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Shared from the 6/1/2017 Columbus and the Valley eEdition

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Much Ado About Something


Members of the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus String Ensemble perform in front of the RiverCenter at the kickoff of Artbeat 2017.


Strut the Hooch Parade organizer Steve Scott brings up the rear in the annual event that’s become a part of the Artbeat celebration.

All in the Family Meet Art In the Family

“Art In the Family” was the theme for this year’s Artbeat—the annual two-week event that celebrates art in our community. It was a perfect theme, especially for the opening night reception, which featured artist Garry Pound’s paintings in the exhibition, “Happy Are the Painters.” The show also included paintings by his parents, the late Murphey and Barbara Pound. Several hundred folks oohed and aahed over Garry’s work including Betsy and Chuck Staples, Dusty Wellborn, Chris Harmon, Betsy and Al Ramsay, Fontaine and Jack Jenkins, Smokey and Kay Bowers, Marc and Marlene Olivie’, Jack and Pat Willensky, Ben and Kathryn Cheek, Tamika McKenzie, Marjorie Drury, Susan and Michael Silverstein, Jon Lumpkin, Allan and Jewett Rothschild, Jo McDaniel and Elizabeth Ogie as well as the brain trust and uber volunteers that make ArtBeat happen, Helen Johnson, Susan Wiggins and Rick McKnight. Rounding out the family theme, wife Mamie and sons Theo and Murphey were also there on this special night.

The celebration continued on Saturday with the “Art is for Everyone” event, a festival of hands-on art activity for the entire family, including the Strut the Hooch parade. The whole day brought out several thousand folks to Uptown including Smiley Rachael, parade guru Steve Scott, Ron and Connie Ussery, Gretchen Brand, Jan Hyatt, Dennis and Karen Cook, Ginny, Mackenzie and Ella Patterson, Renee McBride, Mallory Fuller, Kelsey and River MacMinn, April Jacobs, Stephanie Payne, Julia Lester, Shane and Dana Larkin, Gretchen McGregor and Michele Folta who directed the Voices of the Valley performance.


President and CEO of United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley Scott Ferguson dressed as the Cat in the Hat for United Way’s Read Across America Day at Downtown Elementary Magnet Academy. Nearly 150 volunteers from 20 local companies read to Pre-Kindergarteners – 2nd graders in 21 local schools.

One of the coolest events during ArtBeat was the world premier of Ace: the Eugene Bullard Story at the Springer. The play was written by Columbus’ own Natalia Naman Temesgen, after Springer Director Paul Pierce commissioned it based primarily on the book, Eugene Bullard, Black Expatriate in Jazz-Age Paris by CSU’s Craig Lloyd. The production was a must-see for every night of the two-week run—and that included Natalia’s husband Pete and her parents Vince and Dian Naman, Oz Roberts, Nora and Henry Ngo, Robert Prater, Venus and Woodrow McWilliams, Harriet White, Meryl Rifkin, Sue and Danny Ginter, Clarence Johnson, Ron and Susan Wirt and Donna and Larry Dooley.

ArtBeat 2017 always focuses on local talent—some with national and international reputations—but one of the youngest to be featured was Columbus’ own Jake Fussell, a fabulous young musician as he opened up the first of the Friday Night Spring Concerts in Uptown Columbus.

A great celebration of all things artistic—can’t wait ‘til next year!

Honoring a Graceful Spirit

The Honoree for the American Cancer Society’s Crystal Ball is always a cancer survivor, with a story to tell about his or her recovery. That description—with a good and bad side—fits a number of people; the bad that there are so many diagnosed with cancer, the good, that these are survivors. They tell their stories in different ways—some utilize a battle theme, some use a graceful struggle theme, for some it’s a never-ending race to find a cure and many are combinations of all of those and more.

This year’s honoree, Karon Griffith Henderson, told her story in just the way you’d expect if you know her—with grace and quiet courage—filled with some hilarious moments about her battle with breast cancer. In typical Karon style, her first sentence was, “I can’t believe I’m talking about my boobs in front of 340 people!” It brought down the house, instantly connecting the ball attendees in a way we could all relate. There was a full house of family supporting Karon, including husband Skip Henderson, son Joey, and daughter and son-in-law Kyle and Cole Bennett; sisters, Sherlene Dyes and Jennifer McLendon; sister-in-law Susan Henderson and father-in-law Berry Henderson.

The ball always has a good crowd and this year was no different, including Joel and Pam Ames, Alap and Pinkie Shah, Bill and Becky Rumer, Stella and John Bucholtz, Tana McHale, Beth and Tracy Sayers, Bill Pruett and Gina McPhearson, Ashley and John Pezold, Mike and Teresa Baker, Gwen Ruff, Joseph and Emily Brannan, Lynn and Wes Ezell, Rex and Lynn Whiddon, Alice and Tripp Wade, Evelyn Turner-Pugh, Alice Gammage, Cassie and Aaron Myers, Charlie and Pam Johnson, Gina Hall, Steve McCall, Art and Sue Smith, John and Lisa Few and Mary and Tom Bode. Karon is a long-time friend; we met in 7th grade. She has always been as gorgeous on the inside as she is on the outside. The beautiful thing about that is she doesn’t ever think that about herself, which of course, makes her all the more beautiful. Here’s to many more years of celebrating living!

Animation Nation

There’s been much excitement surrounding the location of Fun Academy Motion Pictures here and when they held their studio grand opening—complete with red carpet and paparazzi—the community turned out to see what the FA team has coming up, including Frank Lumpkin, Carla Gridley, Rick McKnight, Karon and Skip Henderson and Meg and Rob Poydasheff. Fun Academy staffers Crystal Trawick, Jordan Beck, Jacy Jenkins and Cora King were more than happy to give tours and talk about their first project Sgt. Stubby, a family-friendly film set to debut in April 2018. What a rush it will be to see Columbus, Georgia in the closing credits of a major motion picture!

Pops and More!

The Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus (YOGC) held one of its most popular concerts of the year at St. Luke Ministry Center. The Disney Concert and Dinner was a huge hit with Isaac Leverett, Kathleen Mason, Amy Walters, Theresa Radney, Marcolm Tatum, Jong Yoon, Chris Zanga and Margueritte Noel.

Besides hearing the talented children perform some of our favorite Disney tunes, guests got to hear pitches by the teams competing to become Maestro for a Moment at the YOGC’s Spring Concert, by getting $1 votes. The three teams are comprised of: Sandy and Otis Scarborough, Frank Schley and Jim Pharr and Carla Gridley and Isiah Harper. All presentations had the audience in stitches as each team tried to “one up” the previous one. With these folks in their corner, the YOGC is sure to make a lot on this fundraiser, which helps this worthwhile organization keep its tuition less than 50 percent of what similar youth orchestras charge.

Hall of Fame

We mentioned Crystal Trawick and the Fun Academy opening already, but that’s not all she’s been up to. In addition to being a wife and mother of a toddler, plus her duties as COO at Fun Academy, Crystal was recently honored with induction into the Chattahoochee Valley Community College (CVCC) Hall of Fame as Distinguished Alumna.


Crystal Trawick (second from right) was surrounded by her family—father-in-law Madden Hatcher, mother-in-law Martha Hatcher and husband Johnson Trawick—at her induction into the CVCC Hall of Fame. Since Crystal put herself through college and had to work on the night of her graduation from CVCC, she was also presented with the diploma she would have received at the graduation ceremony—just a few years late.

The National Infantry Museum Grand Hall was a lovely setting for the event honoring Crystal and the late Cynthia Floyd who was posthumously given the Distinguished Service award for her many years service on staff at CVCC. Enjoying the program, dinner and silent auction were Russell County Sherriff Heath Taylor, Pat Waldrop, Brittany and Trip Reynolds, Cher and Jeff Pitts, Kim Jinks and David Antekeier, Melinda Wilkes, Joan and Paul Budd, Eve and Jack Tidwell, Walker Garrett, Julie Harris, Donna Voynich and Chuck and Keeli Floyd. Funds raised at the HOF will benefit students through scholarships.


Members of the late Cynthia Floyd’s family, son Terrence Floyd and brother Vincent Wiggins, accepted the Distinguished Service Award given to her posthumously at the CVCC Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Presenting the award was CVCC Director of Student Development Vickie Williams.


Many friends, co-workers and family members turned out for the retirement reception for Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Carmen Cavezza from his most recent job as chairman and CEO of the National Infantry Foundation. (Clockwise from upper left) Joyce and Carmen Cavezza and Col. (Ret.) John Fuller; Cavezza and Dr. Carlton Savory; Cavezza with Betty and Cecil Cheves


Generally Speaking

Who in this community doesn’t have a Carmen Cavezza connection? After all, he retired from the Army in 1994 as a lieutenant general, having serving as Fort Benning’s commanding general several years earlier. He followed that as the executive director of the Columbus ’96 Olympic softball organization, which evolved into the Greater Columbus Sports & Events Council. Next he became Columbus’ city manager in 1997, serving there until he accepted the helm at CSU’s Cunningham Center when it opened in 2005. After that he became chairman and chief executive officer of the National Infantry Museum Foundation.

Nearly everyone in the Chattahoochee Valley has a connection to Carmen in some way, so it was not surprise at the turnout for his retirement from the Foundation including Lee Brantley, Janet Davis, Kim and Mark Rozycki, Mac and Rachael Plummer, Jacquie Rawls, Cindy and Rick Alexander, Mim Hallock, Earl and Sally Lassiter, Kent and Steve Butler, Jeannie and Ralph Puckett, Ed Sprouse, Dorris and Richard Bishop, Peter Bowden and Larry Campbell.

John Fuller, Bob Poydasheff and Frank Brown made remarks about their times with Carmen in the Army, city government and at CSU respectively, but the standing ovation came when the announcement was made that the space we were in, formerly known as the Grand Hall, will henceforth be known as Cavezza Hall—a fitting tribute to a man who has done so much for our country, our state and our city. Congratulations, Carmen!

50 Years is a Major Milestone

It’s hard to pull a surprise on David Bonaker, but the occasion of reaching his 50th birthday made it a must for wife Tiffany to pull off the surprise of the, shall we say, the half-century!?! David thought he was “having” to attend a church newcomers party at St. Thomas Episcopal and was delighted to realize the 100 or so folks were all there to celebrate him, including daughter and son, Lauren and Will, mother and father Dave and Pat Bonaker; Roger and Erin Redden, Alicia and Ray Vinson, Raymond Campbell, Jim and Kristie Sholtis, Grace Burton-Edwards, Spence, Susan and Katie Spencer Sealy, Isiah Harper, Pam and Frank Feagle, Jim Rutland and Joe Mills, Michael and Alison Owen and John Strawbridge.

Another 50th milestone—this time even bigger, when you’re celebrating 50 years of wedded bliss! Jack and Nicole Ceccatto celebrated their 50th anniversary, surrounded by friends and family, where they renewed their wedding vows. Daughter Cara Karnes was the first to offer a toast that commemorated Jack and Nicole’s life together. Others joining in the celebration were Cindy Godwin, Erin and Roger Redden, Pat Daniel and Steve Hodges, Kathy and Art France, Debbie Anderson, Karen Lord, John and Vicki Partin, Tom and Sherry Wade, Jan Pittman, Sonya Boyd and Ralph Wimberly. C

Marquette McRae McKnight is the owner of Media, Marketing... and More! Inc, a full service public relations firm. She may be reached via e-mail at marquette@mediamarketingandmore.com or call her at 706-660-9702.

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