Sid Kirschner Turns 87 at the Buckhead Club
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Sid Kirschner Turns 87 at the Buckhead Club

The annual celebration has grown to include colleagues, business friends, family — all the special people in Kirschner’s life.

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

  • Sid Kirschner takes great joy in being surrounded by mishpocha and friends. // Credit: Glenny Brown Photography
    Sid Kirschner takes great joy in being surrounded by mishpocha and friends. // Credit: Glenny Brown Photography
  • J. Wilbur Smith had to scurry at the last minute to get a cake. // Glenny Brown Photography
    J. Wilbur Smith had to scurry at the last minute to get a cake. // Glenny Brown Photography
  • J. Wilbur Smith’s décor built on Carole’s idea of black and white with orange splashes. // J. Wilbur Smith EventScapes
    J. Wilbur Smith’s décor built on Carole’s idea of black and white with orange splashes. // J. Wilbur Smith EventScapes
  • Smith’s exotic florals created a warm ambiance. // J. Wilbur Smith EventScapes
    Smith’s exotic florals created a warm ambiance. // J. Wilbur Smith EventScapes
  • Carole (left) greets favorite Atlantans Judy Cohen Kogon, Sherry and Harry Maziar (right). // Glenny Brown Photography
    Carole (left) greets favorite Atlantans Judy Cohen Kogon, Sherry and Harry Maziar (right). // Glenny Brown Photography
  • Carole arranged for “King” Sid Kirschner to have a throne to greet guests. // Glenny Brown Photography
    Carole arranged for “King” Sid Kirschner to have a throne to greet guests. // Glenny Brown Photography
  • The 87 scroll at the entrance matched the invitations. // Credit: J. Wilbur Smith EventScapes
    The 87 scroll at the entrance matched the invitations. // Credit: J. Wilbur Smith EventScapes

“Serial retiree” Sid Kirschner believes that birthdays are meant to be celebrated. His annual celebration started when his late wife, Judy, planned a surprise 40th birthday party at their home with friends and neighbors.

Guests were excited to have something to celebrate during the holiday season, a week before Christmas. The party has grown every year to include colleagues, business friends, family — all the special people in Kirschner’s life.

J. Wilbur Smith had to scurry at the last minute to get a cake. // Glenny Brown Photography

Looking back, his wife, Carole, said, “Like almost everything that was planned in 2020, that party was limited to family, with everyone vaccinated. This year was affected, with several guests requesting a ‘rain check.’ Guests were from the 50 years Sid’s lived in Atlanta, several doctors and executives from all walks of life.”

“Once you’re invited,” Sid said, “you never get off ‘the list.’”

J. Wilbur Smith’s décor built on Carole’s idea of black and white with orange splashes. // J. Wilbur Smith EventScapes

Kirschner started his career in 1973 at National Service Industries with Erwin Zaban and Milton Weinstein. Twenty years later, he retired and almost immediately went to work at Northside Hospital for the next twelve years; then he retired again! Kirschner subsequently became head of school at The Davis Academy. Five years later, he retired again — then he went back to work at Piedmont Hospital. Each organization grew and prospered under Kirschner’s leadership.

Initially, the party was celebrated at home, with catering by Affairs to Remember. As the number of guests increased, it moved to other venues, including restaurants and special facilities like “The Estate” and — most recently — the Buckhead Club.

J. Wilbur Smith’s EventScapes has been a constant vendor with glam décor. Over the years, the theme of the party has been coordinated to match the invitation.

“Smith’s crew makes every effort to avoid having the party look like a holiday celebration,” Carole said. “One year he had to hide the four 20-foot-tall Christmas trees in the room. This year’s theme was built around the number 87 — done primarily in black and white with splashes of orange.”

Carole (left) greets favorite Atlantans Judy Cohen Kogon, Sherry and Harry Maziar (right). // Glenny Brown Photography

“When I started talking to Carole about the theme, she said ‘orange’,” Smith said. “I waited to hear the story! Sid had a favorite orange scarf to wear to the party. So we chose to heavily accent that in a unique way — pomanders of white and orange flowers on the guest tables and orange floral designs on the buffets. Throughout the room was orange uplighting. The entrance was flanked with orange illuminated columns personalized with his ‘87’ scroll.”

The menu was passed hors d’oeuvres and individual stations for seafood, beef carving, pasta, side dishes and salads. “We almost didn’t have a birthday cake — everyone thought someone else was providing it,” Carole recalled. “The day before the party, I reached out to J. Wilbur, who came to the rescue. After a frantic search, he provided a lovely cake from the Village Corner Bakery in Stone Mountain.”

Carole arranged for “King” Sid Kirschner to have a throne to greet guests. // Glenny Brown Photography

The music, by Magno, was, according to Carole, “flawless.” “Having a special throne for Sid to hold court was the idea that tickled me the most,” she said, “it was the ultimate solution, allowing him to greet and visit with each guest.”

“Sid is lucky,” Carole added. “He still enjoys going to work every day. He’s raising money to help Piedmont provide advances in services to the community. In his free time, he’s helping individuals solve problems. He mentors several people … and when it’s all done, he has the best time with his family: Ron and Lori Kirschner, Lisa and Mark Greenberg, Lori Anne Kirschner and the grands, Josh, Dana and Brad Kirschner; Haley, Jamie and Noah Greenberg and the mishpocha. Sid enjoys streaming television series and watching sports, either in person or on TV.”

The 87 scroll at the entrance matched the invitations. // Credit: J. Wilbur Smith EventScapes

Sid’s advice is to “Never say ‘no’ to a request for help; and do good where you can, it will make you happy.”

“Seeing all these folks who are important in my life is the best treat of my year,” he concluded.

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