Category: Making a Difference

Worth Knowing: Hospital’s volunteer corps celebrates a half-century ‘paying it forward’

Ten years ago, after a successful career as a corporate executive, Dunwoody resident Chris Cox retired and soon found herself in a bed at Northside Hospital recovering from breast cancer surgery. Filled with fear and uncertainty about her future, she was visited by a former patient who had survived the same surgery. Dressed in a Northside Hospital Auxiliary blue volunteer’s coat, Cox’s visitor answered her questions and allayed her fears. Thus began a whole lot of healing beyond cancer. When she felt better, Cox began spending four hours a week doing for other breast cancer patients what had been...

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How Buckhead’s Shepherd Center saved the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games

Twenty-three years ago this month, Atlanta hosted the Summer Paralympic Games, the companion event to the Olympics where the world’s top athletes with impairments compete for the gold. But the Paralympics nearly didn’t even come to the U.S. – let alone the city – until Buckhead’s Shepherd Center rehabilitation hospital fought hard to win it, saved the day, and changed the Games forever. Partly from disorganization and partly from Olympic infighting over money, power and even legal rights to a cute mascot, the 1996 Paralympics were at risk of happening as far away as the Netherlands rather than alongside...

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Environment Sandy Springs receives grant to fund Marsh Creek clean up

The Sandy Springs Society has awarded Environment Sandy Springs a $2,500 grant to help continue efforts to clean Marsh Creek. The grant will allow ESS, a local nonprofit, to continue clearing invasive species from the waterway, the organization announced in a press release. “We are tremendously grateful for the Sandy Springs Society’s investment in preserving our community’s precious natural resources,” said Bill Cleveland, the president of Environment Sandy Springs, in the release. “As development continues at a rapid pace in our city, especially along the Roswell Road corridor, it’s imperative to ensure our environment is being looked after and...

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Northside Youth Organization to mark 70th anniversary, seeks photos and stories

Northside Youth Organization will celebrate 70 years of youth sports with an Oct. 6 “Homecoming” celebration, and is seeking historic photos and stories from current and past players and supporters. Based in Chastain Park, the nonprofit NYO serves nearly 5,000 children each year in Buckhead, Sandy Springs and other metro Atlanta communities. NYO began as a football program in 1949 and now offers baseball, softball, cheerleading and girls and boys basketball. Larry Bennett, NYO’s board vice president and historian, and former Executive Director “Miss Jane” Wilkins are working on a history to present at the celebration. “We are relying...

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Atlanta Audubon Society opens applications for bird-friendly improvement funds

The Atlanta Audubon Society is accepting applications for funding “bird-friendly improvements” in green spaces. The 2020 Habitat Restoration Fund program will fund such improvements as invasive species removal, native plant installation, design services for gardens or habitats, bird monitoring and community programs. Green spaces ranging in size from 50 square feet to 3 acres are eligible, and the locations can be in several metro Atlanta counties, including DeKalb and Fulton. City governments and community or friends groups, and other property managers can apply. “Atlanta Audubon and its partners play an important role in creating bird resiliency in the Southeast,”...

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Residents start Dunwoody Police Foundation to support officers

Several Dunwoody residents have started the Dunwoody Police Foundation, a nonprofit with the mission of providing financial support to officers in need, as well as to help cover training and equipment costs. The new group will hold its first public event at the Dunwoody 4th of July Parade, where members will be accepting donations at a booth next to the Dunwoody Police Department at the end of the parade in the festival area of Dunwoody Village. “A couple years ago I had the opportunity to go through the Dunwoody Police Citizens’ Academy and I was really impressed with what...

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Sandy Springs medical office collecting toiletries for homeless veterans starting July 5

An annual toiletry drive for homeless veterans, with a drop-off location in Sandy Springs’ medical center, will begin July 5 and run through Sept. 6. The eighth annual “Stand Up for Stand Down” drive is sponsored by the nonprofit Georgia District Pilot International Clubs and Georgia Cancer Specialists, an affiliate of Northside Hospital Cancer Institute. According to organizers, the 2018 drive collected more than 10,000 pounds of toiletry items in 2,000 “comfort bags. Excess items went to other nonprofits for distributions to survivors of last year’s hurricanes. The drive is seeking travel- or sample-size toiletry and personal care items,...

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Sandy Springs Olympic swimmer helps raise funds for cancer research

Two-time Olympian Nei Kuan Chia, who lives in Sandy Springs, helped raise funds for pediatric cancer at June 11 swimming event. Nei Kuan Chia joined local swimmers from the Ansley Sharks summer league team at the Ansley Park Lap-A-Thon in Midtown, a fundraising event benefiting Swim Across America-Atlanta, according to a press release. Nei Kuan Chia took photos with swimmers and autographed swim caps for participants. He competed in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics in the butterfly stroke competitions. He still competes in swimming events and is traveling to South Korea this summer to compete with a national team,...

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Sandy Springs cystic fibrosis fundraiser breaks record, receives award

Cars & ’Q for the Cause, a Sandy Springs tradition that raises money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, raised $520,000, beating its fundraising record as it celebrated its 10th anniversary. The company also received an award from the foundation for its work raising over $3.5 million so far. The fundraiser started in 2009 as a small car show and barbecue in the parking lot of Choate Construction as a way for the local company to try to save the life of a close family friend Leann Rittenbaum Ott, who died in November 2018. But the fundraiser continues in Ott’s...

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Sisters raise funds for Sandy Springs breast cancer nonprofit

Three sisters raised $9,700 for the TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation, a Sandy Springs nonprofit that treated their mother for the disease. Emilie, Samantha and Lauren Scalise presented a check May 17 to the nonprofit board for the funds raised at their Feb. 2 event held in Buckhead’s Chastain Park. Called “Strides for Survivors,” it was the third annual event and the most successful with 175 people participating in the walk, a press release announced. Over the three years hosting the event, the Scalises have raised over $26,000. They were inspired after their mother Stephanie Scalise, a breast cancer survivor,...

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We Love BuHi founder steps down, will take ARC job

Marian Liou, the Brookhaven resident who turned her socially conscious Instagram account about Buford Highway into the influential nonprofit We Love BuHi, is resigning as the organization’s executive director to take a new job. She will start June 10 as a program analyst at the Atlanta Regional Commission, leaving behind four years of work on a nonprofit that came to spotlight Buford Highway’s famously diverse culture on the brink of gentrification. “I never would have left if there wasn’t a perfect opportunity for me,” said Liou in a phone interview. The growth of We Love BuHi from a personal...

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Volunteer for a Better Sandy Springs helps school build outdoor classroom

Volunteer for a Better Sandy Springs’ 17th annual event brought volunteers out to help clean up 17 local sites and work on special projects building outdoor classrooms at schools. In two special projects, volunteers helped Lake Forest Elementary School and Sandy Springs Charter Middle School build out STEAM-focused outdoor classrooms at the April 27 event. Volunteers also helped clean up Crooked Creek Park, a new park under development by the city. Organized by Leadership Sandy Springs, VBSS kicked off with a welcoming message from Mayor Rusty Paul at North Springs Charter High School. Other sites where volunteers did landscaping,...

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