November/December 2017

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A Christmas of Giving

Merry Christmas from the staff at Church Designer magazine. This is an appropriate time of year to single out a few AEC firms and church-focused individuals that are giving back to their communities in a significant way.

First up on the list is Live Design Group in Birmingham, Ala., an architectural and interior design firm with a strong church focus. Live Design, led by architect and founding principal Aubrey Garrison III, is celebrating its 30th anniversary, Nov. 30, 2017. The company is observing the milestone anniversary with daily events all throughout November that include team building, customer appreciation-and community service.

Live Design completed the Salvation Army of Birmingham Center of Hope in October 2017. So as part of the anniversary giving celebration the firm’s employees are giving back to the community by serving lunch to Salvation Army clients in the new facility.

The team at Live Design will also be collecting items from Birmingham’s Bell Center Wish List and delivering them at the end on Nov. 28, 2017, in honor of Giving Tuesday ( The Bell Center’s mission is to maximize the potential of children from birth to three years of age who are at risk for developmental delay.

And still another part of the firm’s celebration included participation in the city’s Light the Night in early November, a walk to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s lifesaving efforts.

Next up is August Kuehn, business administrator at Grace Church in Granger, Ind., as well as FOH engineer at Notre Dame Stadium. Kuehn was moved by stories of Texas churches that had lost significant portions—or all—of their AVL gear to Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. So he decided to swing into action, acting as a conduit to funnel gear from churches who’d upgraded and had old gear sitting around to churches that had been suddenly left with none.

“As I saw the news reports of the significant and widespread damage in Texas, my mind went to the dozens of churches that must be completely wiped out,” says Kuehn. “And I thought [about what] would be a tangible way I could help out from so far away…. I think that the tech community can do so much good when we all partner together.”

If you know of a church, maybe one of your clients, with a need for used gear, send them to the site Kuehn set up to help:

And last, LED display manufacturer Absen with U.S. offices in Orlando, Fla., joined with local AVL partner companies to help with South Florida Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

“We are grateful to have sustained little damage to our Orlando headquarters,” reports Allen Lu, president of Absen Inc. “However, we wanted to do what we could to help those who were not so lucky.”

Absen and its allied partners have collected more than 850 pounds of non-perishable food and supplies, donating them to Orlando’s Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to aid those hit by Hurricane Irma and Maria in South Florida, Key West and Puerto Rico.

If you head up or serve a manufacturer or AEC firm that’s giving, we want to share your news too. Our collective efforts to freely give back to our communities is something to celebrate at the Christmas season or any time of year.


Carol Badaracco Padgett

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