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The Nature Conservancy’s 18th Annual Hoochie: Picnic for the Planet Gala Draws More Than 500 Guests

Yearly Earth Day Celebration Has Raised More Than $3 Million To Date For Conservation in Georgia

Atlanta, GA | April 19, 2012

The Nature Conservancy in Georgia (, a conservation organization working around the state to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people, celebrated its 18th annual Earth Day gala on Friday, April 13. The Hoochie: Picnic For the Planet was held at Tophat Soccer Fields in Buckhead and presented by Cox Enterprises. The environmentally-friendly gala drew more than 500 guests, who dined on a sustainable menu by Epting Events, and were entertained by a silent auction, interactive art gallery, birds of prey flight show, and live music. 

This was the first Hoochie for Mark Abner, The Nature Conservancy in Georgia’s new executive director. “It was an honor for me to spend such a wonderful evening with our patrons, sponsors and guests,” Abner said.  “It would not be possible to sustain our conservation projects without the generous support of our community.” 

The Hoochie regularly draws leaders in the environmental and conservation field as well as local notables, and this year was no exception. Guests included Sharon Collins of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Georgia Outdoors; Will Harris of White Oak Pastures; Denise Quarles, the new sustainability director for the City of Atlanta; Lance Gummere, renowned chef of The Shed at Glenwood; and author Charles Seabrook. 

Prior to the gala, Jennifer and Martin Flanagan hosted an exclusive reception for patrons and sponsors. 

This year’s celebration was chaired by Raymond Singletary as well as honorary chairs Dr. Tom and Ellen Harbin. Cox Enterprises was the presenting sponsor, and additional corporate sponsors included Georgia Power Company, Novelis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, McKenna Long & Aldridge Foundation, The Colonial Group, RockTenn Company, AGL Resources, The Coca-Cola Company, Perkins + Will, and MLT Creative. 

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About The Nature Conservancy:
In Georgia, the Conservancy has helped protect more than 305,000 acres across the state, and currently works to ensure a sustainable future for priority rivers, lands and the coast. To learn more, visit

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

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Trio Media Group
Brittney Storm
404-255-1970, ext. 110

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