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Legendary Andrew Young Inspires Celebrity Luncheon Guests

This year’s GSO Celebrity Luncheon will be remembered as one of its best, thanks to Ambassador Andrew Young, who delivered the keynote address. The sold-out event took place on March 18, 2023, at the Marietta Country Club.

The excitement inside the venue was palpable as both longtime GSO patrons and first-time supporters awaited the living legend’s deeply personal and thought-provoking remarks.  

Guests also became acquainted with the artist, author, musician or business leader they had chosen to dine with while enjoying a specially created three-course menu prepared by the club’s executive chef, Gary Sanderson.

In addition to Ambassador Young, this year’s notable included: 

  • Emily Carpenter – best-selling author of Burying the Honeysuckle Girls 
  • Claire Dunaway Cyr – artist represented at dk Gallery
  • Matt DeBusschere – owner of Marietta Melt Yard and food columnist for the Marietta Daily Journal
  • Courtenay Collins – cast member of original Broadway production of The Prom
  • A.J. Gnuse – best-selling author of inaugural novel, Girl in the Walls
  • Kim Gresh – owner and president of S.A. White Oil Company, Inc.
  • Okorie (OkCello) Johnson – Atlanta-based cellist and composer
  • Karla Harris – internationally-recognized and local favorite GSO Jazz! vocalist 
  • Missy Owen — founder of The Zone and Davis Direction Foundation
  • Topher Payne – Atlanta-based playwright and screenwriter
  • Chris Savas – photographer of business, music, political and sports icons
  • Bobby Thomas – co-founder of Red Hare Brewery and Distillery
  • Tanya Twaddell – first female deputy chief of the Marietta Police Department  
  • Bill Waldrop — daylily expert and nationally recognized hybridizer
  • Lori Wilson – news anchor, WSB-TV

Patrons also were able to indulge themselves from among a wide array of silent and live auction goodies, such as rare trinkets and tidbits, stunning fine art and everyday splurges.

Proceeds from the event will allow the GSO to continue delivering classical, jazz and pop concerts of high-quality choral and instrumental music, and inspiring and educating young musicians through the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra—one of the 10 largest such programs in the country. 

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