May 2023 Newsletter

To give aid and encouragement in promoting the education and welfare of at-risk children in the state of Georgia.

Dear Circle Members,

Congratulations and thank you for a successful 2022-2023! At our Spring General Meeting on May 4 we presented City of Refuge with a $90,000 donation. We are also dispersing over $30,000 in scholarship money. 

Thank you for the various ways you supported The Circle, for finding your role this year. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the vastness of the need and our own busy lives. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to help at risk GA children. Problems can be solved and children can be helped when we come together in community. When we live in more affluent communities there are lots of helpers and investments; strong civic institutions, parents who volunteer to coach or run the PTA, family resources for tutors and therapists, and safe shared green space in parks and sports fields, to name a few. The Circle provides a channel for helping our beneficiaries to create community for socioeconomically disadvantaged children.

As you know, City of Refuge does transformative work, wrapping multiple services around their residents and members of the community. COR has taken over the private middle/high school that has been operating on their campus. It will expand one grade at a time from 5th grade down to PreK, with the vision of a community child enrolling in the COR daycare program as a baby and someday graduating from the high school. The daycare and school operate on scholarships, free to the families who use them who are also aware of the value of the benefit they receive. The majority, about 65%, of City of Refuge's budget comes from individual donors. Money raised one donor at a time to help one child at a time. Thank you for being a piece of the puzzle this year. As Thoreau said, investments in children are the only ones that never fail.

If you wonder which of our revenue streams are the most important, they all are. Our profits are from the Gala Auction (31%), Gala Sponsorships (29%), Golf Tournament (28%), Purse Auction (7%) and other miscellaneous donations (5%). All of our major events are important and every dollar counts. The proceeds from the purse auction alone can provide basic services for 14 families at COR for six months, the average length of stay for children living on campus in the shelter.

Our next fundraiser is the 2024 Golf Tournament on Monday October 23 at Indian Hills Country Club. The Golf Tournament has a lot of room for growth if we all focus on recruiting sponsors and players. We also have a summer volunteer opportunity on the calendar; The City of Refuge Back to School Bash on Wednesday July 26. Save the dates! I hope you are all inspired to return to The Circle next year so we can continue to multiply the impact of our philanthropy and volunteering as we approach our 100th anniversary. 

One last shout out to the 2022-2023 Executive Board and Chairs. I absolutely could not have done my job without them. There is a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge, creativity, and commitment among our board members. Thank you all, words cannot express my appreciation for all you have done.

It was an honor to serve as President and I'm delighted to pass the gavel to Kristin Harbison who brings her own unique talents and passions to the role. She's going to be amazing and I know you all will support her as you supported me. 

Have a wonderful summer, 

Belinda Vogel

2023-2024 President 

P.S. There is a trip to Tallulah Falls School May 15, continuing reading for the details!

Click Here for the Full Calendar of events!


COR Back to School Bash

Wednesday, July 26

City of Refuge


Golf Tournament Fundraiser

Monday, October 23

Indian Hills Country Club

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We presented Edward Phillips and Katie Monson from the City of Refuge with a $90,000 donation at the Spring General Meeting. That’s enough to provide 100 families with shelter, meals, and childcare for one year. Thank you Circle Members for your generosity and all the ways you made our donation possible. In the first quarter of 2023 City of Refuge has already served 271 kids with dignity and love through the residential, childcare, and after school programs.

To learn more about City of Refuge, check out their quarterly impact report!

Congratulations to our new officers and Board members

for The Circle for Children 2023-2024!


Kristin Harbison


Polly Hogue


Linda Keogler


Mary Beth Wegener and Alyson Horn


Emily Lemmy, Abigail Lemmy (Rita Furness, Pat Iaffaldano)


Cynthia Dolezal


Sarah Davis


Diane Miller


Kimberly Johnson


Rita Furness

Martha Bechtel

Peggy Fulghum

Janie Kissling

Kim Sherk

Sally Davis

Thanks to the Nominating Committee for their work in getting this exciting slate and to Danielle Houret-Lam for leading the induction ceremony at the General meeting!


Summer Volunteer Opportunity!

We will be assisting out with City of Refuge's Back to School Bash!

Save the Date: July 26

We will be sending out more information about this

volunteer opportunity and signups this summer!

A cut above: Devereux Georgia salon helps youth boost self-confidence

Devereaux has highlighted the salon renovations made possible by previous support from the Circle for Children in their coporate newsletter!

Click Here for Full Story


We are dispersing $32K in scholarships this year including reissuing $2K from last fiscal year that went unused due to an issue with transferring credits. The total also includes $3K from member Susan Bixler who generously offered to serve as a benefactor to Anna for her last two years of eligibility.

This thoughtful donation enabled us to select three recipients this year; Madisyn, Emma B. and Emma J. All grew up with single mothers living on very low incomes. They maintained unweighted GPAs above 3.5 while working and participating in multiple extra-curricular activities. All attended Tallulah Falls School (TFS) on scholarships. Diane Miller will present their scholarships on May 18 at TFS.



School: Young Harris

Major: Biology

Status: Graduating


School: Piedmont College

Major: Education

Status: Rising 5th year


School: GA Southern

Major: Anthropology

Status: Rising Senior


School: Kennesaw State

Major: Psychology

Status: Rising Senior


School: North Georgia

Major: Business

Status: Rising Junior

Ming Le

School: GA Southern

Major: Mechanical Eng.

Status: Rising Sophomore


School: UGA

Major: Ag Communications

Status: Rising Sophomore


School: Emory

Major: Psych/PreMed

Status: Rising Sophomore


School: TBD

Major: Nursing

Status: Rising Freshman

Emma B.

School: North Georgia

Major: Nursing

Status: Rising Freshman

Emma J.

School: TDB

Major: Psychology

Status: Rising Freshman


Would you like to join us for a Circle trip back through history on May 15 to Tallulah Falls School?

The Tallulah Falls staff will take us on a nostalgic tour of the school where we got our beginnings as a group in 1927. They will also point out all the circles all around the campus that are symbolic for our group. We will eat lunch there and have an opportunity to meet the President and hear about all the improvements and progress the school has made.

Our group will leave about 8:00 AM and carpool so we could be there by 10:00. We typically get home by 3:00 PM. It is a fun day.!!!

If you are interested in joining the trip, contact Janie Kissling at or 404-483-2838 to let her know you can come and to discuss carpool ideas. 

East Cobb City Lifestyle highlighted a Night at the Met in the City Scene from the May Issue. See page 8!

East Cobb City Lifestyle May 2023

Click Here to See Photos from A Night at the Met!

Access the Directory online with new Password! The directory of active Circle members can now be viewed on our website.

For the privacy of all members, the directory is password protected. You can access the directory under the membership tab on the website.

Ellen Foster 1-May

Sterling Lanken 1-May

Emily Lemmy 8-May

Che Frost 15-May

Linda Keogler 31-May

Betts Fisher 1-Jun

Carrie Kissling 3-Jun

Jody Kissling 3-Jun

Laura Price 12-Jun

Kayla Dicus 19-Jun

If your birthday (month and day) is not in the Circle directory, please email that information. We would love to acknowledge that special day.

Circle Celebration Fund
Can't think of a gift for a friend? Consider donating to the Circle Celebration Fund in their name. A lovely acknowledgment will be sent to the honoree informing them of the donation you made in their name. Please contact if you would like to donate.
Circle Correspondence
Please send any Circle Correspondence to for announcements of births, loss of loved ones, outstanding events or illnesses. Please include the individual's address so the corresponding secretary can send the appropriate correspondence. Also, indicate if the information should be posted in the newsletter.


Kroger Community Rewards will donate a portion of your grocery purchase total to The Circle for Children.Please sign up for a Kroger Card the next time you're grocery shopping and link it to The Circle for Children.

To link your Kroger card go to and login to access "My Account". Under "Community" select "Community Awards" then click the "link card" button. Then, search for "The Circle for Children" or enter number, CX636. You can also call Kroger at 1-800-562-4438 and they will sign you up over the phone.
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