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Column: Aqua Vino to benefit aquarium’s whale shark program
by Sally F. White
Neighbor Newspapers Columnist
October 09, 2013 03:30 PM | 4365 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
The Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta will host its unforgettable Aqua Vino wine and sample cuisine affair Thursday to benefit whale shark research.

This is the eighth annual bash created to benefit the world-class aquarium’s causes. The grand Oceans Ballroom and six distinct, vibrant galleries will offer guests an amazing evening including the cocktails and food samplings. It will also offer live and silent wine auctions with collectable Reidel memento wine glasses to fill for tastings throughout the evening and after the event.

As the aquarium’s largest annual fundraiser, proceeds from this year’s Aqua Vino will go to whale shark research and conservation efforts by staff and scientists who team with Mexican researchers and universities to protect and expand the understanding of whale sharks off the Yucatan Peninsula.

“The Georgia Aquarium is becoming a leading facility for aquatic animal conservation and research. Our fundraisers help further our efforts on behalf of aquatic animals,” said Alistair Dove, director of research and conservation. “By combining field research with the study of on-site animals in our controlled environment, the aquarium is contributing to the advancement of human knowledge in the area of animal science.”

Tickets and information: (404) 581-4000 or

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It’s planting time for beautiful Trees Atlanta! If you have any open ground on your property, this is your opportunity to add to Atlanta’s “city in a forest” reputation.

Trees Atlanta’s annual Tree Sale is Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kendeda Center, Platinum LEED-certified headquarters, on Chester Avenue in Reynoldstown and will offer more than 1,000 beautiful, healthy plants.

This year’s annual sale will not only feature unusual and hard-to-find native and exotic trees, it will also show off a selection of native trees, shrubs and perennials that attract wildlife and pollinators such as birds, butterflies and bees.

Advance Trees Atlanta donors of $500 or more are invited to attend a preview shopping night Friday for first selection before the public sale Saturday.

“Every dollar invested at the Tree Sale will not only buy you a great tree for your yard, it will also enable Trees Atlanta volunteers to rejuvenate Atlanta’s declining tree canopy and contribute to a healthy diverse urban forest,” said Greg Levine, who shares Trees Atlanta’s co-executive director position with Connie Veates. “Shoppers need to come early since many of the species sell out within minutes. We will have experts on hand to help folks make decisions on which plant is right for their needs.”

The nonprofit Trees Atlanta program is a nationally recognized citizens group that has protected and improved Atlanta’s urban forest by planting, conserving and educating since 1985.

Information: (404) 522-4097 or

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The Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta will be the setting for the Art of Nature Gala Sunday supporting the Caring for Others Inc. human services organization.

Generous guests will enjoy the fascinating indoor nature panorama of “underwater sea life” as they celebrate Caring for Others’ 12-year journey to improve the quality of life for economically disadvantaged families.

A cocktail reception and seated dinner will be accompanied by a choral performance from Atlanta Young Singers while fun raffles will add to financial aid.

This year’s host committee includes: Lalohni Campbell, Chanda Dabney, William Fogler, Kwanza Hall, Rosemarie Loyle, Pascale Rim, Roporscha Taylor, Timothy Tew and Doddy Ward.

Since 2001 the nonprofit Caring for Others has headquartered in southwest Atlanta and initially focused on metro communities offering personal dignity and providing basic necessities to economically disadvantaged individuals, senior citizens, the disabled, the unemployed and families with children.

In recent years the reach has expanded to partnerships with more than 110 agencies in Georgia and the U.S. to provide services to a broader range of economically disadvantaged rural communities and even overseas with progressive solutions. Programs strive to prevent the familiar cycle of poverty and help stabilize lives by meeting basic needs of food, clothing and economic services to support families to become self-sufficient.

Tickets and information: (404) 761-0133 or

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As a forerunner to the Historic Brookhaven Candlelight Tour of Homes Oct. 24 to benefit Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities, Tootsies in Buckhead will host a private elegant sponsor luncheon and fashion presentation at its Around Lenox shopping center boutique Oct. 16.

Four prestigious homes will be open for the evening visits with tour guests escorted on up-close views of a variety of unique architectural styles and handsome interior designs.

“All proceeds from the annual tour will again go to help provide temporary housing and support services to families of children treated at local hospitals,” tour committee member Donna Davidson said. “Our Brookhaven community is very generous in opening their homes and hearts to the two local Ronald McDonald Atlanta houses.”

Serving with Davidson on the tour committee are Tami Ayres, Dawn Anderson, Trudie Bisciotti, Cathy Brewer, Carol Brunstad, Claire Ford, Julie Fortin, Melanie Hong, Melissa Longosz, Linda MacArthur, Mary Owen, Christy Roberts, Ruth Skogstad, Katherine Strickland and Elizabeth Strom.

The nonprofit Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities serves the needs of children by providing temporary housing and support services to the families of critically ill and injured children being treated in local hospitals. There are two houses in metro Atlanta. Since the first house opened in 1979, more than 42,000 families have been served.

Tickets and information: (678) 704-8099 or

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A first-person pre-war and World War II British experience will be the focus of the Atlanta World War II Round Table luncheon Oct. 17 at the Petite Auberge restaurant on North Druid Hills Road in DeKalb County.

Featured speaker B. “Burt” Richard Sadler was only 14 in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland and started the war. He will relate his evenings in bomb shelters and his teenage duties as part of the Boys Brigade as Germany firebombed London. In 1943 he enlisted in the British Royal Marines and served in the Landing Craft Infantry through the invasion of France in 1944.

He will tell of the ingenious method used by the Royal Air Force to redirect bombs over non-populated areas. Sadler remained in service after Germany capitulated, capturing and corralling the military that refused to surrender.

The nonprofit round table meets 10 times a year, September through June, at the restaurant for a social time and luncheon speaker with the mission to review war experiences of members and invited guests and encourage and demonstrate pride in the U.S. and its armed forces. Members from all branches of the U.S. military are dedicated to passing along to future generations the knowledge of the war and what it meant to the preservation of liberty around the world.

Reservations are not required. Members along with families, non-members and military service people interested in preserving history are invited to join in the lunch meetings, which cost $15.

Information: (770) 638-7824 or

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A bright fall fashion presentation will be the centerpiece for the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee Guild benefit luncheon Friday at the Swan Coach House Restaurant on the Atlanta History Center campus on Slaton Drive in Buckhead.

Chico’s of Phipps Plaza in Buckhead will present the seasonal fashion preview featuring stylish member models. Host committee members are: Louise McCann, June Hodge, Linda Wickham, Rita Fink and Rubye Reid.

Guests will get an update on the school and the guild scholarship program from visitors Anthony Skro, headmaster of the historic Rabun Gap-Nachoochee School, and Paige Spivey, assistant head of advancement.

The school was founded in the early 1900s to give a basic education to underprivileged students in the remote north Georgia mountain area. It has evolved into a private school integrated with public facilities as an independent, co-educational, college-preparatory boarding and day school, grades six through 12.

Its purposes are still important to devoted Atlanta patrons such as members of the nonprofit guild and alumni who continue their 75-year tradition of funding important scholarship programs to help students achieve their highest potential, no matter how isolated they may be or how limited their financial resources are.

Invitations and information: (404) 261-1123.

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Halloween is the season to “capture the spirit” of Oakland Cemetery for the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours in Grant Park. The gates will be open after dark Oct. 18 and 19 and again Oct. 24 through 27 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Guests will witness the magnificent final resting place of Atlanta’s sons and daughters and hear first-hand accounts about the city’s past narrated by a host of Oakland’s eternal “residents,” represented by special volunteer guides.

Flashlights and comfortable walking shoes encouraged as guests wander along the picturesque ways among the Victorian garden-style burial grounds.

There will be beer, wine and soft drinks for sale, and the Oakland Museum Shop will be open for unique finds. No dogs or outside food will be allowed.

Advance tickets are required and are $20 for adults, $10 for children 4 to 12 and free for kids 3 and under.

All proceeds benefit the nonprofit Historic Oakland Foundation that partners with the city of Atlanta to preserve, restore, enhance and share the cemetery with the public as an important cultural resource and an island of tranquility in the heart of the city.

The 48-acre cemetery was founded in 1850 and is one of the largest park spaces and a significant cultural site in metro Atlanta. There are 70,000 interred including authors, mayors and governors and celebrities, along with unmarked graves and Confederate and Union soldiers.

Tickets and information: (404) 688-2107 or or

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Georgia’s past and present leaders will be spotlighted in a milestone photography exhibit of prints from the important body of work titled “Lucinda Bunnen: Georgia Portraits,” by renowned Atlanta photographer Lucinda Bunnen.

The exhibit, hosted by the Atlanta Preservation Center, is curated by Constance Lewis and Jerry Cullum and will present portraits of Atlantans and others who have and continue to creatively shape or redefine the state’s political, artistic and business landscapes.

Opening with an evening meet-the-artist reception Oct. 18 and running through Dec. 14 at the center’s headquarters at the historic L.P. Grant Mansion on St. Paul Avenue in Grant Park, Bunnen’s exhibit will also include a panel discussion Oct. 26.

Panel conversations including the artists, her subjects and those acquainted with the people in the photographs will be moderated by Randy Gue, curator of the modern political and historical collections at Emory University’s manuscript, archives and rare book library. Additionally, the panel will include artists and curators with the purpose to connect the influence of artists and subjects with Atlanta and Georgia — past, present and future.

The show includes both vintage and new prints from Bunnen’s “Movers and Shakers in Georgia” series. Among the notable subjects are: Tommy Aaron, Ivan Allen, Bobby Dodd, Bill Arnett, Julian Bond, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Lillian and Billy Carter, Anne Cox Chambers, Ed Dodd, Corretta Scott King, Herman Russell, Richard Long, Philip Trammell Shutze, Celestine Sibley, Ted Turner, Hosea Williams, Robert Woodruff and many others.

Bunnen is donating a print of her portrait of Shutze, Atlanta’s celebrated classical architect, for auction during the exhibit. The framed, vintage, silver gelatin print will be offered to benefit the ongoing programs to preserve Atlanta’s architecture, historically and culturally significant buildings, neighborhoods and landscapes through education and advocacy.

The nonprofit center’s gallery’s purpose is to demonstrate the preserved environment is a valuable and inspirational part of the present.

Tickets and information: (404) 688-3353 ext. 11 or

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Looking forward, the bright Muscular Dystrophy Association Night of Hope gala Oct. 18 at the InterContinental Hotel in Buckhead will mark significant breakthroughs in research to find a cause and cure for the feared Lou Gehrig’s disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Featuring cocktails, a seated dinner, live entertainment by the Craig Duncan Orchestra silent and live auctions, the black-tie evening has become one of the largest annual Southeastern gatherings to support ALS research.

Co-chairs Stacey Elgin and Mark Panfel head a powerful host committee — many members who have lost loved ones to the dreaded disease.

Money raised at the event is earmarked for the ALS division of the association with a fundraising goal of $700,000 for 2013.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, paralysis and, ultimately, respiratory failure. The dis-ease was first diagnosed in 1939 and research in the last year or so has found a common cause, giving hope for help and perhaps a cure for ALS.

The nonprofit association leads the worldwide research effort for treatment and a cure through 42 research centers across the county including the ALS Center at Emory University in DeKalb County.

Tickets and information: (770) 621-9800 or

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The thriving, Morningside-Lenox Park Neighborhood Association in the Midtown area is hosting its sixth annual Monumental Ball Oct. 18 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the historic Magnolia Hall in Piedmont Park and inviting all Atlantans to share the beautiful outdoor evening.

Following a laid-back neighborhood style, party guests and friends will dance to the mellow stage music of the famed Swingin’ Medallions, guaranteed to take folks back to warm summer evenings and dancing at the beach — even if it is October. Attendees are encouraged to dress beachy, black-tie, dressy casual or “as you like.”

There will be a packed-to-the-brim raffle bag and silent auction with gift certificates from local restaurants and shops. The adjacent courtyard will offer a bar setup with delicious appetizers and a buffet catered by Affairs to Remember.

The association is an all-volunteer organization. Proceeds from the ball will benefit the association’s neighborhood security patrol and the nonprofit Piedmont Park Conservancy. The conservancy strives to restore historic portions of the park and protect its natural environment and historic character.

Tickets and information: (404) 233-3993 or

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A notable Sir Evelyn Wrench international speaker, Oliver Everett, will be hosted by the Atlanta branch of the English-Speaking Union Oct. 18 at a black-tie dinner at the Capital City Club in Brookhaven.

Everett’s formal speech will explore “Treasures and Curiosities from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle.” Educated at Cambridge University, Everett also has a graduate degree in international relations from Tufts University and completed post-graduate work at the London School of Economics. He has served in the British Foreign Service and was appointed librarian of the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. He served as private secretary to the Prince of Wales and was awarded commander of the Royal Victoria Order.

The nonprofit union is a network of 70 branches throughout the country, whose members celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will as they nurture and enhance the linguistic heritage through educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators and members. The Atlanta branch cultural programs are hosted by members but open to the public. Fay and John Selvage are serving as reservation chairs.

Reservations and information: (404) 355-1945 or

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The Run Like Hell and Run Like Heck for kids annual foot races will track through the hauntingly beautiful Oakland Cemetery and neighboring Grant Park Oct. 19. This year the route will wind past even more of the magnificent monuments and stately mausoleums at Atlanta’s oldest burial site, where such notables as Margaret Mitchell, Bobby Jones and Maynard Jackson are laid to rest in a park-like setting. The 5K race starts at 9 a.m. and the fun run at 10 a.m. Early registration is required.

Unique cemetery-themed awards will be presented in multiple categories as incen-tives for all ages to partici-pate. Costumes are encour-aged for the Halloween season!

Proceeds from the socia-bly healthy outdoor treks will benefit the nonprofit Historic Oakland Foundation to maintain and preserve the 48-acre, Victorian-style garden cemetery. Founded in 1850, Oakland now provides a tranquil centerpiece for bustling Atlanta.

Registration and information: (404) 688-2107 or

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