“I went to the event and from the lobby, I heard music and thought they hired a jazz band, but it was our own jazz band. … They produce a great sound,” said Smith, this year’s event chair.
The gala showcases the school’s jazz band, which will again perform, and supports its academic, athletic and arts programs.
“What we do is pick up where Atlanta public schools cannot,” said Smith, whose son Alex graduated from North Atlanta in 2010 and whose daughter Carlin is a sophomore there. “We’ve done scholarships to the Julliard Music Camp, Alliance Francais, VOX [Teen Communications], plus special tutoring groups and funding for the robotics team for their national conference. We do things for the band, the art department. Anybody that has a worthwhile request, we get them funding for it.”
Last year the event morphed from a more casual party with a dinner buffet to a black-tie, sit-down dinner, and again it will be held at the Cobb Galleria Centre near Vinings. Organizers hope to raise at least $55,000, equaling last year’s total.
“I’m very excited about this event,” said Sara Catherine Kibler, who is co-chairing the auction committee with Lisa Wong Bouldin. “It’s our primary fundraiser for the school. It is a school-wide fundraiser and it the only charitable event that raises money for the academic, athletic and artistic needs of our students. All the money goes directly back to the students.
“I think a lot of folks think of North Atlanta as the only public school for Buckhead, but we have such a diverse population, and it’s said that North Atlanta is the most diverse high school in the city of Atlanta. We are so proud of the community and how they’ve rallied behind us now. We have more [auction] items from more supporters this year than we’ve ever had. It’s evidence by the items being auctioned off this year.”
The event will include live and silent auctions, and new Principal Howard “Gene” Taylor is the guest of honor. In the silent auction, he is giving up his school parking space for the rest of the 2012-13 academic year. In the live auction, Taylor also is auctioning off his parking spot for the 2013-14 school year and a dinner for two with him at Bacchanalia.
“North Atlanta’s parents have worked so hard to improve the school and the current and past administration have done so much to build a great school for our children,” said Kibler, whose daughter Neelie is a junior at the school and has two other children attending Sutton Middle and Morris Brandon Elementary. “I am thankful that I have one child there and two more that will be there. I’m grateful to be able to help out and support the school in any way I can. It’s a great community and it’s a fun evening when parents, teachers and administrators can get together and celebrate all that has been built and do it outside the school campus.”
If you go:
o What: Red Hot Jazz
o When: Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
o Where: Cobb Galleria Centre, 2 Galleria Pkwy., near Vinings
o Benefits: North Atlanta High School Foundation
o Information: (404) 869-0768 or visit www.redhotjazz.org