On Friday afternoon, Lauren O’Brien was delivering a wheelchair to a girl with a pelvis fracture.
On Saturday, O’Brien was at the center of Battle of the Burgers, an annual event held in in Virginia-Highland to raise money for Embraced, an Atlanta nonprofit that donates gently used hospital equipment internationally to those in need.
O’Brien is the brainchild of Battle of the Burgers, which raised $36,000 last year and drew more than 2,000 Atlanta residents to the neighborhood.
This year, the burger battle included four awards: three voted on by the judges — classic burger, veggie burger and contemporary burger — and one voted on by the people at the event — the Peoples' Choice Award.
Deckard’s American Tavern, located in the Midtown Place shopping center on Ponce de Leon Avenue, won best classic burger. on N. Highland won best veggie burger and in Midtown won best contemporary burger for the Southern Comfort Burger.
Peoples’ Choice went to of Decatur.
O’Brien estimated the event drew over 3,000 residents from around metro Atlanta this year.
“I’m very grateful,” O’Brien said Saturday afternoon. “It’s more than just about burgers. It’s about burgers that benefit people.”
She said a committee of about eight to 10 people was crucial in organizing the event, which expanded onto Virginia Avenue this year.
on N. Highland Avenue was among several neighborhood restaurants added to the lineup.
Tom Coggin of D.B.A. said several event-goers wondered why they were at the burger event instead of the Atlanta Bar-B-Q festival in Atlanta Station.
“This is our neighborhood,” Coggin said. “We want them to know that we can cook barbecue and burgers.”
Virginia-Highland and Poncey-Highland participants included , , , , Deckard’s American Tavern, , , , and .
For more information about Embraced, visit the Embraced website.