Sat, May 25, 2024

CSRA Community Kicks Off Inaugural Event to Look Forward

The organization working to make North Augusta a community of choice to live, work, and play, is kicking off a new fundraiser.

North Augusta Forward has scheduled its inaugural Melodies & Masterpieces event on Feb. 10 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It will feature chefs from the city’s well-known restaurants, along with music, art, and an auction.

Avery Spears-Mahoney, Director of the non-profit organization, told ABD the funds will go toward the organization’s strategic initiatives. She said it is difficult to gauge how much they could bring in with this never-before event.

“But equally as important as raising funds is raising awareness about what we do, and the work that we do in the community that sometimes people don’t realize we’re behind. So, that’s equally as important to us as the fundraising component of it,” she said.

One project North Augusta Forward is involved with is the recently announced, multi-million dollar specialty clinic coming to the former Medac Building.

“We, North Augusta Forward, owned the carpet shop property and the adjacent vacant lot that will be phase one of Beacon Bluff,” she explained. “We held on to those properties for years until we found the right developer that would develop those in a fashion that would be most appropriate for downtown in our efforts to revitalize downtown.”

That developer was Brett Brannon, President of Palmetto Peach Development, LLC. Brannon is also chairman of North Augusta Forward. Step one was for Brannon to begin the Beacon Bluff project, turning the historic carpet shop and skating rink on Georgia Avenue into a multi-use building to house apartments, retail, and office space.

Beacon Bluff is walking distance to the vacant Medac building, where Augusta Oncology announced plans on Jan. 11 to locate a state-of-the-art multispecialty clinic.

“Now with this development, it’s just going to drive the demand for that further, it will be a very symbiotic relationship,” Brannon said. “People who come here, patients and their family members, may go across the street and have lunch or have dinner or shopping in the retail shops. I think it’s going to be a win-win.”

The combined projects, including equipment for the multispecialty clinic, represent a $43 million investment and will create up to 250 new jobs.

Brannon also saw it as a way to preserve one of North Augusta’s historic buildings and connect it to the city’s future.

“You look down toward the river and you see the future and continued development of that riverfront, then you look back the other way, and you see the history and our progress in that original downtown,” he said. “One of the special things that I’ve wanted to do, particularly as we’ve taken some of the keystones out of that carpet shop building, we’re going to place those in the new buildings. Then, we’re going to take some of the new materials and place them along the edge of the original roller rink to marry those two things together.”

 North Augusta Forward was founded at the start of the 21st century as North Augusta 2000. Its mission was to enhance the quality of life in the city. Since then, it has expanded to include development, redevelopment, and downtown revitalization.

“The mission was quality of life, enhancing the quality of life, and that’s still our focus today. But that takes many forms and has over the years. So, working to redevelop and revitalize downtown is extremely important to us. And then, cultivating community leaders through our Leadership North Augusta program,” Spears-Mahoney said.

Money raised through the Melodies & Masterpiece event will go toward supporting the organization’s continued goals of improving quality of life and growing North Augusta.

Tickets are $125 for Young Patron (35 and under), $150 for an individual ticket, and include dinner featuring small plates by chefs from Salt+Marrow, Manuel’s Bread Cafe, Brinkley’s Chop House, Blue Collard and Sheila’s Baking Co., an open bar and opportunities to purchase original artwork from local artists Jason Craig and Becca Lyn.

There is also a $250 VIP ticket that includes an exclusive pre-event tasting experience with Town Square Olive Oil + Wine.

For more information and to purchase tickets go to: https://northaugustaforward.org/melodies/.

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