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Column: Summer party to benefit Wylde Center
by Sally F. White
Neighbor Newspapers Columnist
June 25, 2014 10:47 AM | 2865 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally F. White
Sally F. White
A casual summer outdoor evening Saturday at the Oakhurst Garden on Oakview Road in Decatur will bring friends and environmental fans together for brews, food, music and a silent auction to raise awareness and funds to support the Wylde Center community gardens and educational programs.

Guests will receive a souvenir Wylde Center tasting glass so they can sample beers from eight popular local brewers.

Dinner will include appetizers, tasty sliders, farm burgers, barbeque and desserts from local restaurants and bakeries.

“What could be better than enjoying a cold beer on a warm summer evening in a beautiful garden?” said Jeremy Jeffers, chair of the annual event. “Plus, our guests will be supporting one of the metro area’s premier environmental organizations by bidding on an exciting assortment of silent auction items. We sold out quickly last year!”

In 1997 an idea took root in the Oakhurst area of Decatur. Neighbors Sally Wylde and Louise Jackson envisioned a community garden where children could learn about the natural world and enjoy hands-on gardening activities.

With the purchase of a half-acre of property at South McDonough Street and Oakview Road, the Oakhurst Community Garden was born. That small seed of an idea created Oakhurst as a Garden for Peace in 2000.

Today, supported by members, foundations, corporations and donors, the nonprofit was recently re-named the Wylde Center to honor its co-founder and to better encompass its expanded range of properties and programs.

The Wylde Center oversees four distinctive greenspaces, manages a year-round educational program for all ages, hosts social events and supervises the Decatur City Schools’ Farm to School Program. The other gardens it watches over are the Edgewood Learning Garden in Atlanta, Sugar Creek Garden in Decatur and Hawk Hollow in south DeKalb County.

Tickets and information: (404) 371-1920 or

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Music aficionados are reminded Dan Britt, vocalist and former executive director of the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, is continuing his A Great Friend Music Series of free First Thursday Cabaret evenings this summer at a space on Commerce Drive in northwest Atlanta. Mark your calendars for July 10, the second Thursday in July to avoid a conflict with the July 4 holiday, and Aug. 7 for the 6:30 p.m. get-together.

Britt and pianist Amy Holloway started the musical ball rolling with Simply Music and Laughs last year as a monthly gift to their many music-loving Atlanta friends. Over the years Britt has won many followers and retained his friendships with other talented local performers who have moved on to other careers, but he enjoys sharing their talents with friends and the public for an hour or so of impromptu music.

The staging space is the Lyric’s former office location and the intimate Byers Studio Theatre. Since the Lyric has moved to Marietta, the space was tempting for Britt and his musical buddies to rally for free monthly session.

“I have created a new company, A Great Friend LLC, offering personal home care services and located my offices and training center in the complex where I used to perform with the Lyric.” Britt said. “It brought back great memories and the desire to keep on singing for pleasure. I am recruiting other performers to join me in sharing music. And I am sponsoring the free Thursday sessions as a gift from my company!”

Information: (404) 605-8448 or

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The inaugural Military Appreciation Golf Tournament hosted by GratitudeAmerica will tee off July 7 at Flat Creek Golf Club in Peachtree City. As the new nonprofit’s first major fundraiser in Georgia, its members are reaching out to enlist metro Atlanta golf fans to give aid and support to U.S. military veterans.

Check-in starts at 9 a.m., and there will be a 10 a.m. shotgun start at the picturesque 27-hole championship course to begin the day with the chance to win more than $10,000 in prizes. There also will be more than $100,000 worth of new motor vehicles available to win in hole-in-one contests.

Participation will be based on a scrambled format of registered four-player teams with professional caddies provided by East Lake Club.

Complimentary daytime food and beverages will progress to a treasured evening event with a chef-prepared dinner, live entertainment, silent and live auctions and a big-ticket raffle. Special guests are expected to attend the event.

Founded in 2011 by Lewis Jordan, GratitudeAmerica is based in Fernandina Beach, Fla., and offers support for veterans who served post-9/11 in Afghanistan and Iraq. The mission is to champion an alliance of service and support organizations partnering with community resources across the nation to aid veterans, their families and families of the fallen in the areas of counseling and guidance for employment, training, health and wellness, housing and family relationships.

GratitudeAmerica works through its wellness and recreation retreat program to help veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to rehabilitate from such things as traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress.

“I am proud to serve with the other founding members of our board of directors — retired U.S. Air Force four-star Gen. J.B. Davis and Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D.,” Jordan said. “[Retired U.S.] Sen. Bob Dole, a war hero and great American, serves as our honorary chairman. We owe a debt of gratitude to the soldiers that have paid the ultimate price for this cause, as well as for those who are blessed enough to return from the battlefield. Please join in support of our deserving heroes and their families. God Bless America!”

The tournament director is Jason Jordan.

Registration and information: (678) 570-2375 or

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