By Tia Lynn Ivey
At her 90th Birthday “Roast, Toast, and Tribute,” Christine Lambert may have been the butt of the jokes for the evening, but her legacy is no laughing matter. Since Lambert arrived in Madison over 50 years ago, she rose to become a vital pillar of the community, wielding her wealth and influence to protect public education, historic homes and landmarks, green space, and create a thriving local art venue through the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC). Since Lambert played a pivotal role in founding the MMCC, it was only fitting that her 90th birthday bash would be held there. But Lambert took it one step further, turning the event into a successful fundraiser for MMCC.
Lambert’s fundraiser celebration brought in over $40,000 for the MMCC, the non-profit organization Lambert helped establish more than 40 years ago. The center had hoped the event would bring in around $25,000, but like most things Lambert gets involved in, the outcome went above and beyond all expectation.
“It’s impossible to say what she has meant to the cultural center over these last 40 years,” said MMCC Director Kim Brown. “She has been involved at every level, supporting the center financially, physically—through her volunteer work and relationships—she has been instrumental in the longevity and success of the cultural center.”
A long line-up of “roasters” took the stage to playfully poke fun at Lambert throughout the evening. Roasters included Stan DeJarnett, Steve Schaefer, Ruth Bracewell, Mark McDonald, Monica Callahan, Ken Kocher, David Nunn, Colleen Nunn, Sarah Burbach, Ralph Castillo, Cathy Hyatt Ratigan, Patrick Yost, Christine Trulock Smith, Mary Helen Trulock Young, Sutton Trulock, Will Goff, Leigh Lambert Goff, Anne Lamber Trulock, and Zeke Lambert. Even former Senator Sam Nunn took the stage to roast Lambert.
When the kidding was cast aside, the love and appreciation for Lambert’s life and work shone through the brightest.
Madison Mayor Fred Perriman delivered remarks praising Lambert for her life’s work and contributions to the local community.
All proceeds will go toward the general operating expenses of the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center. According to the MMCC, the center is “a non-profit multidisciplinary performing and visual arts facility in historic Madison, Georgia. The MMCC is housed in a fine 1895 Romanesque Revival red brick building which was originally built and served as one of the South’s first graded public schools. Today the building serves as the home of the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center and is an integral element of the center’s commitment to providing the Southeast with a vibrant arts and cultural facility by combining a rare treasure of the past with an active eye towards to the future. The mission of the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center is to enhance education and enjoyment of the arts and humanities by offering high quality permanent exhibits, temporary exhibitions, and performances while preserving our historic building.”