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Clothing Boutique Changes Lives Helping women and children is at the heart of Fab'rik

Mickey Goodman

Tower Lights Up the Community The Spinola family, left to right: Ryder, 5; Angelo; Lincoln, 7; Asher, 3; Dana and Hudson, 9, put their hearts into Fab'rik boutique.

Buckhead resident Dana Spinola left corporate America in 2006 to follow her dream of owning a clothing boutique “with a heart,” where women could afford to look beautiful. Her store, Fab’rik, not only offers affordable wares in 40 locations, but has a nonprofit arm. “I believe clothing can change lives, and I have seen it in the faces of women we work with in Atlanta’s safe houses,” Spinola says. “Through our nonprofit, Free Fab’rik, launched in 2010, we offer free weekly shopping sprees along with a fashion show to help women regain their self worth.” Another one of the entrepreneur’s passions is partnering with Project 82 Kenya to support an

orphanage in that country. The inspiration came when she and her husband, Angelo, adopted a baby girl from Ethiopia whom they called Asher, a name that became synonymous with a trendy line of Fab’rik clothing. Net profits from every Asher sale go to the orphanage where abandoned children receive basic needs until “forever families” are found. “Kristi Parris is the designer and heart behind the Asher line,” Spinola says. “Every piece of clothing has a tag with a particular child’s story and photo, so customers feel that their purchases have made a difference in a child’s life.” l For more information, visit fabrikstyle.com.

Giving back is second nature to its owner Michael Greenbaum, owner of Tower Beer, Wine and Spirits, wants to do far more than just sell beverages. Known for helping underserved people and organizations such as United Way and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Buckhead business owner rarely turns down a request. He’s also inspired his employees to embrace the spirit of giving. Wearing bright-yellow shirts with the imprint “Tower Lights: Making Our Community a Little Brighter,” Greenbaum, his wife, Anne, and employees volunteer once a month at nonprofits throughout the city. “Each year, I’m trying to take it a little deeper by working with the United Way that recommends organizations with the greatest needs,” he says.

Michael Greenbaum's corporate model includes giving back to the community that has supported Tower Beer, Wine and Spirits throughout the years.

Tower’s biggest annual philanthropic event each December is the Tower of Talent that gives gifted kids a place to showcase their talents. “The kids audition, much like contestants on 'American Idol', and the level of the performances is extraordinary. Several kids have gone on to professional careers in movies, TV, Broadway and even Carnegie Hall,” Greenbaum says. One-hundred percent of the gross proceeds from the event go directly to CHOA for music therapy. “I want patients to experience the power and healing benefits of music,” he says. “Over the last three years, we’ve raised nearly $1 million.” l For more information, visit towerwinespirits.com.

Fighting the Deadliest Childhood Cancer Buckhead family funds cutting-edge research When 2-year-old Ian, the son of Cheryl and Phil Yagoda of Buckhead, was diagnosed with a lesion in his brainstem, the couple was stunned to learn there was no cure. Desperate to find a way to help Ian and the 40,000 other kids in the U.S. living with brain and spinal cord tumors, they established Ian’s Friends Foundation (IFF) to fund cutting-edge research. “In September, the CDC named brain cancers the deadliest form of childhood cancer, surpassing leukemia,” says Phil Yagoda. “It makes our work even more imperative.”

At 12, Ian is thriving. “Doctors call him a miracle child, but most children are not that fortunate. Every time he has an MRI, we hold our breath,” his father says. “A major problem is that scientists don’t share information. To encourage joint ventures, we started the IFF Pediatric Brain Tumor Biorepository at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) that offers free tissue samples to research hospitals across the U.S. These efforts enable us to crosspollinate research information between institutions,” Yagoda says. One of the most significant results of IFF's funding has

been a project called the "tumor monorail." With the exciting results from this project, it is possible for a tumor to be moved from an inoperable place to one that is more easily treated. Developed through a collaboration between Georgia Tech, CHOA and Emory University, the discovery won the prestigious Eureka Award from the National Institutes of Health. The next step is getting it to human trials and one day finding a cure. l For more information and to donate, visit iansfriendsfoundation.com.

Cheryl and Phil Yagoda have raised millions to fund pediatric brain and spinal cord research to aid 40,000 children in the U.S.

Want to nominate a volunteer, company or nonprofit that makes Buckhead, Sandy Springs or Brookhaven a better place to live? Please contact: editor@simplybuckhead.com

January/February 2017 | Simply Buckhead 

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Simply Buckhead January/February 2017