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Column: Oakland hosting tours, recruiting volunteers
by Sally F. White
Neighbor Newspapers Columnist
November 26, 2013 10:11 AM | 1585 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
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Members of the Historic Oakland Foundation are hosting guided tours Saturdays and Sundays in the iconic Oakland Cemetery Dec. 7 through March 9.

The nonprofit foundation is reaching out to inspire new volunteers to join in preserving and sharing the beautiful oasis in Atlanta’s Grant Park/Cabbagetown community. Registration for new volunteers also starts Sunday with orientation training scheduled for Jan. 25.

Atlanta city fathers established Oakland in 1850 on six acres of land. Today the 48-acre, garden-style cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and exemplifies Victorian garden beauty of sculpture and architecture while serving as a botanical preserve with ancient oaks and magnolias.

Important milestones of Atlanta history are represented from early builders to Civil War soldiers, leaders of industry and government to sport legends and Civil Rights era pioneers. Oakland is also the poetry, art, architecture, nature and personal stories of 70,000 souls. There are still spaces being used today on family plots and room has been made over the years for burial of significant people who have contributed to Atlanta’s current history such as the late Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson.

Given that Oakland was not established as a perpetual care cemetery, it is a part of Atlanta’s parks department and since 1976 has formed a partnership with the foundation to carry out the ongoing mission to preserve, restore, enhance and share the cemetery as an important cultural resource and an island of tranquility in the heart of the city.

Schedules and information: (404) 688-2107 or www.oaklandcemetery.com.

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Christmas is just around the corner and big-hearted volunteers for Meals on Wheels Atlanta are hosting their annual Santa for Seniors holiday luncheon Tuesday to gather gifts at The Estate on Piedmont Road in Buckhead. Guests at the sociable gathering will enjoy a tasty lunch by Tony Conway and have their pictures made with Santa as they spread the Christmas spirit to special older residents.

The Santa for Seniors’ gift program exemplifies the spirit of Santa by providing new, inexpensive unwrapped “senior friendly” items such as magnifying glasses, neck pillows and other gifts that will be delivered to ill, frail and homebound seniors during the holidays.

“Older citizens are probably among the loneliest and least considered group for holiday remembrances,” volunteer co-chairs Jill Berry, Dottie Smith and Jade Sykes Slover said. “Small blankets or shawls, slip-resistant slippers, flashlights, big-print books, toiletries for men and women — all age-appropriate items — are welcomed. Even a little bitty gift makes them smile like the days when they were young and Santa Claus came to call.”    

Gift-wrap chair Gailen Rosenberg has scheduled Dec. 18 for a volunteer wrapping day. Gifts will be individually wrapped for each recipient.

Since 1965 the nonprofit Meals on Wheels Atlanta (formerly Senior Citizen Services) has been providing services designed to support metro senior independence through meals, shelter, education and community service. Programs include Meals on Wheels for shut-ins, home repair and adult day care for Alzheimer’s/dementia patients, plus Fulton County neighborhood senior centers.

Tickets and Information: (404) 605-8450 or www.mealsonwheelsatlanta.org.

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Dan Britt, former executive director of the Atlanta Lyric Theatre and a professional vocalist, is announcing his Dec. 5 holiday music session, part of the monthly A Great Friend Music Series, at 1705 Commerce Drive off Northside Drive in northwest Atlanta.

Music aficionados are invited to the free, public, cabaret-style presentation featuring guest singers Jane Burke, Larry Manning and Amy Holloway with Britt pulling it together for an evening of tuneful camaraderie.

Adams Apples will provide an assortment of gourmet delights and beverages along with grand balloon sculptures and fabulous seasonal floral designs.

Initiated last summer and sponsored by Britt’s new senior care service company, the successful 2013 series of free sessions is scheduled to continue into next year.

“This year I created a new company, A Great Friend LLC, offering personal home care services along with certified nurse aides and located my offices and training center in the complex where The Lyric used to have an intimate performing area.” Britt said. “It brought back wonderful memories and prompted me to keep on singing for pleasure. I am inviting other performers to join me in these free monthly sessions as a gift from AGF to music fans from all over metro Atlanta.”

Reservations and information: (404) 605-8448 or www.agreatfriend.com.
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