“Puppet Masquerade” was the theme of this year’s String Fling, a fundraiser held at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead on behalf of the Center for Puppetry Arts.

Even the characters from the center’s in-house puppet shop who were in attendance—and posed for pics with many of the 275 attendees—donned top hats and festive masks. There was also a musical puppet tribute to this year’s honorees, longtime arts supporters Dean DuBose Smith and Bronson Smith. Upon arrival, guests were handed a glass of bubbly, then enjoyed a three-course dinner of seasonal, local fare. The auction items included a lunch with former UGA coach Vince Dooley, a luxe St. Lucia vacation at the St. James’s Club and a New York City getaway featuring a tour of The Jim Henson Company where the puppets for Sesame Street are created. In all, the event raised $200,000, which goes toward the center’s continuing efforts to provide entertaining and educational programming for all ages.

Photos: Randy McDow