Shepherd Center’s Legendary Party Raises $5 Million
Funds benefit Shepherd Center’s SHARE Military Initiative and the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute.
November 4 marked one of Shepherd Center’s finest hours – a triumph of great philanthropy, showing the high esteem in which the nationally recognized spinal cord, brain injury and related conditions treatment center is held by Atlantans. Jenny Pruitt, one of the most admired stars in Atlanta’s pantheon of community leaders and philanthropists, chaired this year’s Legendary Party. The applause was deafening when Jenny Pruitt announced that the Legendary Party had reached her personal goal of raising $5 million for Shepherd Center. Jenny acknowledged that there were the three million-dollar donors, including restaurateur and city leader Dante Stephenson, a legend in his own time.
Funds benefited Shepherd Center’s SHARE Military Initiative and the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute. Presenting sponsors were the Jenny and Bob Pruitt Family, Elaine and John Carlos, Thalia N. and Chris M. Carlos Foundation, Helen A. Carlos and Ron Hilliard, Peter A. Dames and Family, Lee and Sandy Sanford, The Home Depot Foundation and Dante Stephenson. Joining as Platinum Sponsors were Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Real Estate, Cox Enterprises, Ed Voyles Automotive and Genuine Parts Company.
Themed “Legends of the Silver Screen,” the Legendary Party was held in Tony Conway’s incomparable event venue, Flourish, where he and his Legendary Events team created the décor and delicious cuisine. Klieg spot lights beamed over Flourish reminiscent of a Hollywood premiere night.
Jenny Pruitt, founder and CEO of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, and her husband Bob greeted guests. At the entrance, actors portraying paparazzi captured photographs of guests, while hot-pink-satin clad Marilyn Monroe as she appeared in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Gone With the Wind’s Rhett Butler and comedians Charlie Chaplin and Lucille Ball made surprise appearances. Champagne in traditional coupes, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were passed during the reception.
Flourish’s ballroom glowed with the sparkle of white sequined and shimmering silver cloths, mirrored table tops, glorious towers of white roses and delphinium, and silver vases of white feathers encircled by white roses, gold-and-crystal votives and brilliant candlelight from magnificent candelabras.
Sophisticated dinner music allowed everyone to enjoy talking with table partners and relish the gourmet dinner of the beef with Cabernet jus and seared black cod, poached pear salad and the classic American dessert Baked Alaska.
When the fabulous Swinging Medallions, famous since the early 1960s as the “Party Band of the South” for their blend of beach, frat rock and R&B music, came on stage, guests raced to the dance floor to “Hey, Hey Baby”. When they played their multi-million seller and signature song, “Double Shot of My Baby’s Love,” dancers wouldn’t let them stop playing.
Topping off the evening was Legendary Late Night a La La Land-themed after party complete with a live Karaoke band, a menu of beef, turkey and crab sliders, chicken and waffles and mini-bites, while football fans caught big-screen broadcasts of major games.
The 2017 Legendary Party was truly an award-winning evening for Shepherd Center.
Written by Susan Tucker and Leslie Jackson
Photos by Ben Rose
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 neuromuscular 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.