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10th Annual Chair-ity Event raises $200,000 for victims of child abuse and abandonment

Vicki Turner, Fayetteville resident, artist and Chair-ity committee member, displays the vintage school desk she painted for the 10th annual Chair-ity silent auction.

Union City, Ga  – Local artists, sponsors, hosts, community leaders, and volunteers, came together on December 1st for the tenth Annual Chair-ity Event benefitting The Children’s Village at Christian City. This special event is named for the unique chairs – artistically painted and donated by community artists – that are included in the event’s silent auction. A record-setting total of $200,000 was raised to support the ongoing needs of the abandoned, abused, and neglected children who now live safely at The Children’s Village at Christian City.

“Community support is what sustains our ministries at Christian City,” said President & CEO, Len Romano. “Because of the faithful dedication of the many people who made this event possible and those who support us throughout the year, the children at The Children’s Village will continue to receive the loving care they need.”

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Residents of The Children’s Village at Christian City, (from left) Aleiyah, Sierra and Jalyn, greeted guests as they arrived at the 10th annual Chair-ity event. Aleiyah also provided the opening prayer

George Franco, Fox 5 Atlanta news reporter, served as emcee and auctioneer at the event. Jazz vocalist, Toni Byrd, and the Rick Massengale Jazz Trio provided musical entertainment as guests shopped the silent auction. Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Lawton Roberts, welcomed the attendees, and a prayer was offered by a high school student and current resident of The Children’s Village.

Refreshments were supplemented this year by special gifts of homemade desserts provided by Christian City’s best bakers, senior residents who volunteered to support the Chair-ity event and The Children’s Village by baking their favorite desserts to be served to event guests. At the end of the evening, guests received a set of recipe cards for the desserts as a keepsake of the tenth annual Chair-ity event.

A drum corps presentation featured residents of The Children’s Village who participate in an ongoing musical therapy program. Phil Kouns, COO of The Children’s Village at
Christian City, stated, “We are grateful for important support from our faithful monthly donors and the Chair-ity event. From the artistically painted chairs and many volunteer hours to auction items donated by businesses and financial support of our sponsors, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support we receive from across the metro Atlanta area.”

For the first time this year, a live auction was added to the Chair-ity event. Packages ranged from a Big Green Egg and Beretta shotgun to a weekend stay at a north Georgia cabin, a 7-night resort vacation, and an acoustic guitar signed by Zac Brown.

After hearing from Len Romano, President & CEO, and Program Director, Sarah Booth, who lived at The Children’s Village from age 12 through high school graduation, many of the guests extended their financial support even further by making outright donations following the live auction. Sarah is a graduate of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, and she recently completed her Master’s degree in Professional Counseling.

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Ashley Bonner, Christian City’s Director of Fund Development and Senoia resident, assists George Franco (on stage) with the live auction at the Chair-ity event. A Beretta shotgun was one of the live auction items up for bids.

LaVann Landrum, Chief Development Officer, expressed appreciation for the outpouring of support saying, “We are thankful beyond measure to the many people who have a heart for our children. From Christian City residents, staff and volunteers to supporters like Pruitt Health, Infiniti of South Atlanta, The Joy FM, and south side Rotary Clubs, this event is truly a community-wide effort to help children who have been victims of abuse and abandonment. Because of heartfelt community support, we are able to help our children to heal their wounded spirits and begin to thrive.”

The Chair-ity event took place at the Crowne Plaza in Peachtree City and featured a raffle drawing for a new Q50 car provided by Infiniti of South Atlanta. The raffle was hosted by south side Rotary Clubs and the drawing was conducted at the conclusion of the event.

The $10,000 cash option prize was presented to the raffle winner, Cynthia Bennett of Newnan. Upon receiving the check, she immediately returned a $5,000 donation to The Children’s Village at Christian City. The parents of two adopted daughters, the Bennett family has always been supportive of efforts to improve the lives of children. “One of my daughters and my mother lived in group homes as children,” Cynthia said. “Organizations like The Children’s Village at Christian City are dear to my heart, and I am happy to support their work,” she said.