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may - june 2016

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Contents 3

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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A Spanglish Lesson

Kilwin’s

AROUND THE GLOBE

LEARNING WITH CLS

Spring Has Sprung

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INSPIRATIONAL CORNER

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Avis Pitts

Varasano’s Pizzeria

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

A Season of Renewal

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MOMMY CORNER

The B’s of Spring

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THE QUARTERLY HAPPY HOUR

A 50’s Inspired Sock Hop

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NATURAL HAIR FOR SPRING

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THE MONTH IN REVIEW

CLS IN THE CITY

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CLASSY CONSESSSIONAIRE

Dea Harris Benson, CTTS Logistics

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COMMUNITY PARTNER Children’s Restoration Network

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AN INTRODUCTION To the CLS Biz Zone

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WOMEN IN HISTORY A Living Museum


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Ahhhh, spring has sprung! My favorite time of year, coming out of winter, a time when the sun bursts through warmer and more frequently. When you begin to inhale the fragrances of the grass, blooming flowers and garden-fresh air cleaned by April showers. A time when everyone welcomes light breezes blowing through open windows and refreshing new smell of home after spring cleaning. Animals rouse from hibernation -- and so do we. We begin to focus more on our personal well-being – stepping up the exercise routine and dining on healthier foods (which is easier to do with the luscious fruits and vegetables of spring). A time of renewal of the Earth. The vernal equinox is the advent of spring, a period when night and day are said to be approximately equal length all around the world. Imagine that – a time when all around the globe, we experience a harmonious occurrence without even being aware of it. I like to think that such times create a burst of love and peace – or at least a warming of hearts and a desire to fellowship, love one another a little more and give back. If you find yourself believing in my philosophy, or even if you think spring makes you feel like going outside in the sunshine, or simply that warmer weather makes you smile and feel better after the dead of winter, do something about it!

gathering dust and donate them to a worthy charitable organization. Remember the old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!” If you enjoy yard work or gardening, but your neighbor does possess such knowledge or doesn’t have a green thumb – offer to help them with their yard work or gardening. Teach them how to plant a few flowers. Buy an ice cream churn, gather the neighborhood children around and show them how to make good ole homemade ice cream. Visit the elderly people in your neighborhood – sit and listen to their stories and wisdom – and enjoy the offered cookies or cake and punch. They will be grateful for your company and you will undoubtedly learn something you didn’t know (for sure!) One of my favorite quotes about giving back was shared by Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get. But we make a life by what we give.” Make a difference in the lives of others by using your talents, gifts and abilities to give back. And on the way….stop and smell the flowers!! Happy Spring!! Janine Lattimore Janine Lattimore, Editor -at-Large

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CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

LaShanda Pitts

LaShanda Pitts

EDITOR AT LARGE

PHOTOGRAPHY

Janine Lattimore

Jason Byrdsell www.enphocusphotography.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Janine Lattimore Nikki Blakely-Simmons Angela Higginbotham DeAna Danzy Rue Clark Kim Lampkin Jennifer Hardimon

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DESIGN DIRECTOR Simone Darlington www.tamlyndesign.com

BE A PART OF THE NEXT CLASSY CHRONICLES For advertising or editorial contribution, please contact us at marketing@cls-volunteer.org, advertising@cls-volunteer.org, or chronicles@cls-volunteer.org.


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INSPIRATIONAL CORNER

A Season of Renewal

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Seasons are mandatory in our lives just as they are to the world we live in. Each season provides something different for the earth and the seasons we experience in our lives are no different. They occur to equip us with knowledge, wisdom, understanding and strength. They occur to teach us important life lessons which provide an opportunity for reflection, while orchestrating positive change in our lives. Before we can enter a Season of Renewal, we must understand that what we think and believe is truly what we will manifest in the earth realm. The process of manifestation is simple: “what we think, what we believe, and what we do, will show up in our lives. If we desire to come through our Season of Renewal with a greater purpose, a higher level of intention and a burning desire for overall success, we must be willing to fill our minds with all things positive. If there is a goal we would like to achieve, we must think positively and affirm to ourselves that we are equipped with the tools and resources necessary to achieve that goal. As we transition through our Season of Renewal we must always think the best, believe the best and do our best, so that we can experience the best. When positivity and greatness is all that we will allow our minds to conceive, it will not have room enough to receive anything else. Therefore, during our Season of Renewal, we should always keep our mental space filled with things that will help catapult us to the next level in our lives, because what we pour into ours mind is what our lives will be filled to the rim with. Although life can seem like a raging stream of water, pushing us against the roughest experiences of life, we must remember that the bruising, the hurt and the pain, is all a part of our Season of Renewal. It is during this time that we go through our healing and achieve restoration. When the stubborn rocks of life refuse to move from our chartered path, we must remember that a raging stream of water pushes us forward, which is the direction we should be going in, anyway. If we desire positive and effective change in our lives, we cannot allow anything or anyone to stop us, deter us, or remove us from our journey. We must follow it with great intensity while picking up and carrying away with us valuable pearls of wisdom and life’s hidden treasures. Going against the current during our Season of Renewal defeats the purpose of our desired restoration, growth and forward movement. Therefore, we must equip ourselves with the tools that will carry us forward: always affirm the positive in our lives, be willing to receive and apply the lessons learned from our life experiences, and use life’s roadblocks as a catalyst to shift and move forward. Remember, what lies behind us should encourage and intensify our forward momentum, not push us backwards. Now go out and enjoy your Season of Renewal; it’s your time to Move, Shift and Receive. n Nikki Blakely-Simmons Author, Speaker, Life & Business Coach

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www.irresistiblepoundcakes.com

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MOMMY CORNER

B’sspring

the

of

Happy Spring!

The weather is warming up and the grass is turning green. There’s no better time of year to get out in the backyard and enjoy it. It’s that time when we can push the winter coat to the back of the closet and get started on all the fun activities that may be a little more doable during these nice spring days. There’s so much to appreciate before the temperatures soar. The daylight hours are longer now and it’s time to make the most of it. Here’s a list of a few ideas to jumpstart your activities as the weather warms up.

and go for a Biking! Air up those tiresbike is sitting in neighborhood ride. My be the garage with a flat tire, and may . It’s now t righ , seat the on t dus little a it definitely time to pull it out and take rcise exe at gre such is ng Biki . spin a for and also a great way to spend time for outdoors. Don’t forget the helmets you and the kiddies!

Bathin

g suits! W favorite for ki ater activities are a d sprinkler or ev s. Bring out the pool, the en the good ole water hose and have some fun!

eam od t . o h r s o e kid st ighb a ne with th is a bla ng r e h th e tchi ll! Glyaplay caittec pastim a t. Cafavorite n b i e s y a o B simp favor u enj f my ia. Eve or rica’s ow yo one o eorg be Ame atter h e is still up in Gsion can no mLB gam rowing n televi a M ories g ame o core! memhing a g party! S catc into a e mad

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ow all South, we kn use. e th in re e xc H BBQ picnico!od BBQ so, there’s nooever and family about g friends and ther will be e m so te vi In ea me grill. The w fire up the . If you’re not a long ti ur it yo r ss fo le ct b e rf ll, e e p you the South, w resident of one you invite will help of in e a m heart! So Q’ing ropes, I’m cert B learn the B it!

doesn’t love Blow bubbles! What child an inexpensive

bubbles? Bubbles are e. way to spend some play time at hom at gre are s hine mac The blowing as for adults too, because then not er bett n eve An . ded nee much help is n up is advantage to the machine? Clea super easy!


Basketball! Shoo life is always a ting hoops with the kids in Remember th fun and memorable activity your at hours playing game H.O.R.S.E? I spen . t were the day that game as a child. Ah, th many s. Look it up, if you aren’t fa ose and teach it to miliar, the kids. ak is what you need Break! Maybe taking a e,brethe beach or a museum this season. If possibl e is best, is always fun. If staying close to hom xation e rela som y enjo to out time ng taki just . Time for a few days is always a great idea n if you dow Slow ed. spe g tnin ligh at es mov good break if can and don’t be afraid to take a possible.

to be in the kitchen with Baking! Many kids love. Use the season’s berries one d a parent or love s in the to make a pie or pop some cupcake red to colo g icin with them e orat oven and dec love Kids ide. outs match the blooming flowers ,I Now f. stuf of kind that love I f! that kind of stuf want a cupcake!

Whatever this spring season has to offer you and your loved ones, just be sure to make the most of it. Ride with the windows down, take a walk, watch those bumblebees in the garden, and enjoy it all. That summertime heat will be here before we know it. Angela Higginbotham Georgia native, currently living in Florida. Wife. Mom of three, ages 5, 8 and 13.

Bui

ld! Bu those c ilding anythin r build a eative juices fl g is a great wa m a garde ud pie, build owing. Build a y to get result m n. The options a sand castle birdhouse, , the bon ay not always are endless. T or build be Pinte he end ding an d mem be perfe ories m rest perfect, b ct. u ade….. those w t ill

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tied around their hair or neck and hen the guys wore leather football varsity letter jackets and jeans. A time when a jukebox played 45 rpm records and that was the source of the dance music. A time when waitresses would serve food to you carside – expertly balancing trays full of burgers, fries and milkshakes while zipping around on rollerskates…… CLS members and guests, upon entering the event, were instantly transcended back in time – 50+ years ago. Poodle skirts, leather jackets, jeans, skinny pants, scarves and cat eyeglasses were the wardrobe of the afternoon. Anyone who was afforded an outside glance would’ve thought they were somehow transported by a time machine! Tucked away inside Atlanta’s Emory Conference Center is an upscale event space, Wisteria Lanes, which provided an excellent backdrop and ambiance for this magical affair. Wisteria Lanes features six cosmic bowling lanes, spectacular lighting and eclectic decor. As usual, the CLS Events Team outdid themselves – in every inch of the space, there was something to see that was reminiscent of the 50’s. 45 rpm records hung from the ceiling; tables were decked with bubblegum machines and MoonPies. There was an ice cream station with a

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n Saturday afternoon, March 26, Classy Living Society, in partnership with My Brother’s Keeper Youth Services, Inc. hosted an extraordinary fundraising event -- the CLS Sock Hop! These two organizations collaborated to present an afternoon of fun and 50’s-era frivolity, but the buck doesn’t stop there! As always with CLSsponsored social events, a give-back initiative was incorporated. This time, the purpose in mind was to collect donated socks for the teenage boys

and girls living at the Covenant House Georgia. Now, take a pause here to guess how many pairs of socks were collected….. then read on… the end of the article will reveal the nearly insurmountable number. You will never be able to guess! Picture a time when you attended a dance and the girls wore poodle skirts, saddle shoes and scarves DES7GNMGZ CLASSY CHRONICLES

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smorgasbord of toppings. Classic Cocacola glasses were filled to the brim with pink bubblegum balls and striped paper drinking straws of yesteryear. Members and guests entertained themselves at the cosmic bowling lanes and shooting pool at the billiard tables. The event was graciously sponsored by Sonic Restaurants, specifically the location owned by Steven Bates. They provided delicious noshes for the crowd – burgers and chicken fingers, fries and hot dogs. The food table was adorned with a tabletop jukebox, a period record player and lovely petite floral arrangements tucked into classic drinking glasses all atop a black and white checkered tablecloth. Last but not least, Classy Living Society was able to present a donation of over 1400 pairs of socks to the boys and girls of Covenant House Georgia! Yes, a whopping 1400+….. and since socks are the least donated item to havens such as Covenant House, this donation surely must have broken the bank! The huge pile of socks in the anteroom of Wisteria Lanes was quite impressive and every heart in the place was touched by the wonderful outpouring of love and giving! It was truly a fun, enchanted and oneof-a-kind event and all attendees were entertained to their heart’s content. The promise was that it was going to be an event that would knock your socks off …. and it was!!!! n Janine Lattimore

My Brother’s Keeper Youth Services, Inc. is a nonprofit organization which provides financial and physical support for education and daily living essentials, etiquette training, mediation services for families and organizing charitable fundraisers to support various homeless shelters, group homes for children and low income families. mybrotherskeeperyouthservices.com

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+ POSITIVELY SPEAKING International Women’s Day

On Tuesday, March 8, Classy Living Society’s Founder LaShanda Pitts was among the women speakers and panelists at International Women’s Day hosted by the Elevate Me Global Network at the Technology Square Research Building on the Georgia Tech Campus in Atlanta. The purpose of the event was to discuss and explore a collective action plan to rebuild communities, to gain new perspectives on global commerce as well as to provide an opportunity for business women to network!

Mrs. Pitts spoke on the subject of the importance of giving back to the community and enlightened members on her personal background of benevolence. Early life experience with providing a hand up to those less fortunate was instilled upon her by her parents wherein she gave up Christmas gifts in order to give to those in need.

Congratulations to our Founder; we are so very proud of you!! n Janine Lattimore

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Natural forHair Spring! Spring is in the HAIR!

Natural hair is very versatile -- more than most know. You do not have to stick to one style if you love to switch up your look. There are many options for natural hair styling to add more to your Spring Fever. Natural styles are also for the creative and stylish! All natural hair styles do not have to be big billowing curls and kinks, you can rock the Lupita Nyong’o short and sassy style or the Halle Berry pixie and free! Be a No limit Naturalista and embody the best of both worlds if you so choose! Take your natural

tresses from professional to a night out on the town. The possibilities are endless – experiment with an array of styles. Try a basic two strand twist to a stylized version; or straight and natural -- be it short and sassy or sleek and flowing. Braids, comb twist, faux hawks, flexi-rod/spiral set, curly ‘fros and more! Each creative hair style will allow you to switch up your look based on your style needs. Who doesn’t like versatility? Choose to be naturally free with Naturale Freedom!

by DeAna Danzy of Lluvia Hair Studio FB, Instagram - Lluvia Hair Studio Twitter - Naturale Freedom Website - www.LluviaHairStudio.com Blog - naturalefreedom.wordpress.com

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Around the

globe

A Spanglish Lesson

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pring comes and brings with it the promises of all things new! Birds have returned from their arduous southern journey. Buds are now forcing their way skyward to blanket the earth with blooms full of vibrant colors. We take off our winter coats to flourish in the sunshine once again. With the spring equinox comes a hunger to try something nueva and most importantly travel somewhere nueva and life changing! So, what’s a Classy Amiga with banked vacation hours and itchy keyboard fingers to do? Let those fingers fly across your keyboard Ladies! Grab your Girls and vamanos to Cordoba, Spain! Cordoba, Spain is home to the Fiesta de los Patios Cordobese or Los Patios Cordoba. In May, Cordobians transform their private patios with carpets of flowers, handmade mosaics and elaborate water features. This is a competition that is muy fierce and the work that goes into the battle for bragging rights and fab prizes is not for the faint of heart. The Spaniards’ creative labor is your gain because during the festival all visitors to Cordoba are welcomed to visit these beautiful private patios. Secure a free ticket from each patio and enter. Enjoy tapas, wine and baillar with the families and their friends. This is one of the DES7GNMGZ

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most anticipated festivals of the year. On the heels of Fiesta de los Patios is the month’s supreme festival. La Feria! Yes, the most famous La Feria is in Seville, perro, Cordoba alone allows visitors to Spain to join in on the festivities. No invitation is needed at all, just make sure you have on your dancing shoes because you’ll fiesta all night long. I promise you! La Feria is a festival of indulgences. Hundreds and hundreds of casetas are set up along the roadways. Girls in flamenco gowns and boys in gypsy costumes dot the calles. Go inside the casetas, order all the food you can handle, drink not so responsibly and put those dancing shoes to good use. You are on vacation after all and you’ve got no alarm to answer to in the morning! Visiting Cordoba, Spain in May for Los Patios or La Feria will change you. It will make you long for accelerated ends of summer, fall and winter all in an effort to spring into the nueva once again! Rue Clark- The TrypChyck Just Trippin’ Travelers’ Club justtrippintravelersclub.com 1-888-99-TRIPS 1-888-998-7477 20

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The turning of the seasons to warmer weather often conjures up great memories of “back in the day.” Ice cream and beach trips and baseball and barbecues and cousins and grands…..here’s what the CLS Sisters remember about their good ole spring/summer days:

Takirah Jones

From Augusta, Georgia!! I loved going to Daytona Beach every year for spring break! I loved riding four wheelers, go cars, playing kick ball, hide & seek, having fish fries every Friday (hot sauce and white bread!), cookouts, and backyard parties! Going fishing, doing cheers, and every outdoor game you can think of! My mom didn’t play about running in and out her house -- we were burnt up by the end of summer!! LOL! And definitely ice cream trucks!! The candy lady stayed two houses down!! Frozen cups, getting my hair done for church, vacation bible school, and sleep overs.

Ladyq Makeus Laugh

Born and raised in Charleston Venice Cameron SC!!! Grew up playing outside I’m from the Boogie Down Bronx! We year round, Summer time consisted Janine Lattimore of putting on a bathing suit, turning on used to hold up the elevators and knock on each other’s doors to come outside I’m from the BRONX. I grew up riding the water hose and getting wet in the the bus & taking the subway. I played back yard! Running through the woods to play double dutch, hot peas & butter. jump rope, hopscotch, Skelsies, redlight picking blackberries, and eating them We used to play in the hydrants, have block parties, walk to Roberto Clemente greenlight 123, handball. During the hot straight off the bush! LOL! Riding pool. Pay $0.50 and get a quarter back on summer nights we cooled off in the fire bicycles for miles!!! Those were your way out. We walked everywhere...the hydrants & sat outside on the bench listening the good ole days! good ole days….. to Puerto Rican bongos & DJ parties in the park (the birth of hip-hop baby!). Maxi skirts and bellbottoms, leather jeans and afros! Cones from Mister Softee, the ice cream truck. Family beach trips at 6am and stayed all day! Day camp and trucks pulling up with lunch and cold milk in the mid-day! The 70’s!!

Sherri Luciana

I grew up in New Brunswick/Somerset [New Jersey]. I remember LOVING Mister Softee [ice cream truck], lunch in the summers with cold milk, spending the day at Asbury Park, etc., etc.

Lisa Rene’e

Born in Gainesville Florida, my family is from Valdosta, Georgia -- a military child. Favorite memories: double dutching, fishing, ice cream trucks, hopscotch, rollerskating.

Jennifer Hardimon

I’m from St.Louis, but spent my summer in Mississippi with my grandparents. My favorite memories: running around until dark with a slew of cousins. Catching lightning bugs, exploring old “haunted” houses, riding our bikes all day, homemade ice cream. The endless smiles and laughter. However, I dreaded those days that my grandfather would get back from “the country” with bushels of peas and corn on the cob that we all used to have shell/shuck….those were the days!

Jennifer Hardimon

I’m from St.Louis, but spent my summer in Mississippi with my grandparents. My favorite memories: running around until dark with a slew of cousins. Catching lightning bugs, exploring old “haunted” houses, riding our bikes all day, homemade ice cream. The endless smiles and laughter. However, I dreaded those days that my grandfather would get back from “the country” with bushels of peas and corn on the cob that we all used to have shell/shuck….those were the days!

Chelley Miles

I grew up in DC and my favorite memories: staying outside all day, playing double dutch and waiting for the ice cream truck.

Renee Roberts

Raised in Southern California, Carson! My Favorite Summer memories were: playing outside ALL day & stopping the ice cream truck, swimming at Victoria Park and playing tether ball in the yard and car road trips with the family to visit my cousins. When I got a little older -- being put on an airplane alone to visit my older sister in Connecticut for the summer or my brother in Texas! DES7GNMGZ

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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Avis Pitts

Have you ever met someone whom you instantly admired and liked? Someone whose warmth, friendliness and peaceful nature were evident the moment you were in the same space with them? If you haven’t, then you simply must meet Avis Pitts! Avis is the type of lady whose easy smile and gentle disposition will draw you in right from the start. I sat down with Avis, and after she told me her story, I understood why it’s so easy to love her to pieces….

Avis was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio -- her parents’ only child. But no “Only Child Syndrome” for her! She made sure she was always surrounded by people – a host of cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, Godparents, parents and friends. Because of her love of being in the midst of people, she has always tried to stay as close to her extended family members and friends as possible. Family is very important to Avis, and her loving family represents a firm foundation in her life. Admittedly she was always a “daddy’s girl,” and was blessed to have both parents to hold dear until she lost her beloved father in 2006. Holidays, birthdays and “just because” meant family, friends and close acquaintances were in attendance at their house to celebrate. Home was where people gathered, ate, made merry and loved!. Those times 22

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helped her learn to appreciate others’ presence and company. Avis’ parents instilled a humble and friendly spirit in her about interacting with others… that everyone deserves at least one chance…we all have more in common than we think…don’t take anything for granted…be available to serve others…and never count the underdog out!

What are some of your hobbies and special interests? I love reading a good mystery/ suspense novel -- really pretty much reading everything, listening to smooth jazz, my plants (yes I talk to them!) and playing a good game of Bid Whist…I love games!

What are some of your favorite things to do to relax? Curling up with a good book and a soft blanket, tuning in to that addictive TV station of mine -Lifetime -- and eating chocolate…I LOVE CHOCOLATE!!!! The foundation of her rearing and early experiences also made her realize that she wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps. They were both educators and she admired how they could have such an impact on young lives. With that, from an early age, Avis knew that she had the desire to serve children and their parents. Her mother’s best friend was a Speech-Language Pathologist and Avis felt it couldn’t get any more fascinating than that! Since she’s always loved a good chat herself, she felt it would be an ideal job for her -- helping students learn how to communicate! She attended and graduated from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. After an illustrious career, which included two years with Cleveland Public Schools and 32 years with Atlanta Public Schools as a SpeechLanguage Pathologist, Avis retired -- only to continue working part-time with a Clayton County, Georgia Charter School. She’s got children in her blood! Do you think working after retirement (but still retired) is different than NOT being retired? Is there still an element


of freedom involved for you? To me, it’s about options and choices. I knew I wasn’t quite ready to go into full retirement mode when I left Atlanta Public Schools in 2010. But after 34 years -- five days a week wasn’t going to get it! I felt I still had more to contribute; so working two to three days per week is perfect. This kind of schedule provides the freedom that I need. A college degree was not the only great thing she came away from Ohio University with – she also met the love of her life there – her soul mate and husband of 38 years, Rockie. She and Rockie were blessed with two wonderful children, Kelly (who is also a CLS member!) and David. But the wonderful blessings of life to Avis and Rockie didn’t stop there….they also have two busy little grandchildren, Kylah and McKenzie. Born on the same day exactly two years apart… they are her sunshine! If you could put a special message in a time capsule to be opened in 20 years by your grands, what would you like them to know? I’d like them to know how much they were loved and how many times they put a smile on my face. My capsule would probably include a lot of stories about the family, so they’d know about their history along with mementos (drawings, toys). I know I’d write them a letter that would highlight our “Grammy and Grands” time and make special comments that contained words of wisdom, faith and hope. What is one interesting fact about you that not many people know? I had a health scare a little over 4 years ago. My blood pressure kept going up and up and doctors wanted to put me on hardcore medications. I complied and tried a few of them -wanting to follow the doctor’s orders, but I had so many side effects that it became a real concern. I tried to

eat right and stay on the meds but it just wasn’t working. The doctor suggested that I try losing weight as a last ditch effort and IT WORKED! I lost 40 pounds by exercising and eating right and haven’t missed those pounds at all. And the best thing… NO MORE HARDCORE MEDS! It wasn’t easy, and it took me about eight months -- but I stay on this health journey. Sure, it’s hard to lose the weight but to me it’s harder to keep it off…that’s always been the real struggle for me. But our health is worth it! Don’t buy into the myth that once you’re on blood pressure medication, you’ll always be on it. Go ahead and make those healthy changes and see what happens. If you could choose a theme song for your life, what would it be? We Are Family by Sister Sledge. What or who is the most important to you in your life? As the saying goes: God first and family second. I stand by that and I know that without His guidance, mercy and grace, I wouldn’t have a story to tell. How important is your spiritual life? It’s everything…my firm foundation. Walking through life with the Creator is how I find my voice. At this stage in your life, after all you’ve accomplished and experienced, do you have a go-to philosophy about life? What is it? It’s what my father wrote on his picture when he was in the Navy…it’s Striving Forward. No matter what -- focus on your journey, keep your eyes on your destination and keep moving forward. Clearly, Avis has a lot to be thankful for her in her life. Her philanthropic nature began at an early age and continued throughout her life – from serving with her mother at church and shelters, working with her dad at neighborhood playgrounds, keeping the neighborhood kids, working in her college’s kitchen, tutoring, serving on church ministries, working with the Girl and Boy Scouts and serving as an SLP, Special Ed. Liaison, lead teacher,

and mentor helped her to maintain an attitude of true gratitude. Because of a lifetime of understanding the necessity of giving back, she was truly prepared for serving with an outstanding organization like CLS. She says joining the organization is one the best decisions she’s ever made! What is the very best part of giving back to you? When I volunteer I get goose bumps! It goes back to “one person can make a difference.” That’s why CLS is such a good fit for me. The teamwork that we have as an organization truly makes our dream of service to the community work. If you had the power to solve one world problem, what would it be and why? Hunger is at the top of my list. It really gets to me when I see food being wasted and seeing how a hungry stomach negatively impacts a child’s education. Avis Pitts is the epitome of what Classy Living Society embodies – sisterhood, a love of giving back, talent, smarts and a great sense of humor. Throw in faith, family, experience, endurance, love of God and a big kind and beautiful heart -- and you’ve got one Classy Sister everyone should want to meet! n Janine Lattimore DES7GNMGZ

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Monthin

the

Review The Classy Living Society has truly been on the move this year, and these past couple months are no different. We have truly embraced our goal of being foot soldiers for community service! We lifted our feet and continued to sound off in life-changing and enriching ways. We started off March swaying to the sound of “Happy Days” and closed in April with a peek into the history of yesterday. Without question, CLS’s volunteer efforts in March and April left imprints that not only changed the lives of others, but also offered reason to keep going.

During the month of March, Classy Living Society began by partnering with My Brother’s Keeper Youth Services. We helped collect socks for youths currently residing at the Covenant House, which is a 46-bed crisis shelter focused on providing youths with an opportunity to achieve stability, work with case managers and develop plans for the future. In addition, we also participated in the 5k Hunger Run/ Walk with Atlanta Community Food Bank. Along with several sponsors and committed organizations, we walked to help end world hunger. Following the run, we assisted Southwest Ecumenical Emergency 24

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Assistance Center (SWEEAC) with sorting, packing and distribution of food donations. SWEEAC is an organization that provides emergency assistance to Southwest Atlanta citizens facing crisis. We also made time to support the Truly Living Well urban farm with maintenance of the farmland. This urban oasis is home to unique educational opportunities for inner city kids to learn about the value of fresh fruits and vegetables. Our final volunteer effort was the Atlanta Children’s Shelter’s 5 to Thrive 5k run/ walk. This was their eighth annual run, and they were able to raise nearly $10,000. The Atlanta Children’s Shelter assists homeless mothers and children, one of the only shelters catered directly to the mother and child. The month of April was important to us because the week of April 10 is National Volunteer week. On Sunday, April 10, CLS presented “Women in History Living Museum (WIH)”. This was everything with the exception of ordinary! Dedicated to educating and uplifting girls as they mature into womanhood, WIH introduced history worth repeating. Activated by touching their character specific icon, young ladies from the PinkSTEM organization and Leading Ladies Atlanta came to


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life and expressed the wonderful contributions and accolades of women throughout our community. CLS’s second event in April was Project Open Hand - Morning Culinary. We had an opportunity to assist the wonderful team of chefs with culinary creation and production of nutritious food items. Following our afternoon of chopping, peeling, washing, panning, and baking, we sat down with the residents of AG Rhodes Senior Home and Rehabilitation Center. During this visit, we provided music therapy and embraced the opportunity to gain wisdom from the wonderful community of senior citizens. As if there wasn’t enough knowledge exchanged, CLS helped to ship books to Africa. These books were catered to all ages and offered a wealth of knowledge. Shortly thereafter, on April 15, CLS partnered with Atlanta’s Women’s Community where we enjoyed lighthearted socializing and fun while playing Bingo and other games. Finally on Saturday, we closed out National Volunteer Week by assisting Trees Atlanta with beautification of Freedom Park. Volunteer week culminated with fun, laughter, games and barbeque; leaving our imprint of love, fellowship, empowerment and purpose throughout the metro area. n Kim Lampkin DES7GNMGZ

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SPEAKING of

Donations

Classy Living Society helped make a difference in the lives of homeless youth by giving over 1400 pairs of socks to Covenant House Georgia! Covenant House rescues homeless kids and provides them with the basic necessities…a hot meal, a warm bed, a shower and a sense of security. Moreover, they take on the challenge of helping youth turn their lives around. Covenant House is the largest charity for homeless kids and CLS is committed to a continued partnership with this major organization. Kudos to James “J.T.” Thornton, shelter coordinator; Trish Pinkard, AmeriCorps volunteer and their team for getting the socks in and set up. The looks on the faces of boys and girls said it all… smiles all around and the abundance of thank you’s! If there’s any question whether CLS is continuing to make a difference and positively impact the community…questions should be laid to rest as CLS’s mission to care for those who might be otherwise overlooked and neglected were clearly confirmed at Covenant House. Thanks to all of the foot soldiers who contributed to this worthy cause! n Avis Pitts 28

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www.tracilynnjewelry.net/mjcoke

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COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT

children’s restoration network

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wenty-three years ago, two friends teamed up to simply assist a homeless shelter for mothers and their children. Gathering coats and blankets was their initial goal but with time, and of course purpose, their effort of love and desire for change introduced the development of Children’s Restoration Network of Atlanta (CRN). Physically located in Roswell, Georgia, CRN offers hope and support to homeless families throughout Atlanta and the metro area. Their mission is to break the cycle of homelessness providing empowerment to become part of mainstream society as active, productive citizens. They offer programs and events designed to address academic, emotional and physical needs of homeless families. Classy Living Society had the honor of speaking with Mr. Nolan Byrnes, CRN’s Program Coordinator. Eagerly prepared to navigate change and initiate collaboration, Mr. Byrnes wasn’t shy about sharing the moments that make CRN’s programs such as One on One Tutoring and LEAP Career Workshop, worth jumping about. With periodic laughter and smiles that offered purposeful reassurance, we

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dove right into what we were there for, “breaking the cycle of homelessness.” Mr. Byrnes hasn’t been with CRN very long, but it doesn’t take an extended amount of time to see the services and programs offered are very much necessary. Providing assistance to multiple homeless shelters throughout the metro Atlanta area, they see firsthand the price of “dreams deferred.” Mr. Byrnes enlightened us of various programs offered to homeless families. He informed us that working with the organization has increased his awareness and provides a different outlook on how quickly one moment can create life-altering experiences. CRN offers 12 Days of Caring, Adopt a Shelter, Make it a Home, Friends Indeed, Career Prep, Project One on One, Back 2 School, Food Drives, and New Hope Scholarships. They look at the deficits and eliminate each with awareness, clarity, and yes, hope. No stranger to getting their hands dirty, CRN digs deep to find the missing pieces. CRN helps make the missions of homeless families possible. n Kim Lampkin


YOUR AD HERE www.cls-volunteer.org/#!advertise/c2203

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Classy Living Society’s

Biz Zone

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lassy Living Society is pleased to initiate a new and exciting venture -- The CLS Biz Zone! The Biz Zone is a collective effort, comprised of four divisions, designed to facilitate development and growth in business and in our members. In each issue, we will report on recent happenings occurring under the Biz Zone umbrella...

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Learning with CLS KILWIN’S

Design Faze Studio hosted our very first Learning with CLS event on March 3. It was a fabulous and informative event that left members feeling as if they had learned things to assist them in building and sustaining wealth and financial well-being. Summer Blackwell educated members with tips on home buying. Holley Hilton spoke to the members about long term financial planning. When John Dillaire, owner of Kilwin’s Atlantic Station, was approached about providing goodies for our educational event, he didn’t hesitate! Kilwin’s provided trays of yummy treats for CLS. Members indulged in decadent chocolate, caramel and toffee covered confections. My personal favorite was the chocolate dipped Oreos.

Kilwin’s is a quaint chocolate and ice cream shop located in the vibrant Atlantic Station community. Kilwin’s is known for their genuine hand-made premium chocolates. They are also a proud supporter of community partnerships and they forward to working with Classy Living Society again in the future. As summer approaches and the weather heats up, treat yourself and your family -- visit Kilwin’s at 1380 Atlantic Drive NW #14160, Atlanta, Georgia 30363.

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CLS in the City VARASANO’S PIZZERIA

What happens when 40+ CLS members converge on Perimeter Mall and Varasano’s Pizzeria? Our first CLS in the City event is born! Varasano’s recently opened their newest location at Perimeter Mall and they were delighted to be the venue for our kickoff event on February 25. Many members came out to socialize, dine on gourmet pizza and take advantage of the exclusive discount offered by Varasano’s. Besides experiencing amazing pizza in a prominent location with a trendy atmosphere, Varasano’s has a neatly tucked away private room off of the main dining room. It is the “secret” Cigar Bar; a cigar aficionado’s playground! Patrons get to savor a wide variety of cigars, in private and away from the open public and dining guests. Jeff Varasano, a native New Yorker, opened his first Atlanta location in 2009, with a goal to bring New York style pizza to the South. Since then he has opened two additional locations, Varasano’s Piano Bar and Pizzeria in Atlanta Hartsfield Airport and in 2015, Varasano’s Pizzeria and Cigar Bar at Perimeter Mall. Varasano’s was very accommodating to our large group and welcomes Classy Living Society back to their location. “You ladies had a great turn out, and I’m excited that so many new faces were introduced to our pizzeria,” said Linsey Star of Varasano’s. “Do let me know when you’d like to return in the future!” Next time you are near Perimeter mall, stop in at Varasano’s and order the Nana’s Special. Delizioso! Varasano’s Pizzeria and Cigar Bar, Perimeter Mall, 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Suite 2090, Atlanta, GA 30346 34

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Classy

Consessionaire byJennifer

Dea Harris

Benson

CTTS LOGISTICS Planting the Seeds for Future Leadership! Introducing….Dea Harris-Benson, Chief Executive Officer of CTTS Logistics, a transportation and logistics company. An Atlanta, Georgia native, Ms. Harris-Benson has held this position since 2013 and since then has become known as a business owner, leader and active volunteer foot soldier in the community. Her venture into the world of business began after graduation from Atlanta Public Magnet School Alonzo A. Crim, followed by additional vocational education courses and The Magnet Program of Entrepreneurship. She spent the next 16 years working for the Georgia Department of Revenue; serving as Chair for the State Charitable Contribution Program, and a team leader. She also worked on the governor of rapid process improvement project.

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Hardimon

Life took a turn when her son developed a disability; and the need to “level up” her success as a business owner was reinforced by that unfortunate event. She sharpened her skills for performance, project and quality management, using her talent for budgeting, coaching, and drive for positive results as the cornerstones for business creation. She attributes her ultimate success to setting high standards, fostering teamwork, the ability to handle pressure, and providing appropriate feedback. The ability to control her destiny and help others depended on pulling all of these elements together. The love of community and helping others has been evident for years. She volunteered to help with the enormous task of feeding the homeless in the metro Atlanta area on a monthly basis with the nonprofit organization called “Wandering to Nourishing Atlanta.” Her passion and commitment rests on her future goal to establish a non-profit organization for women in business and society by the year of 2017. She plans to invest all of the resources possible to assist women who desire to reach their full potential and excel in life. She is

devoted to leading others on the path of multicultural connections and influences to creatively live a more sustainable life. Being a member of Classy Living Society has given her one of the better-known benefits of volunteering – a direct impact in the community. Volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together and allows a connection to the community, making it a better place. Assisting in even the smallest of tasks can make a real difference in the lives of people and organizations in need. Dea believes volunteerism is a two-way street -- it adds value to self and family just as much as to the cause at hand. She further deems the dedication of time as a volunteer helps in making new friends, expanding her network, and boosts her social skills. Volunteerism has also provided a healthy boost to her self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction -- doing good deeds for others and the community provides a natural sense of accomplishment. She intimates that the better one feels about themselves, the more likely to have a positive view of life and future goals. Being the Renaissance woman that she is, Dea has also taken the time to pursue a personal passion by accepting the opportunity to play a variety of acting roles on The Mike Bend Show in Atlanta, Georgia. Beginning in December of 2014, she has appeared on four shows and also played a role in a television commercial. The ability to experience a personal dream come true is a way to live an enriched life. Dea Harris-Benson is a powerful and effective leader -- she sets a positive example for all to follow. The principles and values she passes along plant the seeds for great future leaders. The rare mix of committed successful business drive and compassion for the needs of others make her a valuable asset to all that are fortunate enough to cross her path. Dea Harris-Benson CTTS Logistics, Mableton, GA Email: CTTS.logistics@usa.com Telephone: 800-393-1860


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Dope Beads and candles

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It’s not every day that we have a chance to experience women in history like we did on Sunday, April 10. RC Fitnez Studio in Decatur opened their doors as Classy Living Society hosted a unique event that highlighted exemplary women who helped pave the way for our courageous leaders of today. Being able to participate in a “living museum” was not only extraordinary but in the tradition of CLS…it was truly classy. Brilliant, positive women were showcased in a way that brought their exceptional journey to life. CLS partnered with two dynamic groups -- Leading Ladies Atlanta and the PinkSTEM organization. The girls from these organizations were instrumental in helping bring forth the WIH vision. Our young leaders really got into character and demonstrated their outstanding skills. They not only dressed the part, but they were able to answer engaging and detailed questions about the women they represented. How remarkable is that! Collaborating with these special young ladies and their impressive groups is part of what continues to make CLS a stand out among women’s organizations. A grateful shout-out to Leading Ladies Atlanta and the PinkSTEM organization for their dedication and commitment to this noteworthy celebration of accomplished women! Guests had the opportunity to dialogue with the likes of Alice Coachman…the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, Jane Addams…a social worker and leader in women’s suffrage and world peace, Misty Copeland…an American ballet dancer for American Ballet Theatre, Padma Lakshmi…author/actress/model/ 40

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T.V. producer, Marlene Sanders…T.V. news correspondent/anchor/ producer, and Joanne Manaster…biology lecturer/video science reviewer/New Media Journalist. The conversations continued with Lisette Titre, video game developer, Tracy Chou, Pinterest software engineer, Malala Yousafzai, female education activist/Nobel Prize laureate, and Vanessa Morrison, Fox Animation Studios President. Topping off this fabulous afternoon was a prestigious corps of “one of a kind” vendors -- kudos goes out to Karen Seward…author and Organo gourmet products supplier, Lisa Rene’e…creator/owner at Dope Beads and Candles, Peggy Miller…creator/distributor of Simply Unique Jewels and Body Butters and Bars, Madia June…owner/consultant Traci Lynn Jewelry and Tracy West…creator/owner of Irresistible Pound Cakes. Did someone say raffle? Yes…the vendors treated the CLS members and guests to a raffle, making this event even more exciting! Just ask the winners! Our concessionaires’ offerings were plentiful and attendees definitely took advantage of all of the excellent shopping possibilities. Delectable treats were available for our tasting pleasure. We enjoyed an amazing, assorted popcorn station, punch bar, and decadent desserts along with other scrumptious surprises. Journee, our spoken word artist and poet, bestowed powerful and well-received words and rhyme of inspiration that quenched our souls. It was quite evident everyone was moved by the words and energy she shared.

A special thanks to those classy sisters who were able to donate hygiene kits, toiletries and other essential items for girls that benefited local female youth-based organizations. To sum it all up…the WIH event was epic, and so were the young ladies who participated in it. Thanks to all who came out and supported this classy endeavor. Last, but not least, a big show of appreciation to CLS for giving us a chance to explore these phenomenal women in history. It was truly an afternoon of fun and education for all! n Avis Pitts DES7GNMGZ CLASSY CHRONICLES

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CLASSY LIVING SOCIETY NEEDS YOUR HELP.

As we work diligently to play a part in positively influencing the lives of those in need within the Atlanta, Georgia metro area, we are asking you to find it in your hearts to donate to the movement. CLS continues to push forward in our community efforts to aid those who are less fortunate and in need of a helping hand. Your donations will strengthen the endeavors of our “foot soldiers” – providing a solid foundation to give back to others whose needs may otherwise be neglected. By partnering with CLS and making a donation, you are taking a stand! Go ahead…by making a difference today, your actions speak volumes. On behalf of those to whom we provide assistance, we are grateful for your giving – remember no donation is too small!

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Be a part of something bigger than yourself.

Join Classy Living Society TODAY! www.cls-volunteer.org 44

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Profile for Classy Living Society

Classy Chronicles, May/June 2016, Issue 12  

Classy Living Society welcomes Spring! In this our 12th Edition, you will be inspired and renewed by a new season! Want to spruce up your...

Classy Chronicles, May/June 2016, Issue 12  

Classy Living Society welcomes Spring! In this our 12th Edition, you will be inspired and renewed by a new season! Want to spruce up your...

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