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Column: Tour of Kitchens to benefit women, children at risk
by Sally F. White
Neighbor Newspapers Columnist
March 19, 2014 11:06 AM | 5689 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally F. White
Sally F. White
The Junior League of Atlanta is hosting its 17th annual Tour of Kitchens March 29 and 30 in 14 of the city’s finest residential kitchens created by celebrated designers. The event will include special appearances and demonstrations by legendary restaurant chefs.

At the self-guided tours attendees will have access to private kitchens in exclusive neighborhoods: Ansley Park, Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Midtown and Sandy Springs. Restaurant chefs will showcase many “firsts” this year, including kid-friendly meal preparation designed to reduce childhood obesity, kosher kitchens and other innovative meal-oriented features.

In advance of the two days of tours, patrons may be energized with the Toast of the Tour preview Thursday at the PDI Kitchen, Bath and Lighting Showroom in west Midtown. The party will include entertaining culinary demonstrations, cocktails and a silent auction featuring VIP suites in luxury hotels, culinary experiences in private homes and design elements for kitchens.

Headquartered on Northside Parkway in Buckhead, the league was founded in 1916 to help at-risk women and children in the community. For nearly a century, its volunteers have helped develop women’s potential and improved the community through effective action and leadership.

“This year’s Tour of Kitchens is the most impressive to date with extraordinary designers and entertaining events,” league President Michelle Wells said. “Proceeds support our community initiatives and partners to serve the needs of women and children at risk in the Atlanta area.”

Tickets and information: (404) 261-7799 or

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Soccer mania is kicking off Saturday as Copa Univision, the nation’s fastest-growing amateur soccer tournament producer in the nation, joins forces with the Georgia Soccer Association to stage an all-day Copa Latina soccer tournament and celebration of Latino culture at the Georgia Soccer Park on Ben Hill Road in East Point.

It will be an exciting day of soccer games, entertainment and fun activities for the entire family. Funds raised through the games and events will benefit the Latin American Association’s programs and its mission to empower Latinos to achieve their educational, social and economic aspirations.

Two games are guaranteed per team — divisions include male and co-ed teams with categories of youth and adult squads. Other activities include interactive games, live music and entertainment plus exhibitor booths along with activities for youngsters like face-painting and inflatables. Food trucks will provide a variety of cuisine. Also, Univision 34 Atlanta will present the kickoff of its inaugural Idolo del Pueblo talent competition.

Information: (404) 471-1892 or

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Three finalists for the Atlanta Steinway Society’s C. Merrell Calhoun Prodigy Scholarships will perform for their final competition March 23 at the Buckhead home of the scholarship founder, C. Merrell Calhoun.

A fine musician in his own right, Calhoun is a retired marketing director and past president of the society. He has been an exceptional channel for inspiring young Georgia pianists.

Featured at the evening recital-style presentation will be: Jason Guo, student of Elena Cholakova, D.M.A.; Adrian Romoff, student of Nancy Elton, D.M.A.; and Ethan Shen, student of Keli Xu. The judge for the evening is Brent Runnels, D.M.A., international Steinway artist, lecturer of music at Oglethorpe University and executive and artistic director of Jazz Orchestra Atlanta.

After the recital, winners will be recognized and attendees will enjoy a light dinner to meet the contestants.

In 2013, promising young teen and pre-teen piano students exhibiting a prodigious level of talent auditioned for the coveted three cash scholarships intended to reward their efforts and lend financial aid for continued refinement of their piano skills.

Endowed in 1998, the Prodigy Scholarship is an adjunct to the society’s long-standing piano scholarship programs for college students.

The society was established as a nonprofit in 1980 by a group of individuals united in their devotion to fine music and its performance. It is comprised of people from all walks of life: piano owners and non-owners sharing a common love of the piano and piano music.

Reservations and information: (770) 457-4986 or

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The Buckhead Rotary Foundation is initiating a 2014 golf tournament March 24 as an annual fundraising effort for its community projects in Atlanta such as Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities, Companions for Heroes, South Fulton KIPP Academy, area Boy Scouts and others.

The inaugural event will be held at an exclusive club in Atlanta and will benefit the expansion of the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House in Sandy Springs.

An endowment fund, set up by international Rotarians in 1917 for “doing good in the world,” became a nonprofit known as The Rotary Foundation in 1928 created to enable Rotarians to bring hope and promote international understanding throughout the world.

Today, contributions to the local Buckhead Rotary Foundation support a wide range of humanitarian grants supplementing the club’s charitable activities. The Buckhead nonprofit’s donations are voluntary and tax-deductible outside of membership dues to the business-oriented worldwide Rotary organization.

Operated by the McDonald Foundation, local Ronald McDonald Houses are havens created for families to stay close to their hospitalized children to help them heal faster and better cope with health issues. The Sandy Springs facility opened in 1994 near Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite as the second Atlanta-area one and has hosted more than 9,600 families. It is being rebuilt to expand and update the residence. Rotary members are giving support and monetary help for the project with proceeds from the new benefit golf tournament, committing $100,000 over a three-year period.

Registration and information: (404) 601-2626 or

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The American Cancer Society Ladies Auxiliary will host its 23rd annual Hope Fashion benefit March 24 at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead.

The sold-out event will include a luncheon with a runway fashion show spotlighting cancer survivors, door prizes and a commemorative gift and opportunities to shop live and silent auctions.

As a special celebration of the society’s 100th birthday leading the way “to transform cancer from deadly to preventable,” this year’s Hope program will pay tribute to 100 loved ones and friends who have survived or lost their battles with cancer.

The event co-chairs are Jane Haro-LaMotte and Julie Burton, and the survivor models chair is Dianne Fahring.

The society’s auxiliary unit was first established by the executive director of the Gwinnett County unit in 1983 as an arm of the national unit board. The purpose of the auxiliary was to provide education about cancer and service to cancer patients in the area. From its initial 20 charter members, this group has grown to more than 50 enthusiastic volunteer ladies supporting the society’s programs. In 2006 the auxiliary changed its name to the American Cancer Society Auxiliary to more accurately reflect its widespread metro Atlanta membership and participation.

Tickets and information: (770) 814-0211 or

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The High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction is the city’s greatest annual food and wine party and the largest fundraising effort for the Midtown facility. This year’s series of events March 26 through 29 are titled “Legend of the Vine” and will celebrate generations of fine winemaking along with generations of the auction family and the traditions and legacies through the 22-year success of the museum’s annual benefit. Preliminary events around Atlanta will lead to the grand auction March 29 in tents at Atlantic Station.

Beginning March 26, eight top Atlanta restaurants will host one-of-a-kind, multi-course dinners. They will be sweetened with the presence of world-class winemakers who will join diners and pour their best bottles, specifically paired with the chef’s menu.

March 27, 12 beautiful homes will host dinners with renowned chefs taking over their kitchens to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Fine wines will be poured by the winemakers themselves who will join guests to “ooh and aah” over delectable menus created especially to match their wines.

There will be two events March 28, starting with three daytime tasting seminars at select restaurants, which will present “Classy Classes” with well-filled glasses where attendees listen, discuss, learn, swirl, taste and get schooled in the fine art of enjoying yourself. Then comes the evening Friday Fête staged in the main tent at Atlantic Station. It will offer a champagne reception, a dining tent gala with wine pairings, dessert and dancing.

March 29, the Vintners’ Reception, featuring a who’s who of Atlanta’s best restaurants, will ring the tents at Atlantic Station, all serving their best culinary creations and paired wines.

The live grand auction starts at 1 p.m. offering rare wines, memorable dining, fine art, fabulous trips and more — plus a crowd of wine lovers and vintner friends who have made the event legendary for almost a generation.

The auction is the top fundraising event in Atlanta and the sixth largest charity wine auction in the U.S. Proceeds are vital to the High’s exhibitions and education programs.

Tickets and information: (404) 733-5335 or

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Tossed Out Treasures, the ultimate guilt-free bargain shopping experience, will return to Sandy Springs March 28 and 29 at the former Tom Jumper Chevrolet building to benefit the Sandy Springs Society’s community good deeds.

“Eager bargain hunters can expect upscale bargains from some of the best homes, closets and attics in town,” said Kim McAfee, who is co-chairing the 2014 event with Dixie Brock and Kathryn Loia. “Our volunteers work tirelessly over the year to collect, sort, mark and display thousands of treasures in a variety of categories, including home décor, jewelry, silver, crystal, sports equipment, art, furniture, gently used clothing and much more, even a man’s cave. Our event truly offers something for everyone.”

Admission to selling days is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Those who want an exclusive preview and first-chance bargain opportunity can purchase tickets to the preview party March 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will include dinner, beer and wine and a silent auction.

Treasures are donated by 300-plus society members and the community at large. The event has served the area for 23 years with proceeds funding more than 20 philanthropic organizations in Sandy Springs.

The society is a nonprofit of women founded in March 1988 to support programs that improve the quality of life for the residents of Sandy Springs. Through its yearly grant process, the organization supports Heritage Sandy Springs and other nonprofits in the community that promote the arts, heritage, education, the environment and social services. In its 25 years, the organization has contributed more than $2.56 million to the Sandy Springs community.

Tickets and Information: (404) 396-1054 or

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For the past 29 years Trees Atlanta volunteers have planted and distributed 100,000 living trees to more than 30 neighborhoods in the metro area. March 27, dedicated members will celebrate the milestone and ongoing legacy with The Root Ball benefit party at Piedmont Park’s historic Greystone facility in Midtown.

The evening will include a ceremonial planting of the 100,000th tree, a Tree Champions Awards ceremony recognizing volunteers and sponsors, live jazz and Dixieland music by Blair Crimmins’ band, a catered farm-to-table dinner and a silent auction.

As a proud steward of Atlanta’s urban forest, Trees Atlanta is a nationally recognized nonprofit citizens group protecting and improving Atlanta’s green canopy by planting, conserving and educating the public in preserving and expanding natural resources to perpetuate the “city in a forest” beauty and comfort.

Founded in 1985 by Central Atlanta Progress (the downtown business leaders association), the Atlanta Commissioner of Parks and the Junior League of Atlanta, Trees Atlanta was initially tasked with improving the tree canopy in downtown Atlanta.

Despite the fact metro Atlanta is recognized by the National Forest Service as “the most heavily forested urban area in the country,” the Atlanta Central Business District was severely lacking in trees compared to other major cities across the country.

Trees Atlanta met the challenge head-on, planting 40-plus shade trees in downtown Atlanta in its first year. Since then the nonprofit has established and expanded its focus to the entire metro area. Today, 100,000 trees later, the mission continues to evolve to the new Kendeda Center and Atlanta Beltline Arboretum.

Tickets and information: (404) 681-4890 or

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