Masked ball supports recovery efforts

The inaugural Take off the Mask of Addiction Masquerade Ball, held Oct. 22 at the Fox Theatre, raised funds and awareness for the Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery at Kennesaw State University. The black-tie dinner, paired with sparkling apple cider “mocktails,” honored individuals and families who have dealt with recovery.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution sports columnist Jeff Schultz and his wife, Jeanne Schultz, served as host couple. Last year, Jeff shared their son’s journey from addiction to recovery in an award-winning feature article, “Lost and found.” It’s online at

Keynote speaker Stacey Weiss, who attended with her sons, shared her six-year journey through addiction and recovery. Teresa Johnston, director of the recovery center at KSU, detailed the center’s impact on the campus community and beyond.

After the program, live auction emcee Chris Dimino drew top dollar for items such as a studio visit to “The Bert Show,” exotic trips and a private dinner with star chef Frank Abbinanti. Live music and dancing completed the evening.

The gala was presented in support by the Atlanta Falcons and sponsored by Superior Plumbing, Archer Restoration Services, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia Power. Organizers are already looking ahead to next year’s gala.

Artistic fundraiser aids research efforts

Pancreatic cancer is a stealthy monster. It creeps in without specific symptoms or early warning signs. It’s treatable when caught early, but all too often, that’s not the case. In most cases, it is diagnosed only after it has spread. It’s the most fatal of cancers. (One of its victims was author Pat Conroy, who died in March.)

A group of artists is coming together in hopes of supporting efforts to change those dire stats. ArtCan, bringing together talent from the Atlanta Ballet, the Atlanta Opera and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, is planned for 7 p.m. Nov. 19 at Flourish, 3143 Maple Drive, Atlanta. A VIP reception starts at 6 p.m.

The evening features dining, live and silent auctions and unique original performances and benefits research efforts at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University and Johns Hopkins University.

ArtCan, chaired by Pamela Monastra, honors Howard Young and the memory of Amy “BeBe” Bending. Organizing committee members are Pamela Monastra, Grace Saunders, Beth Marconi-Law, Maureen Monastra, Monica Lodge, Patty Beizer, Tina Luna, Ray Miller, Jennifer Squillace, Carla Risha Wright, Terri Hirsh, Sara Tennery, Dean Crownover and Cherryl Choi.

Tickets start at $125 each. See

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