Former Atlanta Falcons player Jamal Anderson was just in from a Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraiser in Miami on Saturday when he hurried downtown to another event benefiting children: the “I Have a Voice” gala at the Atlanta Ritz-Carlton.
Chaired by Adrienne Mulligan with co-chairs Reshell Baldini, Vivian Galletly, Laura Smith and Raul Trujillo, the event benefited Gigi’s Playhouse, a facility opening in Midtown this year that will serve children with Down syndrome and their families. For information click here for the Web site.
“I am so thrilled, so honored and so touched,” Mulligan said, addressing the packed ballroom.
The event featured performances by opera singer Elizabeth Saliers accompanied by pianist Don Saliers and the Mike Richardson Trio, and honored Dr. Jeannie Visootsak from the Down Syndrome Clinic at Emory University’s Department of Genetics.
Anderson, who worked the room personally welcoming people at each table, said he was honored to be involved.
“I personally love this cause,” said Anderson, who got an assist from former Atlanta Hawks player Tom Gugliotta for the “heads and tails” portion of the event, where patrons played an interactive game of coin toss to raise additional funds for Gigi’s Playhouse.
Anderson gave the event his all, stopping at one point to dab a handkerchief on his forhead. “When you’re 250 pounds you sweat when you walk down the street, so I’m taking my jacket off, if you don’t mind,” he joked. “The ‘Dirty Bird’ doesn’t do sweat outside a uniform!”
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