Also that same weekend is what is billed as the first annual Atlanta Holiday Ball, hosted by Atlanta Women’s Business Network, although a similar event has been held in the same location.

It used to be an annual holiday event staged by Good Friends for Good Causes and open to women. There was no event in 2009, however, and the organizers decided to open it up this year and grow it.

This year, the Holiday Ball is slated for Dec. 3 and has been reformatted, according to spokesperson Cheri Church; the goal is to create an upscale, festive, formal or semi-formal fundraiser for the entire local LGBT community. Tickets begin at $85, with sponsorships ranging up to $2,000.

“We want to have an event that is welcome to everyone in the community – men and women, the transgendered community and the straight allies,” says Church.

Having it at the Druid Hills Country Club serves a mission, she says, beyond just “being a great facility.” The venue was the source of controversy several years ago when the city of Atlanta’s Human Relations Commission ruled that the club violated the city’s antidiscrimination ordinance by refusing spousal benefits to two gay couples.  Church says that the country club staff has been extremely accommodating in getting the ball planned.  “It’s great to be able to do something like this here,” she says.

The goal in this re-invented year is to have a solid crowd and re-establish momentum for the future. Money raised will go to Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative and Circle of Sisters. Special guests will be DJ Vicki Powell, who will spin in the event’s ballroom, and Penelope Williams performing piano in the lounge.  Additionally, goodie bags will be given out.

First Annual Atlanta Holiday Ball
Friday, Dec. 3, 8 p.m.-midnight
Druid Hills Country Club
740 Clifton Road, Decatur, GA 30307
www.theatlantaholidayball.com

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