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Foundation Features Digest

Upcoming Events

Shepherd Center’s 25th Anniversary of The Legendary Party will Present “The Future Is Now” to Showcase Assistive Therapy Advances


Plans are developing for The Legendary Party 2013, themed “The Future Is Now,” which will showcase remarkable advances in assistive technology in use at Shepherd Center.

“Imagine the freedom provided by voice-and-eye command computer software that allows patients to activate any electrical device — from door openers and appliances to lights and call systems in their homes or offices,” says Party Chairman Karen Speigel, who is amazed at the technologies and developed the event’s theme to highlight these advances. “Adaptive driving systems, including joystick and touchpad controls, enable independent transportation. Greater mobility through wheelchair innovations enhances quality of life.”

Chair-elect Cecilia Wright, Honorees Sally and McKee Nunnally, and Chairman Karen Spiegel with Frosty, one of Shepherd Center’s therapy dogs

The 25th annual Legendary Party, scheduled for Nov. 2 at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, will welcome two special guests. “Two special, four-footed guests, Frosty and Bentley, will be present at the ball, showing off the new Animal Assisted Therapy programs that they have been specially trained to do,” Karen says. “These two, highly intelligent blonde labs bring joy to patients, handle household tasks and respond to 40 verbal commands. They will, of course, be wearing special Shepherd black ties!”

The Legendary Party committee chairmen and members, along with Shepherd Center co-founders James, Alana and Harold Shepherd and Medical Director Donald Leslie, M.D. — named recently to U.S. News & World Report magazine’s Top Doctors — gathered in Feburary at a kickoff luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. Karen and Chairman-elect Cecilia Wright greeted more than 70 guests, including Sally and McKee Nunnally, the 2013 event’s Honorary Chairmen. Their dedication to Shepherd Center has been constant, with Sally active on the Board of Directors for more than 20 years and McKee recently assuming the chairmanship of the Shepherd Center Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Together, they are members of the Shepherd Center’s Benefactors Society and Bridge Builders Society.

Funds raised at this year’s gala will support Shepherd Center’s Assistive Technology Program, which is fully donor-funded, adding to the significance of supporting it through the ball.

For more information or to buy tickets visit or contact Florina Newcomb at or call 404-350-7302.

Guests enjoy Party in the Park 2012.

Party in the Park Planned for November


This fall, it will be time for Junior Committee and Shepherd Center Society members and their guests to dress up for a night on the town. The second annual Party In The Park, a cocktail evening for both young adult groups and their friends, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Chastain Horse Park.

Last year, more than 200 guests put on their best attire to celebrate the start of the holiday season, and this year is expected to be just as festive. Guests will enjoy a cocktail buffet, open bar, casino games and live music.

Tickets for 2013 Junior Committee and Shepherd Center Society members are $70 for individuals and $125 for couples. Non-member tickets are $80 for individuals and $150 for couples. Tickets and information will be available in October 2013 at and

30th Annual Shepherd Center Cup Set for October 7


Planning is well under way for Shepherd Center’s annual golf tournament, The Shepherd Center Cup. This year’s outing will be the 30th consecutive fundraising golf tournament for Shepherd Center, and it is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 7, at Cherokee Country Club in Atlanta. Tournament Chairman Hunter Amos, Chair-elect Street Nalley and the tournament planning committee are recruiting sponsors and golfers for the outing and expect another sell-out year.

On Friday, Oct. 4, Shepherd Center Foundation Trustee Elizabeth Allen and her husband Carl will host the Tee-Off Party in their lovely Buckhead home. This casual-chic cocktail party features live and silent auctions and is a vital part of the tournament’s overall fundraising. Sponsors, golfers and their guests will be wined and dined as they bid on trips, fine wines, sports memorabilia, jewelry, home décor and much more. Non-golfers are welcome to purchase tickets to the Tee-Off Party.

From the Shepherd Center archives, gathered at the 2003 Billi Marcus Classic are, left to right, Bob Brourman, the late Janice Mathia, Caryl Paller and Billi Marcus.

Proceeds from the Shepherd Center Cup will support the Shepherd Center Foundation’s Annual Fund, which helps offset the costs of many vital patient care programs that are not funded by insurance. These include the Center’s patient family housing program, vocational therapy, transitional support for post-discharge follow-up care, recreation therapy and many more.

For information about the tournament and Tee-Off Party, please visit, or contact Cara Roxland at or 404-350-7778.

Event Report

Rain Does Not Dampen the Festive Spirits at Derby Day 2013


The rain did not keep the crowds away on May 4 for Shepherd Center’s 31st annual Derby Day. More than 800 people came to the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers for great food and drinks and to watch the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.

As soon as the gates opened, even with a misty rain falling, guests enjoyed lawn and casino games under tents. They bid on great items in silent and live auctions, including a Large Big Green Egg, a guitar autographed by all members of the band Styx and four tickets with a pit tour for the Sept.1 NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The crowd cheers as they watch the Run for the Roses.

Derby Day 2013 Co-Chairs Catherine Skeen and Wesley Snapp assembled an energetic group of Junior Committee members who have worked since September 2012 to prepare for this one-day, outdoor event.

“This year, we really wanted our sponsors, patrons and guests to have a great experience despite the weather,” Catherine says. As soon as Orb finished the race, Mike King kept the crowd wanting more by announcing raffle winners before handing the microphone over to Ty Tippett, who once again served as live auctioneer. The live auction included a chef-prepared dinner for six in the recipient’s home, tickets and meet-n-greet passes for a Brad Paisley concert, and golf and lunch for tour at East Lake Country Club. After the last bid was placed, patrons and guests dined on BBQ pork catered by Proof of the Pudding and enjoyed the sights and sounds of Atlanta’s premier ’80s band, The Breakfast Club.

With the books closed on Derby Day 2013, remember to save the date for May 3, 2014 for Shepherd Center’s 32nd Annual Derby Day.

For information about joining Junior Committee, contact Cara Roxland at 404-350-7778 or by email at

Angel Luncheon 2013 Honors Shepherd Center Supporters


At the Shepherd Center Foundation’s Angel Luncheon on May 15, more than 300 donors and volunteer fundraisers were honored for their generosity and dedication to Shepherd’s patients and families. This special event is Shepherd Center’s opportunity to acknowledge and thank the faithful donors whose gifts fund programs like recreation therapy, the SHARE Military Initiative, housing and transportation, animal-assisted therapy, assistive technology and multiple sclerosis research, as well as hospital construction and renovation.

Several previous recipients of the Angel of the Year award joined in this year’s celebration. Attending were: Beth Holder, Betty Hulse, Jennings Watkins, Ruth Anthony, Lois Puckett, Emory Schwall, Claire Smith and Carol Goodman.

The Angel Luncheon also served as an opportunity to recognize and honor generous donors and supporters from the past year. This year, Shepherd Center honored lifelong friend Eula Carlos as the 2013 Angel of the Year. Eula is a Life Member of the Auxiliary, first joining in 1986. Through the years, she, along with the entire Carlos family, has been instrumental in developing the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute and the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Research Endowment Fund. In 2007, the Eula and Andrew C. Carlos Endowed Chair in MS Research was created to offer permanent financial support to underwrite MS research centered on improving diagnoses and treatment options for people living with MS. Eula and her family hope to make a significant impact in the quality of life of people living with MS and, one day, help find a cure for the condition.

As a special tribute to Shepherd Center’s newly renovated MS Institute, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held just before the Angel Luncheon recognizing the generosity and contributions that Eula Carlos and her entire family have shared with Shepherd Center through the years. The ribbon-cutting served as a formal re-opening of the MS Institute’s recent expansion. It was also the perfect opportunity for the Carlos family to gather, celebrate and honor Eula for her tireless hard work.

Rotary Golf Tournament Benefits Shepherd Center’s SHARE Military Initiative


The Rotary Club of Brookhaven hosted its third annual “Service Above Self Invitational” golf tournament to benefit Shepherd Center’s SHARE Military Initiative on May 13 at Cherokee Country Club in Atlanta.

In its first two years, the event has raised more than $130,000, with proceeds going directly to SHARE. The cost of supporting one solider in the SHARE Military Initiative is about $30,000.

Magellan Health Services, a specialty healthcare management company devoted to making healthcare more affordable during difficult times, was the headline sponsor for this year’s event for the third consecutive year.

“Magellan Health Services was proud to once again have the opportunity to support the Rotary Club of Brookhaven and Shepherd Center’s SHARE Military Initiative,” says Gary M. Henschen, M.D., Magellan’s chief medical officer for behavioral health. “Brookhaven Rotary puts on a fantastic event that pulls the community together, and we are honored to be able to serve those who have committed their lives to serving this great country.”

The Rotary Club of Brookhaven held its golf tournament to benefit Shepherd Center’s SHARE Military Initiative. Speaking at the event was Lt. Col. Carl Bergmann from Fort Benning, Ga.

Founded in 2008, the SHARE Military Initiative is a comprehensive rehabilitation program that focuses on assessment and treatment for service members who have sustained a mild to moderate traumatic brain injury and PTSD from the Afghanistan and Iraqi conflicts.

“The SHARE Military Initiative is offered free of charge to service members and their families through the generous support of donors,” says Alana Shepherd, Shepherd Center co-founder and Atlanta Rotary Club member. “The support the Rotary Club of Brookhaven has shown through its Service Above Self Invitational helps enable us to provide the care and assistance our service members need to return to an active lifestyle.”

For more information, visit the Service Above Self Invitational website,, or contact Jon Roxland at 404-350-7314 or

Shepherd Center Board Members Gather at Annual Joint Board Meeting


On May 20, guests attended the annual joint board meeting of the Shepherd Center Board of Directors, the Shepherd Center Foundation Board of Trustees and the Advisory Board.

The program included a marketing update by Mitch Fillhaber, Shepherd Center’s senior vice president of corporate development and managed care, followed by a report on an upcoming Shepherd Center metro Atlanta advertising campaign led by Larry Bowie, director of public relations and marketing.

Also, Bridget Metzger, director of injury prevention and education, shared the importance of identifying distracted driving and encouraged board members to join the many Shepherd Center staff members who have signed the hospital’s Safe Driving Pledge.

In addition, Medical Director Donald P. Leslie, M.D., gave an update on Shepherd Center’s collaboration with Vanderbilt University and Parker Hannifin to develop Indego, a lightweight exoskeleton designed to help individuals with paraplegia stand and walk. Indego clinical trials involve people with spinal cord injury and stroke. Parker Hannifin hopes to receive FDA approval for use of the device in rehabilitation centers by July 2014.

The meeting included a brief overview of the Multiple Sclerosis Health and Wellness Program led by Chris Manella, therapy manager for MS, and an introduction of Shepherd Center patient Lindy Welch, who gave a testimonial.

Shepherd Center Honors In-Hospital Volunteers


Shepherd Center’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, held this spring on April 25, offered a chance to celebrate the hospital’s volunteers and provided time for visiting with friends old and new. Soiree Catering provided a delicious meal, and each volunteer received a pocket notebook imprinted with the words “Shepherd Center Volunteer” as a small token of appreciation.

Scott Sikes, executive director of the Shepherd Center Foundation, welcomed guests and thanked volunteers for their tremendous gifts of time. Following dinner, former patient and volunteer Warren Cleary, now a staff member, shared his personal story and reminded guests of the importance of volunteers at Shepherd Center. A brief slide show provided a look back on the past year, showcasing many familiar faces.

Volunteer Barry Phillips was honored with the Spirit of Shepherd Award, which recognizes a volunteer who “demonstrates outstanding passion and commitment and is instrumental to Shepherd Center’s activities, programs and mission.” As a breakfast feeder and locomotor therapy volunteer, Barry’s dedication to Shepherd patients, staff and the hospital’s work makes him a vital part of Shepherd’s success. James Curtis was recognized for giving the most hours in a fiscal year.

Shepherd Center Auxiliary Donates $184,300 for Patient Programs


The Shepherd Center Auxiliary celebrated its 2012-2013 fundraising season with the presentation of a check for $184,300 to Scott Sikes, executive director of the Shepherd Center Foundation, at the Auxiliary’s annual meeting and luncheon on April 18 in the hospital’s Callaway Auditorium.

Shepherd’s Recreation Therapy Department received $135,000, and the hospital Assistive Technology Center received $10,000. The funds will benefit patients in each program. The money will also fund the purchase of two quad rugby and basketball chairs, an EasyGlider for Shepherd Pathways, and a tilt table, which provides effective patient mobilization at an early stage in rehabilitation following a stroke, traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury.

Guests attending the event enjoyed a delicious lunch catered by Carole Parks Catering. Hospitality Committee Chairs Linda Morris and Maureen Escott and their committee members made this a very special affair.

Service hour awards were presented to Ann Boriskie, Molly Lanier, Kris Lorenz, Libby Garrett, Barbara McArdle, Chuck Nicolayson, Valerie Sikes, Stephen Goot, Mitzi Richardson, Steve Lore and Lois Puckett. James Curtis added an additional 1,250 hours last year to take his total volunteer hours to 6,500.

Former Shepherd Center patient Claudette Hulme of Gallatin, Tenn., spoke about her experience as a patient. She said she’d never been in a hospital where the patients were given so much hope and had so much fun at the same time.

The Peggy Schwall Spirit of Excellence Award was presented to Marla Bennett for her dedication and exceptional support of the Auxiliary for the past seven years. Emory Schwall received honorary life board membership for his outstanding support of the Pecans on Peachtree fundraiser.

The luncheon concluded with the installation of the Auxiliary Officers for 2013-2014. They are: Heather Flint, president; Carol Adams, president-elect; Lynne Elander, treasurer; Lisa Hardymon, recording secretary; and Marla Bennett, corresponding secretary.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.