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ATL Business Chronicle

Column: Woodruff Arts Center surpasses $8.8 million fundraising goal

By Maria Saporta
Friday, June 10, 2011

The Woodruff Arts Center has 8.8 million reasons to celebrate.
After two years of falling short of its campaign goal, the Woodruff Arts Center surpassed its $8.8 million goal of its 2010-2011 annual corporate campaign.

But that’s not all. For the first time in its history, the center received its first $500,000 corporate contribution. And amazingly, the center actually had three corporate donors giving $500,000 — The Coca-Cola Co., the Georgia Power Foundation and United Parcel Service Inc.

“In the midst of national and local reports of declining support for the arts, the Woodruff has a great story,” said Kurt Kuehn, the chief financial officer of UPS who chaired the successful campaign, in an e-mail. “We’re grateful for the 1,900 donors who invested in the Woodruff Arts Center and will help it continue to reach more than 1.4 million people every year.”

The Woodruff Arts Center campaign dollars go toward helping cover the operating expenses of its four divisions — the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Alliance Theatre, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences.

In addition to the three $500,000 donors, the Cox Enterprises Inc. group of companies and entities — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the James M. Cox Foundation, the Cox Radio Group Atlanta, WSB-TV and Anne Cox Chambers — donated more than $450,000.

The other major donors — giving $200,000 or more — were AT&T Inc., the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Deloitte, Ernst & Young LLP, the Home Depot Foundation, the Jones Day Foundation, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation and Turner Broadcasting System Inc.

Also, the Woodruff Arts Center’ board of trustees donated more than $1.4 million to the campaign, according to Beauchamp Carr, the center’s executive vice president, who coordinates the campaign.

“Last year we raised $8.4 million, so this is a significant testament to the communities believe in and support of the arts,” Kuehn said. “Atlanta proves once again what a special city it is.”

Funds for Women’s Foundation

The Atlanta Women’s Foundation returned to its original fundraising model on June 2 when the Women in Law raised more than $60,000 at a reception at the Commerce Club.

The foundation used to have several off-shoots — Women in Law, Women in Finance, Women in Communications — that would have separate fundraising receptions or lunches every year.

Then the Atlanta Women’s Foundation decided to focus on one mega annual fundraising event — Numbers Too Big to Ignore — which has successfully raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for organizations benefiting women and girls.

But a group of women lawyers from Atlanta decided it would be a good idea to resurrect a special legal reception to benefit the foundation.
The co-chairs were Dorothy Yates Kirkley and Mary C. Gill; and the organizing members were Patricia Barmeyer, Audra Dial, Mary Ann B. Oakley and Anita Thomas.

The keynote speaker was Sally Q. Yates, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, who just so happens to be Kirkley’s sister in law. The U.S. attorney is married to Comer Yates, Kirkley’s brother.

Romney fundraiser

Some of Atlanta’s top CEOs will be holding a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, on Thursday, June 16.

The reception will be held at the home of Kelly Loeffler and Jeff Sprecher, CEO of IntercontinentalExchange Inc. The co-chairs include Mary Brock and John Brock, CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.; Gina Burkhalter and Mark Burkhalter; Fred Cooper; Attorney General Sam Olens and his wife, Lisa Olens; and Karole Lloyd of Ernst & Young LLP; as well as Joan Smith and Rick Smith, CEO of Equifax Inc.

And the event hosts include Oscar and Virginia Persons; Alec and Shelia Fraser; Gardiner and Wick Garrard; and Richard and Louellen Stormont; among others.

Eric Tanenblatt, senior managing partner of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, is “spearheading” Romney’s efforts in Georgia.

MNN turns two

Mother Nature Network (www.mnn.com) celebrated its second anniversary (a few months after the fact) June 2 at a star-studded reception at the Millennium Gate in Atlantic Station.

Headlining the event was Chuck Leavell, co-founder of MNN as well as its director of environmental affairs. Leavell, a tree farmer from Georgia, also is a renowned musician who is the keyboardist of the Rolling Stones, and has played with some of the top musical acts in the world.

Leavell invited his pal, Academy Award-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton. Thornton is producing and directing a movie, “Jayne Mansfield’s Car,” which is being shot in Atlanta, and Leavell has a small role in the movie.

MNN, which launched in January 2009, continues its growth as one of the leading environmental websites in the country. In May, it had nearly 3.5 million visits with almost 10 million page views.

CVC gets new director

The Corporate Volunteer Council of Atlanta has selected Cheryl Kortemeier as its new executive director.

The council works with member companies in helping them meet their commitments for workplace volunteerism and civic engagement. The council also holds a big annual event — its IMPACT Awards — which will take place Sept. 22.

Before accepting the position as the council’s new executive director, Kortemeier was director of development and communications for Trees Atlanta for 13 years. She also had previously worked for Equifax.

Kiwanis leadership

The Kiwanis Club of Atlanta has selected its new leaders, who will take office Oct. 4.

The officers include Mack Secord, president; John O’Kane, president-elect; Mike Szalkowski, vice president; John Fenton, treasurer; and Kathy Kite as past president.

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.


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