Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Mangianello visit Studio Movie Grill Arena Grand

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Senior Sales Manager Lee Anne Tilley on Lone Survivor Foundation’s Fundraiser at SMG City Centre

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SMG City Centre closed to the public for half a day to host a red carpet fundraiser for Lone Survivor Foundation, with director Peter Berg in attendance. The film showed on all screens and many naval veterans came out to see the film with their families and supporters.

I love my job.  A lot of people aren’t able to say those words, so I do not take that for granted.  As Senior Sales Manager for Studio Movie Grill Private Events, each day I am exposed to new people and new experiences, but I have to share my favorite experience yet.

On November 17th, I was lucky enough to be part of the LONE SURVIVOR premiere fundraiser event in Houston, Texas, at our City Centre location.  If you’re not familiar with LONE SURVIVOR, I will give you a brief overview.  Marcus Luttrell wrote the book…the movie, to be released on December 25th, is based on his book and experiences as a Navy SEAL.  The story follows the failed mission of SEAL Team 10, Operation Red Wings, and is truly an account of courage and heroism.  Luttrell, since returning from serving in Afghanistan, started a foundation called the Lone Survivor Foundation.  The fundraiser hosted at SMG City Centre was held to support this foundation and Luttrell’s efforts to give back to our men and women in service.

Marcus Luttrell, subject of the film and his wife Melanie pose for a photo on the red carpet.

Marcus Luttrell, subject of the film and his wife Melanie pose for a photo on the red carpet.

This event was so important that director and producer Peter Berg was in attendance.  He and Marcus went into each theater following the film screening to thank everyone for coming and supporting the film and Marcus’ foundation.  Many of the Navy SEALs involved in saving Marcus and the widows of those that did not survive were in attendance along with some major Houston celebrities.  It was quite a day!

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Director Peter Berg held a post screening Q&A to talk about making Lone Survivor, the featured film.

Shaking Marcus Luttrell’s hand was truly an honor.  Here is this man who has sacrificed so much for his country, has lost friends in combat, has seen horrors we will never see, and he is standing in front of me.  He has more courage in his pinky finger than I could ever hope to possess.  I am inspired.  This is why I love my job.  Not only am I allowed to do what I love to do, but I am inspired.  SMG donated over $7,000 to the Lone Survivor Foundation and helped to raise thousands more.  This isn’t work, this is a privilege, and I am so grateful for that privilege.

SMG Brings Movie Night to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Egleston

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Studio Movie Grill has had an ongoing relationship with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and last month, that relationship became even more personal to SMG employees when they hand delivered toys from the Show You Care Bear drive directly to children in the hospital.

Following that outreach event, SMG Holcomb manager, Wayne Simpson recounts an initiative taken on by some staff members eager to keep giving to their community:

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Garrett Ivie of Studio Movie Grill Holcomb donned a self-made Iron Man costume for Movie Night at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“From the contact we made delivering the Teddy Bears last month we were invited back to host a movie day for the young patients.

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SMG Supervisor Karen Lopez, Server Sharon Orina, Manager Wayne Simpson, and Iron Man stop to pose for a photo.

One of our team members, Garrett Ivie, who was very creative, had made an Iron Man costume which he wore during our premier.  Birdie and I asked him to come today, as well as our Supervisor Karen Lopez, Server Sharon Orina to host the movie day for the kids.

There were so many stories today from patients we encountered at the hospital.  One young boy about 5 told Iron Man that he was his biggest fan and gave Garrett a big hug.  We encountered another group in the cafeteria having a cake.  Thinking it was their birthday, I brought our Iron Man over to their table.

After getting their pictures taken with Iron Man, one of them asked us to wait and then ran around the corner to the chapel coming back with his 30-40 year old son.  The man introduced us to his son, saying that this [son] was his Iron Man.

After posing with Garrett, the son told us how his son had lost his battle with cancer that morning and how Garrett had cheered him by being there.  So many of the kids ran up to meet him today.  It was amazing to put a smile on so many of those young kids for what has to be a difficult time in their lives.

Iron Man poses with doctors at Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta.

Iron Man poses with doctors at Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta.

I’m a very proud of our team and was humbled to have the privilege of being there as well.

We have made a commitment from our team here at Holcomb to host their movie day once a month.  From our end we are providing little gift baskets for the kids and simply being present to them to greet them and give them the baskets after the movie.  We may do some other costumed characters in the future as it was such a positive experience for the children.”

Iron Man and his two heroes in training

Iron Man and his two heroes in training