EVENTS

Christmas 2020 is here!  Time passes so quickly;  it seems as if we celebrated Christmas 2019 not long ago!

Oh, the changes we’ve had to make since this time last year!  As an organization with a hands-on approach in the community, we acknowledge the enormity of the difficulties and adversities many of you have had to face during the pandemic.  Yet, it goes without saying that this year has also presented triumphant moments; times when the realization rings true that we are much more resilient than we thought possible.  Out of necessity comes innovation and evolution.  Not to be counted out yet; we are still here!  And we still have much to cherish.

Like many other businesses and organizations, Classy Living Society has had to revamp some of its customary practices to accommodate social distancing guidelines.  Community service is the heart of CLS, and it is a practice that relies heavily on our face-to-face, side-by-side presence in the community.  Many of our partners curtailed in-person volunteer activities and CLS has had to follow their lead.  Still eager to serve, CLS found a way to incorporate many more virtual volunteer opportunities for its members.  In doing so, we’ve learned a new way to do those customary things we do well, and it has been a blessing. 

This year, our special holiday giveback initiative employed a “reverse advent calendar” to get CLS members and their families involved in an amazing way to give back to those in the community.  The initiative kicked off on December 1 and each day, CLS volunteers added one food item listed on the advent calendar to a box.  A final food item was added on Christmas Eve and the boxes filled to the brim with food items were donated to various local food banks.  We are so excited about the special way we blessed those in need for the holidays.  The daily deed also kept our members and their families mindful of the real reason for the season – giving from the heart.  

As we look toward the New Year, we are excited about all of the ways we will promote sisterhood bonding, give back to the community and inspire those who follow and support the great work our organization is doing.  We would like to take this opportunity to express how grateful we are for your continued support during a year that has been particularly difficult for all of us.  

Happy Holidays to you and your families.  May the season bring you great tidings of peace, love, and joy!

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With social distancing guidelines in place, the Classy Living Society Wine Club has significantly reduced its in-person activities over the past several months.  Instead, the Wine Club is putting its membership dues to work by making a difference in the community. 

 

Wellspring Living: Sponsoring three women for the holidays

The Classy Living Society Wine Club is partnering with Wellspring Living to provide the opportunity for a shopping spree for four participants of their program.  

This Christmas, Wellspring is treating each of its participants to a shopping spree of their own! A shopping spree will provide a way for them to enjoy time off-campus, gives them the ability to choose their own gift(s), and makes them feel pampered and special.

The Wine Club is assisting them in this endeavor by donating $50 VISA gift cards for each of four participants.  

Founded in 2001, Wellspring Living is a non-profit organization in Atlanta, Georgia that provides domestic sex trafficking victims and those at risk with specialized recovery services through residential and community-based programs. For more information on Wellspring Living, visit their website: https://wellspringliving.org/

Quoting Valerie Alerte Kavanagh, one of CLS’s Founding Sisters, “Who said wine drinking doesn’t serve a purpose?”  

Nearly a year to the day from its last major outing, the Wine Club will venture out and enjoy a socially distanced get together to celebrate the holidays this month.  But until the Club members are able to celebrate life and sisterhood through wine in person more often, they will continue to do good deeds in the community.

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Oh, yes, it’s Ladies’ Night

And the feeling’s right

Oh, yes, it’s Ladies’ Night

Oh, what a night!

Classy Living Society kicked off the holidays this year with a special virtual Mingle Jingle on Zoom video!  Saturday night, December 5, CLS held a member-exclusive event to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year!

In years past, CLS held the event at various locations.  Members wore pajamas or Santa hats, enjoyed games, raffles, food, cocktails, and came together side by side to work on the chosen giveback initiative for the event.  This year, because of COVID 19 and the need to remain socially distant, the ladies met in the Zoom Room for some socially distant festivities!  All dressed up in their finest semi-formal cream or black evening wear, they enjoyed three hours of games, contests, and mingling and jingling just as if they were all in the same room!

Off to a great start, the ladies were launched into an evening of fun by none other than DJ Tay Powers, a female DJ from Houston, Texas, spinning R&B favorites on the ones and twos by Chaka Khan, Bel Biv Devoe, Kool & the Gang, Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Chic and more while showcasing all of the ladies who were entering the party!  What a welcome!  

The Leadership Team of CLS, including the Founding Sisters, welcomed the ladies and began awarding the first of many great prizes of the night!  About those prizes … Santa must have visited early with a sleigh full of classy prizes for the winners of the various contests and games held that evening.  $100 gift cards to Amazon, DSW, Wayfair, Target, Publix and Whole Foods!  Ninja machines, mini Keurigs, Apple watches, personal chef services, and wine, and healthy meal prep services!  The competition was steep, but the rewards were great!

Several members were honored as “firsts” – congratulations to Janine Lattimore as the first to register for the event, and to the following ladies who were the first to make their way into the Zoom Room:

Juanita Chisholm

Gail Jackson 

Alicia Lisa St Vincent 

Leslie Wilson Clark 

Antonia Davis-Williams 

BINGO!  As the party was well underway, and with printed Bingo game cards ready, the ladies listened carefully as the Leadership Team called out Bingo numbers.  Congratulations to the Bingo winner, Angela Monroe!

How skillful are you at wrapping the perfect gift?  Scissors and tape, bows and paper, oh my!  Sometimes it’s just easier to purchase gift bags and tissue paper and stuff those gifts inside!  Ughhh!  But not so for the members of CLS!  During the on-camera gift wrapping contest, these ladies showed that the Macy’s gift-wrapping department has nothing on them!  Such beautiful displays!  Kudos goes out to member Elicia Moore who displayed the best gift wrapping skills of the night!

Don’t just stand there, bust a move!  Is there anything more fun than participating in a dance competition at a party to show off your best moves? Renee Roberts, a California member, showed everyone what she was working with out there on the West Coast!  

Each year, Classy Living Society gives back to the community in various ways at its Mingle Jingle holiday celebration.  At previous events, CLS has collected and donated books to the Pajama Program, undergarments to women incarcerated in prisons, coats to children, and much more!   Taking a pause for the cause, Founding Sister Tarrah Smith talked about CLS’s giveback initiative for the evening.  As admission to the Mingle Jingle, each participant donated a grocery gift card from Walmart to the Atlanta Children’s Shelter. But that’s not all…Classy Living Society rounded off the donation to $2,000!  It was such an honor to make a difference by assisting the leading and most valued organization in Metro Atlanta to positively impact the lives of homeless children and their families.  

You can’t have a holiday party without a delicious festive holiday cocktail!  The winner of the Best Cocktail Presentation was Atlanta member Erica Hague, who unveiled her beautiful concoction – the Peppermint Mocha Martini!  Clink, clink!

What a wonderful change of pace to be able to take off the quarantine pajamas, get glammed up in your semi-formal best and pretend for one evening that you’re out on the town!  To make it even more special, CLS awarded a Best Dressed prize to the member who prettied up the best!  Congratulations to Lasonya Jones for the most well turned out look!  She was dressed to kill in a sleek black floor length gown.  

Speaking of glam … which member holds the most Shade lippies in her cosmetic bag?  Carol Houston possesses nine!  Congratulations!  It is Carol’s special way of giving back and it can be yours too!  Shade is Classy Living Society’s socially conscious line of lipsticks bringing awareness to causes affecting the world — $2.00 from each lipstick purchase is donated to a number of non-profit organizations that are making a difference in the lives of people who need it most. (https://iwearshade.com/)

CLS held their very own ugly Christmas sweater contest and some of the members had the ugliest ones ever!  The winner of the ugly Christmas sweater contest was our Atlanta member Comedian Lady Q. Following that was a trivia competition- who knows the answer?  How many drummers were drumming in the 12 Days of Christmas song?  How many ghosts show up in A Christmas Carol?  It ended as a tie game and as a tiebreaker, the winners were challenged to a sing-off of their favorite holiday song.  Olivia Rudder-Smith was the winner with her best rendition of Jingle Bell Rock!  Congratulations, Olivia!  

“2020 has been my greatest teacher.”  Khaliah Guillory, a spirited inspirational and motivational speaker and Founder of the Nap Bar in Houston, Texas delivered the keynote speech.  In her moving speech, she motivated and encouraged the ladies to nourish themselves, turn on their “No!”, change their relationship with fear, to chase excellence, not perfection, and to be intentional about what their hearts desire and to think about what they would give up to achieve it.  She stated that she is grateful for all of the lessons that 2020 has taught her and how her life has been transformed.  She spoke about letting go of what (or who!) no longer serves you.  “I would rather adjust my life to your absence than adjust my boundaries to accommodate your disrespect”!  Powerful! Khaliah Guillory is a dynamic speaker and the ladies came away motivated, empowered, and equipped with the tools to manifest greatness in their lives through radical self-love!  Dope!

Before wrapping up the event for the evening, a few more contest winners were announced.  These ladies prepared ahead of time and sent in their videos for consideration in their categories.  Heartfelt congratulations to: 

Sabrena Thomas, winner of the best holiday tablescape

Dewan McCarty, winner of the best decorated holiday tree

Avis Pitts, winner of the best interior and exterior home decor

Our world has evolved into such a different place over the past several months of 2020; the likes of which we never could have imagined.  Many of the things we are accustomed to doing a certain way, the close physicality at events that were commonplace in the past has been altered by the current pandemic.  It is necessary for all of us to find a new way of doing things we hold dear, or not do them at all.  Some of us truly crave the way things used to be.

This year’s virtual Mingle Jingle was a shining example that when circumstances dictate that you can’t do something as you’ve always done it, it can still be a good thing!  The fun, games, laughter, sisterhood bonding, mingling, and celebration – all of those good things didn’t go away!  In its own right, and not to be counted out among the rest, Classy Living Society’s virtual Mingle Jingle 2020 was a spectacular success in many ways!  

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Thanksgiving is Here!  

Greetings from Classy Living Society

Thanksgiving Day!  A day when we traditionally get together with family and friends to celebrate love, enjoy good food and drink (and football!) and the official day to chime in the holiday season.  Most of all, it is a day of reflection – to give thanks for the blessings we’ve enjoyed in each of our lives over the past year.

2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenges, but also presents opportunities for giving back like never before.  Even as the holiday’s celebrations are underway, the fact that many people in our world are less fortunate in many ways remains a stark reality.  The year has doled out its share of hardships, job loss, business closings, unemployment, increased homelessness … the list goes on.  In contrast, there are many people who have barely missed a beat.  For those who are among the latter group, and who are committed to giving back to the community, these times hold the greatest opportunities to do so and to form and celebrate some of the greatest partnerships of community service.  While giving back to the community has always been a part of what Thanksgiving is all about, this year, philanthropy means so much more.

Because of the pandemic, the CDC has issued particular guidelines as it relates to the Thanksgiving holiday to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Following these guidelines will mean that Thanksgiving this year will look very different for many of us.  On the holiday that most people have traditionally celebrated with family and friends, some people will be left to celebrate the holiday alone.  Unfortunately, for the senior population in our communities, being alone has become a way of life.  

Since we cannot bring our grandparents and other elderly relatives to our holiday – why not bring the holiday to our elderly relatives!  A video call, a wave from the end of the driveway, a caravan of relatives driving down their street, a plate of food and flowers left at their front door would mean a lot to them!  But what about seniors who do not have family or anyone to cheer them? How can we help them?  Many community service organizations are presenting volunteer outreach opportunities to come to the rescue for seniors who are homebound and alone.  On Thanksgiving Day, Classy Living Society is participating in a worthwhile outreach to seniors to fill the void of loneliness.

In partnership with Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, CLS has put together a team of members to form a Thanksgiving morning call team!  5000 seniors in the Houston/Galveston area of Texas rely on Interfaith Ministries’ Meals on Wheels program each day.  Many are homebound and do not have family or friends to visit them on Thanksgiving Day.  CLS plans to give them a call between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and noon to spread holiday cheer, bring joy to their hearts and put a smile on their faces!  

As for you…our dear friends and supporters in the community and beyond…we acknowledge that this year has been a challenge for many reasons that are not necessary to articulate.  You may have had to reimagine your traditional Thanksgiving holiday to make room for social distancing.  You may have suffered illness, loss or other detrimental impact as a result of the year’s events.  Whatever your circumstance, if any, on this Thanksgiving holiday, Classy Living Society would like to encourage you that greatness and benevolence still exists in the world.  That the days will get better (they always do!).  To never give up, but keep pressing ahead. That there is still so much to be grateful for. And that we still abide by these three things:  Faith, Hope and Love.

From all of us to all of you – Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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Classy Living Society brought community service to a whole new level recently as several volunteers joined forces across the U.S. to serve in their local communities!  Saturday, November 7 was all about making a difference as members partnered with seven nonprofit organizations around the country.

In Atlanta, members volunteered in various locations around town.  At the City of Johns Creek’s Household Hazardous Waste Event 2020, volunteers assisted by checking in customers, directing the flow of traffic, and distributing snacks and water to other volunteers.  Hazardous Waste Day is hosted by Keep North Fulton Beautiful, an environmental nonprofit that provides education and conservation programs to the Georgia communities of Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.  Their mission is to educate and activate their communities in the beautification and conservation of the environment.  

Across town, volunteers helped out with assembling boxes of groceries filled to the brim with meats, veggies, bread, snacks, juices and other goodies for distribution at the Reflections of Trinity Food Pantry in Powder Springs, Georgia.  Reflections of Trinity distributes grocery boxes to feed approximately 400 families on a weekly basis and provides essential needs and services to those in need.  

CLS also assisted at the food pantry at Salem Baptist Church in Lilburn, Georgia.  Volunteers were charged with the task of greeting clients and assisting them with paperwork, as well as sorting food, stocking shelves, preparing bags of food for distribution, helping clients carry food to vehicles, and general housekeeping and cleaning in the food preparation area.  

CLS worked in partnership with Hands on Atlanta to mobilize its volunteers for these three momentous Atlanta area events!  Hands on Atlanta helps individuals, families, and corporate and community groups connect with nonprofits and other organizations in need of volunteers.  It’s a partnership within a partnership!  Teamwork makes the dream work!

Tampa, Florida CLS members joined forces with Keep Pinellas Beautiful, a volunteer‐based, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and a certified affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. From Tampa Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, from Tarpon Springs to Ft. DeSoto, Keep Pinellas Beautiful works with volunteers to foster unity and strengthen community bonds through improvement and beautification efforts across Pinellas County. Members picked up trash from designated locations along the beautiful coastline! 

Members in Northern California collected and dropped off wishlist items to support families housed at the Ronald McDonald House there.  Wish list items such as powdered laundry detergent, individually wrapped snacks, paper towels, dryer sheets, disinfecting wipes, and the like are items the House needs on a regular basis to provide for families living at the Ronald McDonald House.  RMHC has houses across America – each is a safe haven that provides all the comforts of home, plus the compassion and hospitality of the staff, volunteers, and other families — all just steps away from the area hospitals.  It is their mission to keep families together with children who are being cared for at these hospitals.  

Volunteers also provided community outreach in Houston, Texas!  Working together with the Houston Furniture Bank, members helped make empty houses homes for families in transition.  As distribution center helpers, CLS assisted and guided clients during their appointments with the Center, organized furniture, and helped families select essential furniture for their homes.  In its 28 years of services, Furniture Bank has helped 30,000 families by providing essential furniture to families, thanks to the support of the community. In 28 years of service, we have helped 30,000 families.

Spreading holiday cheer to seniors through the Meals on Wheels program! 5,000 seniors in the Houston/Galveston area rely on Meals on Wheels programs each day. These seniors are homebound and many times do not have family or friends to visit on Thanksgiving Day.  Volunteers assembled and delivered Thanksgiving holiday gift bags to Meals on Wheels to be distributed to the seniors containing toiletries, blankets, scarves, socks, hand sanitizer, playing cards, activity books, and much more!  The Meals on Wheels program provides home-delivered meals to approximately 4,900 homebound seniors and disabled adults in five counties in the Houston area – Harris, Galveston, Montgomery, Liberty, and Chambers. The program also delivers weekend meals and a week’s worth of breakfast to about a quarter of the area’s most frail and isolated clients. This nutritional support helps people stay independent and in their own homes, which is especially important during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Whew!  That was a lot of work for one day, but Classy Living Society never grows weary of carrying out its mission.  On the contrary, CLS thrives on its wonderful work in communities across America!  Giving is the heart of Classy Living Society – it’s who we are; it’s what we do!  And it’s always Classy!

Important web links:

Hands on Atlanta

Keep North Fulton Beautiful

Reflections of Trinity Food Pantry

Salem Missionary Baptist Church

Keep Pinellas Beautiful

Ronald McDonald House Charities – Northern California

Houston Furniture Bank

Meals on Wheels of Greater Houston

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There’s something wonderful about watching a good movie on the big screen.  But with movie theatres closed during the pandemic, this favorite family activity was all but set aside.  Then, the drive-in movie theatres opened …  and resurrected the days long ago when families would pull up to a big open drive-in theatre lot, install a speaker on the window of the car, and the whole family (and maybe even the dog!) would sit in the car or pile out to sit in lawn chairs to enjoy a flick!  Welcome back to movies under the stars!

Yes, watching movies outdoors is a magical experience. On September 12, CLS hosted Screen on the Green!  The initial plan was to enjoy a night of classic comedy movies on the lawn of the Taylor-Brawner House in Smyrna, Georgia.  But alas…the weather would not cooperate. With on and off rain throughout the windy afternoon and evening, Screen on the Green became Screen on the Wood!  Instead of setting up on the grass, the ladies set up their lawn chairs and blankets in the great room of the Taylor-Brawner House … but it was still a night of big fun!

The evening began with shopping with fabulous Black women-owned businesses who are also members of CLS!  Accessories, African wear, skincare, wedding services, books, and so many other items were offered for sale to the ladies.  While shopping, the ladies noshed on a variety of hot pizzas and wings, mingling and networking and sparking that sisterhood magic that CLS is so famous for conjuring up at their events!  Then, on to several announcements from CLS Founder LaShanda Pitts and the CLS Leadership team regarding CLS business and upcoming events, including the Red Dress Gala which is forthcoming in April 2021!  

Movies and games were next!  The first movie shown was Coming to America (such a classic comedy!), followed by Girl’s Trip (what better movie for a sisterhood to watch?!).  Many of the ladies headed out to the Taylor-Brawner House’s huge front porch to participate in a few fun games!  From Stack the Cups to Sort the Jelly Beans, it was all about the competition as the ladies broke off into Team Blue and Team Red!  The grand prize game was next – the Ping Pong Ball Tissue Box Challenge!  Each participant had an empty tissue box strapped to her waist, with the box facing backwards and each box was filled with ping pong balls.  The first person to twerk, wiggle, and shake all of the ping pong balls out of their tissue box was the winner!  These ladies worked hard to get those ping pong balls out of those boxes because the grand prize was a $250 Sephora Gift card!  Congrats to the grand prize winner, CLS member Abena Hutchins!  Then it was back inside for music and dancing – it’s just what we do!  

Of final note, but most importantly, you already know that CLS doesn’t do anything without a special giveback campaign.  CLS members collected a variety of baby items for donation to Helping Mamas!  As the baby supply bank of Georgia, Helping Mamas is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to come to the aid of mothers in need of assistance.  

Due to the pandemic, CLS had to cancel previous plans for a Helping Mamas giving event, so we showed up and showed out in true CLS giving fashion by donating a stockpile of items for Georgia babies! Helping Mamas accepts diapers, pull-ups, wipes, clothing, pacifiers, bibs, and all other things baby and toddler. 

If you are interested in donating items to Helping Mamas, take a look at their website at https://helpingmamas.org/ to see a full list of items they accept and how you can drop your donations off directly! 

Such an amazing event!  Movies, snacks, games, shopping, music and dancing, and sisterhood bonding … a great time was had by all!  

 

 

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Oh So Classy Spotlight – Kenya Hughes

Let’s turn the spotlight on our Oh So Classy member Kenya Hughes!

Kenya is committed to Classy Living Society’s highest membership level…the Oh So Classy level, where members continue to enjoy unique perks and fabulous benefits.

Kenya shared why she joined CLS. She’d been following Classy Living Society on social media for a while and loved that the organization gave back to the community in so many different ways. She was excited about the various ways to volunteer. After attending the Red Dress Gala in 2017, Kenya felt so welcomed even though she didn’t know anyone there. She had an amazing time! After continuing to follow CLS, she attended the Christmas Pajama Party ~ The Mingle Jingle, and that was it…she was sold! She laughed! She danced! She cried! She joined!

Kenya was born and raised in the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina, known for its elegant French Quarter, Battery promenade, and Waterfront Park. She enjoyed growing up there as her dad was granted an Air Force transfer from Ramstein AFB, Germany, to Charleston when she was five years old. Kenya loved learning about the history of Charleston and now reflects that as painful as the past is for this city, the people are incredibly resilient. She sees so much love and culture in “The Holy City,” where she’s always embraced her childhood memories. Friendly people, fantastic food, and those breathtaking beaches were Kenya’s backdrop, and living only 25 minutes from the beach was an added bonus for her.

Because Kenya’s parents always invited people to their home for the holidays or whenever there was a need, she knows this is where she developed her heart for giving and serving the community. Kenya remembers that her family was always serving others when she was growing up. Back then and now, it just seems like the natural thing to do. Her parents never said no when she constantly brought people who didn’t have any family to their home during the holidays. So she just kept bringing them. These random acts of kindness have followed Kenya, and now she and her husband continue to help families in need. Kenya will never forget their first act of kindness, where she and her husband fully furnished an apartment for a mom, her two daughters, and two grandchildren two weeks before Christmas. “We do things when we are led by God,” says Kenya, and many more people in need have crossed their path since then.

Kenya feels that her mother has been the most significant influence in her life, and her parents established a firm foundation for her. She’s grateful for the discipline she’s had in her life and knows that this has helped her experience the success she enjoys today.

Kenya says her test is her testimony, and not having children of her own has been a test. She’s taken that pain and has turned it into purpose by giving all she has to those who need it the most. Kenya tries to encourage women never to give up and, more importantly, don’t lose hope. She feels that we all have something worth fighting for, and we all have to decide for ourselves what it is and what it’s worth. Kenya says we all have a story, but it’s what we’re willing to do with that story that counts. She decided to choose joy despite it all and doesn’t hesitate to share her story to give others hope. She continues to find joy in the journey.

Kenya moved to the Atlanta area in 2002 and has lived in Alpharetta, Ga. for the past 15 years. She’s been married to her wonderful husband, John Hughes, for 14 years, and even though they haven’t been blessed with children of their own, Kenya says God has placed many children in their lives in many other ways. Her only niece, Erin, knows her as Funtie (fun auntie), but Kenya admits that she has many adopted nieces and nephews. She enjoys spoiling them and then sending them home!

After being featured on The Ellen Show for one of their random acts, Kenya and her husband John started a non-profit organization called “We Are The Hughes.” Their “Ellen” money helped them get off to a fantastic start, and they’ve been going strong for over two years now. They continue to perform random acts of kindness throughout the year, and they’re able to bless many more families. Kenya says “being part of The Ellen Show is an experience that I’ll never forget.” No, she didn’t make it to the white couch, but Kenya was one of three people that Ellen highlighted out of three hundred during her 60th birthday show. Kenya and her husband were part of the One Million Acts of Good $1 Million giveaway. They were also able to mingle with Michelle Obama, Jennifer Anniston, Kevin Hart, and Channing Tatum.

Kenya has worked in retail management for 24 years, with the past six years working at Rooms To Go. She’s currently a General Manager at a North Georgia location. Seeing her sales associates and managers grow brings her so much joy! She loves her job!

Kenya loves crafting and creating. After making a fall wreath for her front door a couple of years ago and posting it on Facebook, she received 43 orders for Thanksgiving and Christmas wreaths. Kenya created a Facebook page called DYD Wreaths by Kenya. Check her out on Facebook! Kenya is currently renovating her home, and she and her husband are doing most of the work themselves, so Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and Pinterest are her best friends. Kenya answers the call to travel and would love to see the country in an RV with her husband. Her dream is to visit Africa one day.

This Oh So Classy member is looking forward to creating more beautiful memories with Classy Living Society in the future.

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The power of technology gathered 40 Classy Living Society members from Atlanta, Dallas, Tennessee, California, and Houston for a fun Saturday evening of laughter, wine sipping, sisterhood and art expression!  Hosted by CLS and facilitated by BE Creative Arts Center, the ladies painted for a cause via Zoom video on August 29.  “Release, Relax, Rejuvenate” was the painting of choice.  Wearing their artist hats, the ladies each painted their own rendering of RR&R – a sister girlfriend enjoying a leisurely soak, wine glass in hand, in a clawfoot bathtub overflowing with bubbles.  BE Creative Arts Center made it possible for each lady to create her own vision at home.  Upon advance registration, each artist received a “Paint Party to Go” packet containing a pre-drawn canvas, paints, brushes, and all of the supplies needed to create, create, create!

BE! Creative Arts Center is a Black woman-owned business in the Atlanta area that provides a creative way to have a party.  They provide mobile and virtual dance and paint parties for adults and children looking to have fun, express themselves creatively, socialize, and build relationships on location or via Zoom video.

The evening’s activities were for a worthy cause – a CLS fundraiser to raise money for the Homeless Population.  For each registration, CLS donated dollars to this worthy cause and collected a total of $1,100 to donate!  

A night of sisterhood bonding, socializing, wine, laughter, and a beautiful painting for each lady to hang on her wall – and all in the name of community service! 

 

Website link:

BE! Creative Arts Center

 

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The spotlight’s on our Oh So Classy member Jeanette Whipple!

She’s part of a core group of ladies who’ve decided to engage with Classy Living Society on the highest membership level…the Oh So Classy level.

Jeanette is originally from Paterson, New Jersey. She’s lived in Georgia for the past 20 years, so she definitely calls the Peach State her home. Jeanette’s been happily married to the love of her life for 12 beautiful years, and even though she has no children, she does have a lovely pet Shih Tzu named Jada. Jeanette served in the Armed Forces for seven years and is now a U.S. Armed Forces veteran who served in the Gulf War. We thank Jeanette for her service to this country. She is the youngest of a fantastic family of six.

Jeanette has had a remarkable career in the Information Technology (IT) industry for over 30 years, and she recently achieved a dream of hers by becoming an entrepreneur. She established a Real Estate Investing LLC.

Jeanette has an extreme love for travel. Her adventures have taken her to Spain, London, Aruba, Barbados, Rome, Cabo San Lucas, Grand Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Puerta Vallarta, Acapulco, Cozumel, Cancun, Bahamas, Hawaii, St. Thomas and many other exciting destinations.

Along with amazing travel comes amazing cuisine! Some of the most memorable dishes she’s savored abroad include Keri-Keri (a main dish in Aruba), Stoba (a fantastic stew), Conch Stew, Paella, Kabsa (a mixed rice dish originally from Saudi Arabia), Chicken Tikka Masala (a dish of chunks of roasted marinated chicken in a spiced curry that’s popular in the United Kingdom), and Flying Fish with Cou Cou (the national dish of Barbados).

Jeanette also enjoys exercising and doing some serious shopping.

Jeanette was asked why she joined Classy Living Society?
She said she joined CLS because she wanted to be part of an organization whose focus is to support and generously give back to the community in various ways. Jeanette also wanted to meet and connect with other women from diverse backgrounds. She wanted to engage with women with varying goals and expansive aspirations, along with being involved with a group that knew how to have fun always with a purpose in mind. Jeanette says that CLS checked all of the boxes for her, and she hasn’t been disappointed. She is delighted to be a member and looks forward to many more years of membership and service.

Become an Oh So Classy member today.
https://cls-volunteer.org/become-a-member/

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POLKA DOTS & TENNIS SHOES FOR A CAUSE – GET ON THE BUS TO SAVANNAH, GEORGIA!

On August 1, Classy Living Society members and their guests boarded a luxury chartered motorcoach and traveled to Savannah, Georgia for the day!  What better way to bring in the month of August than a summer day trip to a beautiful place!

The attire of the day was polka dots, polka dots, and more polka dots!  The ladies were asked to rock their polka dots in whichever way they chose – sunglasses, tops, dresses, skirts, pants, hats and so on!  Each lady kept it casual in their favorite pair of sneakers/tennis shoes as well.

The ladies arrived bright and early to board the bus.  When they arrived at their seats, they each found a surprise gift awaiting them, a bag of goodies which included a CLS branded polka dot mask – to ensure the ladies were equipped to follow mask mandates and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The masks were custom made by 14-year-old Mia, owner and operator of Mia’s Masks in Moreno Valley, California.  Mia volunteers her time to create and donate masks for senior citizens.  Be sure to click the link below to read the May 14, 2020 Classy Chronicles article about Mia and other young people making a difference in their communities during the pandemic: Young Community Heroes of COVID-19

The bus rolled away from their meeting spot promptly at 6:30 a.m.  CLS was on the move!  As they headed to their destination, Founder LaShanda Pitts opened the day with an introduction to the most important part of the trip – the giveback mission.  Each day tripper brought swimsuits to be donated to underserved children ages 2-10 who are attending the Salvation Army’s summer day camp programs.  

Statistics show that children adorned with new swimsuits are more likely to feel included among peers, are more eager to acquire swimming skills, and attend pools and beaches with their friends and families with pride and confidence.  CLS came to the rescue by collecting and donating over 100 swimsuits for boys and girls!  Hooray!

The Salvation Army Summer Day Camp provides youth with a safe, structured, and enjoyable environment during the summer months. While running, jumping, and playing, kids will meet new friends, have fun, and learn about God through Bible studies and Vacation Bible School programs. Click on the link at the end of this article for more information about this worthwhile program for the children.

Let the games begin!  The ladies broke off into teams, and using their own personal items, each team was charged with the task of dressing a doll for the annual CLS Red Dress Gala. Comedian Lady Q hosted the game and, as usual, she had the ladies rolling in the aisle with laughter.  Speaking of the aisle…the ladies had the bus rocking and rolling on the road as they danced and sang up and down the aisle.  The best way to let your hair down!

The fan down game – led by member Agnes Jamison – was also loads of fun and congratulations goes out to the winner, member Sylvia Webb!  Finally, a pit stop game!  As the bus stopped at a gas station for a break, a lively scavenger hunt ensued.  Each gamer was given a list of things to find during the stop and the one with the most finds was crowned the winner – congratulations to Cherret Callam.  The scavenger hunt game is always a popular get on the bus game for CLS as it involves interacting with people at the stop.  This time was no different – the people at the stop were quite intrigued by the crazy bunch of ladies who were all wearing polka dots!  “Who are you?” Hilarious!

Soon, the bus arrived in Savannah and the first stop was Sorry Charlie’s Oyster Bar & Cocktails, famous for their Frosé cocktail – a delicious frozen rosé drink that is always popular for CLS members on trips to Savannah.  Oh, and yes, there was food!  Sorry Charlie’s laid out a socially distanced, delectable brunch of fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, mac n’ cheese, collard greens, roasted chicken, blue crab pasta and shrimp and grits.  Yum!  During the brunch, the ladies continued to laugh, take photos, dance and have a great time!  

Stuffed and happy after indulging in brunch foods and Frosé drinks, the ladies were off to paint the town with polka dots!  The remainder of the afternoon was dedicated to exploring Savannah; taking in Savannah’s delicious custom fare (pralines from River Street Sweets anyone?), plus shopping, sightseeing, people watching, visits to rooftop bars and soaking up the sun.  It was a hot, hot day! 

Back on the bus for the ride back to Atlanta, the uproarious fun continued!  More dancing, more singing, more laughter!  Who says you can’t have a good time while wearing masks and socially distancing!  Everyone gets in on the fun – even the bus driver had a great time; he declared that he is going to be CLS’s “forever” bus driver!  CLS’s women in business members who were present were also provided an opportunity to speak to the ladies about their offerings.

Arriving safely back to the Atlanta area, the bus trip to Savannah owed the ladies nothing!  CLS bus trips are always moving caravans of festivities, sisterhood and giving back and this time was no different…it was another successful occasion of celebrating the cause!

Important Links:

Mia’s Masks

Salvation Army Summer Day Camp

Sorry Charlie’s Oyster Bar & Cocktails

Photography:  EnPhocus Photography

 

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