By Katie Fallon
katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net

The Community Action Center (CAC) will host its 5th Annual Vintage Affair on Sept. 29, a Roaring 20’s-themed party that will be held this year in historic Glenridge Hall. The private home and special events venue is owned by Sandy Springs resident Joey Mayson and was built in the 1920’s.

This event, which has become the organization’s yearly flagship fundraiser, will also highlight the yearlong celebration of the CAC’s 100th anniversary.

The CAC is a nonprofit organization that works to prevent homelessness and provide assistance to needy families in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. Located on Hightower Trail, the facility offers financial assistance as well as donations of food, clothing, school supplies and other basic family needs.

Tickets to Vintage Affair, which will be held from 6 to 10 p.m., are $150 per person or $250 per couple. $75 of the ticket price is tax deductible. Tickets can be purchased through the Phoenix and Dragon Bookstore, 5531 Roswell Road, or by ordering online at www.vintageaffair.org.

Event chairwoman Elizabeth Igleheart said organizers are hoping for 150 partygoers as space is limited. Attendees, however, will have no shortage of entertainment. The evening will include a sit-down dinner catered by local restaurants that have donated their food and wine. In addition, Vintage Affair will include both a silent and live auction, with items including a week at the Westin Club Regina in Cabo San Lucas, a Hummer limo for an evening, a beer tasting and hors d’oeuvre for 24 from 5 Seasons Brewing Company, a KitchenAid wine refrigerator and the use of a condo in Quito, Ecuador for 10 to 14 days.

A raffle will also include a first prize of two round-trip, first-class, tickets to Honolulu, Hawaii, six nights in a Waikiki hotel and a convertible rental car on the island of Oahu. The runner-up prize includes four AirTran coach tickets to anywhere in the continental United States. Raffle tickets are $25 each or $100 for five and each includes two chances to win. They can be purchased in advance at the Phoenix and Dragon Bookstore or by calling the CAC at 770-552-4889.

With the available number of tickets and the revenue from the auctions and raffle, Igleheart said the fundraising goal for the event is $75,000. That goal, as well as the event, has grown since the first Vintage Affair five years ago. She said the format of the evening has changed to accommodate a special portion of the event that will be dedicated to celebrating the CAC’s 20th anniversary.

“There are some really cool things this year and it’s a little more special,” Igleheart said. “There has always been wine tasting and a dinner buffet, but this year, we’ll do it as a sit down to watch an anniversary video for the CAC.”

Igleheart said as Vintage Affair has grown over the years, it has retained committed sponsors like 5 Seasons Brewing and The Brickery. That commitment, in turn, has attracted additional sponsors, which lessens the cost of the event. Because of the success of Vintage Affair and its benefit to the community, even new businesses are coming on board as sponsors or to donate items for the auctions.

“If it wasn’t for the local sponsorships from businesses and residents, we wouldn’t be able to put on this fundraiser,” said event publicity chairwoman Kristen Ristino.

Igleheart said the success of Vintage Affair is evident not just in the dollars tabulated at the end of the night, but also in letting people know about an organization that has been in the community for two decades.

“We definitely have seen everyone start talking about [Vintage Affair] a couple months ahead of time,” she said. “Success is not only raising money, but increasing awareness of the agency and what it does in the community.”

Because event organizers raised more than $35,000 in corporate sponsorships, the actual cost the CAC is responsible is very small, Igleheart said. Everything from the food and wine to the party invitations and the postage to send them have been donated or purchased by patrons on behalf of the CAC. Last year, the event raised $65,000.

With Vintage Affair being the CAC’s flagship fundraiser for the entire year, its success determines the ability of the organization to help its clients. The CAC feeds an average of 350 individuals and families every month. In 2005, it served 3,045 people from 1,450 households that visited the facility an average of three times a year.

Similarly, of the $174,446 donated in cash to the CAC in 2005, 62 percent was used for rent assistance, 19 percent for utility bill assistance and 18 percent for youth programs. For $277,180 of in-kind contributions, 289 families per month were provided food, summer camp scholarships were given to 228 students and holiday gifts were provided for 976 children.

“The challenge is to keep our fundraising increase on pace with our client volume,” said Igleheart, who is also president of the CAC’s board of directors.

Igleheart said that those who cannot make it to the event can still purchase raffle tickets or make direct donations to the CAC. For more information on the Community Action Center, visit www.ourcac.org.