacular of the circus was used to designate regional clubs as “tents” and members as “barkers.”

Information and registration: (678) 994-4210 or visit

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Local volunteers are stepping up to fuel the National Lung Cancer Partnership’s movement to double lung cancer survivors by 2022.

The organizing catalyst for Atlanta’s Free to Breathe benefit run/walk Aug. 17 is Amy Waggoner of Decatur. She lost her best friend to lung cancer in 2008 and has turned her grief into advocacy by sparking the first, and now the fourth, 5K fundraiser in the metro area.

The 1-mile walk and 5-kilometer run will rally supporters at John Howell Park in Virginia-Highland. The day begins with a 7 a.m. check-in registration, which leads to an 8:15 a.m. rally for participants. The run starts at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 8:35 a.m., followed by an awards ceremony at 9:15 a.m. for the top finishers and fundraisers.

Early registration is encouraged. Participants can register online by paying a $25 donation fee through Aug. 13. Participants can also register on race day for $30.

The exhilarating run-walk event encourages individuals, teams and businesses to participate and join the overall National Walk Week effort to sustain the meaningful lung cancer survivor effort in November.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Atlanta volunteer event will support the partnership’s programs for making dramatic breakthroughs in early detection and treatment to save lives.

It is a Madison, Wis.-based nonprofit composed of leading doctors, researchers, patient advocates and lung cancer survivors dedicated to increasing lung cancer survival in the U.S.

Information and registration: (608) 828-8852 or visit or

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Give Me Five, a gourmet evening featuring renowned local chefs and sommeliers Aug. 18 at Cherokee Town and Country Club in Buckhead, will benefit the No Kid Hungry campaign hosted by the Share Our Strength nonprofit.

This will mark the seventh year for the five-course Atlanta dinner dedicated to the appreciation of gourmet courses paired with fine wines and spirits — all in support of the national No Kid Hungry programs. “One in five children in America struggles with hunger, but together, we can make No Kid Hungry a reality.”

Starting with a cocktail reception, the affair will progress through dinner to live and silent auctions and entertainment emceed by Jenn Hobby of Kicks 101.5.

Each extraordinary course will be accompanied by commentary from chefs and sommeliers. Featured chefs are: Robert Fasce of Cherokee, Jason Shelley of Ocean Prime, Whitney Otawka of Farm 255, Daniel Zeal of Sea Island’s Georgian Room and David Gross of Cook Hall.

Each wine pairing will be verbalized by: Silvio Garcia of Cherokee, Ramien Balouch of Bistro Niko, Andrew Carter of the Georgian Terrace, Andres Loaiza of Aria and Stevenson Rosslow of Wrecking Bar.

Inspired by the Ethiopian famine in 1984, No Kid Hungry was created as a nonprofit in Washington to help end global hunger and poverty.

The campaign now connects American kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. This work is accomplished through a variety of networks, made up of private local citizens, government officials, business leaders and others providing innovative hunger solutions in their communities.

School-oriented and summer out-of-school initiatives by the innovative Cooking Matters programs focuses on empowering low-income families to stretch their food budgets so kids get healthy meals at home.

The No Kid Hungry partners raise funds to implement solutions that break down the barriers that keep kids from healthy food.

Tickets and information: (770) 436-5151 or visit or

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The hottest social good-deed ticket in town is the Summer Sizzle party scheduled for Aug. 23 at Summerour Studio on Bishop Street in west Midtown. The casual summer sendoff is a lead-in to major 2013-14 fundraising for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The third annual Sizzle will run from 8 p.m. to midnight featuring a Southwestern-themed feast from Endive Catering and an open bar with signature cocktails plus live music by the Bradley Cole Smith Band.

Co-Chairs Elizabeth Draughon and Ann Hart Hunter and 20 steering committee volunteers hope to exceed last year’s successful support for the Children’s ongoing pediatric care initiatives.

The summer party was launched in 2011 as a sendoff celebration to complement the Children’s formal annual winter-season benefit, the Hope and Will Ball.

Children’s, a nonprofit based in metro Atlanta, is committed to enhancing the lives of children through patient care, research and education. Managing more than half a million young patient visits annually at three hospitals and 17 neighborhood locations, it is one of the largest clinical care providers in the country. Proceeds from Summer Sizzle are earmarked to make Georgia a safer, healthier place for youngsters.

Tickets and information: (404) 785-7303 or visit

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