Festive puppets mingled with well-dressed party goers at the recent String Fling, an annual fundraiser for the Center for Puppetry Arts.

The black-tie affair was held at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead, and raised more than $175,000, which goes toward ensuring “that children of all backgrounds have the opportunity to experience the unique educational opportunities that only the Center can provide,” says development manager Kerry Ayres Smith. In addition to enjoying a sit-down, three-course dinner, event goers bid on silent and live auction items such as a private cigar tutorial and tasting, a Porsche driving experience, memorabilia from the film The Dark Crystal and a photo shoot on the set of the Center’s upcoming production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In addition to posing with the puppets and puppeteers at the photo booth and as they mingled amongst the crowd, guests were given their own finger puppet upon check-in so they could play puppeteer themselves for the evening.

Photos: Randy McDow