Inaugural Beloved Benefit Raises $5M for Atlanta's Westside
Monday, March 25th, 2019
The inaugural Beloved Benefit raised more than $5 million, while shining a spotlight on the ongoing revitalization of Atlanta's historic Westside. With all event costs underwritten by the Chick-fil-A Foundation and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, funds raised will directly benefit nonprofits serving the Westside community and its legacy residents.
The March 21 event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium was inspired by the idea of the Beloved Community – to love, respect and trust each other without bias – preached by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. More than 2,000 Atlantans gathered together to cultivate sustainable change and shape Atlanta's legacy as a city committed to creating a community free of poverty, hunger and homelessness.
"Dr. King gave us a powerful idea many years ago when he spoke of the Beloved Community. It is a place that makes the needs of others become our needs, too. It is an idea that love can bring miracles in the hearts of all people," said Dan Cathy, chairman and CEO, Chick-fil-A. "We are inspired to see the fulfillment of Dr. King's vision. There is a lot of great work going on in our city, but our passion here is focused on the fulfillment of the Beloved Community and that work begins for me in Atlanta's historic Westside. This inaugural event is a new Atlanta tradition to celebrate Dr. King's ideas and ideals."
Speakers, presenters and performers included family members of Dr. King (his daughter Rev. Bernice King and granddaughter Yolanda Renee King); comedians Steve Harvey and Jeff Foxworthy; elected officials Congressman John Lewis and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; faith leaders Rabbi Peter Berg and Justin Giboney; athletes Darlington Nagbe and Maya Moore; gospel singers Casey J and Kierra Sheard; business leaders Steve Cannon and Dan Cathy. The star-studded entertainers included Grammy-winning recording artist Bruno Mars, as well as British singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé, who performed "Hope," her stunning song about Dr. King.
The benefit honored local nonprofits who are working, volunteering, building and creating new opportunities on Atlanta's Westside. Benefit proceeds were given to the following beneficiaries:
The At-Promise Youth and Community Center
City of Refuge
Grove Park Foundation
The Westside Future Fund
In addition, event presenters announced recipients for 10 Community Beacon Awards. Presented by the SunTrust Foundation, the following award recipients are grassroots, nonprofit organizations that are working across Westside communities:
The Atlanta Music Project
Antioch Urban Ministries, Inc.
Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation
Good Samaritan Health Center
Quest Community Housing
Veterans Empowerment Organization
West Atlanta Watershed Alliance
"Across the Blank Family of Businesses, we embody six core values, including putting people first. This benefit has allowed diverse members of our community to come together to support and honor those in Atlanta's historic Westside," said Steve Cannon, CEO, AMB Group. "Our goal is to heighten awareness for the beloved Atlanta community and continue to work together to positively impact their lives."
Additional event sponsors included The Home Depot Foundation, Georgia Power, Peach Bowl, Inc., WestRock Foundation, AT&T Communications, Choate Construction Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Sunkist, Kaiser Permanente and UPS.