On Dec. 23 the annual Phoenix presentation ball at the Cherokee Town club in Buckhead will bring together past debutantes, families and friends as they look to the future of the organization’s two-fold purpose.
The nonprofit society was formed in 1964 by a group of gentlemen of “exemplary character and background” who wanted to formally introduce their daughters to society and their coming-of-age civic obligations. The name “Phoenix” was taken from the mythical bird of great beauty and longevity that consumed itself by fire, only to rise again from its ashes in the freshness of youth.
The first community project for the fledging young women was the Easter Seal Auxiliary of the Atlanta Rehabilitation Center. Over the years they spread their philanthropic wings with contributions to the High Museum of Art Acquisition Fund and other charitable activities.
In 1980 the debutantes elected to center their efforts with the Shepherd Center to give ongoing financial support and contribute volunteer service hours during their college break months. The nonprofit Buckhead hospital specializes in the care of people with spinal cord injuries and diseases, acquired brain injuries, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular disorders.
“We are excited about celebrating the society’s 48-year history as we present the 2012 debutants this December and are pleased to share the evening with families, past debutantes and friends,” Phoenix Society president Reginald I. Vachon said. “We look forward to a great year in 2013 as we continue the long-standing commitment to enriching the Atlanta community.”
Faye Donaldson, mother of three former Phoenix debutantes, is serving as ball chair.
Information: (404) 252-3445.
o o o
The Atlanta World War II Round Table’s last luncheon of the year, Dec. 20, will have holiday spirit at the Petite Auberge restaurant in DeKalb County.
Charles G. Shepherd Jr. will be the featured patriotic speaker. Shepherd was a first lieutenant with the 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Division in the European Theater from July 1944 until the end of the war in Europe the following year and participated in five major campaigns. As a platoon leader, he was wounded twice, receiving two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars for meritorious achievement in ground combat, plus a Silver Star for gallantry in action.
Shepherd followed in the footsteps of his father, Charles G. Shepherd Sr., a member of the Georgia National Guard. The elder Shepherd served on the Mexican border in 1916 when he was just 19 years old. He then served in World War I with the 121st Infantry. The 121st has been a unit of the Georgia Militia and Georgia National Guard continuously since 1825.
The 11:30 a.m. monthly luncheons are open to the public, and reservations are not required.
The round table’s mission is to review war experiences of members and invited guests, to encourage and to demonstrate pride in the U.S. and its armed forces. Members are dedicated to passing along to future generations the knowledge of WWII and what it meant to the preservation of liberty around the world.
Randolph Goulding is the round table’s current commander.
Information: (770) 436-4254 or www.atlantawwiiroundtable.org.