The Atlanta Chapter was organized on June 30, 1976. Thirty-three people met in an auditorium at The Coca-Cola Company. Mr. Wilbur Kurtz (the archivist of The Coca-Cola Company) was the host and advisor, providing door prizes for the first meeting. He gave each attendee a Lillian Nordica tray, a gold company seal and a certificate. Officers were elected, meetings planned and a newsletter created. It was decided to meet every other month at Agnes Scott College.
Because of inadequate parking and curfew time, we moved to the Decatur Recreation Center and voted to meet every month. Eventually the Chapter moved to Perimeter Mall, 2 banks, the Lawrenceville Highway YMCA, St. Luke's Presbyterian Church and now we meet at the Smyrna Community Center. Our meetings have been informative, varied and interesting. We have continued the tradition of doorprizes at each meeting since the very first one at The Coca-Cola Company. Through the years, we have added field trips to Chattanooga Glass, The Coca-Cola Company, Stone Mountain laser shows, baseball games, Ichauway Plantation, the Don Russell Clayton Gallery viewing Menaboni Art and the World of Coca-Cola, plus annual fall Picnics and Christmas parties.
Our first banquet was held in the spring of 1977, at Valle's Steak House. There were about 75 members and guests present. Notably attending were Bob Buffalo (the founder of the national organization, The Cola Clan), William Bass of The Coca-Cola Company, Dick McChesney (President of the first chapter - Minnesota) and the Poppenheimer Clan from Memphis. Following this banquet, The Atlanta Chapter decided to host an annual convention.
Our first convention was held at the Airport Holiday Inn with a proposed budget of $30.00. Mary Armstrong and Scott Brown were elected as the Chairpersons. The second convention was held at the Sheraton Airport in 1979. These conventions were scheduled in conjunction with the Lakewood Flea Market so the sellers could set up there. "Room Hopping" was growing in popularity and having outgrown the banquet rooms, we moved north to the Marriott Perimeter. Springtime in Atlanta moved again to its present home at The Ravinia in 1987.
The Atlanta Chapter continues to have one member, Robert Gerwig, who has attended every national convention since its inception in 1975. We have also many members who have served on the national board, including past Presidents - Alice Fisher, John Buchholz, and Karleen Buchholz.
Written by Mary Armstrong 1990
Updated by Vickie Fisher 2010