Arthur Blank helps Families First Break Single Night Fundraising Records Raising over
$650,000 at Annual Dining for a Difference
Event now ranks as one of the top 5 charity fundraisers in Atlanta
as it heads to the benchmark 20th year
ATLANTA, GA (March 31, 2017) — Receipts from the 19th annual Dining for a Difference are now in, and the single night event raised a record-breaking $652,000 for Families First, Inc., Georgia’s oldest human services agency. Board Chair Marybeth Leamer, EVP of Cox Enterprises reports this is an increase of more than $150,000 over funds raised at last year’s event. Ms. Leamer credits 2017 Honorary Co-Chairs Arthur and Angela Blank for attracting more corporate donors, generating more table sales and for providing Atlanta Falcons signed memorabilia and ticket packages that garnered increased auction sales.
“On the heels of the Falcons’ NFC Championship win and the debut of Atlanta United to establish professional soccer in our city, the generosity of Arthur and Angela Blank as our honorary co-chairs added a level of excitement that allowed us to far surpass our already aggressive fundraising goals,” said Ms. Leamer. “We could not be more thankful to Arthur and the Atlanta community,”
Held on Thursday, March 23, this year at Georgia Aquarium, the annual Dining for a Difference produces funds used to operate Families First’s programming that serve more than 37,000 people throughout Georgia through 11 core strategies that connect, strengthen, and sustain Georgia’s children and families. Each year, the event also celebrates the achievements of Families First clients who have overcome challenging circumstances to succeed as students, parents, and citizens giving back to their communities. A highlight of the evening was the presentation of scholarships to five youth who have participated in Families First programs. These awards, ranging from $4,000 to $7,500, support tuition or expenses related to college or vocational training. In a surprise occurrence, AETNA Southeast Market Head Brian Schenkemeyer and Southeast Regional Director of Community Relations Laurel Levy presented an additional $1,000 check to each of the scholarship recipients to help them achieve their academic and career pursuits.
Making her final appearance as the Families First CEO, Kim Anderson said this year was a chance to reaffirm the agency’s commitment to helping stem the tide of poverty wherever it occurs in the state. “Poverty is rising faster in the suburbs than the city, impacting families and children throughout the region,” said Ms. Anderson. “Fortunately, Families First has offices in eight