On the ball: Swordsman’s Ball to help fight cancer in Cobb and beyond
by Sally Litchfield
August 06, 2014 12:56 AM | 2196 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Co-Chairmen for this year’s American Cancer Society Swordsman Ball are Tom Heyer and his wife, Wendy Bunch-Heyer, Executive Leadership Council representative Babe Atkins-Byrne and Justin and Jenni O’Dell. This year’s ball is set for Sept. 6 at the Renaissance Atlanta, Waverly Hotel. <br> Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Co-Chairmen for this year’s American Cancer Society Swordsman Ball are Tom Heyer and his wife, Wendy Bunch-Heyer, Executive Leadership Council representative Babe Atkins-Byrne and Justin and Jenni O’Dell. This year’s ball is set for Sept. 6 at the Renaissance Atlanta, Waverly Hotel.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
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What would you do if you had cancer — a disease that doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, young or old, black or white, mom or dad, brother or sister? Cancer can strike anyone and anytime but you can help by attending the American Cancer Society’s 41st Swordsman’s Ball on Sept. 6 at the Renaissance Atlanta, Waverly Hotel in Atlanta.

The ball begins at 6:30 p.m. when check-in opens, followed by dinner and program at 7:30 p.m., and dancing and entertainment from 9 to 11:30 p.m. The band Accent will entertain at the Black Tie Optional event. A silent auction, Wall of Wine, Keys of Hope will be presented along with the traditional Tree of Life Tribute where a light can be purchased for $25 in memory or in honor of someone.

“Everyone has been affected or knows someone who has been affected by cancer,” said Marietta resident Tom Heyer, who co-chairs the ball with his wife, Wendy Bunch-Heyer and Jenni and Justin O’Dell. Heyer is a mortgage banker with Brand Mortgage in Kennesaw.

During the 1960s when Heyer was 4 years old, his brother died of bone cancer. Today, there is more hope for people with cancer because of the strides made in research by the American Cancer Society. Heyer’s father beat a battle with colon cancer at the age of 61 and lived to be 89 years old. For the past two years, Heyer’s 6-year-old cousin has battled leukemia and now needs a bone marrow transplant.

Jenni and Justin O’Dell have both had grandparents affected by cancer. “Almost everyone has been affected by cancer in some way. This event shows our support, dedication and love for those who have battled cancer,” said Jenni O’Dell, a Marietta resident. She is an interior designer with JKO Design Group Inc.

The ball not only raises awareness but also necessary funds for the continued work of the American Cancer Society.

“The American Cancer Society raises money for the treatment of cancer and research to cure cancer. The funds raised from this event over the years and the work of the American Cancer Society has taken various forms of cancer and transformed them from a death sentence to a treatable, curable and manageable disease. The funds we raise this year and down the road can be the funds that eradicate cancer altogether. The benefits to lives here in Cobb County and beyond are exponential in ways that are completely unique to this event and this cause,” said Justin O’Dell, a local attorney with O’Dell & O’Neal, P.C.

“It made me realize what an honor it is to be a part of something so special that Babe (Atkins-Byrne) has continued to keep alive and strong for 41 years. We could not make this happen without an amazing group of volunteers that continue each year working diligently on this event and to help Cobb fight cancer,” said Wendy Bunch-Heyer, a real estate broker who owns ReMax Pure.

The Renaissance Atlanta, Waverly Hotel is at 2450 Galleria Drive, Atlanta.

For more information on the Swordsman’s Ball, contact Gracie Rice at (404) 949-6458 or email at gracie.rice@cancer.org. For tickets, visit gala.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=62435&pg=entry#.U-C2MKhh5Mg.

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