One such opportunity is the annual Celebrity Luncheon and Silent Auction sponsored by Friends of the Georgia Symphony next Saturday, March 16, at the Marietta Country Club from noon to 3 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, one of the many cultural gems headquartered right here in Cobb County. Tickets are $35.
Celebrities will be seated at individual tables with eight to 10 patrons and share their experiences and answer questions. It would put me on a slippery slope to name only a few of the celebrities and not all, but they include politicos, athletes, writers, artists, business executives, singers and a chef.
You can see the entire list at www.GeorgiaSymphony.org. (OK, former Gov. Roy Barnes, Georgia Tech football legend Bill Curry and Marietta Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin are among the celebrities, but that is as far as I am going.)
I had a chance to host a celebrity table at last year’s luncheon and drew a crowd of great Americans who told me I looked eerily like Brad Pitt (or maybe they said I looked eerie. I can’t remember) and that I didn’t have to eat the broccoli on my plate. Life doesn’t get any better than that.
You can imagine my surprise and pleasure when Friends of the Georgia Symphony asked me to be the keynote speaker at this year’s luncheon.
Of course, I accepted immediately. It isn’t often that a modest and much-beloved columnist gets to be a keynote speaker anywhere, let alone before a quality crowd like this one.
That is when the balloon burst. My impeachable sources tell me I was not the organization’s first choice. It seems that the luncheon committee was keen on getting Jack and Jill, my two favorite mules who were banished from Cobb County and who now reside in Montana or Canada — I get those two places mixed up.
You may recall Jack and Jill were purchased by the Cobb County Commission and brought here to demonstrate what farming was like in the old days (as if we care) until the commissioners discovered it would take $3 million to fix up the farm where they were to strut their stuff (the mules, not the commissioners) and all of a sudden everybody got amnesia over why they had brought the mules here in the first place. The poor mules never had a chance.
I am told that Jack and Jill were looking forward to keynoting the Celebrity Luncheon until someone discovered that mules are not allowed to eat in the main dining room at the Marietta Country Club. While they accepted the news graciously, both are confused as to why Cobb County will allow us to have chickens in our yards but not mules in the country club. I think they have a point.
The organizers next approached former State Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, who left that body to take an unspecified job at Georgia Public Broadcasting that pays him more than the governor. He would agree to come only if he could wear his Big Bird outfit. Country club officials said “no.” They would just as soon have mules in the dining room as a guy walking around dressed like Big Bird.
However I got the job, I am excited. The Celebrity Luncheon is a lot of fun. More importantly, Friends of the Georgia Symphony are working hard to garner more support for the arts and particularly classical music in our area. We tend to underestimate the importance of the arts — music, painting, literature, drama — in our society but I wouldn’t want to live in a world without them. Supporting the arts in a tough economy is not easy but it is a critical component of having the quality of life we enjoy in Cobb County.
That is why I support Friends of the Georgia Symphony in their efforts to extend the outreach of the orchestra now and for future generations. Speaking of future generations, did you know that the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, founded only seven years ago is already the largest youth orchestra program in the Southeast? These folks do good work.
Thanks to a group of hard-working volunteers and the selfless celebrities who are taking their Saturday to be a part of the festivities and with a keynote speaker who looks eerily like Brad Pitt (or, is it just eerie? I still can’t remember), this promises to be one fine party.
I hope you will join us next Saturday. I just wish Jack and Jill could be there, too.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at email@example.com or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.