No variable specified
Column: Wings of Mercy Ball to benefit healthcare nonprofit
by Sally F. White
Neighbor Newspapers Columnist
March 26, 2014 12:19 PM | 5546 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally F. White
Sally F. White

The 25th annual Wings of Mercy Ball Saturday at the St. Regis in Buckhead will give hope to thousands who look to nonprofit Mercy Care in metro Atlanta.

The elegant black-tie evening will include a cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner and music. The benefit supports primary health care, dental services, education and social services to the city’s underserved population each year. The co-chairs are Kristina Blass and Carmen Titelman.

With a primary clinic in downtown Atlanta, Mercy Care is the only federally qualified health care center in metro Atlanta specifically designated for the homeless.

Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Care was created in 1985 by volunteer nurses and physicians. It grew from modest beginnings into a “medical home” for Atlanta’s underserved population at five fixed-site clinics and six other locations conducted in community partner facilities or onboard a mobile health vehicle.

The integrated system offers primary medical care for adults and children, plus dental care, behavioral health, optometry and vision services, education and social services to Atlantans who are uninsured, underinsured, persons of low income or homeless.

Tickets and information: (678) 843-5711 or

o o o

The Georgia State University Center for International Business Education and Research is opening one of its special visiting lecture sessions, “Turkish Economy and Politics,” to the general public Friday in Conference Room 830 at its downtown Atlanta campus, 25 Park Place.

Guest lecturer Alp Kaya is an internationally recognized historian and multi-faceted authority at the University of Istanbul. He has done scholarly research of ancient and near-past history of the former Mesopotamia area and recent Middle East region. Kaya will bring insight into the mosaic of the Ottoman heritage and the strategic place Turkey holds in today’s international field of industrialization, productivity, exports and the potential for the region’s future.

The center is a national resource in international business and is dedicated to enhancing global competitiveness of U.S. businesses and internationalizing business education and practice. The college has been serving the academic and business communities with international business expertise since the 1970s.

Building on rich traditions of international curriculum and faculty ties, strong ties to the corporate community and exemplary programs such as the Global Partners MBA, the center is in the forefront of international business education and research. Guest lecturers bring a wide international scope to the studies.

This is the first such 2014 lecture offered with a guest authority from Turkey and is open to students and the general public.

Information: (404) 413-7431 or

o o o

An afternoon benefit recital coinciding with the 65th anniversary of the Atlanta Opera Guild will star four renowned vocalists and a collaborative pianist. It will take place Saturday at the Church of the Atonement on High Point Road in Sandy Springs.

The featured artists will be soprano Wanda Yang Temko, mezzo-soprano Ellena Hogrefe, tenor Sam Hagan, baritone John Tibbetts and pianist Ben Leaptrott. A formal reception will follow the performances.

Organized in 1949, the guild was chartered to promote opera and operatic arts in metro Atlanta and beyond. From the beginning it has sponsored the Georgia district auditions for the Metropolitan Opera National Council and contributed to the council’s Southeastern auditions. Other initiatives are voice scholarships to metro Atlanta universities and music educational support of the Harrower Summer Opera Workshop at Georgia State University, the Capitol City Opera and the Atlanta Opera Studio.

Hogrefe, Claudia Barnes and Randall Romig are co-chairing the recital. Susan Sumner is serving as the guild’s 2014 president.

Funds from this weekend’s performance will help endow the guild’s fiscal resources to continue promoting operatic initiatives and young vocalists throughout the region.

Tickets and information: (404) 915-6684

o o o

An “i have a voice” dinner-dance social evening Saturday at the Four Seasons in Midtown will celebrate and benefit GiGi’s Playhouse, the nonprofit community-supported Down Syndrome Achievement Center in Midtown.

This will mark the fourth year for the annual Atlanta fundraiser to support the unique programs providing a normal life for children and families affected by T21, or Down syndrome.

Adrienne Mulligan is serving as president of GiGi’s Playhouse’s Atlanta board. The gala chair is Pam Drew.

Founded by GiGi Gianni’s mother, Nancy, in 2003 as a single location in Chicago, the nonprofit has grown into a strong network of 16 playhouses across the U.S. and the first international one in Queretaro, Mexico. Last year, more than 16,000 participants benefited from playhouse programs.

GiGi’s model is simple — one employee, 200 volunteers and a venue to provide therapy-styled classes and tutoring.

Just imagine helpful sessions giving aid to more than 260 families in Georgia: learning to crawl and walk; speech, physical and occupational therapy; literacy, math, music and art tutoring; the Homework Club; the Teen and Tween Friday Fun Club; and other programs offered free to children and families affected by T21. The long-term goal is to open more outreach centers in metro Atlanta.

Tickets and information: (404) 872-7529 or

o o o

If you have been following the 2014 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in January and February, you will want to check the Audience Award encore screenings Sunday at the Georgia Theatre Co. Merchants Walk Stadium Cinemas on Johnson Ferry Road in east Cobb County.

The three category films voted “best” by audiences will have a second showing as a grand public finale to the success of this year’s series.

The first screenings will be at 4 p.m. for Best Short Film, “The Funeral,” and the Best Documentary Feature, “Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love.” The Best Narrative Feature, “The Third Half,” will be shown at 7:45 p.m. Tickets are $18 per screening.

As Atlanta’s largest exhibitor of foreign and independent cinema, the festival continues to bring influential, touching and often controversial films to a region that might otherwise never get a chance to see them. This year’s festival remained the second largest Jewish film festival in the U.S. San Francisco has the biggest one.

The nonprofit American Jewish Committee produces the series to build bridges of understanding with local, national and international leadership. The Atlanta chapter has been a pioneering human relations agency taking a major role in interfaith, interethnic, international and intra-Jewish affairs.

Tickets and information: 1-866-214-2072 or

o o o

Flight of the Butterflies: A Tribute to our Heroes & Angels, set for April 5 at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead, will spotlight the support and dedication of volunteers and the Sandy Springs-based Brain Tumor Foundation for Children.

Back by popular demand, consumer expert Clark Howard, actress Lane Carlock, CNN investigative reporter and news anchor Kyra Phillips and Fox News Channel senior national correspondent John Roberts will entertain guests and interview survivors as they emcee the evening.

The nationally recognized communicators will bring the story and success of the organization’s emergency and assistance program to supporters, friends and family in a festive, dinner-party setting.

The foundation was established in 1983 as the first nonprofit in the U.S. to focus on pediatric brain tumor disease. It was inspired by parents Rick and Sheila Sauers, who had an infant daughter, Shaye, diagnosed with a brain tumor.

The foundation’s mission is to provide financial assistance, social support and information for families of children with brain and spinal cord tumors, to fund research projects that improve treatment options and search for a cure and to raise public awareness of the disease and advocate on behalf of children who are affected.

The foundation is run by a volunteer board and a small staff. In addition to year-round metro Atlanta events, the foundation’s largest program, The Butterfly Fund, provides critical financial assistance for families throughout the Southeast who are affected by the disease.

Tickets and information: (404) 252-4107 or

o o o

The Historic Brookhaven Neighborhood Association is collaborating with the Capital City Country Club to establish a golf tournament to support the Brookhaven Police Department with a scholarship fund for officers and their family members.

The inaugural tee-off was scheduled for April 7 at the club’s Brookhaven golf course but has been postponed until April 21 due to rain. The shotgun start is at noon and a box lunch will be included. The 18-hole shamble will be followed by an awards ceremony and cocktail reception at the club.

“Our hope and intent is that this tournament will become an annual event for our Brookhaven community to establish a scholarship fund to encourage and support the educational aspirations for the men and women who serve in our police department and their immediate families,” association president Lisa Martinez said.

In 1986 part of what has become the city of Brookhaven was designated as the Brookhaven Historic District  — bound by Peachtree and Peachtree Dunwoody roads, Windsor Parkway and Wimberly and Osborn roads.

The nonprofit Historic Brookhaven Foundation Inc. was started in 1991 as a vehicle for Brookhaven guidepost projects dedicated to funding long-term improvements to benefit and enhance the neighborhood.

Registration and information: (404) 803-3985 or

*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides