On November 5, 2017, Kontrol Magazine had the pleasure of attending the 4th annual, Red Dress Gala, presented by Classy Living Society (CLS), held at the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Gateway Hotel in Atlanta, GA for the event. The foundation was organized in 2013 by founder and CEO, LaShanda D. Pitts. CLS is a membership driven organization that is committed to providing volunteer service opportunities. The organization has a hands-on relationship with the community, and hosts events such as the gala, for local charities. These events are nothing short of fun and fabulous.
The Red Dress Gala is one of the foundation’s Annual Awareness events.The purpose of the gala is to benefit charities within the community that CLS have a keen passion for and to pay homage to community driven organizations. You can’t talk about CLS without mentioning, LaShanda D. Pitts. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Mrs. Pitts was gracious enough to bring her passion for philanthropy and her vision for volunteerism to Atlanta, Georgia over 20 years ago. In 2014, one year after CLS was established, Mrs. Pitts expanded her organization by allowing virtual membership. With her amazing leadership, passion and drive, Mrs. Pitts has recruited 217 members in her CLS organization. According to Mrs. Pitts, she envisions becoming a household name in the world of volunteerism.
Having had my own interaction with Mrs. Pitts, I would like to say that I was extremely impressed at how interactive she was with each and every guest at the Red Dress Gala. It was my first time attending a CLS event, let alone a gala.
I had the honor of being accompanied by Kontrol Brand Coordinator, Chanel Scales. It was her first time attending a CLS event and gala as well. I had no idea what to expect, and as we stood in line to take a photo, a beautiful woman in red happily pulled us in for a hug. This woman, who neither of us had ever met, was genuinely excited to see us as if we were long-distance relatives. To our surprise this beautiful woman introduced herself as LaShanda D. Pitts. It was at that moment that I felt like I wanted to be a part of anything that Mrs. Pitts touched, including CLS.
As we continued to mingle, we enjoyed the amazing brunch set-up and the interaction with every beautiful and positive woman that filled the event. We took the time to speak with a few of the vendors that were set up at the gala which included nSpire Network and Shade Cosmetics.
The announcement for the ceremony gave everyone 10 minutes to begin making their way into the banquet room. Allow me to describe in vivid detail how these women gathered. I observed over 200 beautiful women smiling, laughing and enjoying the company of their sisters as they sashayed gracefully in their red dresses to their seats. In today’s world, that’s not a sight that you’re able to witness on a daily basis. It truly was a powerful and uplifting moment and the ceremony hadn’t even begun. The ceremony open with violinist Angelina Sherie, R&B songtress Regina Troupe, and comedian LadyQ, who was hostess for the event!
The gala recognized and awarded the Classy Living Award to a couple of Atlanta based nonprofit organizations. Both organizations are doing phenomenal work in the community. These organizations were, Angels of Epilepsy (Natalie Y. Beavers), My Three Sicklers (Mapillar Dahn).The room was filled with such love for these African-American women who are making a difference in the lives of sickle cell and epilepsy patients in the community.
Classy Living Society also presented several awards of recognition and appreciation to various Women Who Rock within the organization! Kudos to Agnes Rochelle Jamison, the recipient of the 2017 CLS Volunteer of the Year award! For her dedication and hard work, Agnes received an all expense paid trip to Santa Barbara, California, an excursion sponsored by CLS Travels in August of 2018. Agnes is an active, dedicated foot soldier in the community and has demonstrated selfless commitment to the giving back works of CLS. And she does it all with a smile! Congratulations Agnes! (CLS- email communication November 2017)
In addition, several other supporters were recognized and awarded for their outstanding contributions to CLS:
Tarrah Smith – Founding Sister
Ray Herman – Community Supporter
Takirah Jones – Community Supporter
Mizette Coakley – Community Supporter
Janine Lattimore – Editor in Chief
Tiffany Coppins – Events Manager
The commitment that this organization stands on was evident during the event. They are dedicated to maintaining an active presence in the community and unwavering support to nonprofit organizations. They are vested in the world of volunteerism. Prior to this event, I can’t say that I have been interested in being a part of an organization like CLS but after attending this event, I am definitely feeling that these are the caliber of women that I need by my side, front and back. If you are interested in volunteering and becoming a member, or simply would like to learn more about Classy Living Society please visit their website at http://cls-volunteer.org