Schools/Education Eve in Garden 1

Published on March 30th, 2015 |

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26th annual event to benefit Garden Hills Elementary programs

By Laura Hobbs

It’s time to mark a big red circle around April 18 on the calendar and get ready that party chic attire for this year’s 26th annual “Evening in the Garden” fundraising event to benefit student programs at the Garden Hills Elementary School.Eve in Garden 6

The adult-only event will be held again this year at Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead’s showroom, at 2799 Piedmont Road NE, starting at 7 p.m., and will feature live and silent auctions and dancing, in addition to food and drinks.

For the past two years, the Evening in the Gargen event has been held in the showroom of Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead.

For the past two years, the Evening in the Gargen event has been held in the showroom of Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead.

Each year, Garden Hills Elementary School hosts the event to raise money for extracurricular school programs not covered through the Atlanta Public School system’s budget.

Karen Flanders-Reid, co-chair for this year’s Evening in the Garden, explained the event provides the majority of incremental funds for the school, which are essential for its success.

“Garden Hills Elementary is a school to watch. We have been receiving a lot of awards,” said Flanders-Reid. “And to be able to continue at this rate…. there’s no way a school of this excellence could provide the programs it does without extra support from the community.”

According to Flanders-Reid, corporate sponsorship brings in roughly a third of the revenue, with companies such as Capgemini, Salesforce, Accenture

Patrons of the event break out their chic attire and enjoy themselves at last year's event.

Patrons of the event break out their chic attire and enjoy themselves at last year’s event.

and Buckhead Orthodontics among the direct financial contributors.

“We’ve been very fortunate to receive sponsorships from companies that are located here in Atlanta, both in-kind and direct-financial contributions,” she said.

The rest of the funds are raised through Evening in the Garden ticket sales and proceeds from the live and silent auctions at the event, Flanders-Reid said. Tickets can be purchased online at www.eveninginthegarden.com for $60 per person and at the door for $75 per person.

It is said that everyone will be up and dancing before the evening ends.

It is said that everyone will be up and dancing before the evening ends.

This year attendees have the chance to bid on jewelry, outings, chefs tables at restaurants and sign-up parties, which include a Lake Oconee house party, an ‘80s party, a pig roast and girls night at the Painted Pin. But the hot-ticket items aren’t just limited to the Atlanta area.

“We have a charter sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands…for 8 people, 4 nights… and great vacation properties in Highlands, NC and in Costa Rica and Serenbe,” said Flanders-Reid. “People are going to take a vacation this year anyway, they might as well buy their vacations at the auction and the proceeds can go to the school.”

With auctions items like that it’s a given guests will bring a checkbook; but it’s also a good idea for attendees to wear dancing shoes.

“We have a celebrity DJ, Yvonne Monet, who is going to be spinning music for us this year,” said Flanders-Reid. “She is also going to be our auctioneer.

Attendees waited last year to hear if tghey wond one of the live auction items.

Attendees waited last year to hear if tghey wond one of the live auction items.

She’s terrific. She’s a lot of fun,” Flanders-Reid added. “Everybody dances by the end of the evening.”

Flanders-Reid also pointed out that the percentage of funds benefiting GHES programs directly that come from event fundraising is extremely high because all the food, décor and flowers, among other items, are donated by local businesses.

“Very little is a cost or an expense of running the event itself,” she said. “We’ve been very fortunate, and we’re very grateful for all the support we’ve been getting from these businesses, not just the corporate sponsorships, but all of the businesses that have donated the items to be included in the auction itself.”

So if an evening of great food, music and auction items to bid on aren’t enough, guests will also have the pleasure of knowing the proceeds are benefiting children of the neighborhood community.

“It’s a beautiful event, and it’s a lot of fun,” Flanders-Reid said. “And it’s for a really great cause.”

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