Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week invites locals and commuters alike to “stay and play” in Downtown Atlanta this summer. During the week of July 27 to August 4, visitors can enjoy delectable dishes from Restaurant Week’s more than 38 participating locations, and also experience a myriad of concerts, sporting events and exhibits in the heart of Atlanta.
I had the privilege of sitting down with Steve Hightower for an intimate interview last week. As I entered the Steve Hightower salon I was greeted by the front desk manager, David Whaley, where I was shown to the eloquent waiting area. Mr. Hightower arrived promptly welcoming me with a personal tour of his full service salon and spa. They offer a variety of beauty treatments including Hair, Makeup, Manicures, Pedicures as well as Massages. They even offer facial treatments carrying a full line of Repêchage products. Not to be forgotten is my personal favorite, the eyelash extensions, which are strategically applied one lash at a time.
We sat back down in the waiting area where I proceeded to conduct an interview. I had to ask about his charity work in the Thriving Children’s Gala, which I had the privilege of attending this past April. This year’s gala was held at the magnificent 200 Peachtree, located in the heart of Downtown Atlanta. This red carpet event brought out Atlanta’s Elite. As guests arrived, they were greeted by the sound of a live orchestra and an opportunity to bid in a silent auction all while sampling a variety of hors d’oeuvres. Afterwards, guests enjoyed the upbeat tunes of PBS’ Laughing Pizza followed by a spectacular and one-of-a-kind Fashion and Hair Showcase. The gala’s theme for this year was Jim Henson’s ‘The Muppets’ in which the Master of Ceremonies was none other than Leslie Jordan. This event will truly be the talk of the town for years to come.
This led me to my first question, “Why a Charity Gala?” Mr. Hightower paused before replying “I wanted to help bring awareness to small, local charities that often go unnoticed. So many people are willing to contribute to the well-known or overseas charities yet neglect the ones in their neighboring communities.”
Next, I ask “How many charities have been affected by The Thriving Children’s Gala and what is his personal level of involvement with charities outside of the once a year benefit?” He Smiles before saying “I am 100% involved with all five charities that are benefiting from Thriving Children Foundation. Last year’s gala raised over $88,000.00 for the children.”
I then inquire “How long did it take to produce the one-of-a-kind event?” “One year and the first meeting is on Monday!” Mr. Hightower replied without breaking a sweat. He gives credit to his glam squad who, according to him, promotes the upcoming Gala 12 months in advance and is also responsible for creating the hair and makeup looks for all the models that grace the runway.
Finally I closed with “What is your greatest accomplishment and who encouraged you along your journey?” Again a moment of silence or pause if you will, as he leaned forward teary-eyed and saying “My greatest accomplishment is that I have made both of my parents proud. It was made very clear that the loving acceptance of two very loving and nurturing parents made all the difference in the life of one Mr. Steve Hightower.” The Alabama native also gives credit to his partner of 18 years, Mr. David Whaley for sticking with him through thick and thin.
Always wanting to end on a high note, I ask for ‘Words of Wisdom’ according to Steve Hightower. He said in a serious tone, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Give and you shall receive. Listen to those around you, and just you might learn a thing or two.” If you want to find out more information on the gala or the charities, visit his website http://www.atlthrivingchildren.com
By Jillianne Banks