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Black Tie:

January 29, 2013

Starfish Gala 2013

Beauty on the Bayou in Buckhead

  • Photos by Jim Fitts

Black-tie guests celebrated Mardi Gras-style at the St. Regis Atlanta to benefit Nsoro Foundation

Revelers at this year's Starfish Gala Revelers at this year's Starfish Gala

The VIPs

Starfish Ball King and Queen Bonnie Terwilliger Leadbetter and Dr. Robert Willis, Nsoro Foundation Founder Darrell Mays, Nsoro Foundation Director Cynthia Moreland, charity auctioneer CK Swett of Phillips Auction House, NYC, Nsoro Foundation “Student of the Year” Maranda Usry, who maintains a 3.91 GPA at East Georgia College


The Venue

The St. Regis Atlanta


Party Notes

Harrison Rohr, Johanna Ellis Harrison Rohr, Johanna Ellis

The St. Regis was transformed into an imaginative Louisiana Bayou by A Legendary Event, as 350 guests celebrated Mardi Gras style. The festive celebration opened with the Class Act Band’s rendition of “When the Saints Come Marching In” and the introduction of the 2013 Starfish Ball King and Queen. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and a gourmet dinner of New Orleans-inspired dishes such as shrimp etouffee and Andouille croquette, duo of herb marinated steak and gruyere gratin, sea bass with corn maque coux, and a chocolate starfish atop the sweet potato pone dessert.  A luxury live auction conducted by Phillips auctioneer CK Swett, lead to record-breaking results. A moving tribute was paid to the late Sandra Anderson Baccus, the 2011 Starfish Ball Queen, by Wilmington Trust’s Jack Sawyer, who reigned with Baccus as the 2011 Starfish Ball King. He highlighted her philanthropy and good will, as video screens showed images of the beautiful lady who gave unflaggingly to the nsoro and many charities. The “Starfish Poem,” which praises “making a difference for one” was read by Jay Mays to illustrate the nsoro philosophy. Darrell Mays thanked AT&T’s Dennis Boyden for his presentation of a check for $50,000 and the company’s long-term support of Nsoro students.  The night ended with revelers cutting the rug, well past midnight, to the after-party band Gritz and Jelly Butter Band, New Orleans-style.


The Scene-Makers

Among the crowd of patrons:Vicki and John Palmer, past Starfish Ball Queen Su Longman and Millie Smith, Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot, Peggy and Ed Reynolds, Brett and Sarah Hutcherson, Tom and Eileeen Rosencrants, Todd Tautfest and Mateo Restrepo, Tara Werther, Edward Chu, Howard and Victoria Palefsky, Donna and Bill Barwick, Elizabeth Allen, Bill Torres, John and Lori Foley, Michael and Lovette Russell,  Kitty Correll



AT&T, Wilmington Trust, Al and Su Longman, Pete Sandore, Dr. Robert Willis (founder/CEO of Foxcode) and Nsoro Foundation’s largest single donor, the Terwilliger Family Foundation, Darrell Mays


The Cause

Nsoro Foundation is an Atlanta-based non-profit that provides funding and scholarships to foster care students so that they can attend college and complete their education. For more info visit:



Tom and Eileen Rosencrants, Edward Chu Tom and Eileen Rosencrants, Edward Chu


Starfish King Dr. Robert Willis and escorts Starfish King Dr. Robert Willis and escorts

Crush Notes

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