More than 200 well-wishers and CDA supporters sing "Happy Birthday" at Mayor Jere Wood's birthday bash and fundraiser.
(click for larger version)
January 30, 2014
ROSWELL, Ga. – Mayor Jere Wood's 65th birthday is something of a milestone not only for him but for the city, since Wood has now spent nearly a third of his life in public life.
"Yes it is a milestone to reach 65, I suppose. But I'm in denial," Wood said. "Roswell is so energizing, every day I go to work I'm energized."
So it was left to his fiancée Claudia Graham to organize a birthday bash that would be a fundraiser for the Child Development Association as well. The 45-year-old CDA provides affordable early learning programs and childcare for preschool children of low-income working families in the metro Atlanta area.
The CDA prepares economically disadvantaged children for success in education and life. Its childcare services enable hardworking parents to maintain full-time employment to support their families.
CDA Director Donna Smythe said she was "thrilled" to have her organization associated with the mayor's party.
"The mayor is such a central figure in the city, and to open his home to us as part of this special occasion is incredibly generous. Claudia [Graham] planned it all. She has done a marvelous job," Smythe said.
Wood said he has always been a supporter of the CDA, but he could take no credit for the party.
"This was Claudia's idea from the beginning to end. She pulled it off," the mayor said.
What pleased him most was to see his mother's house on Stroup Road as the place for the celebration.
"It was designed by my brother to be a party house. So it is good to see the house filled with people and for such a good cause," Wood said.