Dan and Edna Hollums may be retired from the business world, but the Sandy Springs couple has carved a second career for themselves as busy volunteers.
For more than 20 years, the Hollums have used most of their combined energies to support the various programs and outreach projects of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
“Before we retired, we didn’t have time to do as much as we could,” explained Dan Hollums. “But we both got active after that. And we still are, even though we’re not spring chickens: I’m 91, and Edna is 88.”
It was her husband’s passion for music that got Edna Hollums involved behind the scenes at the ASO.
“We’re both music lovers, but I was into jazz and didn’t really know much about symphonic music,” she said. “He did, and he introduced me to it. Now, I love it.”
That love translated into hours working on a major symphony fundraiser, the Decorators’ Showhouse and Gardens. For 15 years, the Hollums were part of the team that opened a redecorated local mansion to the public.
“They always have someone who goes to the empty house and serves coffee to the designers and people working there,” Edna Hollums said. “These people give their time early in the morning, so having hot coffee is a very important thing. We’d go to Caribou [Coffee] and pick up an urn and various refreshments and set up a station for them.
“We’ve also been docents, sitting in a room of the house while the tour is on. And one year, Dan sold tickets. Another time, he even worked the parking lot and shuttle.”
“We’ve been foot soldiers,” said Dan Hollums. “We’ve also ushered for outreach programs when they bring kids in from the schools. It’s been so rewarding to us, and we’ve come to know well such a wonderful group of people. Many of them have become our good friends, and we probably would have never gotten to know them except through the ASO.”
The couple has been cutting back a bit this year. “We’ve realized it’s important to conserve our energy,” said Dan Hollums. “We have a great house and a garden we love, and that takes a lot of time, too.”
One thing they save their energies for is ASO concerts.
“We do have season tickets,” said Edna Hollums. “It’s great that you can have dinner there before the concert. It makes for a nice evening. And we definitely will be at the opening night party for this year’s show house.”