Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


‘Garden Party’ To Benefit The Sullivan Center

Published August 16, 2007

Dick Williams, newspaper columnist and host of The Georgia Gang on FOX 5 will emcee “A Garden Party” fundraiser for The Sullivan Center Inc., directed by Sister Marie Sullivan, OP, which provides help with dignity to individuals and families in crisis in the Atlanta area.

The gala on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. will offer live and silent auctions, live entertainment, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. It will be held at 999 Peachtree St. in Midtown Atlanta on the sixth floor. Tickets are on sale to the public at $50 in advance and $60 at the door.

Auction items include professional sports and performing arts events, restaurants, golf at premier Atlanta courses, and vacations at the ocean and in the ranch country of Montana.

The garden theme is taken from one of the center’s programs, which offers neighbors and youth an opportunity to sustain an on-site garden and bring to market organic fruit, vegetables and flowers, while learning life skills in financial management, nutrition, leadership, and good work ethics. It also runs a youth camp in partnership with the University of Georgia and All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody.

The theme of “Planting Seeds of Hope” reflects the mission of the center and all its programs, which is to enable people to make choices that lead to increased self-reliance.

Under the guidance of Sister Sullivan, a small staff and many volunteers provide employment mentoring and administer financial aid that empowers those in crisis to help themselves emerge from temporarily difficult circumstances. Their misfortunes range from unexpected illness or disability to death in the family or the loss of a job.

Sister Sullivan has been working in the Atlanta community since 1983 with a unique approach to helping those in crisis emerge with greater resources and abilities to sustain themselves in the future.

Ninety percent of applicants met eligibility requirements this year, but due to funding restraints the center can accept only an average of 75 applicants per month, or about one-third of those who applied.

“There are certain charitable causes that just resonate with liberals and conservatives. It’s more a hand up than a hand out … and a helping hand,” said Williams. “What (The Sullivan Center Inc.) accomplishes just dazzles me.”

“A $500 cash gift could give a real boost to a person who loses a job and still has bills coming in,” said Sister Sullivan. “To really put an average family who comes in here on its feet, we need $1,000 for rent, utilities and transportation.”

“One hundred percent of the event’s proceeds are used to support the center, so you can bid or donate with the confidence that preventing homelessness is a cost-effective use of your contribution dollars,” said Sister Sullivan.

Last year’s inaugural effort brought in nearly $20,000. Working together are CBeyond’s Terry Trout, who is on the center’s board of directors and a 2007 Women in Technology Woman of the Year Award recipient, Mary Trantow, president of All Saints Women’s Guild, and co-chairwoman Beth Reaves.


For tickets and sponsorship information contact Carol Patron at (404) 753-0531 or