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Dems plan annual gala celebration

CONYERS -- Dignitaries including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed are scheduled to appear at the Rockdale County Democratic Party's annual Formal Gala Celebration to be held in Olde Town Conyers next month.

The second annual Gala will be held 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. April 24. Unlike last year's event, which was held at a mansion in Wellington Creek Estates, the gala will be held across three different locations in Olde Town Conyers -- Club 908 and Borage Grill on Commercial Street and Sharon's Mansion Restaurant on Railroad Street.

The gala is a major fundraiser for the local Democratic Party. Admission is $75 for a VIP ticket, $100 at the door, and $50 for general tickets, $75 at the door. Admission also includes a donation of two children's books for local schools. A single ticket will have access to all venues.

Rockdale County Democratic Party Chairman Stan Williams said the idea of spreading out the party's annual celebration across multiple venues was to spotlight the sense of community in Conyers and Rockdale County. That goes with the theme of this year's gala, "One Community -- One Goal." Live entertainment, beverages and food at all three venues are designed to bring a street party feel to the event.

"We want people come out and see what Olde Town is all about to support the businesses there," Williams said. "It's all about coming together as one community."

The gala is also an opportunity for the local Democrats to recognize those who have contributed to the community during the past year. It begins with a VIP cocktail reception at Borage Grill from 4 to 6 p.m. From 5 to 8 p.m., an Education and Team Awards Celebration will be held at Club 908 and will include Rockdale County Commission Chairman Richard Oden, Conyers Mayor Randy Mills, Rockdale County Schools Superintendent Samuel King and others.

From 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., the gala continues with a celebration of awards in government, human services, faith-based, community service and humanitarian areas. Those scheduled to appear include Sen. Ronald Ramsey, D-Lithonia, Alcovy Judicial Circuit Court Judge Horace J. Johnson, former Rockdale County Chief of Staff and current candidate for U.S. Senate R.J. Hadley and others.

Along with Reed other guests invited include, Ambassador Ozichi Joel Alimole, former high commissioner of Nigeria to Singapore; L.Y. Marlow, author; Vin Martin, Jamaica consul general to Georgia; Jewel Scott, former Clayton County district attorney; Harold V. Jones, former solicitor general of Augusta-Richmond County, Mike Tidwell, dean of the School of International Business at Clayton State University; Earl G. Yarborough, president of Savannah State University; and Orlando T. Hudson, second baseman with the Minnesota Twins.

Tickets are available up to a few days before the gala and can be purchased online. Sponsorships for a souvenir journal of the gala are also available. For more information, e-mail gala@rockdalecountydemocraticparty.org or go to www.rockdalecountydemocraticparty.org.