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Column: Paws for Cocktails to benefit homeless animal shelter
by Sally F. White
Northside Neighbor Columnist
November 07, 2012 05:11 PM | 4847 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
The enthusiastic turnout of four-legged alumni and adoptive families at Furkids’ Strut Your Mutt fundraiser in October has inspired a follow-up event to bring in more support for the 600 homeless cats and dogs looking for home-for-the-holidays adoptive families.

Paws for Cocktails Thursday at the Park Tavern in Midtown will be a fun-filled evening with drink tickets and heavy hors d’oeuvres plus live entertainment and hefty auction action, both live and silent ones. The $25 donation tickets will be available at the door.

Chair Elizabeth Azar is sharing host duties with eager volunteers: John Bachman, Jimmy Baron, Chuck Dowdle, Mark Drury, Lynn Grickson, Preston Hobson, Susan LeCraw, Lisa Loewenstein, Lauren Miller, Sarah Petermann, John Petrini, Courtenay Presten and Anne Stockton.

All proceeds will go directly to Furkids, Georgia’s largest no-kill animal shelter. The nonprofit provides a cage-free environment where rescued homeless dogs and cats can experience the best of care in a loving environment until they are adopted.

“Each year we rescue, shelter, sterilize, rehabilitate and place hundreds of animals in permanent, loving homes,” said Samantha Shelton, Furkids’ founder and executive director. “Petco has become a strong and devoted partner in helping Furkids and SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society match homeless dogs and cats with caring adoptive families.”

Information: (770) 613-0880 or visit

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“Passport to Celebrations,” an inspiring display of holiday table-scapes and vignettes depicting cultural traditions around the world, will herald the holiday season at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead Nov. 14 through Dec. 31.

Inspired by the vast multicultural community of metro Atlanta, the one-of-a-kind installation hosted by the center’s Members Guild will take visitors on a whirlwind flight around the world featuring 24 stylish table décor and settings created by an impressive roster of interior designers and retailers showcasing holidays, both secular and religious.

Grouped according to the seasons, displays will visually engage guests through the center’s Goldstein Gallery. Beginning with Thanksgiving, Sukkot and the African Festival of Yams, the presentations will reflect themed celebrations: winter solstice, Christmas, Hannukah and Indian Diwali and continue with around-the-world interpretations from Venetian, Persian and South American to the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival and Ramadan.

Another highlight of the celebratory exhibition will be an Art Wall curated by art expert Marianne Lambert and her daughter, Anne Lambert Tracht, featuring works by international artists.A preview reception Nov. 14 is being chaired by guild members Debbie Neese and Karen Spiegel. The cocktail buffet of international fare and live music amid a festive atmosphere will celebrate the diverse cross-section of Atlanta’s social community and business leaders. All funds raised through the exhibit will help support center educational activities.

In 1926, 14 civic-minded Atlantans chartered the Atlanta Historical Society to help preserve the city’s history. Members met at each other’s homes, collected early manuscripts and photographs and published research bulletins — all “to arouse in the citizens and friends of Atlanta an interest in its history.”

Over the past 86 years, the organization has grown in both scope and size, and in 1990 officially became the Atlanta History Center on 33 acres in Buckhead and continues to connect people, history and culture.

Tickets and information: (404) 814-4102 or visit

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Forty scholars from Georgia colleges and universities will be recognized at the annual Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation Inc. Atlanta chapter luncheon Nov. 14 at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Atlanta.

Atlanta foundation members are hosting the 2012 awards luncheon and celebrating the 20-year history of its dedication to supporting the best and brightest U.S. graduate and undergraduate scholars by providing financial awards in science, engineering and medical research.

The inspirational speaker for the scholarship affair will be Dr. Daniel L. Barrow, professor and chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery, director of Emory Stroke Center and chief of the Neurological Surgery Service at Emory University Hospital.

Frances Swensson is serving as chair for the awards event. Gracia Conn is president of the Atlanta chapter.

The all-women volunteer organization was formed in Los Angeles in 1958 in response to Sputnik and the perceived lack of U.S. supremacy in the technology race.

The national nonprofit provides financial awards specifically in science, engineering and medical research through 17 chapters across America, including Atlanta. Over the years the foundation has provided more than 14,000 scholarships valued at $83 million at 53 colleges.

One hundred percent of contributions from Atlanta supporters are raised and distributed locally. Atlanta’s 2012 scholarships will go to students at Emory, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Morehouse College and the University of Georgia. Since the beginning, the foundation’s Atlanta chapter has given 600 awards amounting to more than $2.5 million.“

The foundation from its inception has been dedicated to the renewal of the science-based American workforce,” said Dr. Richard A. DeMillo, professor and director of the Center for 21st Century Universities at Georgia Tech, whose wife, Rhonda Martin, is a foundation member. “The success has been stunning — if all the ARCS scholars were gathered in one place, they would be the top rank of work at universities!”

Information: (404) 351-0081 or visit

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The second series of fall sessions for JumpSTART Your Career is scheduled to begin Nov. 14 and run through Dec. 12 at Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church in Brookhaven.

With the job market still tight and a tough economic outlook continuing, it is still critical for job-seekers to hone their skills and promote their abilities. The 6-year-old JumpSTART workshops funded by the nonprofit Alexandra Surdyk Jones Foundation are especially significant to women struggling to find employment in metro Atlanta.

The two-hour evening sessions are available to women of all ages at no cost to encourage and help those who are either trying to enter the workforce for the first time or re-entering after an absence or layoff and even for those who feel they are in a dead-end job and aspire for more meaningful employment. Volunteer advisers and teachers help identify strengths and determine areas of interests as participants improve communication and networking skills, learn how to write effective resumes, prepare for interviews and research potential employers.

Northsiders Gene Parker and Rebecca Smith are the core facilitators for the JumpSTART courses, which are held in various donated sites in the metro area.

Foundation founder Suze Jones, Alexandra’s mother, said volunteer staffers feel rewarded by seeing struggling women “graduate” to meaningful jobs. Funding for the nonprofit JumpSTART program comes from private and corporate contributions and grants from other foundations, as well as in-kind donations of speakers, childcare facilities, locations and facilitators’ time.

Registration and information: (770) 883-6856 or visit

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The Work of Our Hands Artists’ Market, a free holiday shopping market Nov. 16 through 18 at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Buckhead, will celebrate its 10th anniversary with art-oriented offerings featuring 80 local and regional artists.

An opening wine and hors d’oeuvres reception Nov. 15 will preview the free public market. Tickets cost $15 and will be available at the door for the preview.

The bazaar-style benefit is hosted by the nonprofit with the same name, The Work of Our Hands Inc., and proceeds from the show will benefit metro Atlanta art programs that serve and encourage people from all walks of life. Featured art-oriented merchandise ranges from fine art to folk art and crafts including paintings, photography, glass, weaving, wood art, pottery, jewelry, sculpture and a variety of other handmade and original gift items at a wide range of prices.

Leslie Heitz and Carter Hoyt are volunteer co-chairs for the market.

The nonprofit was founded in 2000 by the Rev. Frank K. Allan, retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and an accomplished wood turner. A passionate believer in the spiritual benefits of rediscovering one’s imagination and creative gifts, Allan sought to build an organization to support art-oriented programs among the underprivileged.

This year’s market proceeds will benefit art programs at three nonprofit centers: Emmaus House, which serves underprivileged individuals and families in Atlanta’s Peoplestown community; Holy Comforter Friendship Center in Atlanta, serving people with mental and physical disabilities; and the Church of the Common Ground, a “church without walls” serving the homeless in downtown Atlanta.

Information: (404) 365-1045 or visit

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The story of “Messages in Handlebars, The Youngest Resistance Fighter” will be related at the Nov. 15 Atlanta World War II Round Table luncheon at Petite Auberge restaurant in DeKalb County.

William Kendrick-Kirk, author of the book about Jean-Jacques Auduc, will be the headline speaker for the luncheon. At 12, Auduc was the youngest resistance fighter during the war to be awarded the Croix de Guerre. He also was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honor for heroism. The story was originally narrated by Auduc and translated by Kirk’s wife Claire, then written by Kirk.

The book focuses on how the French resistance played a vital role in the Allies’ victory in the war. The Auduc family provided essential support to the network formed around LeMans, France, by American Office of Strategic Services agents and French Special Operations Executive agents.

Kirk is a graduate of Georgia State University with a PhD in economics and has taught finance at Kennesaw State University. He has been a real estate developer in Marietta as his professional career for the past 27 years and owns a 52-acre property near Le Mans.

Highlights of the luncheon presentations will be special guests: Auduc and some 19 other French nationals who were invited to attend the November round table meeting.

The monthly round table luncheons welcome anyone interested in history and patriotism. Its members are veterans of WWII or other military actions including the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf wars. The public is invited to attend the $15 per-person luncheon, no reservations required. The 2012 commander is Randolph Goulding.

Information: (770) 436-4254 or visit

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The Forward Arts Foundation’s annual holiday signature “Little Things Mean A Lot” exhibit at the Swan Coach House Gallery opens Nov. 15 and runs through Jan. 5 on the Atlanta History Center campus in Buckhead.

This marks the lucky 13th year for the gallery to showcase a collection of small-scale works at moderate prices to encourage gift buying and spark novice collectors.

“I try to showcase a broad spectrum of art and artists while upholding high quality standards,” gallery curator Marianne Lambert said. “I love to show the work of young emerging artist alongside that of prominent established artists. Once again the walls of the gallery will be covered with more than 300 little works of art created by 115 participating artists in a variety of mediums. As in the past, we will replace sold works with new pieces, keeping a fresh and exciting and ever-changing exhibit current through the holidays and into 2013.”

Foundation members Catherine Rawson and Cappy Livezey, who are sponsoring the exhibit, said, “Little Things is probably the gallery’s most popular show and sale. It has evolved over the years to become a great crowd pleaser and is a stimulating challenge for participating artists — many who do not normally work on such a small scale.”

In addition to Rawson and Livezey, members hosting an opening evening Nov. 15 to meet the artists are: Mary Hopkins Nunnally, Sally Nunnally, Peaches Page, Jan Portman, Betsy Pritchett, Susan Tucker, Laura Wallace, Mary Rose Taylor, Lisle Waits and Jane Black. The nonprofit foundation administers the gallery and uses funds from the Swan Coach House Gallery, Gift Shop and Restaurant sales to enhance Atlanta’s art community.

Information: (404) 266-2636 or visit

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