EVENTS

Classy Living Society is so excited about all the plans in progress for our fabulous 7th Annual Red Dress Gala on April 24, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia! The Red Dress Gala is the most highly anticipated and biggest fundraiser of the year for CLS! This year’s theme is “If I Were a Girl”, and as we endeavor to uplift girls and young women through inspiration, education, and promotion, we would love to spotlight your business! Take advantage of our Virtual Sponsorship opportunity and become a catalyst for change in the lives of our girls and young women. It’s a win-win opportunity! #IfIWereAGirl

What is a virtual sponsorship?
It is a VIRTUAL ONLINE ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITY that represents a great way to put your best foot forward as a business that gives back to the community!

What are the requirements?
You do not have to conduct business in Atlanta, Georgia, or make a personal appearance at the Gala to benefit from the awesome exposure that this opportunity offers.

What are the advantages for my business?

By becoming a virtual sponsor for the Gala, your business will receive:

  • A listing in the printed Red Dress Chronicles – a take-home keepsake that will be distributed at the Gala to all 200+ Gala attendees.
  • Advertisement on Red Dress Gala emails
  • Company listing on the event website
  • Maximum exposure to Gala attendees, our subscribers, supporters, and partners across our virtual platforms.

Who will see my advertisement?

Your business will enjoy maximum exposure in sponsoring this worthwhile initiative!

To date, Classy Living Society has organized over 400 volunteer efforts and worked with over 240+ community partners. We were honored to receive the 2016 Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama for volunteering over 300,000+ hours in the communities that we serve. We proudly support communities in the U.S., and we reach over 200,000 subscribers throughout our many media platforms.

This sounds like a great opportunity! How do I become a virtual sponsor?
Please visit cls-reddress.org for more information on becoming a virtual sponsor for ONLY $100! Get in on this awesome opportunity to be counted among those who are making a difference in the lives of our girls!

The DEADLINE TO PURCHASE is February 20, 2022!

#ClassyLivingSociety#RDG2022#RedDressGala#CLSRedDressGala2022

Please contact sponsors@cls-volunteer.org for more information.

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Two Saturdays before Christmas Day, Classy Living Society hosted a Pancakes and PJs soiree at the Saint Germain French Bakery & Cafe in Atlanta’s trendy Westside! Taking a break from the Hallmark holiday movies, holiday decorating and frantic Christmas gift shopping, the ladies of CLS donned their most festive pajamas and met to “Mingle & Jingle” the morning away! The Mingle Jingle is CLS’s most anticipated annual holiday event and the best way to celebrate the holidays.

Bon appétit! The Saint Germain French Bakery and Cafe pulled out all the stops and gave CLS a little taste of France in Atlanta. The ladies spent the morning all comfy in their PJs enjoying a menu of petite omelette française (french omelet with hollandaise sauce, diced red peppers, cheddar & tomatoes), delicious fluffy pancakes with syrup and fruit salad, with a side of bacon and rosemary crispy potatoes! Yum! Biscuits and french baguettes with butter and a variety of jam and honeys were also served. Don’t forget the mimosas! What festive soiree breakfast is complete without the bubbly?

Founded by husband and wife team Heather and Mathieu Jourdan-Gassin, Saint Germain French Cafe & Bakery opened in Old Fourth Ward’s historic Ponce City Market in 2016. In 2021, Saint Germain opened new locations in Atlanta’s Westside at the Interlock and in the Buckhead Village District. Both Southerners at heart – Mathieu is from the French Riviera and Heather is from Decatur, GA – the duo share a passion for bringing a little slice of Paris (with a dash of Southern hospitality!) to Atlanta. And, wow, the hospitality! Heather and Mathieu were the most gracious hosts and did all they could to make sure everyone had a great time!

A great time it was! Sistergirl talk, hugs, and love were all over the place! There was singing and dancing and celebrating the great tidings of the holiday, which also included the extraordinary Comedian Lady Q as the Mistress of Ceremonies. The fun also included games with fabulous prizes, including a first prize winner table in a competition to see which team/table would be the first to construct a puzzle made out of photographs of CLS sisters taken at past amazing events.

CLS also took the opportunity to celebrate the winner of a previously held contest to design CLS’s next great t-shirt logo. Congratulations to Jacquetta Nicole Goode who created the tagline “Fine Fabulous Philanthropist”! Each CLS sister who attended the Mingle Jingle received a beautiful clear glass mug emblazoned with this classy new tagline.

The ladies also took turns posing in front of the festively decorated grass wall backdrop and taking photos and selfies while holding signs that read “Naughty…Nice…Somewhere in Between” and “Hey Santa… I’ve Been Inspiring, Socializing & Volunteering”.

The special giveback mission of the day was a heartwarming one – a mound of coats surrounding the Christmas tree were for the women served by Woman 2 Woman & Associates, a non-profit organization that assists women in crisis from domestic violence, substance abuse, and homelessness. Minister April Laland, who founded Woman 2 Woman in 2009, was on hand to speak with the ladies and receive the coats for the women she assists through her organization. Minister April recounted several stories of the women her organization assists, as well as shared her own personal story as a victim of domestic violence. “I am, myself, a two-time champion survivor of domestic violence,” she recounted. Grateful to receive the donation of coats, Minister April told the CLS ladies, “What you did today is you let the women like me know that somebody cares. You have given them a step up.”

The Classy Living Society ladies love to have a good time, and sisterhood bonding, inspiration, and togetherness is an important element of the organization. However, at the heart of CLS is giving and lending a hand to those who need assistance and who are less fortunate. What a blessing it is to be able to give to those in need, especially at Christmastime. The 2021 CLS Mingle Jingle – Pancakes & PJs was a big hit for many reasons. Ringing in the Christmas holidays, with celebration, joy, love, and giving each other… and those sisters out there in the community who need it…a step up. Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

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The Georgia Festival of Trees is a special five-day holiday event for all ages.  Held at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, the festival includes a beautiful forest of dazzling holiday trees, holiday wreaths, unique gift shops, local treat vendors and more!  It is fun for the entire family!

Classy Living Society was present at this year’s festival on Saturday, December 4 in great numbers!  CLS members were charged with the task of running one of the most fun parts of the festival – the Reindeer Games!  The Reindeer games consisted of activities for the kiddies, including a giant bubble machine, a Plinko game, bowling game which featured huge inflatable pins and bowling ball, plus tons of arts and crafts projects.  CLS members served as the games crew for a few hours, cheering the kids on and handing out prizes to the winners.  The face painting was a big hit and the Santa letter writing table gave the children a chance to write a letter that would be delivered directly to Santa!  Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to tell Santa whether you’re naughty or nice?

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Speaking of Santa…ole jolly Saint Nick was there too!  He greeted and took pictures with the children on a huge red sleigh.  Those in attendance also enjoyed the live entertainment, featuring amazing local talent.  

Of course, the highlight of this magical holiday event were the Christmas trees and holiday wreaths!  Donated by various organizations and individuals, these beautifully decorated trees and wreaths were sold via silent auction.  (Read on in this edition about Classy Living Society’s donated holiday tree, The Eternal Princess!).  All proceeds from sales from the silent auction were to benefit the community service efforts of the Atlanta, Georgia based nonprofit organization, Wellspring Living.    

Founded in 2001, Wellspring Living provides domestic sex trafficking victims and those at risk with specialized recovery services through residential and community-based programs. The programs provide transformative care through therapeutic services, education, life skills, and personal and professional development. The focus for each participant is on developing the courage to move forward and confidence to succeed.  Their programs are statistically proven to provide restorative services that yield positive, life-changing results. 

Wellspring Living’s vision is to live in a world where every victim of sexual exploitation has access to transformative care. Wellspring Living is a leader in the nation for residential care and through the Wellspring Living Institute is able to educate, train and mentor organizations around the world. 

The Christmas season is a time of warmth and celebration for many.  Yet, for the thousands of individuals affected by human and sex trafficking, the idea of a safe holiday season filled with cheer is far from reality.  Each CLS member who volunteered at the Festival wore a yellow Santa hat – you couldn’t miss them in the place!  For CLS, wearing yellow demonstrates the organization’s stand in the battle to root out human and sex trafficking in our society.  The yellow Santa hats also demonstrated our solidarity with the Georgia Festival of Trees and Wellspring Living in helping to transform the lives of those who are at risk, or who have been victimized by human trafficking.  What better way than to engage in giving than through the holiday spirit!  

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The Red Dress Gala is fast approaching…and we are excited beyond measure about all of the fabulous plans that are in full motion!  

The Gala is our annual fundraising event in which over 300 exceptional women meet for an afternoon of celebration, generosity, and philanthropy. This year marks the seventh year of this enchanting event and Sunday, April 24, 2022, is the day!  The 2019 Red Dress Gala in Houston, Texas was our last, and big plans began immediately after to host the next Gala in 2020.  Alas, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and we were unable to host a Gala in 2020 or 2021.  Making a big comeback after a long unplanned hiatus will make the 7th Annual Gala in 2022 immeasurably more special!

Under the theme #If I Were a Girl, the upcoming Gala will focus on all things education for girls, i.e. eco-friendly education, mentoring and empowerment, and other programs that enrich the lives of young girls.

We can’t wait to share every part of what’s in store – inspirational and powerful speakers, special guests and honorees, music, comedy, live entertainment, and most of all – lots of sisterhood hugs and love among a sea of red dresses!  Stay tuned for the Big Classy Reveal!  

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Extraordinary plans are underway for the 2022 Red Dress Gala coming up in April!  The time will soon be here!  Meanwhile, we are going to feed you little nuggets of Red Dress Gala fabulousness to build anticipation for the big day!  

Spotlight on…Girls Going Global!  This year, the Red Dress Gala theme is “If I Were a Girl…” and CLS’s Classy Living Award recipient sets the tone in our community on the purpose behind the theme – to prepare girls for success, inspire self-esteem, engage in community service, promote kindness, educate on environmental awareness and to live life authentically.  Read on about this amazing organization!

Girls Going Global (GGG) is a nonprofit organization seeking to address the disparity of girls of color in international education and today’s field of travel and international affairs. Girls Going Global provides global leadership programming to girls from underrepresented communities. Their mission is to empower girls of color through travel and cultural exchange to become creators and leaders of the world.  GGG currently serves girls in the Philadelphia and Atlanta areas.

Meet the Founder – Martice Sutton

A rising non-profit leader, professional speaker, and consultant, Martice Sutton is a woman who lives a life of passion and purpose. The globetrotter’s passion for all things international has taken her from Johannesburg to Istanbul to Paris and back. It was while working to create better experiences for young girls in India, that Sutton realized young African-American girls in America needed someone to champion their causes too. 

Sutton’s fierce desire to explore every inch of the planet also served as the catalyst for what is known today as Girls Going Global, a growing non-profit organization designed to expose and empower African-American girls through travel and cultural exchange.  

A passionate speaker, Martice engages audiences on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to philanthropy and travel. She’s delivered inspiring messages at Spelman College, the Women In Travel Summit, and a host of middle and high schools. Martice has been recognized for her remarkable work by the White House, United State of Woman as a Changemaker, The Travel Channel, Black Enterprise, Centric TV, Marie Claire, and Black Enterprise. Martice earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College and Master of Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Girls Going Global: http://www.girlsgoingglobal.org/

 

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On September 11, Classy Living Society members gathered at the Georgia World Congress Center to partner with Hands On Atlanta for a huge meal-packing project  The mission was carried out to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11.  Atlanta is one of many cities across America that participated in this massive and amazing day of service.  

Hands on Atlanta collaborated with 9/11 Day for this great BIG day of service!  9/11 Day is the nonprofit that founded and annually organizes the federally recognized September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Their mission for the 20th anniversary of 9/11 was to inspire millions of Americans and others to rekindle the remarkable spirit of unity and compassion that arose in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and to perform good deeds and other acts of service in tribute to those killed and injured, rescue and recovery personnel, and those who bravely rose in service in response to the attacks.  It’s their way of keeping the promise to “Never Forget.”

This day of service was filled with entertainment, guest emcees, a diverse group of faith leaders, community, and corporate leaders, and most important of all, volunteers!  To help address the growing food crisis, all the meals will be donated to and distributed by the Atlanta Community Food Bank to individuals and families who are food insecure.

Hands on Atlanta: https://www.handsonatlanta.org/

9/11 Day: https://911day.org/

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During the month of September, CLS partnered with Infants Remembered in Silence (IRIS) for a virtual giveback mission.  IRIS is a 501(c)(3) voluntary, nonprofit organization designed to provide support to parents, family, friends, and professionals after the devastating loss of a baby in early pregnancy, whether through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, and so on or death from premature birth, stillbirth, neo-natal death, birth defects, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), illness, accidents, and all other types of infant and early childhood death. This assistance includes emotional support at the time of the death and the years that follow when grieving family, friends, and those affected need it most.

CLS members volunteered by mailing bundles of yarn in assorted pastel colors to IRIS that are used to knit/crochet beautiful blankets to be given to grieving parents. Such a heartfelt giveback mission; it was a wonderful way to send support and love to families affected by the loss of an infant.

Infants Remembered in Silence: https://www.irisremembers.com/

 

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Michelle is a Windy City girl, born and raised on the South Side of Chicago where she developed her love for the beach, sports, chilling at the park, pizza, dancing to good music, and a good game of Bid Whist!  

She attended the University of Illinois majoring in both physical education and nursing.  Ultimately, she chose nursing over PE and graduated from Kennedy King College of Nursing earning a nursing degree and her RN license.  Michelle worked as an RN in Chicago for 10 years before deciding to leave the cold winters of Chicago for the warm Atlanta weather.  

After moving to Atlanta, Michelle found her niche in healthcare, working as Clinical Manager for managed care organizations.  She has been able to use her nursing expertise to advocate for and educate patients, as well as assist them in navigating through complex healthcare systems.  

Michelle met her husband in Atlanta and has been married for 23 years.  They have a blended family of two beautiful daughters, a handsome son, and two handsome grandsons.  She enjoys watching reality shows, game nights, and spa days! Her favorite things to do are shopping, experiencing new restaurants, watching football with the family, and traveling!  Her most memorable vacation was her 15th wedding anniversary trip to the island of Maui in Hawaii.  The beautiful blue ocean, the white sand beaches, the luaus, the beautiful mountains, the food, the shopping … it was amazing!

On a Sunday evening during the early fall of 2018, Michelle was feeling grateful and blessed for her life and felt it was time to start back giving back.  She searched the internet looking for organizations with volunteer opportunities, particularly in underserved communities. As God would have it, she found Classy Living Society.  She thought “what a fancy name for a volunteer organization”.  Intrigued, she subscribed to the Classy Chronicles to learn more.  She began to look forward to receiving the online magazine for the inside scoop on the organization’s volunteer events, members, and all the fun the ladies were having.  

In 2018, CLS was celebrating its 5th Annual Red Dress Gala and Michelle purchased a ticket to the event.   She attended with the thought in mind that the vibe of the event would help her make the decision on whether or not to become a member. The energy of the Red Dress Gala was nothing like she could have ever imagined!  A room full of beautiful women in gorgeous red dresses uplifting, supporting, and honoring one another.  There were awards given for service, music flowing, an amazing brunch, fun and laughter, and tears of joy. The founding sisters made sure everyone felt welcomed and enjoyed themselves.  After experiencing the sisterhood at the Red Dress Gala, she knew CLS was the right organization for her!

Becoming a member of CLS has been so rewarding for Michelle; not just because it presents unique opportunities to serve the community through volunteerism, but because it presents a space for her to share knowledge and life lessons with beautiful, classy, and like-minded women.  

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The Classy Living Society Wine Club made up of wine connoisseurs (and novices too!) participates in monthly events when girl time, sipping wine and wine education is the order of the day!  These events are held at various wine establishments around town and recently, the Club got together at Corks and Cuvée Wine and Gift Shoppe in historic downtown Conyers, Georgia.

Corks and Cuvée is a Black woman-owned full-service wine shop that offers retail wine by the bottle, private tastings, walk-up tasting station, and awesome charcuterie boards.  And it’s super cute!  Owner, Founder, and Principal Wine Consultant Regina Jackson is a joy to meet and she shared the story of her emergence from corporate America to the accomplished sommelier she is today.  As the Club members enjoyed tasting their flights of wine, Regina also shared her extensive knowledge about wine!  To get to know a little more about Regina, tap your mouse on the link below for a VoyageATL article all about her.  Visit Corks and Cuvée, you will love it!

Each month, a portion of Wine Club dues is advanced toward the purchase of small appliances, laundry items, etc.  In connection with the July event, the CLS Wine Club put dues to work by donating $100 to Gigi’s House to purchase toasters for the young women they serve.  Gigi’s House is dedicated to serving girls ages 13-19 who are victims of sex trafficking. We provide a safe home in a faith-based loving environment.  

Stay tuned for news on upcoming CLS Wine Club adventures!  

Important Links:

Corks and Cuvée website:  https://www.corksandcuvee.com/

Regina Jackson VoyageATL article: http://voyageatl.com/interview/meet-regina-jackson-corks-cuvee-conyers-ga/

Gigi’s House: https://www.gigishouseatl.org/

Written by Janine Lattimore

 

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CLS realizes the key to a greener planet is in all of our hands and is proud of its mission to promote earth-friendly initiatives that relate to conservation and preservation and this includes ridesharing!  That’s why when the opportunity recently arose to give back to the community and include ridesharing, CLS was all in!  

Members packed and delivered meals to the beloved seniors in our community for Meals on Wheels Atlanta (MOWA) on Saturday, July 10.  With two to three members per car, CLS sisters motored around to assigned residences to deliver meals. 

MOWA is making a difference in metro Atlanta by supporting senior independence through meals, shelter, education, and community.  Founded in 1965 to support seniors struggling with poverty, food insecurity, and social isolation, MOWA has grown from a small soup kitchen to an organization serving more than 600,000 meals each year throughout the Atlanta area. They have also expanded their program offerings to respond to other critical needs in the community. They now offer multiple services to support both older adults and veterans, including home-delivered and congregate meals, home repair services, and a food pantry for both seniors and their pets.  Amazing!

What a great morning!  Through this endeavor, when CLS members ride together to volunteer, they promote a friendly environment by improving air quality, conserving non-renewable energy resources and saving time all while giving back.  In addition, they foster sisterhood and friendship!  It’s a win-win-win situation!  Now that’s Classy!

For more information on Meals on Wheels Atlanta, visit their website:  https://mowatl.org/

For more information on Classy Living Society’s Go Green initiative CLS Cares, visit https://cls-volunteer.org/cls-cares/

Written by Janine Lattimore

 

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Welcome to the NEW Classy Chronicles!

Formerly, the Classy Chronicles was the official online digital magazine of Classy Living Society. The newly revamped Classy Chronicles is now a platform housed on the Classy Living Society website! Through easy-to-navigate dropdown menus, the Classy Chronicles provides an outlet to many subjects of interest at the click of a mouse – articles and features that highlight people who are doing amazing things in the community, health and wellness, work-life balance, beauty and fashion and more!

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