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Holiday Fundraiser at Transfiguration Catholic

Dec. 18 event will provides gifts and necessities for children at Christmas in the memory of a Lassiter High School graduate.

Local charity foundation 79 + 1 will host its third annual Christmas Fundraiser
on Tuesday, Dec. 18 to raise money for gifts for less fortunate children during the holidays.

Founded by long-time Marietta residents Rodney and Kathy Metzer, 79 + 1 Charities partners with three community churches to provide gifts and necessities for children at Christmas.

The 2012 Christmas Fundraiser will take place at Transfiguration Catholic Church from 7-10 p.m. on Dec. 18. Tickets are $35 per person or $100 for a family of four.

The evening will include dinner provided by Williamson Brothers Barbecue, beer and wine, live entertainment by the band FLYER, a silent auction featuring more than 100 items, and raffle drawings for gift cards to local establishments.

The fundraiser started in 2010 with a party at the Metzer home in their East Cobb neighborhood. The event raised $4,500 for Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church and St. Philip's United Methodist Church to provide gifts for children.

In 2011, the fundraiser was moved to Transfiguration and raised $27,000 for Mt. Bethel, St. Philip's and Transfiguration to provide gifts. This year, the foundation has added Johnson Ferry Baptist Church as a fourth church to receive a portion of the funds raised.

“The Christmas Fundraiser was started in memory of Kevin Charles’ love for Christmas and the giving tree at school. Every year he would bring home 10 or more items from the giving tree, and when I asked him why so many, he always replied with ‘why not?,' " said Kathy Metzer, mother of Kevin Charles Metzer and founder of 79 + 1 Charities.

“He loved to help as many kids during Christmas as he could and would often buy 10-15 gifts every year for the giving tree.”

Kevin Charles Metzer graduated in 2008 from Lassiter High School, where he wore the number 79 for the football team and received many honors as offensive tackle. He passed away at the age of 19 on Christmas Eve in 2009 after fighting leukemia for more than a year.

In March 2011, Kevin Charles’ older brother Rod and his wife Morgan welcomed their first child and named him Kevin William in memory of his late uncle. Rod and Morgan often referred to baby Kevin as their “plus one.” Kevin William was born with severe heart defects and passed away at 19 days old on April 2, 2011.

“The support and involvement received from our Marietta family for 79 + 1 has shown us that my son has not been forgotten and his memory remains alive,” said Kathy Metzer. “His life and the life of my grandson were not lived without purpose and they have left a profound impact on our community.”

To purchase tickets for the 2012 Christmas Fundraiser or make a tax-deductible donation to the foundation, please visit www.79Plus1.com. To become involved with the organization, contact Kathy Metzer at metzer79plus1@aol.com.



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