By Adrianne Murchison, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga
The coronavirus pandemic has caused a Sandy Springs community center to take a new approach for its annual gala — a fundraiser for its food pantry, thrift shop and financial assistance for people in need. The Community Assistance Center (CAC) will hold its 17th Vintage Affair event virtually Oct. 24.
CAC moved the event online for safety precautions, Communications Manager Kristen Ristino said. Live and silent auctions, music and dinner will still take place with a $100 ticket, she said.
The CAC reports that it has received a total of $1 million through COVID-19 relief grants from philanthropic organizations such as the Couchman-Noble Foundation and Sandy Springs Society as well as the city of Sandy Springs and DeKalb and Fulton Counties. But by August, CAC had distributed nearly all of the funds to residents experiencing job loss and in need of rental assistance, a statement said.
CAC serves Sandy Springs and Dunwoody residents. Charity reports show CAC served more than 3,000 households in 2019 up from 2,500 in 2018.
The 2018 annual report showed $1.8 million was provided in cash or in-kind assistance and nearly $1 million in food was given to 4,300 residents.
Last year’s Vintage Affair held at Mercedes Benz USA raised $250,000, the charity stated.
Attendees are encouraged to host small gatherings from home for this year’s Caribbean party, Ristino said. Each attendee at gatherings should purchase a ticket she added.
Festivities will be broadcast via teleconference. Plans include an auctioneer updating bids for items that appear in an app that bidders will also use. Live music will be performed by Caribbean Steel band from Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, Ristino said. And dinner will be available for pick-up through Post Exchange catering company.