Atlanta, GA,
16:07 PM

Kickoff Provides Preview of November's Legendary Party

Themed “Sakura – Blossoms of Renewal,” the kickoff was the first in a series of events leading to the 2019 Legendary Party.

Consul General of Japan, The Honorable Takashi Shinozuka, and his wife Mrs. Shinozuka graciously welcomed Shepherd Center guests to the Consul General’s residence in Buckhead, calling it “a huge honor for us to host the 2019 kickoff of Shepherd Center’s Legendary Party.”

Held March 20, 2019, the event, themed “Sakura – Blossoms of Renewal,” was the first in a series of events leading to the 2019 Legendary Party, scheduled for November 2, 2019. The party will be held at Flourish, the Buckhead venue of Legendary Events. Legendary Party Chair Janie Fickling Skinner joined Counsul General Shinozuka in thanking guests for their enthusiasm for the upcoming Legendary Party. She added that funds raised will support Shepherd Center’s Recreation Therapy Program.

The “Blossoms of Renewal” theme was inspired by Janie Fickling Skinner’s grandfather, William Arthur Fickling, Sr., who gave hundreds of thousands of the original cherry trees to Macon, Georgia, that led to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in that city. Special guest Carolyn Crayton of Macon founded the city’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival. She has been to Japan six times and was awarded Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun with Silver and Gold Rays, the country’s highest award, from the Emperor and Empress of Japan.

Consul General Shinozuka explained, “For us, the cherry blossom represents peace and renewal.”

Alana Shepherd, co-founder of Shepherd Center, thanked Consul General Shinozuka for hosting the beautiful party in his residence and presented him with a fine collectible Moulthrop bowl fashioned of Yoshino cherry tree wood. Guests mingled at the Kickoff party as they enjoyed the splendid buffet and table decorated with cherry blossoms and roses by Legendary Events. Midtown Restaurant Nakato served sushi to complete the cuisine. Peter A. Dames will serve as honorary chairman for this year’s Legendary Party and Melinda Dabbiere has been selected as chair-elect.

The Legendary Party is Shepherd Center Foundation's largest fundraising event. Held annually on the first Saturday in November, The Legendary Party has raised more than $20 million dollars for Shepherd Center's patient care programs. For more information on attending the 2019 Legendary Party, please contact Erin Schuster, Special Events Manager at 404-350-7304 or

Written by Laurie Coleman and Susan Tucker

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.