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Atlanta Links donate $85,000 to local nonprofits

On Sunday afternoon, Feb. 9, the Atlanta Chapter of the Links, Inc. made a splash which rippled throughout Atlanta’s nonprofit community. At their “Mardi Gras Under the Sea: A Community Partnership Awards Soiree,” the nonprofit, community service organization made donations totaling $85,000 to seven Atlanta nonprofits. “It’s the biggest donation we have received to date,” said Deborah Richardson, Executive Director of the International Human Trafficking Institute of their $10,000 grant. The other organizations that received grants were: Moving in the Spirit ($20,000); Health, Education, Assessment and Leadership, Inc.(HEAL) ($20,000); Center Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully(CHOICES) ($10,000); Gilgal, Inc. ($10,000); Urban Youth Harp Ensemble ($7,500) and the Sadie G. Mays Health & Rehabilitation Center ($7,500).

“We’re making a positive impact on our community in our focus areas: Health and Human Services, The Arts, Services to Youth, National Trends and Services, and International Trends and Services,” said Lois Richardson, the Atlanta Chapter President. “This fundraiser is planting the seeds for future donations that we will give,” she continued.

Approximately 500 people attended the gala event at the Georgia Aquarium’s Oceans Ballroom. It started in the exhibit area, where guests could visit information booths about each nonprofit; Followed by a grand entrance, as each of the Chapter’s 73 members — resplendent in gold gowns and dresses — were introduced. Against a backdrop of giant whale sharks and graceful belugas, guests enjoyed a delicious, Louisiana-inspired meal while the program ensued. Chapter member, Aungelique Proctor of FOX-5 TV, served as emcee of the program. Speakers included the 17th National President of The Links, Inc., Kimberly Jeffries Leonard of Arlington, VA, and the 20th Southern Area Director,

Sylvia Carter Perry of Jacksonville, FL. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms brought greetings and former mayor, Ambassador Andrew Young and his wife, Carolyn Young, were also in attendance. Both Mayor Bottoms and Mrs. Carolyn Young are members of The Links, Inc. Finally, each nonprofit organization came forward to receive their oversized checks. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mardi Gras celebration without “Second-Line” music, which was provided by the Infinity Show Band, and lots of dancing. The party-goers left by 4:00 p.m., satisfied with a good time for a good cause.

The 17th National President of The Links, Inc., Kimberly Jeffries Leonard (l) is shown here with Atlanta Chapter President, Lois Richardson (center), and 17th Southern Area Director, Mary Currie(r).

Members of the Atlanta Chapter of the Links, Inc. Marci McKenna (l) and Kalisha Barrett (r), present a $20,000 grant check to representatives of “Moving In The Spirit,” a dance program for youth.

Members of the Atlanta Chapter of the Links make a grand entrance into their ‘Mardi Gras Under the Sea” fundraising event.

Cheryl McAfree (l) and Anne Currie (r), members of the Atlanta Chapter of the Links, Inc. don their masks at the organization’s “Mardi Gras Under the Sea” fundraiser at the Georgia Aquarium on Feb. 9.

Mrs. Carolyn Young, a member of the Links, Inc., and Ambassador Andrew Young enjoy the festivities at the “Mardi Gras Under the Sea” fundraiser, presented by the Atlanta Chapter of the Links, Inc. at the Georgia Aquarium on Feb. 9, 2020.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms brings greetings to the audience at the “Mardi Gras Under the Sea” fundraiser, presented by the Atlanta Chapter of the Links, Inc. at the Georgia Aquarium on Feb. 9, 2020.

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