- Post 20 February 2013
- By Special to the Daily World
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The Atlanta Chapter of the Links, Inc., celebrated its 60th anniversary in grand style on Saturday, February 2, with a Diamond Jubilee brunch gala at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead.
The volunteer service organization was celebrating 60 years of service to the Atlanta community. As it grew, the Chapter joined the vanguard of the Civil Rights movement, protesting discrimination and participating in the Atlanta Voter Education project. It gave financial assistance to music students matriculating at colleges in the Atlanta University Center, and, for three decades, enriched community life by presenting these students in concert. It also co-sponsored concerts of the Atlanta University Orchestra.
"Our Diamond Jubilee was simply beautiful! Thank you for making the event such a great success," said Atlanta Links' Chapter President, Lynne Scroggins, to the Chapter's members afterwards.
Additionally, the Chapter provided scholarships for students in need of funds who exhibited exceptional academic promise. Over the years, the Atlanta Chapter has been deeply engaged in assisting many local organizations, including the Carrie Steele Pitts Home for Children, the Achor House, the NAACP, the National Black Arts Festival, and the Voter Education Project.
For almost three decades, the Atlanta Chapter has supported the Chapter's signature program, Project LEAD (Links Educate, Accommodate, and Develop—formerly Links Erase Alcohol and Drugs). The Atlanta Chapter also supports service programs, including the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble, by buying instruments, performance attire and promoting concerts; the Haitian Goat Project by purchasing goats for Haitian families; the Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy by supplying uniforms and speakers for students; and C.H.O.I.C.E.S. by promoting this childhood obesity prevention initiative.
The proceeds from the gala will support the expansion of the Chapter's programs, which serve children and families. These programs include Project LEAD, and the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble, among others. The sponsors of the Diamond Jubilee included the Coca-Cola Co., Dr. Henrie Treadwell & the Kellogg Foundation, Benchmark Management LLC, Wells Fargo Bank, The Atlanta Medical Center, The Georgia Pacific Foundation, The Jocelyn Hunter Foundation, Publix Super Markets, The Stephanie M. Russell Trust, Legendary Events, and The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead. Special thanks were given to sustaining partner, The Georgia Power Co.
The event's co-chairs, Mary Currie, Vivian Ingersoll, and Donna Williams, were pleased with the results of the unique, morning gala.
"We are extremely proud that the diligent planning and hard work of the Chapter members were rewarded," Said Williams. "The success of the Diamond Jubilee Gala will assist the Chapter in funding its important programs."
Shades of silver, platinum and pewter were on display in the beautiful floor-length gowns that each member wore. The gowns were in keeping with the event's pewter silk, one-of-a-kind "gift box" invitations that each guest had received. The dining room tables were draped with satiny silver, pewter and platinum table cloths and napkins, with large glass vases full of white roses (the Links' official flower) and white hydrangeas with crystal decorations.
The irresistible Toni Redd Band kept the audience entertained with songs from each decade since the Chapter's chartering in 1953, ending with Beyonce's song, "All the Single Ladies." Redd spoke of how the Atlanta Chapter of The Links had awarded her a scholarship when she was a student at Spelman College.
Mary Currie, former Southern Area Director, noted, "To have one of our Scholarship recipients entertain us meant that our 'good deeds' had come full circle." Atlanta's Mayor Kasim Reed greeted the audience, remarking that he had never missed one of the biennial events sponsored by the Chapter. Narrated by FOX-5 TV reporter and Chapter member, Aungelique Proctor, a video highlighted the group's history of working with youth throughout the community. Guests received gifts of silver and "diamond" key chains and purse holders from Coca-Cola.
Five students from the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble played during the reception. Co-chair, Vivian Ingersoll noted, "The purpose of the Gala was not only to commemorate the Chapter's sixty years of service to the Community but also to pay tribute to those who have supported and encouraged our work over the years. We hope the Gala achieved those objectives."
Many public officials were present, including Ambassador Andrew and Mrs. Carolyn Young; Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County, Burl and Atty. Phillippa Ellis; Atlanta City Council Member Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta City Council Member Aaron and Mrs. Sharon Watson; and Atlanta Public School Superintendent, Errol B. and Mrs. Elaine Davis. Many representatives of the National and Area offices of The Links, Inc., attended including the Southern Area Director, Eneid A. Francis; 11th National President, Patricia Russell McCloud; National Treasurer, Katherine E. Wilson; Co-Director of National Programs, Delores Bolden Stamps; National Director of Health and Human Services, Dr. Monica Parker; National Director of Philanthropy, Teree Caldwell Johnson; National Chair, Protocol, Cynthia Austin; and 15th Southern Area Director, Nancy Anderson. Alumnae members and members of sister chapters of the Links, Inc., from throughout the City and the South came to support the historic Atlanta Chapter, the first chapter of the Links, incorporated, in Georgia.
(Photo: Atlanta Chapter President, Lynne Scroggins, greets the guests at the organization's 60th anniversary, Diamond Jubilee Gala on Feb. 2 at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead. Photographer: Don Morgan Photography & Video)