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Column: Starfish Ball to support children in foster care
by Sally F. White
Northside Neighbor Columnist
December 19, 2012 01:26 PM | 4108 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
The Starfish Ball, a festive Mardi Gras-style celebration Jan. 5 at the St. Regis in Buckhead, will spotlight and support the nsoro Educational Foundation for children in foster care.

Founded in 2005 by the Mays family of Atlanta, the Vinings-based foundation raises needed funds for education programs for children in foster care and those who age out or emancipate from foster care. The name is a derivative of a Ghanan world “nsoromma,” meaning “belief in a higher being” and is a symbol of guardianship — written in lower case to signify humility.

The ball is named for “The Starfish Poem” and adopted by the foundation’s board to emphasize the importance of working to change lives of young people in foster care by making a positive difference in the lives of each student. The 2012 affair will honor an nsoro scholar who grew up in foster care and graduated from high school, applied and was accepted to college and currently maintains the highest overall GPA of nsoro students.

This year’s ball Queen Bonnie Terwilliger Leadbetter is a generous donor to the mission and a trustee of the Patricia Bowman Terwilliger Family Foundation Charitable Trust. Ball King Bob Willis is the founding member, president and CEO of Foxcode Inc., a Philadelphia-based financial and consulting firm. To date, Willis is the largest single contributor to nsoro.

Willis, of Miami and Philadelphia, and Leadbetter, of Atlanta, will preside over the lively New Orleans-style formal dinner and silent auction.Heading the patron committee are: Nancy and Dr. Eric Brown, Vickie and Howard Palefsky and Merry and Chris Carlos.

The foundation’s program offers non-merit-based academic scholarships for students to attend college or trade school anywhere in the U.S. They are eligible for continued support from nsoro until their degree is completed by maintaining an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher. In addition to scholarship funds, the foundation matches each student with an adult mentor and provides care packages of school supplies and personal hygiene items.

Tickets and information: (404) 574-6763 or visit

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The Atlanta History Center in Buckhead is heralding the new year Jan. 6 with the annual Dia de Reyes or Three Kings Day family fun program in collaboration with the Mexican consulate and the Instituto de Mexico.

The celebratory program in the Grand Overlook Ballroom invites visitors of all ages to learn about the colorful Hispanic traditions through music preformed by members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, live performances by the Ballet Folklorico Ecos de Mi Tierra, workshops, prizes and delicious traditional treats such as Rosca de Reyes cake for children and an appearance by the three legendary kings. New this year will be a live nativity with an engaging petting zoo for little ones to enjoy.

The program is free to members and the public with access through the Grand Overlook entrance from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission to the general center and museum areas until 5:30 p.m. are by general admission fees or membership cards.

There is limited capacity to the ballroom area and the doors will not open until 12:45 p.m.The program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of Fulton County Arts Council.

The center’s campus is an all-inclusive, 33-acre destination featuring a history museum, two historic houses, the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, the Kenan Research Center, a museum shop, acres of historic gardens and paths and the Grand Overlook event space. The center also operates the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown.

Information: (404) 814-4000 or visit

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