The Sandy Springs Society awarded $263,300 in grants to nonprofit organizations that serve Sandy Springs at its annual meeting on May 17.

More than 200 members, who gathered at Mount Vernon Baptist Church, heard how the funds will be used that they raised through sponsorships and events such as Elegant Elf Marketplace, Tossed Out Treasures and an Evening of Elegance.

“It is really the heart and soul of what we do,” said Cathy Galloway, the Sandy Springs Society’s philanthropy chair.

Outoing President Gail Jokerst holds up a list of the 32 grant recipients as Philanthropy Chair Cathy Galloway explains how each grant will be used. (Bob Pepalis)

Sponsors of the society provided just under $94,000. Endowment funds generated $11,029 with the Sunshine Fund providing another $9,376, she said. Elegant Elf Marketplace had net income of $23,790.

“Our Tossed Out Treasures, which we didn’t get to have last year because of COVID, so we have lots of stuff in closets, $80,400,” she said.

The Evening of Elegance, held over several evenings because of COVID, raised $50,639 for philanthropy.

That brought the total raised for the Sandy Springs Society philanthropy to $265,800, she said.

Philanthropy grants of $263,300 were made to 32 nonprofit organizations from those funds, Galloway said. All were investigated to be sure they retained nonprofit status and served Sandy Springs, she said.

Outgoing President Gail Jokerst handed out a $1,000 award to the Sandy Springs Police Benevolent Fund.

Gail Jokerst chose the Sandy Springs Police Benevolent Fund for the President’s Grant Award, shown here after presenting Police Chief Ken DeSimone with the $1,000 check.

“We are the luckiest city in Georgia. I would even say we’re the luckiest city in the world. The leadership that Chief Ken DeSimone has with his folks, the respect and admiration and pride in us within their ranks,” she said.

The benevolent fund helps police officers, firefighters, EMTs and dispatchers in need, he said.

“Last week, one of our officers had major heart surgery, and he’s going to be out probably for months. And then we have one of our police records clerks [who] completely lost her apartment to a fire,” DeSimone said.

After those awards were handed out, Karen Calhoun was awarded the Spirit of Sandy Springs Award for her work as the chair of Horizons Atlanta.

Jan Stewart presents Karen Calhoun with the Spirit of Sandy Springs Award for her work with Horizons Atlanta and other volunteer work. (Bob Pepalis)

“Horizon provides opportunity by eliminating critical barriers to success that many children in Sandy Springs face by providing a six-week tuition-free summer enrichment program for K-8th grade students,” Jan Stewart said as she presented the award. “On average, Horizon Sandy Springs students improve and grow two to three months in the reading and math schools because of the Seminole program.”

A $1,000 grant award for Horizons accompanied the award.

Knox Jewelers presented past president and president’s pins for its 30th year, with Eddie Knox presenting Jokerst with her pin.

Eddie Knox of Knox Jewelers presented Gail Jokerst with her past president pin. (Bob Pepalis)

Melissa Patterson took her place as the new president of the Sandy Springs Society.

Here is the full list of 2022 philanthropy grants:

Act 3 Productions – $9,800 for dressing room upgrades;

Be THE Voice – $2,800 for its anti-bullying program;

Child Development Association – $5,000 for a Kindergarten Enrichment program;

City Springs Theatre Company – $11,500 for its Scholarships for Conservancy program;

Community Assistance Center – $15,000 to purchase rolling racks and a point of sale payment system for its thrift shop;

Dojoli Kelen Inc. – $4,300 to help fund a dance and drum classes and panel discussions on rhythm and movement during Black History Month;

Environment Sandy Springs – $2,460 to help remove invasive plants and replant areas with native plants around the Weber School property;

Families and Communities Together – $10,110 for uninsured patient medical relief ;

Family Promise North Fulton – $3,000 for Basic Needs for Families/Children programs;

Gigi’s Playhouse – $10,000 for a tutoring program for Down Syndrome students;

Good Samaritan of Gwinnett – $10,000 for dental equipment purchase (the organization also serves Sandy Springs residents)

Great Prospects – $2,500 for respite care for families with developmentally challenged members;

Horizons Atlanta – $25,000 for student transportation. “It picks up all their kids, they do tons of field trips and they teach all these children how to swim,” Galloway said;

Keep North Fulton Beautiful – $4,000 for loading dock equipment at its recycling center;

La Amistad – $10,000 to help reinstate its English as a Second Language Program;

Lion Pride – $7,500 for summer camp scholarships

Los Ninos Primeros – $13,000 for performing arts programs

Mr. Tom’s Heart – $3,000 for computer equipment

Prevent Blindness Georgia – $7,500 for vision screening for elementary school children;

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine – $14,000 toward a refrigerated truck and supplies in the rescue and distribution of unused food;

Ridgeview Charter Middle School Foundation – $4,300 for two bass instruments;

Riverwood Band/Orchestra Booster Club – $4,650 for band and orchestra uniforms;

Sandy Springs Charter Middle School Foundation – $10,200 for risers for school programs;

Sandy Springs Conservancy – $2,500 to clean up and replant areas around the Sandy Springs library;

Sandy Springs Education Force – $8,000 for their after school All Star Program;

Sandy Springs Mission – $15,000 for youth educational summer programs, to purchase an audio and sound system;

Second Helpings – $10,000 for rescue and distribution of unused food;

Senior Services North Fulton – patient transportation to medical services;

Solidarity Sandy Springs – $10,000 for back to school backpack program;

Sope Creek Adventures – $600 for 10 bike helmets;

Spalding Drive Elementary PTO Foundation – $10,000 for an art education initiative;

Trees Atlanta – $7,500 for an invasive plant study.

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Reporter Newspapers.