PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: Jazzy Thing event to raise funds for Annandale Village

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Our history began in 1969, when Annandale Village was just a dream of a dedicated father and mother who wanted their developmentally disabled daughter to have a safe, nurturing environment to grow and thrive.

Since that time, nearly 42 years ago, our passion and commitment to this vision is as strong as ever through the pursuit of our mission: to perpetuate a Village community to provide progressive life assistance to adults with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries so that they can maximize their abilities and maintain their independence in the least restrictive environment.

As I interact with our Villagers on my daily stroll among our 54-acre campus, I am frequently reminded of the significant milestones we have achieved in serving men and women with developmental disabilities. Subsequently, I am also reminded of the generosity of countless individuals and members of the Gwinnett County business community who have helped to provide the financial resources necessary to meet the growing needs of those we are blessed to serve.

Though typically described as "contributions" or "donations," we truly view these gifts as investments in the health of the Annandale community. It is only through the generosity of our faithful donors and friends of Annandale that we have been able to heighten our level of service and expand upon the comprehensive programs and services of Annandale.

This philanthropic spirit will once again be on display at our 18th annual signature event, Annandale's Jazzy Thing. Scheduled for April 30, more than 1,000 community and business leaders will join together for what has become one of the most anticipated and best charitable events in metro Atlanta. For months, our staff and a committee of dedicated volunteers work tirelessly planning, decorating, and preparing for this event that transforms a 35,000-square-foot event space into a tropical Island experience.

Some highlights to expect:

* Authentic Cajun cooks straight from the Louisiana bayou and our local Cajuns will showcase their culinary talents to create a feast that includes shrimp, crawfish, alligator piquant, catfish, grilled chicken.

* Internationally recognized as the official and original Jimmy Buffett Tribute Show, A1A, will play Jimmy Buffett favorites, as well as, some original A1A Trop Rock music, all mixed together in one big Caribbean beach party musical gumbo.

* Guests can test their skills against blackjack, craps and roulette tables. Winnings will be converted into raffle tickets good for prizes. The grand prize is a four-day/three-night trip to New Orleans with accommodations at the Monteleon Hotel and $500 in travel cash.

* The Spicy Bite Challenge will have local restaurants and community organizations vying for the chance to be named "favorite spicy bite." Whether you prefer mild and delicately spiced dishes, "extra hot" or something in between, some of the best hors d'oeuvres in the area will be served.

* A significant portion of the proceeds raised come from the silent auction, featuring exciting items including travel and entertainment packages, resort getaways, sports memorabilia, dining experiences and much more.

Most importantly, the proceeds raised through Annandale's Jazzy Thing help to provide funding for those that would otherwise not be able to access the programs and services of Annandale.

For more information about how you, your company or organization can join in the fun and excitement, please call 770-932-4887 or visit us online at www.annandale.org.

Adam Pomeranz is Chief Executive Officer of Annandale Village.