Featured Speaker Patrick Kennedy

Featured Speaker Patrick Kennedy

THE EVENT: The 2016 Pastoral Institute’s Sue Marie and Bill Turner Servant Leadership Gala was held on Thursday, October 20 at the Columbus Ironworks and Trade Center.

THE HONOREES: This year’s honorees were Jo Ann and Frank Brown. It was a wonderful tribute to the contributions the Brown’s have made to Columbus.

FEATURED SPEAKER: The featured speaker was the Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy, son of the late Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, and a former United States House of Representative for Rhode Island. Kennedy delivered an inspirational and passionate message on addition and
mental illness.



Tom Brokaw during his speech.

Tom Brokaw during his speech.

THE EVENT: Historic Columbus celebrated its 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee on November 15, 2016 at the Columbus Iron Works Convention and Trade Center.
THE SPEAKER: Historic Columbus Executive Director Elizabeth Barker introduced the guest
speaker for the evening -- former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, who recalled his time
in the South and praised HCF for their work and 50th anniversary.
THE REDEVELOPMENT FUND: Over the years, the organization has saved 80 properties.
For her continuing efforts, the redevelopment fund was renamed the Janice P. Biggers Revolving Redevelopment Fund.
THE CHAIRS: Janice Biggers, who was the first Executive Director of Historic Columbus from
1969-1989, and Virginia Peebles, who served as Executive Director from 1992-2005, served as the chairs of the 50th Anniversary Gala Committee. Serving as chairs of the Golden Jubilee Committee were Dexter Jordan and his daughter, Mint Flowers.



Film directors during a Q&A session.

Film directors during a Q&A session.

THE EVENT: The Way Down Film Festival held at the Springer Opera House October 21-22, 2016.
THE PURPOSE: Event founders Jacy Jenkins, Cora King and Stacy Cunningham saw a real need to show off the “Camera Ready” status recently bestowed upon Columbus thanks to Georgia’s booming film economy. Together, the three of them set out to establish an international
film festival which would shine a light on Columbus’ burgeoning arts community. Over 100 films were submitted and of those, only 47 were selected to be featured on the multiple Springer stages.  

THE RECEPTIONS: A bevy of events surrounded the two-day festival. It kicked
off with a VIP Reception catered by Jamie Keating Culinary. On Friday evening, a networking even was held at Meritage. The next morning, Iron Bank Coffee transformed the Springer Saloon for a special Q & A with the festival judges panel. The Closing Nights Award Ceremony Gala was held on Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m. at The Loft. The Gala awarded filmmakers
honors and prizes, including a $2500 prize.



The third race of the day, The Crown Royal Maiden Hurdle, was sponsored by Crown Royal.

The third race of the day, The Crown Royal Maiden Hurdle, was sponsored by Crown Royal.

THE EVENT: November 5, 2016 marked the 32st annual Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens to benefit the arts in Columbus. Since its beginning in 1985 proceeds from The Steeplechase have generated over $3.3 million for arts related organizations in the Columbus and the surrounding area.

THE LAMPTON BRONZE: The award was established to honor Mason and Mary Lu Lampton, the visionaries who created the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens. This year’s recipients were Curt Elver and Aimee Horstman.

THE BENEFICIARES: The Columbus Symphony Orchestra, The
Historic Columbus Foundation, Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, The Springer Opera House, Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and Callaway Gardens.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia Dinner

The Event: Special Guest James Garmer wined and dined the members of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. James Farmer is the author of the best selling garden book A Time to Plant. He has also written other works including Sip & Savor, Proch Living, Wreaths for All Seasons, A Time to Cook, Dinner on the Grounds, and A Time to Celebrate.

The Highlights: A delectable and charming four course meal was prepared and served by the acclaimed author. The menu featured seasonally inspired dishes including corn chowder with basil and tomato garnish, as well as peach buttermilk pound cake with spring berries.

The Chairs and Host: The dinner was held in the home of Mrs. Betsy Lebrun. Board members from the Columbus area are: Ruth Anne Curtis, Maudie Huff, Sherri Callaway and Betsy Lebrun. 

Heart and Stroke Ball

The Event: The 27th Columbus Heart and Stroke Ball was held on Friday, April 15, at the RiverMill Event Centre.

The Honoree: The honoree for this year's event was Mr. Rick Ussery of TSYS. Mr. Ussery shared the story of his personal battle against heart disease with the crowd. He was introduced by his son-in-law Josh Dunlap.

The Highlights: The theme for this year's event was Cirque de Coeur. Aerial acrobats from Aerial Events Panama City entertained the crowd. Cocktails and a silent auction were held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. when Chef Jamie Keating presented dinner. Following dinner, a live auction was held. The River City Horns played music, while guests danced the night away. The evening was hosted by WRBL Chief Meteorologist Bob Jeswald. 

CSU Girls In The Game Luncheon

The Event: Columbus State University Athletic Department hosted the second annual Girls In The Game Luncheon on Thursday, April 28 at the Country Club of Columbus. 

The Highlights: This year's luncheon included a welcome from former CSU cheerleader and current Brookstone School faculty member Cortney Laughlin. Rachel Rhodes, current CSU softball player, gave the invocation. Brandi Chasten, Olympic gold medalist and World Cup soccer player, delivered the keynote address. Other speakers included Caytlin Merrit of CSU Volleyball, Chelsea Person of CSU Soccer and former CSU softball player Dorenda Weaver of TSYS. 

The Purpose: The luncheon is a benefit to empower female athletes and help raise funds in support of CSU's Women Athletic Department's programs. 



THE EVENT: The 2016 Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum was held on September 12-13 at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. The theme of the 2016 Forum was “Leadership: It Takes A Team.”
THE SPEAKERS: Dr. Chris Markwood, President of Columbus State University; Ajaypal Singh Banga, President and CEO of Mastercard; Jim Blanchard, who looked at “My Story” with Ed Helton of the CSU Leadership Institute; Tommy Spaulding, best-selling author and leadership expert; Jim Nantz, Emmy Award-winning sportscaster. Peyton Manning, a five-time NFL MVP, headlined the dinner on Monday evening; Leadership Institute Director Shana Young; Bill Curry, Super Bowl champion and coach; Henry Cloud, psychologist and author; Bonnie St. John, Olympic medalist and author; Patricia Florissi, VP and Global Chief Technology officer of EMC Corp.; Marcus Lutrell, former Navy SEAL and author; General David G. Perkins, commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; and Warrick Dunn, former NFL player.


THE EVENT: West Georgia Eye Care Center and McLean Dermatology celebrated the opening of their new offices located on 6600 Whittlesey Boulevard. Dr. Brooks addressed the crowd and thanked many who helped make this new building possible, including architects at 2WR, construction company Brasfield&Gorrie, and the myriad of subcontractors and vendors who worked on the project.
THE HISTORY: For more than 65 years, West Georgia Eye Care Center has been serving
the Columbus community with exceptional eye care. Dr. Floyd C. Jarrell, Jr. established the practice in 1951 as a solo practice. The clinic has since grown to become the area’s largest multi-specialty eye care practice, with nine ophthalmologists, one optometrist and a staff of over 85 people. McLean Dermatology, owned by Dr. Tammy McLean, features a state-of-the-art practice on the top floor of the new building.

Junior League of Columbus 2016 Follies

EVENT: The Junior League of Columbus presented the 2016 Follies "Shaken with a Twist of Sublime!" at the RiverCenter on Friday, March 4 to a packed house of over 800. 


HIGHLIGHT: The evening consisted of singing, comedy and dancing, that was showcased by the Junior League. The show's director, Jamie Donegan, has been putting on this production every four years since 2000. 


PURPOSE: The Junior League of Columbus is a volunteer organization of women dedicated to developing the potential of women and improving the quality of life within the community through their talents. Special thanks to JLC President Ellen Lane, and Follies Co-Chairs Crystal Trawick and Kathleen Gilliam. 

2016 Dancing Stars of Columbus

THE EVENT: The participants for this year’s Dancing Stars of Columbus have been announced. Guests enjoyed a meet and greet at the home Avery and Dr. Luke Wolff on February 23rd for the announcement.


THE DANCERS: Star Vivian Creighton Bishop and Pro Dr. Lloyd Sampson; Star Peggy Beck Gray and Pro Stephen Akinduro; Star Traci Kalish and Pro Joshua Edens; Star Andrew Loewen and Pro Michele Rogers-Cook; Star William Morgan and Pro Leah Flynn; Star Dr. Vincent Naman and Pro Natalia Naman Temesgen; Star Andy Phillips and Pro Mary Jane Mitchell; Star Don Sando and Pro Georgia Cosmah; Star Dr. Shikha Shah and Pro Rainier Rics; Star Bonnie Smith and Pro Brace Luquire; Star Elizabeth Sudduth and Pro Chris McGhee; Star Jennifer Valadi and Pro Brantley Arrington.


THE CHAIRS AND HOSTS: The chairs are Bunky and Charles Clark. The celebrity hosts this year are Amy Adams and DJ Jone.

2016 Synovus Toast of the Town

The Event: The 7th annual Synovus Toast of the Town was held Friday, March 11th at the RiverMill Event Centre. 

The Highlights: For the fourth year in a row, Garden & Gun magazine's Chef Tent returned to Toast of the Town and featured noted mixologists Roderick Hale Weaver of The Husk Charleston, South Carolina, and Chef Adam Evans of Brezza Cucina in Atlanta at the Garden & Gun's Preview Party for their book, The Southerner's Cookbook.

The Purpose: This annual event is held for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the many programs it funds and supports.


THE EVENT: The 26th anniversary of the Master Circle Gala dinner was held at The
Columbus Museum on December 2015. The Master Circle Gala serves as a thank you to all of the Museum’s major donors, foundations, members, and business partners.
THE THEME: The theme this year was “Into the Woods” and was chaired by Sue Anne
Baker and Co-Chaired by Eleanore Townsend. Volunteers decorated 22 different woodsy
themed tabletops for a magnificent evening.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: Around 200 people enjoyed the music provided by students from the CSU’s Schwob School of Music. Catering was provided by Jamie Keating Culinary and beverages provided by Georgia Crown Distributing Co. svm

Photos By S.Saxon