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Column: Secret garden theme to keynote annual Piedmont Ball
by Sally F. White
Neighbor Newspapers Columnist
January 22, 2014 02:59 PM | 4797 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
One of the most prestigious annual social events in Atlanta dedicated to a charity, the 2014 Piedmont Ball will take on a lush and colorful Secrets of the Southern Garden theme Saturday at the Piedmont Driving Club in Midtown.

For 57 years the Woman’s Auxiliary of Piedmont Hospital in Buckhead has hosted the elegant white-tie affair and passed along funds and volunteer support to programs at the historic medical facility.

Representing years of dedication, Dr. David T. and Gail Watson are being recognized as the 2014 honorary co-chairs. Now retired, David Watson practiced medicine at Piedmont for more than 30 years, and Gail Watson is a life member of the auxiliary.

Tony Brewer will ply his magical décor for the formal garden setting while music by the Atlanta Showstoppers will accompany dinner in the main ballroom. Late-night entertainment will continue in the Alexander Room with David Cameron Jazz.

This year’s ball co-chairs are Marti Blincoe and BeLinda Parks. Susan Goger is the auxiliary president.

Over the decades the event has become the introductory January event for Atlanta’s social-charity scene and the auxiliary, known for its volunteer care and financial support, has raised millions of dollars for patient care and facilities at the private, nonprofit hospital.

Founded in 1905 as a fledgling 10-bed sanatorium, Piedmont Hospital today is headquartered in Buckhead on Peachtree Road and noted as one of the nation’s top 100 hospitals and comprehensive nursing facilities.

This year’s proceeds will go to purchase the Philip’s Event Management System, a state-of-the-art system that optimizes nurse efficiency by expediting the delivery of patient data to the nurses on duty.

Information: (404) 605-3273

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The Pro-Mozart Society of Atlanta is celebrating the 258th birthday of its patron composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the 50th anniversary of the society with a Patrons’ Circle/Mozart birthday party Saturday evening.

Hugh N. James, a member of the society’s Patrons’ Circle, is hosting the event at his home in Marietta with an intimate classical music performance by pianist Peter Marshall and his wife, cellist Sarah Kapps.

Marshall is a versatile Atlanta musician who performs on piano, harpsichord and organ in a variety of settings. He has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras throughout the U.S. Marshall holds the Hugh and Jessie Hogson keyboard chair at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and is on the faculty of the Georgia State University school of music. Kapps has had an active and diverse career across North America, through Europe and the Middle East. She has performed not only classical music but also experimental, rock and improvisational genres.

The celebratory soiree is open to the Pro-Mozart executive board, patrons and to upgraded new memberships.

Founded by 12 classical music enthusiasts in 1964, the nonprofit society banded together to further the cause of classical music, particularly that of Mozart, with community performances in metro Atlanta.

In 1967 dedicated members instituted an annual competition for an aspiring Georgia musician to receive a $4,000 scholarship to the prestigious International Summer Academy at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, the birthplace of Mozart.

Competitions are held each March, and winners spend several weeks studying at the Mozarteum during the summer. The following April, winners are featured in a public Pro-Mozart concert in Atlanta.

Today society members come from many walks of life — businessmen and women, physicians, lawyers, teachers, vocalists and musicians. Kevin Pritchett, a church organist, is serving as this year’s president.

Classical music aficionados are invited to become patrons of the society and join in plans for the 2014 scholarship competitions.

Invitation and information: (404) 667-4700 or

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If you ever visited, shopped or were employed by the iconic Atlanta-based Rich’s department store, you are invited to celebrate the history of the great retailer and a great city at the comprehensive exhibition, “Return to Rich’s: The Story Behind the Store,” Sunday at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum on Spring Street in Midtown.

Collectors and enthusiasts are invited to bring their treasured memorabilia from 2 to 5 p.m. and share their Rich’s stories at the Rich’s Fair event. Jeff Clemmons, author of “Rich’s: A Southern Institution,” which inspired the exhibit, will be on hand to answer questions, sign his book and hear personal tales.

 “Stories play a major role in this exhibition,” museum Executive Director Aaron Berger said. “While people come to see the Pink Pig and the array of other artifacts, the exhibit is about more than iconic objects. It is about the stories people tell, the feelings and intangible parts of Rich’s that people will come to reconnect with in an environment where they can relive their personal Rich’s experiences.”

The afternoon will also include two other special events. The Jewish Genealogy Society of Georgia will present a workshop titled Curating Your Family Archives at 2 p.m., and the Alliance Theatre will host a special theatrical experience at 4 p.m. in the Rich’s exhibition area to preview its newest production, “The Geller Girls,” also reflecting historic Atlanta.

The “Return to Rich’s” exhibition runs through May 27.

The origins of the museum come from a 1983 exhibit organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and titled: “Jews and Georgians: A Meeting of Cultures, 1733-1983.” When the exhibit was dismantled, the Jewish community saw a need for a permanent space dedicated to the interpretation and preservation of that culture’s experience.

The present nonprofit museum became a reality in 1992 when Atlanta philanthropist William Breman gave the lead gift. Opening in 1996 at The Selig Center, the museum today includes exhibitions about the Holocaust, Jewish culture and Southern Jewish history along with archives, an auditorium and the Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education.

Tickets and information: (678) 222-3700 or

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Tuesday is the last day of the preview sale at Saks Fifth Avenue at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead for the 33rd annual Trinity School Spotlight on Art Market.

Any leftovers from this Saks “teaser” event will be incorporated into the main fundraising market at the Trinity campus on Northside Parkway in Buckhead. Open to the public Feb. 3 through. 8, the annual sale will culminate with a grand finale benefit gala Feb. 15 at the InterContinental Hotel in Buckhead.

The process of discovering and selecting 350 participating artists began almost a year ago to build momentum for the gallery setting in Trinity’s gym. Works for immediate sale will represent established and emerging artists with new, original fine art and decorative art in a variety of artistic styles including contemporary, impressionism, realism and folk art plus a gallery of jewelry and a home and garden area.

Price points ensure that everyone — from avid collector to novice patrons of the art world — can take home a treasure from the colorful, vibrant and creative collections.

The 2014 market is led by chairwoman Kimberly Lusink, and the co-chairs are Melissa Favero, Courtenay Gabriel and Sarah Stollmack.

Founded in 1951, Trinity is an independent coeducational school serving preschool and elementary children of diverse backgrounds and focusing on providing an extraordinary educational experience for each student.

Trinity will enhance the greater community by passing along proceeds from all facets of the Spotlight on Art events toward its funding priorities such as continuing teacher education and scholarship funds as well as a local charity chosen by the 2013 sixth-grade leadership class. This year’s beneficiary is Let’s Cure CP, a nonprofit that raises funds for research and treatment of cerebral palsy.

Information: (404) 231-8119 or

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Art Papers’ 15th annual Art Auction, the most comprehensive art-oriented, sale and party in metro Atlanta, is scheduled for Feb. 1 at Mason Murer Fine Art on Armour Drive in Buckhead. A ticketed Collectors’ Preview with live music, catered hors d’oeuvres and an open bar Jan. 31 will offer a sneak peek and options to purchase pieces early.

The auction showcasing an impressive collection of more than 250 renowned and emerging artists from around the world. Art-loving attendees will build their collections from an expanded scope of artists working in a variety of media including photography, painting, drawing and sculpture. The Feb. 1 event will include DJ-provided music, cocktails and food provided by some of Atlanta’s finest restaurants.

Notable Art Papers volunteers involved with this year’s auction are: Susan Bridges, owner of Whitespace Gallery; Louise Shaw, curator of the David J. Sencer Centers for Disease Control Museum; Alexandra Sachs, assistant curator at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Atlanta campus; Ryan Gravel of Perkins+Will and Suzanne Shaw of PennHouse Productions.

Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Art Papers’ award-winning programs. The independent critical voice covers contemporary art and culture in the world today through the full spectrum of print, online and public programming.

Art Papers has been based in Atlanta for 37 years, but its audience spans all 50 states and more than 60 foreign countries providing an independent and accessible forum for the exchange of perspectives on the role of contemporary art as a socially relevant discourse. Robert Brawner is its board president.

Tickets and information: (404) 588-1837, ext. 18 or

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Dr. Sheila Allen, dean of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in Athens, will be honored at a fundraising dinner hosted by Fix Georgia Pets Feb. 1 at the Swan Coach House Restaurant on Slaton Drive in Buckhead. Allen also will speak at the event.

Co-founders Guy and Ginny Millner will be official hosts for the benefit evening supporting low-cost spay and neuter procedures for animals throughout Georgia.

“The funds we raise will help our goal to spay and neuter 5,000 pets in 2014,” said Fix Georgia Pets co-founder Rubye Reid. “We serve as an umbrella organization to provide money to existing spay and neuter clinics, mobile units and private practice veterinarians who provide services to people who could not otherwise afford to have their pet ‘fixed.’ Georgia faces a pet overpopulation crisis and our goal is to end it. At present our state has one of the highest kill rates in the country for unwanted animals and, we support humane preventive measures.”

Michelle Tsou, the nonprofit’s executive director, added, “Georgia euthanizes 300,000 cats and dogs each year and citizens pay the bill — $100 million annually. When an animal is spayed, it lowers testosterone levels and not only prevents unwanted litters, but also lowers the risk of aggression bites and spread of disease. We also have educational workshops and ambassadors at schools to teach safety with animals and proper interacting with family pets.”

Tickets and information: (404) 261-1123 or

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