Delta Air Lines Foundation Matches Pledge Money Raised At ABL Luncheon
By Special to the Daily World
The Atlanta Business League hosted its 34th Annual CEO Appreciation Luncheon at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, recently. Chairman and Chief Executive Office Daniel P. Amos of Aflac received the top honors but attendees also identified a very special donor who helped the organization pay off its mortgage debt in less than four hours.

When the supporters and members of the Atlanta Business League bought tickets to attend the organization’s annual Chief Executive Officer Appreciation luncheon, held Tuesday, May 8, they expected to see community and business leaders receive well-earned accolades. However, there was an extra element added to the program that allowed the audience to help solve a mystery.

The quest started with the opening announcement and expanded when 2011-2012 Atlanta Business League Chairman Thomas W. Dortch Jr. explained that an anonymous supporter had made a unique offer. The mystery donor would make a very large contribution if the organization could meet a very difficult deadline.

“If the ABL can secure $125,000 in written pledges by the end of this luncheon, this mystery supporter will pay $2 for every $1 raised,” he said during his opening remarks. “That would give the ABL the chance to celebrate 2013 with a mortgage burning ceremony.”

Tuesday’s donors helped to turn that potential celebration into a reality. From 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. organizations, companies and individuals pledged more than $150,000 to the ABL’s mortgage reduction campaign.

They made their donations using a customized digital pledge process created by ABL member company, Sciberus. Delta Air Lines Foundation was revealed as the mystery donor and matched the pledges with a $250,000 check.

“Delta Air Lines Foundation has been a part of the fabric of the Atlanta community for more than 70 years,” Tim said at the luncheon. “We’re honored to help the Atlanta Business League secure its future by paying off the mortgage, which will enable them to use the funds previously used for operational debt to be redirected to scholarships for deserving members of our community.”

Mapes said he was so confident about the ABL’s ability to raise the funds during the accelerated time constraints, that his company brought the check of matching funds to the luncheon.

Mapes was actually a part of the CEO Appreciation Luncheon program. He and Juanita Baranco, principal of Mercedes Benz of Buckhead, were honorary co-chairs and emcees.

Other luncheon highlights included announcing the names of awardees that included the League Leadership Award presented to Dr. Alvetta Peterman Thomas, president of the Atlanta Technical College; Distinguished Service Award presented to Rev. C.T. Vivian, civil rights legend; Visions of Excellence Award presented to Ed Baker, publisher of the Atlanta Business Chronicle; Entrepreneur of the Year award presented to architect and attorney Karen Duckett, president of Duckett Design Group; and CEO of the Year award presented to Daniel P. Amos of Aflac Inc.

The luncheon also awarded the first Franklin O’ Neal scholarship to a graduating senior from Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington High school.

ABL President and CEO Leona Barr Davenport says she was ecstatic about the events that took place on Tuesday and that the ABL will use the money previously spent on the mortgage to help minority entrepreneurs develop their businesses and on awarding scholarship funds to college business students.

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