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Annandale looks for $200K goal at Jazzy Thing

SUWANEE -- This year's Jazzy Thing will be a little less Cajun, and a little more carnival. A little less Louisiana, and a little more local. Yet the cause is the same as it's been for 19 years.

Annandale Village will host its signature fundraising event, Jazzy Thing, at Wild Bill's in Duluth at 6 p.m. Saturday. The event, which will have A1A, the official Jimmy Buffett cover band, casino games and a silent auction, benefits the facility's fee assistance program. The financial goal this year is $200,000, and more than 700 tickets have been sold, said Keith Fenton, chief development and marketing officer at Annandale.

Fenton said Annandale, a facility that serves adults with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries, has extended more than $1 million in the last five years toward the fee assistance program. The Jazzy Thing event typically helps 18-20 villagers.

"Requests are getting greater, there are more needs for fee assistance," Fenton said. "So we need to raise more money through Jazzy."

Fenton said the facility has a policy that it would not excuse a villager because of lack of payment.

The current need for the fee assistance program is tied to villagers living longer, and the economic downturn.

"Back in the day, people with developmental disabilities weren't expected to live as long as they are today," Fenton said. "So families may not have planned as well financially. They probably didn't expect their person to be here 30 years."

This will be the fourth year A1A will perform at the event. The band has experienced recent success as it's on the soundtrack of the upcoming movie, "What to Expect When You're Expecting," starring Dennis Quaid, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock and Brooklyn Decker.

The band helped Annandale make the connection with Wild Bill's, as the event was previously held in retail or warehouse spaces.

Attendees will have their choice of shrimp, grilled chicken, pulled pork and catfish. Fenton said the event previously hosted 15 chefs from Louisiana, and while some will attend, more locals will prepare the food than in the past.

For more information, call 770-932-4885.