The 31st Annual Garden Party, benefiting Henry Medical Center, will be held May 7, in McDonough. Members of the Garden Party committee (from left) are: Jacquie Rives, Michelle Nunnally, Vickie Loper, Ginger Moates, Adam Stanfield, Beverly Van Gorder, Debra Lorenzo, Susan Hoffman and Shellie Tracy.
By Jason A. Smith
A cultural extravaganza is expected, as part of the Henry Medical Center Foundation's next fund-raiser benefiting the local hospital.
The foundation will hold its 31st Annual Garden Party May 7, at 7 p.m., at the Gateway Event Center in McDonough.
Proceeds from the occasion, presented by the Family Medical Clinic, will go toward programs and services at Henry Medical Center (HMC), according to Adam Stanfield, executive director of the foundation.
Tickets for the party are $100 each. Stanfield said last year's event netted $72,000 for the hospital, and this year's goal is $100,000.
To assist in reaching that amount, Garden Party organizers are working with a creative theme, said Stanfield. "This year is going to be really different from what we've experienced before," he said. "The theme is a Cirque du Soleil theme, and we're calling it Cirque du Henry."
The Garden Party will feature a multicultural menu with Asian, Grecian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Entertainment for the event will include silk dancers -- 32 feet above the ground -- performing silk-scarf exhibitions, as well as fire jugglers, a caricature artist, and yoga demonstrations.
Stanfield is hopeful for a jump in attendance for this year's Garden, compared with past years, when space has been limited to around 300 people.
"With Gateway, we can accommodate up to 4,800 people," he said.
Keith Sweat, a designer at G Gallery Interiors & Custom Framing in Jonesboro, is in charge of the decor for the Garden Party. He said he wanted to make this year's event stands out as much as possible, in light of Henry Medical Center's recently-announced affiliation with Piedmont Healthcare.
"The Garden Party needed something different," said Sweat. "With the hospital becoming something different, now seemed to be the time."
Sweat said he wanted the party to have a more creative, yet relaxed, feel while remaining "purposeful" as a fund-raiser.
"We need to remember that we're there to raise money, but we need to do it creatively, because there's not a lot of money out there," said Sweat. "We've got to provide value to an individual's experience, so they want to attend the event and support the cause."
Stanfield added that music for the party will be provided, for the third straight year, by the Atlanta Beat band.
For more information on sponsoring the Garden Party, or to purchase tickets, call Adam Stanfield at (678) 604-5018, or e-mail email@example.com. For more details, visit www.henrymedical.com.