10-23 Around Canton webfinal.pdf

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• CAMELLIA PLACE Assisted Living & Memory Care Why Camellia Place? • Six cottage-style houses on 8 acres connected by walking paths • 16 residents per home • Social and purpose-filled daily programs • Personalized supportive care and services • Independent lifestyle Visitourwebsite tolearnmore!_. (770) 296-1513 '-" 294 Rope Mill Rd , Woodstock, GA 30188 camelliaplace.com Camellia Place is a uniquely designed cottage-style neighborhood with six houses promoting personalized daily living support and independence. 5 years in a row! Top > edwardjones.com | Member SIPC MKT-5894M-A-A1 AECSPAD 19817398 When life changes, let's review your goals. Call to schedule a one-on-one. Sarah K Kendall, CRPC™ Financial Advisor 461 E Main St Canton, GA 30114 770-720-6245 AROUND CANTON | October 2023 1

On the Cover

DT Chiropractic

With a third location in Rome, in addition to their Canton and Cartersville offices, Dr. Daniel Turner and wife, Rhiannon, are poised to open a fourth location in 2024. With all the growth, the basic tenet of individualized treatment remains the same.

Pages 28 & 29

In This Issue In Every Issue 4 Around Canton 8 Downtown Events 26 Celebrations 32 The Wanderer 42 Networking 44 Everyday Angels 46 Community Calendar 50 Master Gardeners 51 Library Events 52 Allatoona Lake Map 54 Directory of Advertisers 56 Rob’s Rescues Contributors 37 Ann Litrel 38 Barbara Jacoby 14 Beth Fornuto 22 Brian Nejedly 27 Charlice Byrd 16 Cherokee Office of Economic Development 39 Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists 39 Chris Johnson 40 Harry Johnston 41 Karen Boda 43 Libby Williams 10 Ron Shelby 30 Susan Schulz 49 Susannah MacKay Features 12 Lending a Hand in the Classroom Reinhardt student teams up with local business to supply teachers with classroom materials. 14 All Aboard! Cherokee High School band chugging along with a trainthemed performance. 18 That’s a (Healthy) Mouthful Creative, nutritious recipes being prepared in the kitchens of Cherokee County schools. 14
18 12 2 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
Cover photo by Abigail Peyton
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Advertise With Us

Our business is your business. We succeed when you succeed. And our goal is to help community businesses thrive. Our marketing experts have experience on the national and international level. They’ll help you put together an advertising program that targets your market and fits your needs, style and budget. Let us put our experience to work for you!

Why choose us?

• Publishing in Cherokee County since 1996.

• Won Excellence in Customer Service and Small Business of the Year awards from the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce.

• Marketing experts with national, international account experience.

• Editorial team with 50-plus years’ experience with major metropolitan newspapers.

Around Canton



You can vote daily through Nov. 15 at www.aroundaboutlocalmedia.com. Results will be posted Jan. 1 and published in the January issue of Around Canton.


Lt. Michael Sims, public information officer and public affairs specialist for Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services, has been recognized by the Boy Scouts of America Atlanta Area Council for his work with youth in the community. Sims received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service by an adult or an organization for demonstrated involvement in developing and implementing Scouting opportunities for youth from rural or low-income urban backgrounds.

“The Boy Scouts have played an integral part of my life, teaching me leadership skills and how to give back to my community,” Sims said. “My involvement in the organization has shaped who I am today and provided me an opportunity to find a career that I love. Thank you to the Atlanta Area Council for the honor.”

What's Coming

For sales inquiries, contact Jennifer Coleman, President 470-263-8414 | jen@aroundaboutmagazines.com

POPS (Palermo's Original Pasta & Sandwiches) is opening on the first floor of the Jones Building, hopefully by the end of the year or the first of 2024. The Italian-American cafe and market will feature homemade pasta dishes, classic and original sandwiches, and salads with casual counter service for what the owners call “a truly neighborhood come-and-go-as-you-please feel.”

Thrive Canton will open a second location of private offices, meeting rooms and event space in November. The first one is at The Mill on Etowah. Check the progress on social media or at www.thrive-canton.com.

What's New

KPOP BBQ & Bar has opened at 2241 Cumming Highway, Canton. Diners get a glimpse into Korean culture through the restaurant’s Korean barbecue, authentic Korean pop music and family-style dining. There’s also a location in Towne Lake. www.kpopbbqandbar.com.

Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting

Around Acworth | Around Canton | Around Kennesaw Around Woodstock | TowneLaker
Get Started Today! www.aroundcantonmagazine.com Get Social With Us ← Subscribe to our newsletter! @aroundcantonmagazine @around_canton E Q
The Golden Swan Salon, 250 E. Main St., Suite 103S, Canton www.goldenswanco.com
Lt. Michael Sims
4 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
AROUND CANTON | October 2023 5

Letter From the Editor

Happy fall, y’all! I might have to argue that fall is the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is magical and beautiful and sacred, no doubt. But fall … the much-anticipated cooler weather, especially after such a brutally hot summer, is so refreshing.

I love October so much that I rescheduled knee replacement surgery from September to November because I don’t want to be hobbled during my favorite month of the year.

It’s also the month Glenn and I got married. First of all, not sure why we scheduled our wedding for this time of year, even though it is the most wonderful. Glenn was an integral part of the sports department of the Atlanta JournalConstitution at the time. And we all know what happens in sports in the fall, which is why our wedding was on a Sunday afternoon. Otherwise, we would have had none of our friends from sports in attendance, including the groom.

With cooler weather and a fall anniversary to celebrate (36 years now!), we enjoy exploring Cherokee County to regions north for apples, festivals and blazing leaf displays. Check out our comprehensive list of

fall activities on Pages 34-36 to map out your own adventures.

I’m pretty sure you’ll see a few scary pumpkins or scarecrows along the way, if there are such things. In this issue, we’ve done our best to prepare you for all the scary things you might encounter. It might not be lions and tigers and bears, oh my! More like, taxes and scarecrows and bears, oh my!

But there’s nothing to be scared of here. In fact, we dug deep into the details on your property taxes on Page 10. With recurring bear sightings popping up across the county, we wanted to help you know how to handle yourself if you encounter one of these furry visitors. See Page 24 for advice from the experts. This might be a page you want to tear out and keep with you at all times. You just never know.

If you have successful knee replacement stories, I’d love to hear from you. Anything other than that, no thanks. I have enough fears of my own without hearing about all the possible things that can go wrong! Hopefully before long, you’ll see me out and about again, outpacing Glenn, Bertie and Ellie. Until then, enjoy this most wonderful time of the year!

America’s Community Magazine

Volume 11, Issue 5


Aroundabout Local Media, Inc. www.aroundaboutlocalmedia.com


Jennifer Coleman | 470-263-8414 jen@aroundaboutmagazines.com


Andrew Bastuba | 770-765-7045 andrew@aroundaboutmagazines.com

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Candi Hannigan | 770-615-3309 candi@aroundaboutmagazines.com


Donna Harris | 770-852-8481 donna@aroundaboutmagazines.com


Mike Anthony | 770-615-3318 mike@aroundaboutmagazines.com

PUBLICATIONS DIRECTOR Michelle McCulloch | 770-615-3307 michelle@aroundaboutmagazines.com


Denise Griffin | 770-615-3315 denise@aroundaboutmagazines.com


Laura Latchford laura@aroundaboutmagazines.com Rachael Tomlinson rachael@aroundaboutmagazines.com


Kathryn Holt kat@aroundaboutmagazines.com


Michelle Smith michelle.smith@aroundaboutmagazines.com

COMMUNITY RELATIONS SPECIALIST Amanda Bowen | 678-348-0378 amandabowen@aroundaboutmagazines.com


Bill King, Eliza Somers

Aroundabout Local Media, Inc. (ALM) publishes five hyperlocal magazines serving the communities of Canton, Woodstock, Towne Lake, Acworth and Kennesaw. Approximately 16,000 free copies are distributed monthly in each community, through direct bulk mail and first class mail; approximately 500 copies are available in magazine racks placed around each community.

Around Canton welcomes your comments, stories, and advertisements. Editorial deadline is the first and advertising deadline is the fifth of the previous month. Subscriptions are available for $24 per year. Send check or money order to: Around Canton, 1025 Rose Creek Drive, PMB 380, Suite 620, Woodstock, GA 30189. The viewpoints of the advertisers, writers and other submissions do not necessarily reflect those of the editor/publisher. And the publisher makes no claims

to the validity of any opinions expressed by charitable, business or civic organizations mentioned, or statements made within the editorial content. The cover and inside related article, and other editorial-type submissions labeled SPONSORED CONTENT, are paid content. The publisher neither guarantees nor supports any product or service mentioned in this magazine, nor does it guarantee any assertions made by the manufacturers or providers of such products or services, or claims regarding the status of such businesses.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2023.

6 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
Candi Hannigan is the executive editor of Aroundabout Local Media. She has lived in Cherokee County since 1987. Send your comments or questions to candi@aroundaboutmagazines.com
FRI OCT 6 ON THE BORDER THE ULTIMATE EAGLES TRIBUTE Brought to you by DOWNTOWN CANTON Cannon Park, 130 E. Main Street FRIDAY 6–9 p.m. OCT 6 2023 FINAL SHOW AROUND CANTON | October 2023 7

OCTOBER Canton IN town

Canton First Fridays

Great food and live music 6-9 p.m. downtown. Check for pdates at www.facebook.com/CantonGAFirstFriday. On the Border: Oct. 6

Luau on the Links Golf Tournament

Oct. 12, BridgeMill Athletic Club Canton

Grab your best Hawaiian shirt and support the Woodstock Public Safety Foundation. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m., shotgun start at 9 a.m.

Individual $125, foursome $500. To register and/or to sponsor a hole, contact Brittany Page at bpage@woodstockga.gov or visit bit.ly/WPSFGolf.

Taste and Brews Fall Festival

Oct. 14-15, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Etowah River Park, Canton

Taste, sample and enjoy the flavors of Georgia and listen to live music by regional acts. Admission is free, and there will be a variety of children’s activities. www.tasteandbrews.com

Optimist Club Golf Tournament

Oct. 20, Fairways of Canton

Help the SonLight Vision Food Pantry and enjoy a round of golf at the Fairways of Canton, 400 Laurel Canyon Parkway, Canton. Team registration starts at 7:30 a.m., with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Fees are $125 for individuals, $500 for foursome. For more information, contact Hickory Flat Optimist Club at 679-409-5940.

Georgia Zombie Fest 5K Walk, Run, Creep, or Crawl and the Zombie Fest Costume Contest!

Oct. 21, Etowah River Park, Canton

Pre-Registration Encouraged!


The Great Pumpkin Fest

Oct. 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Cherokee Veterans Park, Canton

Includes a DJ, craft and food vendors, hayrides, ax throwing, archery, a costume contest and more. Wear your costumes and trick-or-treat with vendors.

Admission is free. www.playcherokee.org

Denim Fest

Oct. 27-28, 4-10 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, The Mill on Etowah

An ode to history that includes trick-ortreating, barbecue tasting, a kids’ costume contest, an adult denim jacket contest, live music and more. www.etowahmill. com/event/denimfest

“The Tell-Tale Heart”

Oct. 27-29, Nov. 3-5, Canton Theatre

An evening of spooky adventures in “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, “Sorry, Wrong Number” by Lucille Fletcher and “Cheating Death” by Kamron Klitgaard. For tickets, contact boxoffice@cherokeetheatre.org or 770-591-0282.

BridgeMill Farmers Market

Through Nov. 1, Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 1190 BridgeMill Ave., Canton

Open to the public. Watch for updates on Facebook: @bridgemillfarmersmarket. Vendors can contact bridgemillfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

A costume contest is part of this year's Denim Fest at The Mill on Etowah Oct. 27-28.
8 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
Enjoy live music at the Taste and Brews Fall Festival at Etowah River Park in Canton.
AROUND CANTON | October 2023 9

Property Taxes

Frequent Questions About Your Annual Bill

A notice for taxes owed on your property likely already has landed in your mailbox. They will be due in October.

Taxpayers often have questions about what exactly the taxes they must pay are for — especially if the total is higher than what they owed last year.

Ron Shelby serves as chief financial officer for the city of Woodstock and provided some information about property taxes that can help you understand what you’re paying for before the bill comes due.

Where do property taxes go?

Your property taxes, along with other fines and fees, are used to fund debt service and general fund expenditures, including, but not limited to, emergency services, public works, parks and municipal court.

What causes taxes assessed to change from year to year?

In general, nearby home sale prices over the previous 12 months affect the home sale value of a person’s home, and new construction affects the overall size of the city’s tax digest. The tax assessor’s office can provide further information.

Does buying or selling land have an effect on taxes that will be assessed?

Yes, a parcel’s value consists of two parts: the value of the land itself and the value of the improvements made on the land (e.g., a home). The tax assessor’s office values both separately, and they are impacted by recent nearby sales of both parcels that are only land and those that have improvements built on the land. Values are set for each portion separately. Why might rates in a nearby city or county be different?

A millage rate is proposed by a jurisdiction in order to bring in enough revenue to support services. Services vary by entity, some of which are provided by choice due to the unique needs of the residents. Others are mandatory services for a particular jurisdiction dictated by the state Legislature. As a result, budgets vary in size, depending upon the services in that jurisdiction.

Are there any exemptions or qualifications that can reduce my bill?

All exemptions are applied for at the county tax assessor’s office, not the city. The county tax assessor’s office keeps an extensive list of exemptions, which impact county, city and school district property taxes.

Is there a way to estimate how my taxes will change from year to year?

You will get some indication when your assessment notice comes out in May from the county tax assessor’s office. During the year, watching what your neighbors are offering their properties for, and ultimately selling them for, might give you some idea as to how the market is changing for homes in your neighborhood.

Should I consult my accountant with questions about property tax?

Always provide your accountant with copies of your recently paid property tax bill and proof of payment. He or she will decide how that might be incorporated into your federal income taxes.

Who do I contact with questions or to dispute my taxes?

In May, taxpayers typically receive their annual assessment from the county tax assessor’s office. It will include instructions on how to appeal your value if you think it’s gone up too much or didn’t go down as you believed that it should.

If you have questions concerning your property taxes for 2023, contact the Cherokee County Tax Commissioner's Office. 678-493-6400

10 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
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Reinhardt Student Helps County Teachers

You know students are taking Reinhardt University’s values to heart — learning, serving and leading — when they spend their summer break helping others.

Erin Griffin, a senior studying early childhood education in the Price School of Education, did just that this summer by helping teachers in Cherokee County. In May, she received a scholarship from the Cherokee Retired Educators Association. At that event, Griffin and her mother, Nancy, were surprised to hear of

a school that doesn’t have a Parent Teacher Organization to ensure the teachers receive necessary supplies for their classrooms.

The Ralph Bunche Center in Canton has a preschool, Head Start classes and eight special-needs classes. However, because of financial gaps, teachers have to spend their own time, money and resources to make the school what it needs to be. Rather than celebrating her award, Griffin and her mother didn’t hesitate to help.

“We immediately went to my

mom’s office and spoke to her boss, the owner of Geiger Legal Group, on how the business could give back to the community,” Griffin said.

Casey Geiger and his staff agreed to help. They volunteered at the Ralph Bunche Center's field day, to get better acquainted with students and staff members. With Griffin's guidance, they created 23 teacher carts that included laminators and a variety of supplies that could be rolled into the classroom for one teacher in each elementary school in the district. They also gathered muchneeded snacks and drinks for the Ralphe Bunche Center. Everyone at the office pitched in. In July, the teachers collected their supplies.

“It was so cool to see the community come together, and the teachers receive their carts,” Griffin said.

Geiger has secured five other local businesses to help continue supporting local schools. “I am thankful that he wants to give back to the community as much as I do,” Griffin said. “I am grateful to have had so many opportunities growing up in Cherokee County.”

Nancy Griffin is proud of her daughter's inspiration. "Erin being an education major at Reinhardt has really opened my own eyes and brought attention to Geiger Legal Group of all the sacrifices teachers make and how hard they work," she said.

This semester, Griffin is studentteaching in a fifth grade class at Hickory Flat Elementary School. Reinhardt University wishes her and the rest of its student teachers a joyous and successful school year.

Casey Geiger and Erin Griffin pose with a cart full of teaching supplies
12 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
Suzy Alstrin is the assistant director of media and public relations for Reinhardt University.
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A human train leads the Cherokee band onto the field for its performance. McKenna Goodrich presides over practice from her conductor’s platform.
14 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
Cherokee band members battle the heat during a preseason practice.

Cherokee Band Riding the Rails

Special thanks to photographer Beth Fornuto for offering to highlight our high school marching bands in words and pictures. Each month, she will highlight a different band.

The Cherokee High School band is made up of 175 of Cherokee County's brightest and most dedicated musical athletes, representing a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences. Cherokee’s 2023 production holds a special place in the hearts of the seniors, who began their journey as freshmen under the cloud of COVID in the fall of 2020.

The Band of Warriors performed at the first football game in Georgia in 2020 as they participated in the annual Corky Kell Classic. Another appearance at the event in 2021 was one of the first games — and band performances — in the nation. The Cherokee band also participated in the Tournament of Champions at Western Carolina University (2021), the Disney 50th Anniversary Parade (2022) and played at Universal Studios (2023).

This year, they are ready to conquer new heights as they prepare to compete at The Super Bowl of Sound at Central Carroll High School. They also will be making triumphant returns to the Tournament of Champions at Western Carolina and the North Georgia Marching Championships at South Forsyth High School. Since emerging from the challenges of the COVID year, the band estimates that it has performed in front of half a million enthusiastic spectators. Their alumni currently are marching at 17 universities across the country.

The Band of Warriors' 2023 Field Production entitled "All Aboard!" is under the direction of Garrick Cheyne and Brandon Worley. It features an electrifying musical journey with iconic tracks.

The ensemble brings this train-themed extravaganza to life, complete with a captivating, interactive train prop weaving its way through the performance. In this show, you'll find a musical selection that resonates with everyone. It's a journey through time and sound, with melodies that transport you to unforgettable destinations.

"All Aboard" promises to be an unforgettable ride, and you are invited to join them on this exhilarating musical journey through the world of trains and melodies.

From left, Erika Sims, Catherine Bell and Ava Dixon choreograph their color guard routine. The Cherokee band packs the stands and fills the air with cheers and music.
AROUND CANTON | October 2023 15
Rahne Tallent works the mallets during Cherokee band practice.

5-Year Plan

Cherokee Aims to Transform

Cherokee County has been growing at a record rate and won’t be slowing down soon. This month, the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) is celebrating the kickoff of Cherokee By Choice 2.0 (CBC 2.0) — a five-year strategic plan that aims to nurture the county’s business sector and increase the overall quality of living.

COED developed the forerunner, Cherokee By Choice 1.0 (CBC 1.0), in 2017 to address several business community needs. Over the five-year campaign, more than 75 community investors collectively committed $2.7 million to cement Cherokee as the choice for businesses and residents. CBC 1.0 created more than 2,200 direct jobs and $450 million in new investment.

Despite the strides made by CBC 1.0, there still were barriers to Cherokee’s continued economic success. To guide the country’s economic growth, CBC 2.0 was launched in 2022. COED has been preparing to execute its initiatives. The campaign aims to create a place where employees want to live and employers want to hire.

“Cherokee By Choice 2.0 continues to build upon our current strategy for how to help businesses today but also strengthen the future pipeline,” said Misti Martin, CEO and president of COED. “We want to grow our startups here and recruit diversified companies

that will employ our people, so they can work in their home community.”

The attraction, retainment and alignment of talent is CBC 2.0’s first ambitious goal. This means curating a skilled workforce that is willing and able to work in Cherokee. To achieve this, CBC 2.0 is debuting the Work in Cherokee campaign, in which county residents are encouraged to #ForgetTheCommute and begin working in-county.

COED’s website features a Cherokee County career portal, allowing users to search for employment opportunities in the county. A Cherokee Career Expo was held Sept. 27 to connect residents with local career opportunities.

To curate a skilled workforce, CBC 2.0’s Cherokee Workforce Collaborative partners with the business community and higher education officials to strengthen the pipeline. The Cherokee Summer Internship Program will continue to be improved to match high school students with paid, real-world opportunities with local businesses.

Be Pro Be Proud Georgia is being expanded under this campaign, with the construction of an additional interactive mobile workshop. These workshops provide tours of schools in Cherokee and statewide, highlighting in-demand skilled professions, such as computer programming, manufacturing,

welding and health care.

The second goal for CBC 2.0 is increasing innovative businesses, investment and jobs. To support existing businesses, CBC 2.0 will hold roundtable meetings where business leaders are invited to provide input on pressing matters. This includes the founding of the International Business Council.

To nourish entrepreneurship, CBC 2.0 will expand the Fresh Start Cherokee initiative. Fresh Start Mornings is a new twice-monthly program for entrepreneurs to engage with one another, ask questions, learn and promote their businesses. The North Atlanta Venture Mentoring Service also will progress under CBC 2.0, providing team-based mentoring for new ventures. A free startup kit is being developed to aid local entrepreneurs.

CBC 2.0 aims to attract new businesses through the promotion of Cherokee County globally. This includes refining Cherokee’s brand and building relationships with site selection consultants and other partners.

To create a welcoming environment for global businesses, workers and residents, CBC 2.0 will cultivate infrastructure and products. This entails development of land, sites and buildings that fit Cherokee’s target sectors — technology, startup companies, advanced manufacturing, film and entertainment, headquarters and commercial developers.

To increase Cherokee’s attractiveness to residents, CBC 2.0 will promote countywide connected trails, such as Woodstock’s Green Print Trails and the Etowah River Hiking Trails in Canton. CBC 2.0 also strives to help residents understand the importance of economic development and curating a businessfriendly environment.

If you want to help shape your community, get involved as a Cherokee By Choice 2.0 investor. Visit cherokeega. org/cherokeebychoice for the detailed campaign plan and to learn how you can help make Cherokee the No. 1 choice.

The Cherokee Office of Economic Development is the leading organization for business and film recruitment as well as industry retention and expansion in Cherokee County.
16 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
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A New Era for

School Lunches

Most everyone is accustomed to reading about the Cherokee County School District (CCSD) students who excel - whether it’s on a bumper sticker or through CCSD’s communication system (read more about that on Page 50).

Apparently, it’s not only the students who’ve been receiving accolades lately.

Members of the district’s school nutrition department, which serves 5 million meals annually, have been on a winning streak. Some of the most recent honors include:

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Silver Turnip the Beet Award. To earn the award, school districts must demonstrate the highest standards in meal preparation and delivery.

• The Golden Radish Award from the Georgia Department of Education (DOE) School Nutrition Division.

The award honors school nutrition programs that excel in providing fresh, locally grown produce and ingredients in meals, promoting the importance of farm-to-school food sourcing and participating in school garden projects.

• The School Nutrition Cafeteria of Excellence Award presented by the Georgia DOE’s School Nutrition Division. Clayton Elementary School is among the inaugural class of winners for this new award. It recognizes the top schools for each region for health inspection scores, quality and variety of menus, use of Georgia Grown produce and ingredients, promotion of school nutrition programs and student meal program participation.

• The Georgia DOE’s competitive Georgia Local Food for Schools pilot program. As participants selected for this new program, CCSD will be

assisted in broadening its partnerships with local farmers and food producers to increase the fresh ingredients in school meals.

This past school year, the district also began recognizing its own “best of the best” through the newly established CCSD School Nutrition Team of the Year awards. Schools are measured in “Six Servings of Success” categories: health inspections, employee satisfaction, program participation, inventory levels, budgeting and promotions. In July, Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy was named the elementary division winner, and E.T. Booth Middle School was named the middle school/high school/center division winner.

Jessica Emmett, culinary specialist for the school district, develops new recipes for CCSD’s school kitchens. She’s focused on increasing fresh, locally grown ingredients and expanding students’ palates through “heritage recipes” influenced by international cuisines.

“As the culinary specialist for the school district, I am given creative freedom for recipe development as long as recipes fall within nutritional guidelines and costing,” she said. “I conduct research on food trends across the nation as well as recipe research on popular dishes within ethnic groups to help create meals that can be served to our students.

“While some of our heritage recipes may not be considered authentic, students are able to experience and taste the inspiration and love that is put into these dishes from all of the school nutrition professionals around the county. Once I have the heritage recipe conceptualized, I conduct recipe testing in our school nutrition test kitchen, and our administrative team comes together to decide the winning heritage recipe. All in all, it is a group effort consisting of our executive director, school nutrition supervisor, two registered dietitians and myself.”

18 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
District nutrition employee Dania Reed, left, and Clark Creek Elementary assistant kitchen manager Patricia Millwood prepare lunch.

Hispanic Heritage

Carnitas Tacos


• 4 pounds pork shoulder (pork butt)

• 2½ teaspoons salt

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

• 1 onion, chopped

• 1 jalapeño, deseeded and chopped

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• ¾ cup juice from 2 oranges


• 1 tablespoon dried oregano

• 2 teaspoons ground cumin

• 1 tablespoon olive oil


Rinse and dry pork shoulder and cut into large 2- to 3-inch cubes. Rub all over with salt and pepper. Combine rub ingredients, then rub over the pork. Place pork in a slow cooker (fat cap up). Top with the onion, jalapeño and minced garlic (don’t worry about spreading it) and squeeze the juice of the oranges over the pork.

Slow cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 7 hours. Pork should be tender enough to shred. Remove from the slow cooker and let cool slightly. Shred using two forks. Optional: Skim off fat from the juices remaining in the slow cooker and discard.

If you have more than 2 cups of juice, reduce it down to about 2 cups. The liquid will be salty; it is the seasoning for the pork. Set liquid aside; there is no need to strain out onion pieces.

To crisp

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread shredded pork out on a sheet pan and place in oven for 6-8 minutes or until pork begins to crisp up around the edges. Assemble tacos with your choice of tortillas, carnitas meat, diced onion and chopped cilantro. Pair with Apple Cilantro Slaw for the ultimate bite.

Apple Cilantro Slaw


• ¼ cup mayonnaise

• 2½ teaspoons mustard

• ⅛ teaspoon salt

• ⅛ teaspoon black pepper

• 2 tablespoons honey

• 1 tablespoon lime juice



• 16 ounces bagged coleslaw mix

• 2 Gala apples, cored and shredded

• 1 tablespoon lime juice

• ½ cup washed and chopped cilantro

Whisk dressing ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Core and grate apples. Squeeze out excess juice from the apples and toss with lime juice to keep from turning brown. Store at 41 degrees or lower while preparing coleslaw salad. In a large mixing bowl, combine slaw mix, chopped cilantro and grated apples. Dress coleslaw salad and grated apples (including remaining lime juice) with dressing no more than 1 hour prior to serving. Toss until evenly coated. Cover and hold at 41 degrees or lower until served.

Street Corn Ingredients

• 32-ounce package frozen corn kernels

• ⅓ cup mayonnaise

• 2½ teaspoons lime juice

• ¼ teaspoon black pepper


• ½ teaspoon each of chili powder, garlic powder, salt, cayenne

• 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

• 2 green onions, finely chopped

Defrost corn overnight, draining any excess liquid. Spray sheet pan with nonstick spray. Spread corn on the sheet pan and roast at 450 degrees for 13-15 minutes, allowing some corn to become charred. Make a sauce by mixing the mayo, Parmesan cheese, lime juice and all the spices. Set aside. Once corn has roasted, mix with chili-lime sauce.

Trim scallion top and bulb. Thinly slice green and white parts of scallion, and add to hot corn, mix well and transfer to a pan for serving. Top with a sprinkle of chili powder, another sprinkle of cheese and a few more green onions for color. Serve warm.

AROUND CANTON | October 2023 19

Ukrainian Heritage

Cabbage Roll Soup


• 1 pound ground beef, cooked

• 1 small green cabbage (1½ pounds, cored and chopped)

• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

• 3 carrots, quartered and chopped into smaller pieces

• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

• 1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil

• 1 can petite diced tomatoes with juice

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

• ½ cup rice

• 2 cups chicken broth

• 3½ cups water


Preheat skillet. Add oil, cook and drain ground beef, add onions. Saute until onions are soft and translucent. Add chopped cabbage and carrots. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix well.

Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth and water. Bring to a simmer. Add rice. Allow to simmer until rice is tender. Add parsley and turn off heat.

Arabian Heritage

Chicken Shawarma


• 6 large tortillas or flatbread

• Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, thinly sliced onions

• 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

• ½ teaspoon each of garlic powder, black pepper, salt

• 1 teaspoon each of cumin and chili powder

• 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

Yogurt Sauce

• ½ cup plain Greek yogurt

• 1½ teaspoons water

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 1½ teaspoons each of cumin and garlic powder Mix yogurt sauce ingredients well a few hours ahead to allow ingredients to bloom.


Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat oil on medium-low heat and add cumin and chili powder. Fry for 10 seconds or until fragrant. Once fragrant, add seasoned chicken thighs into seasoned oil and turn heat to medium. Allow chicken thighs to cook until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 4-5 minutes. Slice into strips.

To make wrap, warm tortillas or flatbread in microwave for a few seconds. Add 1 tablespoon yogurt sauce to tortilla or flatbread. Add chicken, shredded lettuce, tomato and onion slices. Wrap like a burrito and enjoy! Pairs well with Israeli Cucumber Salad.

Israeli Cucumber Salad Ingredients

• 1 pound cucumbers, cut into half-moon shape

• 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half

• ¼ cup finely diced onion

• ½ cup chopped parsley

• 2 tablespoons canola oil

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 3 tablespoons lemon juice


Whisk oil, lemon juice and salt together. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Should be made at least 3 hours in advance to allow flavors to bloom.

20 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
Chicken Shawarma and Israeli Cucumber Salad.

This FREE event includes a wonderful dinner, coffee & desserts, live & silent auction, special music, testimonies and speaker Mary-Kate Burson. All proceeds benefit local youth in foster care served through Waymark.

Waymark is a 501(c)(3) that provides life-changing programming & relationships for youth in foster, adoptive and group homes through camps, skills-training and mentoring.

can RSVP at www.waymarkfoster.org/gala We hope to see you there!
Nov. 2, from 6:45 - 9 p.m. at North Metro Church in Marietta!


Photography Tips for Capturing Moments to Last a Lifetime

Brian Nejedly is a local photographer who works with Aroundabout Local Media on cover shoots. He’s been shooting weddings since 2004 and has documented the big day for more than 400 couples. Nejedly has shot weddings all over the United States and has even made the journey to Mexico and Jamaica, which he considers his second home. He shared some photography tips for couples preparing for their big day, as well as things to consider when planning a destination wedding.


What are the most popular photos requested?

I honestly get very few requests aside from particular family photos to make sure certain groups are highlighted. I think couples see my portfolio and know that I will take all of the shots expected, plus a bunch that were not expected.

What are the shots you recommend?

Get sunset photos if your location offers a sunset view. Get a natural, unposed photo of the couple laughing together. Get a photo just walking together. It’s great to see natural movement as people might appear stiff if they are all posing.

How can couples choose a great wedding photographer?

Couples need to choose someone whose work stands out to them visually and emotionally. Do you like the types of photos this photographer tends to capture? Do you like their overall lighting style and color (or black and white) treatment? Also, recommendations from past clients are essential.

Trashing your wedding dress can be much more fun than storing it away for years.
22 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
Capturing natural action brings out more personality than posing for photos.


What equipment is used at weddings?

A good photographer should have a variety of lenses to cover any scenario. Zoom lenses are convenient, but I prefer fixed lenses that offer a wider aperture. That’s how you get that nice bokeh (background blur) that really makes your subject stand out. That technique also makes flash less necessary when shooting in darker environments. I also use a mixture of off-camera flash and LED lighting. I am not a fan of using only natural light. Use what you need in order to get the best result.

How much time should you book?

My shortest shoot has been less than an hour to cover only the ceremony. My longest has been a full day of about 12 hours. I spend six to eight hours at most of my weddings.

When in the planning process should you contact photographers?

If you have a particular photographer in mind, book them as soon as possible to make sure you get them for your date. If you’re looking around, you should start looking for your photographer right after choosing your venue. Some venues offer their own, or your coordinator may have recommendations for you.


Which do you consider the most photographic wedding location?

Almost anywhere can be a great location. Beaches are nice because you have a simple backdrop of sea and sky. The background should be relatively simple and not distract from any of the subjects you’re shooting.

What should be considered when choosing a destination?

Cost is key. Destination weddings can be less expensive for the couple, but they do cost guests more to attend. Ease of travel also is important. Choose somewhere you can get to easily, with direct flights and minimal ground transportation at the destination. What may be simple with a single family may not be so simple with a large group. Finally, look at the availability of accommodations. Does your chosen location, like a resort, offer accommodations for everyone? Or is there a place nearby? And is this a place your guests would actually enjoy for a few days? It’s nice when everyone can stay together and get to know everyone better.

How do you pick a photographer for a destination wedding?

Do your homework and choose vendors with experience and multiple reviews and referrals. You may feel like you are choosing an unknown vendor far from home. The way you get to know them is by asking them questions and by reading what others have to say about their work.

How can you take advantage of local scenery and culture?

Do a day-after-the-wedding photo session at a local location or even do a “trash the dress” shoot at a nearby beach, waterfall or river.

What’s your favorite type of venue in north Georgia?

My favorite type of north Georgia venue is one that offers a scenic backdrop and is structured for holding events. It also helps when the venue provides an indoor option in case of rain. A historic home, estate or farm location usually offers a variety of backdrops to work with.

A sunset photo captures a perfect ending to a perfect day.
All photos courtesy of Brian Nejedly
AROUND CANTON | October 2023 23
A close-up shot of wedding rings is a great addition to your photo album.

Being Aware

Advice From Experts on How to Coexist With Gentle Giants

On Aug. 7, Woodstock Patch reported that a bear was spotted rummaging through a dumpster near the intersection of Hickory Road and Main Street. The report added that there have been additional recent bear sightings in the area and that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said there is a “healthy population of black bears” here.

Apparently, bears in this area remain active until going into hibernation around mid-December. So, even if no new reports come in, it is best to be on the lookout for the remainder of 2023.

Sharing Space With Bears

The presence of black bears in Cherokee County and farther north into the Georgia mountains is not a new occurrence. In 2022, our own Rob Macmillan of Rob’s Rescues interviewed Tori Reibel, education and communications coordinator of Appalachian Bear Rescue, an organization dedicated to caring for orphaned and injured black bear cubs (www.appalachianbearrescue. org). Some tips from the interview that remain important to community members today include:

What do you do if you see a bear?

Initially, talk to it. Let the bear know you are there. Then, slowly back away. Never ever run. Clap and wave your arms. Remain calm. If it is a brown bear, almost all the time, it will get out of there. They are shy. Grizzlies can be a bit more defensive. [Only black bears are found in Georgia.]

What is an interesting thing about bears?

Bears have a really good sense of smell. Bears often are portrayed as slow-moving foragers, but they are very quick and can run at speeds of about 35 mph. They are fast climbers, too.

How do you tell the difference between bears?

In our part of the world, we only have black bears. Physically, black bears also can be brown. The best way to differentiate between black bears and grizzlies is grizzly claws are longer and straight (to shovel and dig). Black bear claws are 1 to 2 inches long and are curved for climbing. Grizzly bears also have a very muscular hump on their shoulders.

What types of problems are bears facing?

In some cases, mother bears are poached, and we get lots of orphaned or abandoned bears. Most often, we deal with malnutrition and parasites, as well as injuries as a result of being hit by a car.

24 AROUND CANTON | October 2023

Aware of Bears

Be Bear Wise

Some tips from BearWise.org, an education program developed by state bear biologists and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

• Never feed or approach bears. Feeding bears trains them to approach homes and people for more food. Bears will defend themselves if a person gets too close, so don’t risk your safety and theirs!

• Secure food, garbage and recycling. Food and odors attract bears. Don’t reward them with easily available food or garbage.

• Remove bird feeders when bears are active. Birdseed and other grains have a high calorie content, making them very attractive to bears. The best way to avoid conflicts with bears is to remove feeders.

• Never leave pet food outdoors. Feed outdoor pets portion sizes that will be completely eaten during each meal and then remove leftover food and the food bowl. Securely store these foods, so nothing is available to bears.

• Clean and store grills.

After you use an outdoor grill, clean it thoroughly and make sure that all grease and fat is removed. Store cleaned grills and smokers in a secure area that keeps bears out.

• Alert neighbors to bear activity. Share news with your friends and neighbors about recent bear activity and how to avoid bear conflicts. Bears have adapted to living near people; are you willing to adapt to living near bears?

2023 Gala
14, 2023 Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre | 6 p.m. Buy tickets: artsksu23.givesmart.com AROUND CANTON | October 2023 25
Photo courtesy of Georgia Department of Natural Resources.



Email: edit@aroundaboutmagazines.com

November deadline is Oct. 10.

Please specify Around Canton. Word limit: 25.


Oct. 24

We can't believe you’re turning 4! We’re so happy you’re loving school and ballet.

Love, Mommy, Daddy, Octavia, Princess Zelda and Zsa Zsa

Robert and Jordan Stapleton

Oct. 3

Happy third anniversary to Robert and Jordan Stapleton!


Happy 18th birthday, Chansia!

Love, Mom, Dad, siblings and Dolce’


The world is a better place because you’re in it! Hope you have a fun and memorable sixth birthday, Isabella!

Love, Mommy, Daddy and Andrea


Happy third birthday, Ellie-belly!

We love you, Mommy, Daddy and Addison

Cayson Panter

Happy 10th birthday! We love you!

Nana, Papa, Grandma, Mom, Cohen and Zach

26 AROUND CANTON | October 2023

A Reminder of Our Nation’s Purpose

On Sept. 17, we observed Constitution Day, which often goes unnoticed, but holds immense importance for us as citizens of a democratic nation. Constitution Day marks the anniversary of the signing of our nation's most sacred document, setting the framework for the laws we live by today.

Our Constitution is not just a piece of parchment with words; it is the foundation upon which our democracy is built. It is a living document, a blueprint that has guided our nation for more than two centuries. Acknowledging its anniversary is a reminder of the principles that shape our nation's identity and the rights and responsibilities that come with it.

The Constitution enshrines the values of liberty and equality. It establishes the rule of law and ensures that no one is above it. This means that every citizen, regardless of status, is entitled to the same rights and protections under the law. These principles are not mere ideals; they are the bedrock of our society.

Furthermore, the Constitution outlines the framework of our government and the separation of powers between its branches. It sets the rules for how leaders are chosen and how they are held accountable. In a world where authoritarianism and tyranny threaten democracy, the Constitution serves as a beacon of hope and a promise to protect our freedoms.

Equally important is the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, which guarantee our fundamental rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, the press and the right to bear arms, and protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. These rights are essential to our individual and collective well-being.

As citizens, we always should be aware of our civic duty to uphold and defend our rights, just as we adhere to laws. We have the responsibility to engage in informed and respectful discourse, to vote, to serve on juries and to participate in our democracy in meaningful ways.

In celebrating our Constitution, we celebrate our nation's values, our shared history and a reminder of our civic duties. The Constitution represents our enduring ideals in an ever-changing world. The date to celebrate the Constitution may already have come and gone on the 2023 calendar, but every day is a chance to recommit ourselves to the principles our founding document represents, the rights it protects and the democratic ideals that make our nation strong.

Rep. Charlice Byrd represents Georgia House District 20. If you have any feedback, call 404-557-2218, email charlice.byrd@house.ga.gov or engage on Facebook.

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about Invisalign for adults and teens. 77 0- 4 79-99 9 9 | ww w. N i a D e n t i str y. c o m 1 50 P romin e n ce Po i n t Pa rkw a y, S ui t e 500, C a nton, G A AROUND CANTON | October 2023 27
These principles are not mere ideals; they are the bedrock of our society.

‘Your Canton Chiropractor’

Dedicated to Hometown While Expanding to Rome

After a renovation that included gutting, remodeling and redecorating a 5,000-square-foot building, Dr. Daniel Turner and his wife, Rhiannon, have opened the newest location of DT Chiropractic in Rome. The practice now has three locations — Canton, Cartersville and Rome — and a fourth is planned for 2024.

The Rome office is situated near the soon-to-be-revamped river district, a prime spot from which to introduce DT Chiropractic’s unique business model to a new community.

“We continue to be a no-sales environment. We will never push treatment plans on our patients, and we do not sell products or push them on anyone,” Dr. Turner said. “We only treat you for the issues you come in for and do not push you to come back.”

That approach apparently resonates with the patients, who voted DT Chiropractic Best Chiropractor for the fourth consecutive year in the Readers’ Choice poll.

No Care Plans

Dr. Turner believes chiropractic care should be patient-focused, rather than centered on the bottom line. He avoids selling patients wellness packages (a bundle of several appointments paid for at one time) or costly, unnecessary products or treatments. The goal is to take things one day at a time, one visit at a time, treating the cause of symptoms to achieve the quickest, most natural recovery possible.

“There is no way to know how anyone will respond to treatment,” Dr. Turner said. “It may take only one treatment before they feel better. We do not believe in selling someone a treatment plan of 20 to 30-plus visits. We don’t want our patients to come to us because they have to. We want them to come to us because they want to.

“I believe that if I take great care of my patients, helping them to feel their best, they will continue to come back to us for the right reasons. And that way of practicing has served us well and helped us to grow in a way we are proud of.”

Personal-Injury Specialists

In addition to traditional chiropractic services, DT Chiropractic specializes in injuries resulting from auto and slipand-fall accidents.

“We have established many solid

relationships and work closely with topnotch personal-injury attorneys across metro Atlanta,” Dr. Turner said. “We also have an extensive referral network of medical providers. With car accident cases, we can usually treat people and handle their case with no out-of-pocket costs. Our goal is to get our patients back to the same quality of life they had prior to the accident.”

Sports Injuries

Dr. Turner didn’t follow the traditional path to becoming a chiropractor. In fact, the California native’s career plan was to become an orthopedic surgeon, following in his father’s footsteps. His undergraduate degree is in neurobiology from the University of California, Irvine.

“I grew up disliking chiropractors and thought the profession was a sham,” he said.

28 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
From left, Dr. Michael Rivera, Heather McGill, Isabela Miguel, Dr. Carlos Ramos, Dr. Chris Davis, Rhiannon and Dr. Daniel Turner, Dr. Paul Garrison, Evalisa Meza, Dr. Ryan Petrini, Samantha Monie, Lofton Wheeles and Megan Auffenberg. Not pictured, Dr. Ixchell Roman Perez.


Meet the DT Chiropractic Team

Dr. Turner splits his time between the Canton, Cartersville and Rome offices; the staff of each office is bilingual.

Cartersville office

Dr. Chris Davis

Dr. Carlos Ramos

Lofton Wheeles, front office manager and personal injury specialist

Canton office

Dr. Ryan Petrini

Dr. Michael Rivera

Dr. Ixchell Roman Perez

Samantha Monie and Isabela Miguel, front office managers

Rome office

Dr. Paul Garrison

Evalisa Meza - front office manager

Rhiannon Turner, director of client services for personal injury and director of marketing

Heather McGill, case manager and billing

Megan Auffenberg, marketing

That changed after Dr. Turner was injured when he was a professional MMA fighter. The care he received from a chiropractor changed his views. The chiropractor took his time with Dr. Turner and helped improve his injuries instead of merely prescribing pain medicine.

After that experience, Dr. Turner enrolled in chiropractic school at Southern California University of Health Sciences. He started his first practice in 2009, and he has worked with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Los Angeles Kings and many gold medal Olympic athletes.

Investing in Community

Dr. Turner supports many local charities and sports teams. At Cherokee High School, he is the team chiropractor and president of the booster club for Warrior baseball, and he is a football sponsor. All Cherokee County employees are offered a special $30 rate at Dr. Turner’s clinic.

The Turners also support The Miracle League of Cherokee County and co-sponsor Downtown Canton First Friday events. This month, they are sponsoring the Think Pink Cherokee Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, in its second year in Canton. The city’s downtown development manager, Velinda Hardy, is a breast cancer survivor and started this event last year.

When Dr. Turner moved to Canton in 2013, he bought the 16-year-old chiropractic practice of retired Dr. Scott Starrett. Since then, the number of patients has doubled year after year, a blessing that Dr. Turner attributes to his patients referring family and friends for care.

“I take pride in living in Canton. I have never felt connected to a city the way that I do here” he said. “I want to be the go-to chiropractor for Canton, Cartersville and Rome, and earn that title year after year. I want you to be a patient for life.”

DT CHIROPRACTIC www.dtchiropractic.com | EQ 2920 Marietta Highway, Suite 102 Canton, GA 30114 770-580-0123 205 Stonewall St. Cartersville, GA 30120 470-888-4888 4 Professional Court Rome, GA 30165 706-388-3888
AROUND CANTON | October 2023 29

Nonprofit Inspires Hope Through Good Words, Deeds

The gift of encouragement does more to support others, give confidence and inspire hope than almost anything we can do. And the amazing thing about this simple action is that it benefits the giver and the receiver of the good word or deed. The ancient proverb says it best: A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

There’s a whole lot of refreshing going on at The Encouragement Project (TEP). This nonprofit has a mission to provide unique and purposeful opportunities to serve and encourage people in need in our communities.

“The heart of TEP is to encourage people to use the natural gifts and abilities God has given them to bless others in the special ways only they can,” Director Stephanie Cervantes said. “We have a number of ways to get involved and always welcome help with any of our current projects.”

How much goodness is being spread through TEP here and in 25 other counties across north Georgia? Since TEP’s beginning in 2015, more than 30,000 people have been served, volunteers have worked more than 52,700 hours, and more than 33,500 items have been shared. The organization accomplishes these kind deeds through five main projects:

• Bears and Friends: Stuffed animals can provide snuggly comfort for refugee kids and other young ones in traumatic situations. Bears and Friends accepts gently used/ new stuffed animals that are cleaned, packaged cheerfully and sent out to be encouraging, huggable, portable friends.

• Hugs and Kisses: During the colder months, many people struggle to find basic warmth. Beautiful knitted and crocheted handmade items are collected to share hugs (scarves) and kisses (hats) with those in need.

• Sew It Seams: This is a fantastic outlet for those who sew to make creative items that serve and bless people of all ages — from babies to the elderly. Sew It Seams gathers lovely quilts, adult bibs for hospice and dementia patients and a variety of other sewn items to share.

Ruth, a talented volunteer, works on a piece at one of TEP’s community Sewing Day events.
30 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
TEP Director Stephanie Cervantes, right, crochets with Betty, a volunteer who donated handmade hats until she was 101.

• Simple Gifts: The purpose of this project is to thank first responders, teachers, health care employees, nonprofit workers and others who work to help our communities. Simple gifts are created from handmade paper containers, which are artistically decorated by season or event and filled with a sweet treat.

• The Book Drop: Literacy is an incredible gift. This project provides books for kids in low-income families who have little access to them. New and gently used books are collected to give children in need access to wonderful stories and adventures. As of last year, 19,445 books had been donated and distributed.

There are many ways to help and encourage those around us — gifts of time, service, provisions and words — and you are invited to be a part of the effort, even if it’s just by cleaning out your closets or bookshelves. TEP is collecting new and gently used children’s books and stuffed animals, yarn (any kind, full skeins or leftover bits), fabric (any kind, any amount), scrapbook paper (any kind/embellishments) and scrapbook tools (dye cuts, cutters, scoring).

Sarah, a TEP volunteer, said, “I was at a stage in my life where I was looking for a way to give back. Volunteering with The Encouragement Project has given me purpose. I believe in the mission and have seen what they do, and it is good!”

Izetta, an amazing volunteer who is in her 90s, has made 4,000 hats for TEP! She humbly said, “Well, I like to crochet, and this just gives me something to do.” Do you knit, sew or crochet? If so, join TEP team. The Encouragement Project provides a place to donate where every item goes directly to children and individuals, providing help and encouragement right on time. For more information and to donate, visit theencouragementproject.org. To share your unique gift, volunteer or find drop-off/pickup locations, email Stephanie Cervantes at serve@theencouragementproject. org or call/text her at 678-951-6235. Follow TEP on social media platforms for all the latest happenings.

Susan Schulz is a Bible teacher and mentor who lives and plays on the Etowah River in Canton. Connect with her on social media or at susanbrowningschulz.com. As books are donated, they are checked, sorted, packed and delivered to children in need. Donated stuffed animals are wrapped in bags sewn by TEP volunteers and given to kids in refugee/traumatic situations.
AROUND CANTON | October 2023 31
Izetta, who’s in her mid-90s, has crocheted hats for kids since 2017 and just passed the 4,000 mark for number of hats made.

History Carved

As you’ve no doubt discovered if you’ve been reading my column for long, Cherokee County lies within the Georgia Gold Belt. Gold has contributed significantly to the economy throughout time. In fact, mining for gold even predates the Cherokee people settling in this region.

It might come as a surprise, however, for you to discover that as valuable as it is, gold isn’t the greatest mineral wealth in this county’s history. That honor belongs to metamorphosed limestone, also known as marble. The range of marbles found and mined in Cherokee, Pickens and Gilmer counties is vast, including Creole marble (which is white and blue/ black), Etowah marble (which comes in pink, salmon and rose shades) and Murphy marble (which is white).

To give you some idea of how significant north Georgia marble is on the world stage, here is just a partial list of structures constructed with one or more of these marble types, mined right here:

• The U. S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

• The Federal Reserve Board Building, in Washington, D.C.

• The John Adams Building in Washington, D.C.

• The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (Ohio)

• The Swan Building in New York City

• The Chicago Water Tower

• The National Aeronautical and Aerospace Museum, in Washington, D.C.

• The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

More than half of all headstones at Arlington National Cemetery and 60% of all the national monuments and memorials in Washington, D.C. were wrought from north Georgia marble. And as impressive as all this might sound, it’s estimated that, at most, only 10% to 15% of the marble available here has been quarried; the rest is still there.

Locally, you can see this same marble used as the building materials for One Georgia Center in Atlanta, the Tate House in Pickens County and the Cherokee County Courthouse in Canton. And the center of all this industry is Nelson, which sits in both Cherokee and Pickens counties. The founding of the marble industry in the area is what ultimately drove the railroads to expand from Marietta to what is now known as Nelson in 1883, and the story of the man who built the Georgia Marble Co., Col. Stephen C. Tate, is worth telling.

Tate was born in 1832 and moved to Pickens County (then still Cherokee County) at a young age. When he was 20, he left for California to mine gold, but by 1855, he was back in Georgia, operating

A group tours the Georgia Marble Co. in the 1950s. Photo courtesy of the Cherokee County Historical Society.
32 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
Cherokee County Courthouse in Canton. Photo courtesy of the Cherokee County Historical Society.

Carved in Stone


a business in Cartersville. In 1857, he married Eliza Buffington of Griffin.

When the Civil War started, Tate enlisted. At the war’s end, he went back to the family homestead in Pickens County, where he turned his attention to developing the marble industry.

Marble is heavy and expensive to transport; he became instrumental in bringing the railroad to Nelson in order to service his fledgling business. At the same time, he was buying out as many of the local marble businesses as he could to consolidate the industry. In 1884, he officially founded the Georgia Marble Co., and when he died in April 1901, he was vice president of the Georgia Marble Co. of Tate, the Blue Ridge Marble Co. of Nelson and the Kennesaw Marble Co. of Marietta. Not everyone was willing to sell out, however. One company, in particular, Georgia Marble Finishing Works of Canton, was operating independently well into the late 1940s.

In those days, structural stone was the material of choice for large buildings. These days, steel girders and concrete dominate the construction industry. While today’s building standards often don’t employ solid marble, marble facades on buildings remain popular, as do marble monuments and memorials.

Setting industrial economics aside, one of the proudest accomplishments of the marble industry might have been its inclusivity. It recruited immigrants from Scotland and Ireland as mining experts and employed marble workers and stonecutters from Italy and set them to work alongside white and Black Americans to share their expertise. One reason for the industry’s success, undoubtedly, was its willingness to bring in experts from all across the globe and use them to educate local residents who were willing to work to gain the expertise it had so diligently recruited.

Cherokee County flourished to a great degree due to the existence and development of cutting-edge transportation options connecting it with the rest of the world. In the days before European migration, the Etowah River served as the conduit. Thanks, in part, to Georgia marble, the railroad, which had large sections running alongside the Etowah, served as the next gamechanging transportation conduit. More recently, the development of the Interstate 575 corridor serves as the most current iteration of modern transportation options, but that is yet another story, best left for another day.

The Wanderer has been a resident of Cherokee County for nearly 20 years, and constantly is learning about his community on daily walks, which totaled a little more than 2,000 miles in 2022. Send questions or comments to wanderingga@gmail.com.

Wonderings of th e
AROUND CANTON | October 2023 33

Fall Festivities Plentiful This Year

After the hottest summer we’ve had in years — maybe ever — the cool, crisp air of autumn will be a welcome relief. Take advantage of the change of seasons by getting outside and enjoying some of the fall festivals and Halloween activities in Woodstock, Holly Springs and Canton, as well as in neighboring towns in Cobb County and north


Halloween Trail of Tricks and Treats

Oct. 31, 5-9 p.m., Rubes Creek Trail 232 Arnold Mill Road, Woodstock. Across from Fire Station 14. Event and parking are free. Walk along the 1.4mile trail, get candy from vendors and enjoy music, games, activities and crafts. Flashlights are encouraged.

Taste and Brews Fall Festival

Oct. 14-15, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Etowah River Park in Canton.

Sample the flavors of Georgia and listen to live music by regional acts. Admission is free, and there will be a variety of children’s activities. www. tasteandbrews.com

The Great Pumpkin Fest

Oct. 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Cherokee Veterans Park, Canton.

Includes DJ, craft and food vendors, hayrides, ax throwing, archery, a costume contest and more. Wear your costumes and trick-or-treat with vendors. Admission is free. www. playcherokee.org

Hiking Scavenger Hunt: Halloween

Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m., Lewis Park.

Get your costumes and flashlights handy for a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt at dusk, lasting into nightfall. Cherokee Recreation and Parks-sponsored event for all ages (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Contact: Nick Holt, nrholt@ cherokeega.com or 770-501-8002. Register through 5 p.m. Oct. 24.

Denim Fest

Oct. 27-28, 4-10 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, The Mill on Etowah.

A celebration of history that includes trick-or-treating, barbecue tasting, a kids’ costume contest, an adult denim jacket contest, live music and more. www.etowahmill.com/event/denimfest

“The Tell-Tale Heart”

Oct. 27-29, Nov. 3-5, Canton Theatre.

An evening of spooky adventures in “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe, “Sorry Wrong Number” by Lucille Fletcher and “Cheating Death” by Kamron Klitgaard. For tickets, contact boxoffice@cherokeetheatre.org or 770-591-0282.

Cherokee County Veteran Organizations’ BBQ

Oct. 28, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., American Legion Post 45, 160 McClure St. Canton.

Featuring live bands, a craft fair, raffles, trick-or-treating, a costume contest and more. Georgia Barbecue Association members and amateurs will compete for prizes and awards. Barbecue plates will be available for purchase, benefiting Veteran Suicide Awareness and the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans Program. For more information, email jlindenmayer80@gmail.com or john_b1966@comcast.net.

Hillcrest Baptist Fall Festival

Oct. 31, 4 p.m., 6069 Woodstock Road, Woodstock.

Hayrides, caramel apples at the apple barn and tons of candy. Dress up in your costumes.


Johnston Elementary Oct. 21, 3-5 p.m. 2031 E. Cherokee Drive. Trunk or Treat, free admission. Woodstock Christian Church Oct. 29, 4-6 p.m. 7700 Highway 92.
34 AROUND CANTON | October 2023


Helen Oktoberfest

Through Oct. 29, weekdays, 6-10:30 p.m.; Fridays, 6 p.m.-midnight; Saturdays, 1 p.m.-midnight; Sundays, 1-7 p.m. Helen Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss Strasse.

Take part in one of the longest-running Oktoberfests in the country and enjoy German beer, bratwurst, German-style bands, polka dances and a parade during the 53rd annual celebration. Admission for adults is $10 weekdays, $12 Fridays and Saturdays, and free on Sundays and for active and retired military. Kids 6-12 are half price, and younger than 6 are free. www.helenchamber.com/oktoberfest

Pumpkin Fest

Through Oct. 30, Pettit Creek Farms Cartersville.

Includes unlimited access to the corn maze, hayride, petting zoo, scarecrow building and more. Visit the website for hours and admission information. https:// pettitcreekfarms.com/pumpkin-fest-2

Georgia Mountain Fall Festival

Oct. 6-14, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, 1311 Music Hall Road, Hiawassee.

The annual fall festival at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds is home to arts and crafts, carnival food, educational demonstrations, rides, games and daily concerts. One-day admission is $6 for the arts and crafts festival, $16 for the festival and concert; kids 12 and younger and parking are free. https://bit.ly/3TzESAE

Taste of Acworth

Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Main Street downtown.

This event will include more than 150 booths from local restaurants and businesses, a live entertainment stage, inflatables, a Georgia Grown Member Village and a beer garden. Admission is free. Restaurants will be offering food samples, ranging from $1 to $10. 770423-1330; www.acworthbusiness.org

Kennesaw Fall-O-Ween

Oct. 7, 4-9 p.m., Swift-Cantrell Park 3140 Old 41 Highway.

Kennesaw Parks and Recreation will transform Swift-Cantrell into Spook-Central Park for its annual fall festival. Activities at the free event include a candy trail, a scavenger hunt, crafts, field games, music and a showing of “Hotel Transylvania” (PG) on a giant inflatable screen after sundown. Costume contests for all ages. Concessions available. www.kennesaw-ga.gov/ parks-and-recreation, 770-422-9714

Georgia Marble Festival

Oct. 7-8, Lee Newton Park, Jasper.

Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday with entertainment, a parade, kids’ zone, arts and crafts, quarry tours, chainsaw carving and more.



Oct. 14-15.

A chalk and beer festival on Marietta Square is free and open to the public, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. www.chalktoberfest.com

Georgia Apple Festival

Oct. 14-15, 21-22, Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds.

Begins at 9 a.m. each day. Admission is $10; children 12 and younger are admitted free. Visitors can expect more than 300 vendors, handmade items, a parade and an antique car show.


Blairsville Sorghum Festival

Oct. 14-15 and 21-22, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each day, Meeks Park, 490 Meeks Park Road.

Visit this annual festival to find sorghum syrup, arts and crafts, a parade, cloggers, demonstrations, games, activities and live music. Admission is $5; free for ages 12 and younger.


North Georgia Fair

Oct. 19-29, North Georgia Ag Fairgrounds, 500 Legion Drive, Dalton. Enjoy rides, games, food, entertainment and agricultural exhibits at this 75th annual fall fair. Visit the website for times. www.northgafair.com

Appalachian Brew, Que and Stew Festival

Oct. 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds 1311 Music Hall Road, Hiawassee.

The 2023 festival brings together more than 60 craft breweries from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. There also will be food from area restaurants, regional arts and crafts, lots of Appalachian and Americana music and a beer garden. Advance tickets are $50; gate admission is $55. bit.ly/47rsDNu, 706-896-4191

Acworth Halloween JamBOOree

Oct. 21, 3-7 p.m., Logan Farm Park. The event features games, rides, food, music and a costume contest for kids. The park is at 4405 Cherokee St., Acworth.

Children enjoy a previous JamBOOree at Logan Farm Park.
AROUND CANTON | October 2023 35



Oct. 21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Glover Park at Marietta Square.

The annual festival includes the HarvestFest Arts and Crafts Show; a pie-eating contest for ages 6 and older, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Toucha-Truck, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Scarecrows in the Square, all day; costume contest for all ages, as well as pets, 2-3 p.m.; and Halloween Happenings kids’ festival for ages 12 and younger, 1-5 p.m. www.mariettaga.gov/1258/ Harvest-Fest

Gold Rush Days Festival

Oct. 21-22, Dahlonega.

Held annually to celebrate the 1828 discovery of gold in the city. More than 200 arts and crafts exhibitors and vendors will gather around the square and historic district for this two-day festival. https://goldrushdaysfestival. com/gold-rush-days

Acworth Craft Beer and Wine Fest

Nov. 4, 1-5 p.m., Logan Farm Park. Participants can sample more than 100 craft beers and 25 wines and enjoy live music, food and college football on big screens. This event is for ages 21 and older; no babies, kids or pets will be allowed. Tickets are $40 in advance and $55 the day of the event. www.acworthbeerwinefest.com

Taste of Kennesaw

Nov. 4, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Main Street downtown.

The event, which benefits five local charities, will feature samples from more than 20 Kennesaw and Cobb County restaurants, as well as live music, local entertainment, the Georgia Grown Member Village, a beer garden and children’s activities, including a rock wall, inflatable slides and bounces. Admission is free, and food samples will range from $1 to $10. 770-423-1330, Laura@jrmmanagement.com, www.kennesawbusiness.org

Old Clarkesville Market Holiday Show

Nov. 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Habersham County Fairgrounds Pavilion, 4235 Toccoa Highway, Clarkesville.

Visit the market to find arts and crafts, home decor and food vendors. Enjoy live entertainment and have photos taken with Santa. Admission is free. https:// oldclarkesvillemarketcraftshows.com

Gobble Jog

Nov. 23, Marietta Square.

The 21st annual event, benefiting MUST Ministries, begins at 7:30 a.m. More than 10,000 runners will participate in the 10K, 5K, 1K and Tot Trot races. www.mustministries.org/gobble-jog


Acworth Ghost Tours. Stroll down sidewalks in historic Acworth while listening to tour guides tell stories based on documented sightings, firsthand experiences, research and history. Tours are Friday and Saturday evenings (weather permitting) in October. www.jimmagus.com

Ghosts of Marietta. Tour guides will excite you with tales of departed spirits and mysterious residents as you walk through Marietta’s historic streets, and, if you’re lucky, you will experience them as well. Visit www.toursofmarietta. com/ghost-tours to book a tour, Fridays through Sundays year-round.

Roswell Ghost Tour. Follow experienced paranormal investigators on a 2.5-hour walking tour, operating year-round. Learn about paranormal phenomena experienced by residents, businesses and tourgoers on a hunt for haunts. View the tour schedule at http://roswellghosttour.com.

Dahlonega Walking Tours. Dive into the rich and fascinating history of Dahlonega with the Historic Ghost Tour, a 1.5-mile guided tour with approximately 15 stops. Or, for ages 21 and older, Grapes and Ghosts Wine Tour takes guests on a 0.6mile guided tour. Sample local wines while listening to stories about the town’s history. Check the calendar for tour dates.



Avery Elementary

Oct. 20, 5-9 p.m., 6391 E. Cherokee Drive, Canton.

Featuring food, games, face painting, bounce houses and prizes.

Ball Ground Elementary

STEM Academy

Nov. 3, 6-9 p.m., 321 Valley St., Ball Ground.

Featuring a rock wall, inflatables, games, face painting, cake walk and vendor booths. Kona Ice and other food vendors will be on-site.

Bascomb Elementary

Oct. 13, 6-8 p.m., 1335 Wyngate Parkway.

Featuring food trucks, obstacle courses, face painting, hula hoops, DJ Papa, fun run, sno-balls and candy. Funds raised will be used to help replace the back playground.

Carmel Elementary

Oct. 14, noon-4 p.m., 2275 Bascomb Carmel Road.

Featuring inflatables, petting zoo, vendors, DJ, carnival games, book fair and raffle baskets.

Free Home Elementary

Nov. 3, 6-9 p.m., 12525 Cumming Highway.

Featuring games, rock wall, raffles, chili cookoff, mechanical bull, funnel cakes, prizes, vendors, cake walk, popcorn, food truck, inflatables and cotton candy.

Holly Springs Elementary STEM Academy

Oct. 21, 4-7 p.m., 1965 Hickory Road Canton.

Including games, vendors and food trucks.

R.M. Moore Elementary STEM Academy

Oct. 20, 5-7 p.m., 1375 Puckett Road Waleska.

Featuring inflatables, food, games, cake walk, face painting, crazy hair and vendor booths.

36 AROUND CANTON | October 2023

Plant Your Own Autumn Show

Every year in late October or early November, you can head north to Georgia’s Blue Ridge for the fall foliage show; it’s worth the trip. However, if you find yourself hankering for more than just an afternoon or weekend treat, consider re-creating the fall show in your yard. You probably have several north Georgia trees in your yard already. Just round out your fall palette with one or more of the beautiful natives below. If you’re willing to start with smaller trees, it’s easy on the budget and the digging.

Canopy Trees for Color

• Oak – White oak and numerous red oaks offer lateseason color, from bright, fire engine red to dark wine. An added benefit is wildlife support - more than 100 animal species depend on oak trees for food, including songbirds, turkeys and foxes. Additionally, oaks anchor our butterfly population; 534 species of butterfly and moth caterpillars eat their leaves. (From this point, I will include caterpillar numbers with the trees because they are the primary food for baby birds, who are unable to eat seeds. All caterpillar numbers are cited from “Bringing Nature Home” by Doug Tallamy.)

• Birch – Yellow leaves in fall grace the decorative bark. The birch family supports 413 species of butterflies.

• Hickory – Golden compound leaves appear alongside fall nuts that birds and wildlife love. Eight species of hickory are native to Georgia, supporting 200 species of butterflies.

• Maple – Red maple lights the fall forest with its vivid reds. The maple family supports 285 species of caterpillars.

• Willow – Long, graceful leaves turn yellow in fall. Willows support 456 species of caterpillars.

Smaller Trees for Color

• Sourwood – Leaves turn a clear, brilliant red, visible every fall along Towne Lake Parkway. I have two in my yard – the bees love the sprays of white flowers in spring.

• Redbud – Heartshaped leaves turn yellow in fall. In spring, vivid magenta flowers are a bee magnet. I enjoy my cultivar, which has showy chartreuse leaves through spring and summer.

• Sweet Gum – Possibly the most beautiful tree for fall color, the sweet gum can blend in a single leaf in every tint from yellow to orange to red to maroon. Plant this beauty in a natural area of the yard where the soft spikes of the seeds won’t bother you.

• Dogwood – Dark red leaves surround bright red fruits that are some of the first to be eaten by migrating fall birds. Choose a blight-resistant variety such as Appalachian Spring.

Trees Unpalatable to Deer

Black cherry, black willow, red maple, sweet gum, serviceberry and sassafras are not appealing to deer (Tallamy). For other trees, especially small saplings, you may need to provide protection for the leaves or bark. Stores like Home Depot and online sources sell a range of easy options.

Where Can I Buy Native Trees?

There are a number of nurseries in Cherokee County and north Georgia that sell these beautiful native trees. Visit the website for the Georgia Native Plant Society for a list of sources: https://gnps.org/georgias-native-plants/sourcesnative-plants/. I also have had great luck with natives by mail order – just make sure to read the customer reviews.

Ann Litrel is an artist and certified Master Naturalist. She instructs nature journal workshops and paints in her studio, Ann Litrel Art, in Towne Lake.
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Keeping Parents, Community In the Loop

As a school district, much of our focus on communicating information is directed toward the parents of the Cherokee County School District’s (CCSD) 42,000 students.

We regularly send communications directly to parents from the district, school and classrooms via messages and newsletters.

At the same time, as a public school system, we also see it as part of our responsibility to keep our entire community up-to-date on our operations. We are funded by the community, through income, property and sales taxes, and we serve the community at large by preparing it’s future workforce and future leaders.

We share news with our community through our website at www.cherokeek12.net and through our social media:

Facebook (@CherokeeGASchools)

Twitter (@CherokeeSchools)

Instagram and Threads (@cherokeegaschools)

LinkedIn (@Cherokee County School District - GA)

YouTube (@CherokeeGASchools)

We’re also grateful to this magazine’s publisher for generously giving us space in every other issue to share news and information with our community.

Over the past year, we’ve recognized that it would be helpful to them if more of our news came directly to them instead of expecting them to seek it out on their own. We recently created a sign-up list at https://bit.ly/CCSDsignup for community members to receive our monthly CCSD Connections newsletter in their email on the same day it’s emailed to CCSD parents.

The newsletter (see the current issue at https://bit. ly/CCSDnews) rounds up the past month’s CCSD news, from updates on school board meetings to student and teacher achievements. Other monthly features include a message from the superintendent of schools, resources for parents, a recipe of the month from CCSD’s school nutrition kitchens, profiles of CCSD leaders, job openings, a calendar of events and more. It’s published the first or second Thursday of the month, depending on the school calendar.

Beyond positive feedback from parents in general, we’ve heard feedback from parents that the newsletter’s information helps them in their vocation,

such as Realtors and small-business owners. We think by expanding our distribution to the community, our news will help more people who work in these fields but don’t currently have children in our schools.

We’ve also heard feedback from grandparents who requested the opportunity to sign up to keep up with news from their grandchildren’s school district (and maybe see a grandchild highlighted!). The new signup system is open to grandparents, too, even those who don’t live in Cherokee County. If you’re a parent reading this, please share the sign-up link with your children’s grandparents if you think they would enjoy reading the newsletter.

Thank you to everyone in the community who has signed up so far. If you ever need more information about CCSD, please email us at communications@ cherokeek12.net.

Barbara P. Jacoby serves as chief communications officer for the Cherokee County School District, and is a CCSD parent with four children.
38 AROUND CANTON | October 2023

Buying a Home at Today’s Interest Rates

In the ever-evolving real estate market, potential homebuyers often find themselves at a crossroads, especially when faced with higher interest rates. Today, with rates hovering around 7.5%, many are on the fence about diving into homeownership. But before you decide to delay your dream of owning a home, let's dig into some factors that might make buying now a smart move.

Less Competition, More Opportunities

A 7.5% interest rate might sound high, even though it’s not all that bad, historically speaking. However, it's essential to understand the broader picture. Higher rates generally mean fewer buyers in the market. This reduced competition can be a win for serious buyers. Remember the days when rates were around 3%? The market was flooded with buyers, leading to multiple-offer situations. In such scenarios, not only was there a risk of missing out on your dream home, but there also was the added pressure of potentially having to overpay to secure a property.

Now, with fewer buyers to compete against, you have a better chance of getting the home you desire without the frenzy of a bidding war. Additionally, sellers might be more willing to negotiate on price, terms or contingencies, given the smaller pool of interested parties.

The Flexibility of Refinancing

Securing a 30-year fixed mortgage at 7.5% doesn’t mean you have to keep that rate for 30 years. If interest rates drop in the future, you always have the option to refinance, which allows you to capitalize on lower rates, reduce monthly payments or even tap into equity in your home that you’ve already built. While you're waiting for rates to drop, you'll be building additional equity in your home, enjoying tax benefits and, most importantly, living in a space that's truly yours.

Predicting interest rate movements is a complex endeavor, influenced by countless economic factors. While rates are at 7.5% today, there's no guarantee they won't rise further. By choosing to buy now, you lock in your rate and protect yourself from future uncertainties.

Chris Johnson started his mortgage career in 2004. He’s been a Canton resident since 2020. As CEO of Sunshine Mortgage, he’s always willing to provide unbiased mortgage advice. 678-952-9020.

Inspiring Others After Cancer Journey

During a typical visit to her gynecologist, Shelley, then 45, received news that would change her life. During the routine exam, her gynecologist identified subtle changes in her breasts that indicated she needed further testing.

It ended up being what they all feared: breast cancer. However, the early discovery was a silver lining, showing the tremendous value of consistent medical checkups. Identifying the issue early meant that Shelley had a fighting chance.

Treatment for cancer isn’t straightforward. Shelley had to endure several surgeries, which left visible scars on her body. But, beyond the physical reminders, there also were emotional challenges that she confronted daily. There were moments of fear, days filled with uncertainty and nights filled with anxiety. Yet, amid all this, Shelley’s spirit never wavered because of her strong faith.

Shelley soon realized that surrounding herself with supportive individuals was crucial. She joined groups where people shared their own cancer journey. It wasn’t just about listening; it was about understanding, sharing and feeling united in a common challenge. These connections provided her with a sense of community and understanding that helped in her emotional healing process. Along with group support, Shelley went to a therapist. Talking to a professional allowed her to process her feelings and find strategies to look at her situation with faith, hope and strength.

As the days transformed into months and then into years, an incredible shift took place. Shelley started viewing her scars not as mere reminders of pain, but as badges of courage. With newfound strength and perspective, she felt a burning desire to give back. She began volunteering actively at local cancer support centers. Listening to others, offering advice and just being there for someone became her way of healing and helping simultaneously. Shelley is still cancer-free and routinely volunteers in support groups to help others overcome the emotional trauma of cancer.

Shelley’s remarkable journey underscores a critical message: the importance of regular OB-GYN visits. For women, regular check-ins with an experienced gynecologist are not just routine appointments; they can be lifesaving. In Shelley’s case, it was this routine that turned out to be her biggest ally, helping her identify a problem early and giving her the advantage she needed.

Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists, PC has seven OB-GYNs and five advanced practice providers, with offices in Canton and Woodstock.
AROUND CANTON | October 2023 39

Cherokee Fire & Emergency Services Continues to Grow

By the most objective measure, Cherokee County provides the best value of any county in Georgia. The property tax rates controlled by the Board of Commissioners (BOC) are the 28th lowest in the state. And we’re one of just three counties that don’t have an extra 1% local sales tax for operations. Combining BOC-controlled property and sales taxes, ours are the fourth lowest of 159 counties in Georgia.

And yet our county services, primarily public safety, are among the very best in the nation! Our Sheriff’s Office holds Triple Crown national accreditation with honors, a recognition shared by just one-tenth of 1% of law enforcement agencies in the country. Our E-911 and Marshal’s offices also are nationally accredited.

But I especially want to brag about Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services. What a journey they’ve been on. Just 25 years ago, fire service in unincorporated Cherokee County was all-volunteer, except in a small strip across the south part of the county. In 1998, voters approved a fire district tax to extend paid fire services to the entire county. It began with just one firefighter per shift at each of the formerly allvolunteer stations. Their job was to get to the emergency with the fire truck and meet the volunteers there. That worked well on nights and weekends, when volunteers were available, but not as well when they were at their day jobs.

Gradually, most of the volunteers faded away, though some remain and are much appreciated. Paid staffing gradually has increased to a minimum of three per shift at each station. A first-class training center was added to bring the level of professionalism to the highest standards.

In response to a crisis with the privatized ambulance service in 2003, the service was brought in-house. All firefighters are cross-trained as medics. They’re interchangeable between ambulance and fire truck duties and can back up one another. An accredited in-house paramedic training program was added to provide a steady supply of those elite and scarce medical responders. Today, Cherokee’s ambulance service is recognized as one of the best in Georgia.

When Cherokee Fire initially sought rating by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), it was certified at Level 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, with one being the best. As staffing, equipment and, especially, training levels have improved, it’s achieved an ISO rating of 2, truly excellent for a countywide fire service covering large rural areas.

In 2016, the city of Canton merged its fire service into the county’s, leaving Woodstock as the only city with separate fire service. The ambulance service always has covered all the cities.

Early this year, Chief Eddie Robinson reported to the BOC that Fire & Emergency Services was within 30 officers and two more staffed stations of achieving its build-out goals. We’re adding half those officers in the upcoming year’s budget and hope to add the rest the following year. They’ll need to keep growing with the county and never will stop getting better. But their incredible initial journey is almost done!

How appropriate it is that in March, Cherokee Fire & Emergency Services was awarded international accreditation, placing it among the most elite fire services in the world! Only 10 city and county fire departments in Georgia, and only 330 worldwide, have achieved that level of excellence.

Just weeks ago, at the annual Georgia Fire Service Conference, Cherokee’s two teams placed second and third in the overall statewide skills and ability competition. And Cherokee Assistant Fire Chief Shane West was named Georgia Fire Officer of the Year!

Let’s all join in congratulating the chief, those two teams and all Cherokee Fire & Emergency Services employees for providing us with truly world-class protection.

I’m always interested in your thoughts. Please email me at hjohnston@cherokeega.com.

Harry Johnston is chairman of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners. He’s a retired CPA and accounting manager, and a former district commissioner.
40 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
Cherokee Fire Chief Eddie Robinson, left, congratulates Assistant Chief Shane West, who was named Georgia Fire Officer of the Year.

Building Faith Takes Lifelong Practice

I read many moons ago that to get a child to internalize something, you have to say it 1,000 times. You need to tell them 1,000 times to use a napkin and not their sleeve, to pick up their underwear from the floor and to make their bed every morning. If you don’t get to 1,000, the habit may not stick.

Sure, we worried about our children’s cleanliness and manners. We worried whether they could say “thank you” and look adults directly in the eye. We worried about their kindness to siblings and their study habits. But what about their faith? What about their relationship with God?

When our children were baptized, we promised to put the Scriptures into their hands, to bring them to church and to make sure they understand that they’re a child of God; loved beyond measure. With God’s help, I can honestly say we tried to keep those promises. But have we said 1,000 personal prayers with them or have the prayers been rote? Have we taken them to church 1,000 times, been fully present in heart and mind and communed together? Have we modeled Christian generosity 1,000 times, loving all our neighbors with abandon? Have we instilled in them not only knowledge of God but a love for God? Have we prayed 1,000 times for them and asked God to firmly take hold of their life?

Although our children are older now, I still pray that somewhere, deep inside our children, 1,000 seeds have been planted and nurtured and loved. I pray that the seeds will continue to grow, to strengthen and to deepen their roots. I pray that God will take our efforts, bless them and turn them into something magnificent. I pray, too, that our children will continue to let God into their lives.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Deuteronomy 6:4-8

The Rev. Karen Boda is Interim pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Woodstock. www.gslutheran.org
AROUND CANTON | October 2023 41


Through Networking

Aroundabout Local Media continues its mission to help local businesses grow and prosper. This is what it looks like when entrepreneurs in the community meet to exchange ideas and information and develop relationships by supporting and encouraging one another while opening doors to new opportunities.

Cherokee Chamber of Commerce

Power Hour Networking is held monthly, 10-11 a.m., at the chamber office, 3605 Marietta Highway, Canton. Business After Hours meets monthly (except July and August) in rotating chamber member businesses, 4:30-6 p.m. Good Morning Cherokee breakfasts are held monthly, excluding January and July, 6:30-9 a.m. at 1130 Bluffs Parkway in Canton. https://cherokeechamber.com

Canton Business Club

Meets 8 a.m. Wednesdays at Reformation Brewery. https://bit.ly/3FLJjU2

Ball Ground Business Club

Meets 10:30 a.m. Fridays at Rock Solid Brewing Co. https://bit.ly/3FQMpGE

Ball Ground Business & Community Associationn

Meets monthly on the second Wednesday, either at breakfast, lunch or after hours. www.ballgroundbusinessassociation.com

Business associations in Canton are invited to send photos from their monthly meetings to edit@ aroundaboutmagazines.com. Please include the names of everyone in each photo, along with the date, time and location of your meetings.

Ball Ground Business Club meetings are held at Rock Solid Brewing Co. From left, Gianni Rand and Amber de Marché with Amanda Bowen during the Cherokee Chamber SchmoozaPalooza at Woodstock City Church.
42 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
Jessica Ring, Gianni Rand and Giselle Williams meet at the Canton Business Club.

Get to Know the Artists Next Door

If you truly want to understand a community, look to its art, which offers a real view of cultural identity and helps us understand the people who live there. Beyond the benefit to the economy, supporting local artists lets you see directly the impact you have. October at Woodstock Arts is focused on celebrating local artists and is full of our opportunities to support them.

Woodstock Arts is excited to welcome back Art on the Green Oct. 7-8. This is our biannual arts festival, welcoming artists from around north Georgia to gather on our Event Green and sell their art, which includes paintings, mixed media, photography, handcrafted jewelry, eccentric gifts and much more. Last spring, we expanded to include the Reeves House backyard, as well as the Event Green, and the growth will continue this year.

“Our first year of Art on the Green was just a dozen artists around the green with a table each,” said Harmony Reid, visual arts education and outreach manager. “It has been so exciting to see it grow over the years to the 80-plus artists and vendors this year.”

Also returning by popular demand for the fall is our Reeves House exhibit, “Small Town: Small Works,” running Oct. 12-Dec.

10. Featuring local artists that live within a 15-mile radius of Woodstock, this show will display artworks that are small in stature but big in impact. Limited to 15 inches or smaller, these works boast prices that are accessible to a wider audience that is looking to support local artists and makers while also finding unique and meaningful gifts for their loved ones during the holiday season.

This exhibit will continue to support and promote the incredible talent of our local artists and contribute to the growth of our vibrant arts scene. By bringing people together in a shared space to appreciate and discuss art, we hope to foster a sense of community and belonging while also providing opportunities for connection and creative exchange.

For more information, head to woodstockarts.org and join us to support the arts this month. Whether buying locally for the holidays this season or just exploring the Reeves House to learn more about your community through its artwork, our door always is open.

Libby Williams is the marketing manager for Woodstock Arts. Look for @woodstockgaarts on social media.
FOLLOW US CTC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Your donations are tax deductible. CHECK OUR WEBSITE FOR TICKETS & MORE INFO ON OUR 2023 - 2024 season WWW.CHEROKEETHEATRE.ORG Cherokee Theatre Company P.O. Box 5885 • Canton, GA 30114 All performances will be held at the Canton Theatre • 171 E. Main St., Canton, GA Box Office 770-591-0282 | info@cherokeetheatre.org At the Door, All Tickets | $20 Advance and Online | $18 Adults, $15 Seniors & $13 Groups 10+ ALL REGULAR SHOWS Friday/Saturday - 8 p.m. • Sunday - 2:30 p.m. SHOWS/SHOW DATES (TENTATIVE AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE) CHECK OUR WEBSITE Directors: Erin Campbell & Alex McConnell •Sorry, Wrong Number • A delightfully evening ofone-actplays! Oct. 28, 29 & 30 | Nov. 3, 4 & 5 •Cheating Death • •The -Tell Tale Heart • AROUND CANTON | October 2023 43
" This exhibit will continue to support and promote the incredible talent of our local artists. "

I would like to share a desperate need for my childhood friend, Lewellyn. We grew up together in Cherokee County, attending grade school through high school. I still recall the day our family home burned down when I was in fourth grade and Lewellyn and her mom were the first to come to our rescue, giving me clothes to wear to school. You never forget how it feels when people care and are there for you during times of desperation. We are still friends after 30-plus years, and Lewellyn’s heart remains the same. When I heard of her husband’s constant health struggles, I knew it was my turn to try and help them through this time.

Lewellyn Payne married her high school sweetheart, Anthony, after graduating from Cherokee High School. They have two sons, Christian, 18, and Alexander, 20, both Eagle Scouts and great servants of our community.

“Anthony and I have always worked full-time jobs to provide for our family. I work as a CAD designer for a local engineering firm, and Anthony has worked as an installer and IFS calibrator at Best Buy,” Lewellyn said.

“Our troubles began in 2019, when Anthony began having kidney issues followed by other health issues — one after another. Since September of 2022, Anthony has struggled with diabetes, heart failure, left-bundle heart blockage and asthma. He has had three surgeries — a stone removed from his liver duct, removal of his gall bladder and a colon resection, due to an early cancer diagnosis. He has been in and out of the hospital five times throughout this year alone and has lost 130 pounds, unable to keep food down. He has struggled through multiple transfusions, pneumonia, staph infection, cellulitis, anemia, low iron and potassium.”

Lewellyn said Anthony’s quality of life has gone downhill drastically. “He is able to stand but isn’t strong enough to walk,” she said. “He hasn’t driven in a year. In August, we finally received a hard diagnosis of pancreatic insufficiency.

“Anthony simply cannot catch a break. As his caregiver, I feel like we are in a medical nightmare, and everything is so disconnected. We have had so many different doctors and specialists these past two years. I am not sure how or when this will end.”

Additionally, Lewellyn and her son were in a car accident this year, which has made it difficult physically for them to assist Anthony. Lewellyn now is the sole provider for the family. Christian and Alexander are enrolled in local colleges but have been forced to quit their jobs to stay

home and care for their dad. The medical bills have piled up, with no relief in sight.

“I am truly overwhelmed,” Lewellyn admitted. “I have never asked anyone for help before, but I feel completely defeated. I am thankful for our sons, who have stepped up and sacrificed so much for their dad and I these past few years, as well as my mom. I truly believe God has a reason for all things and pray for brighter days ahead.”

Everyday Angels urges our community to encourage and provide relief to this sweet family. Marsha has created a GoFundMe account, https://gofund.me/ f04db389, in support of her friends, and Everyday Angels also will accept donations or gas and grocery cards.

Everyday Angels is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving Cherokee County since 2000. To make a tax deductible donation, visit www.everydayangels.info to donate via Paypal, or send your donations to: Everyday Angels, PMB 380, 1025 Rose Creek Drive, Suite 620, Woodstock, GA 30189. One hundred percent of your funds will go to the family you specify. If you know of a special need in our community, email aaeverydayangels@gmail.com. EVERYDAY
The Paynes, from left, Lewellyn, Christian, Anthony and Alexander.
44 AROUND CANTON | October 2023
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Around & About


Kayak Run

Oct. 7, Location TBD

Cherokee Recreation and Parks is hosting an approximate three-hour kayak run. Snacks and drinks provided. All ages are welcome (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Register through 5 p.m. Sept. 23. Contact Nick Holt at nrholt@ cherokeega.com or 770-501-8002.

Run, Walk or Roll 5K

Oct. 7, 8 a.m., First Baptist Woodstock

Next Step Ministries’ 10th annual fundraiser; registration opens at 7 a.m. For more details, visit https://www.runwalkorroll.com.

Volunteer Trail Cleanup and Maintenance

Oct. 7, 9 a.m.-noon

Join the effort to clean and maintain parks operated by Cherokee Recreation and Parks. Cleaning tools provided. Register by 5 p.m. Oct. 6. Contact Nick Holt at nrholt@cherokeega.com or 770-501-8002.

Blessing of the Animals

Oct. 7, 10 a.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Bring your well-mannered pets on a leash or in a crate for a simple service of God’s creation.

Hickory Flat Optimist Charity Golf Outing

Oct. 20, Fairways of Canton

Team registration begins at 7:30 a.m., shotgun start at 8:30. Four-person scramble. Complimentary lunch, awards and auction after play. 678-409-5940.

Empower Cherokee Golf Tournament

Oct. 23, Eagle Watch Golf Club

Support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities while golfing at Eagle Watch Golf Club. Entry fees start at $125. Check in at 8 a.m., shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. For more information, contact William at 770-883-8493, william@golf2grow.com or visit https://golf2grow.com/ empower-cherokee.

Denim Fest

Oct. 27-28, Friday, 4-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-10 p.m., The Mill on Etowah

An ode to history that includes trick-or-treating, barbecue tasting, a kids’ costume contest, an adult denim jacket contest, live music and more. www.etowahmill.com/event/ denimfest

Red, White and Blue BBQ

Oct. 27-29, American Legion Fairgrounds

Enjoy a Georgia-sanctioned barbecue event at the American Legion Fairgrounds, 160 McClure St., Canton. Music, games, a cornhole event and a pro barbecue competition are featured. For more information and to register for the amateur competition, contact Jim Lindenmayer at jlindenmayer80@ gmail.com.

“The Tell-Tale Heart”

Oct. 27-29, Nov. 3-5, Canton Theatre


Oct. 14, 6 p.m., Hickory Flat Fellowship Church

Proceeds support Limitless Disability Services. $20 for 10 cards. $500 Visa card grand prize. hickoryflatoptimistclub101@gmail.com.

An evening of spooky adventures in “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, “Sorry, Wrong Number” by Lucille Fletcher and “Cheating Death” by Kamron Klitgaard. For tickets, contact boxoffice@ cherokeetheatre.org or 770-591-0282.

And the race is on for Next Step Ministries' Run, Walk and Roll 5K on Oct. 7.
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Der Grosse Bären Kampf (Strongman Competition)

Oct. 28, 10 a.m., Victoria Beach, Lake Allatoona

The second annual USS-sanctioned event features teens, open and masters competitions in power stairs, basket deadlift, UPS truck pull and more. For more information and athlete registration, contact Emily Bernhardt at 770-713-4594 or teambernhardtstrong@gmail.com.

Garland Mountain Day Hike

Oct. 28, 10 a.m., Garland Mountain Horse and Hiking Trails

A moderate hike along an approximate 4-mile loop to enjoy the natural beauty of the Appalachian foothills. Contact Nick Holt at nrholt@cherokeega.com or 770-501-8002.

BridgeMill Farmers Market

Through Nov. 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays, 1190 BridgeMill Ave. Canton

Halloween Trail of Tricks and Treats

Oct. 31, 5-9 p.m., Rubes Creek Trail Woodstock

Collect treats (and tricks) along the trail while also enjoying music by Ronnie the DJ, Kona Ice, games, activities and crafts at this free family-friendly event. Email mstockdale@woodstockga.gov.


Waymark Hands of Hope Gala

Nov. 2, 6:45-9 p.m., North Metro Church Marietta

This free event will include a farm-totable dinner, live music, speaker MaryKate Burson, youth testimonials and a live auction benefiting Cherokee and Cobb counties’ youths who are in the foster care system. https://waymarkfoster.org/gala

Open to the public. Watch for updates on Facebook: @bridgemillfarmersmarket. Vendors can contact bridgemillfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

Woodstock Farm Fresh Market

Through Dec. 30, 8:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays, Market Street



Woodstock Parks and Recreation Programs


770-592-6000, ext. 1955. Registration is required for all programs. Fees are $5, unless otherwise noted.

Discovering Pickleball

Oct. 4, 11, 18 or 25, 6-7:30 p.m. Dupree Park pickleball courts

Ages 18 and older will learn how to play pickleball in this introductory class. Equipment is provided.

Chalk in the Walk

Oct. 7, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Northside Hospital-Cherokee Amphitheater

All ages can draw chalk art inspired by fall in the sidewalk blocks during this free event. Chalk is provided.

Discovering Fishing

Oct. 8, 2-4 p.m., Dupree Park Pavilion 2

Ages 6 and older will learn the basics of fishing in this introductory class. Equipment is provided.

Amped in the Park

Oct. 21, 9 a.m., Northside HospitalCherokee Amphitheater

The free outdoor fitness event will be conducted by Twisted Cycle.

Cherokee Recreation and Parks


Unwind Wednesdays

Oct. 25, 5:30-8 p.m., Cherokee Veterans Park

Hang out with us for a fun and relaxing night with food trucks, vendors and music.

AROUND CANTON | October 2023 47


Lantern Series

At the Woodstock Arts Event Green; shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Check for updates at www.woodstockarts.org.

Fox Royale - Oct. 21

Dia De Los Muertos Festival - Nov. 4-5

Christkindl Market and Festival - Dec. 3-4

Downtown Woodstock Walking Tour Series

Tours offered every 30 minutes from 6-7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person. Sales begin two weeks before the tour date at the Woodstock Visitors Center or on the Downtown Woodstock Facebook and Instagram pages. For more information, call 770-924-0406.

Weird Woodstock - Oct. 26

MadLife Stage & Studios

Events listed are held monthly at 8722 Main St., Woodstock. www.madlifestageandstudios.com

The Georgia Satellites, Oct. 6, 7 p.m.

Woodstock Arts


Local Artist Showcase

Oct. 6, 6-9 p.m., The Reeves House Every first Friday, meet a local artist whose artwork is on display at an opening reception.

Woodstock Arts

Improv Troupe!

Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m., Woodstock Arts Theatre

Get ready to roll down the aisles with laughter. Recommended for ages 10-plus (content).

The Lasting Laugh

Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m., Woodstock Arts Theatre

Come get your live comedy fix, hosted by Jessica It’s All Good. Recommended for ages 12-plus (content).

Art on the Spot

Oct. 20, 6 p.m., The Reeves House In under three hours, three local artists will create a piece of art on the spot that will be raffled off at the end of the night.

Jazz Night

Oct. 27, 6 p.m., The Reeves House Unwind with live music and wine. Tables and chairs are provided.

Screen on the Green: “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Oct. 28, 3 p.m., Woodstock Arts

Event Green

Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, stumbles upon Christmas Town and schemes to take over the holiday.

Video Game Tournament: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Oct. 29, 5 p.m, Woodstock Arts

Event Green

A $5 entry fee gives participants the chance to win a $25 GameStop gift card. Register at bit.ly/44OHY8i

Lantern Series photo courtesy of Angela Rice. Christkindl Market and Festival returns to the Woodstock Arts Event Green in December.
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4 Ways to Help Others This Autumn

Fall is finally in the air! There is something so exhilarating when the weather starts to cool off. It feels so much easier to get out and do something! Why not take that newfound energy and find a way to serve? There are many opportunities in the final months of the year. No tricks, just treats! Check out these easy ways to serve in October.

1. Donate Halloween costumes. The Children’s Haven will be collecting Halloween costumes through Oct. 20. Help make Halloween special for a deserving child in the area. All themes are welcome. https://bit.ly/45ttdJa

2. Halloween candy donations for troops and first responders. Plan ahead with a great way to move along unwanted Halloween candy! Support SmileUp!’s Operation Candy Grab in Woodstock. All collections go to support troops and first responders. Can you help SmileUp! beat last year’s record of 1,600 pounds? https://bit.ly/3PhJsDA

3. Treat the Troops: Make cookies for soldiers. The next collection day is Nov. 7. You can make the dough this month, freeze it and then bake the cookies in time for drop-off. Time to fire up the ovens now that it’s not so hot! https://bit.ly/3qKbONu

4. Help a neighbor with Lasagna Love. Need a break from the sugar? Make a lasagna instead! You can help feed families and spread kindness through this awesome regional project. https://bit.ly/3YWkBZ2

Be sure to explore these great projects and many others on JustServe.org. Or join the JustServe Georgia Volunteers Public Group on Facebook to see additional ideas. You can make a difference in someone’s life. Sign up on JustServe.org today!

JustServe.org is a free international website and app that works to match volunteers with nonprofit organizations and service opportunities. We have local representatives right here in our area. If you run a nonprofit or are looking for ways to make service a regular part of your life, check out JustServe.org. You can sign up for regular updates and learn more about organizations nearby too. JustServe makes it easy to just go out and serve!

Susannah MacKay is a local JustServe specialist. She grew up in Marietta and loves helping strengthen her community through service! Follow her on Facebook @JustServeGeorgia.

Amur Honeysuckle: A Terrible Threat

We all want easy-to-grow plants, but beware what you wish for.

Amur honeysuckle or bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) is a nonnative shrub in the Caprifoliaceae family that you might be attracted to at first. It’s vigorous, fast growing, tolerant of various conditions and offers lovely red berries in the fall. However, these same characteristics make it a menace you don’t want in your garden. And if you do find it on your property, eradicate it immediately!

How it Got Here

According to the National Park Service’s publication “Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas,” amur honeysuckle was imported from Asia into New York in 1898. It was planted as an ornamental shrub to provide wildlife cover and control soil erosion. Unfortunately, it was not a well-behaved shrub and began to invade natural areas, largely due to the prolific berries that it produces. It now is one of the most common invasive bush honeysuckles in the mid-Atlantic region and is found in most states on the East Coast, growing in USDA Hardiness Zones 2 to 8.

Its adaptability makes it especially troublesome, for it grows well in sun to deep shade and in wet to dry conditions. It also tolerates various soil pHs, soil compaction and restricted root zones. This makes it a problem in a wide range of habitats, such as forests, floodplains, fields, pastures and roadsides. Where it gains a foothold, it prevents native plants from thriving, leafing out earlier and shading them out.

How to Recognize It

Since amur honeysuckle is such a problem, it’s important to recognize it, so it can be destroyed promptly. The oval leaves taper to a sharp point. The leaves are 2 to 3 inches in length and are arranged opposite one another on the stems. The leaves are a darker green on top and lighter on the underside. The deciduous foliage often lasts into the autumn months before dropping. At maturity, the shrub might grow 15 to 20 feet tall, with a similar spread, and usually has an upright, vase-shaped, arching form, with multiple trunks. It looks a bit unkempt and weedy to the eye.

The twigs are slender and smooth, with a hollow, tan or white pith on the mature stems. The bark develops long, deep ridges as it matures, another distinguishing characteristic.

The flowers are similar in form and color to those of the invasive Japanese honeysuckle vine (Lonicera japonica). The fragrant spring blooms are tubular, with two lips, and are white to cream colored, fading to yellow with age. The resulting bright-red fruits are abundant in late summer and might persist into winter. The berries are attractive to birds and small mammals, which eat them and spread the seed to new locations. Amur honeysuckle shrubs can bear fruit as young as 3 to 5 years, making the problem worse. The shrub also spreads through vegetative sprouting and can form dense thickets.

How to Eradicate

Once you know how to recognize this menace, how do you get rid of it? Fortunately, young plants are relatively easy to pull by hand, since they have a fairly shallow root system. Larger specimens can be pulled with an uprooting tool, or they can be cut repeatedly to weaken the plant. Systemic herbicides can be applied to foliage, bark or cut stems and trunks.

Native Alternatives

Now that you know about this noxious shrub, there’s not much to recommend it. It’s not very attractive; the main attraction is the red berries. And if you want red berries, there are several native hollies that should suit you (and the birds) well, such as the deciduous possumhaw (Ilex decidua) and winterberry (I. verticillata) and the evergreen yaupon holly (I. vomitoria). Other excellent native choices with red berries include red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) and parsley hawthorn (Crataegus marshallii).

For more information: The National Park Service publication “Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas” can be found online as a downloadable PDF at Amur honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii Dipsacales: Caprifoliaceae (invasive.org). The Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States has many excellent pictures of all aspects of the plant.

See this link to go directly to the page for amur or bush honeysuckle: www.invasiveplantatlas.org/subject.html?sub=3040. Or you can go to the home page for the Invasive Plant Atlas and search for it: www.invasiveplantatlas.org.

Mary Tucker is a North Carolina native who has lived in Cherokee County for more than 25 years. She is a Lifetime Master Gardener whose special interest is gardening with native plants.

50 AROUND CANTON | October 2023

Spooky, Fun Celebrations at the Library

This month, join the Sequoyah Regional Library System as we celebrate all things spooky! Whether you’re looking for Halloween thrills or fun contests, your local public library is ready to help you make this October one to remember.

Start the month at our Ball Ground Public Library with a GOURD-ous Gourds Craft and Contest on Oct. 3 at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Next, teens can swap scary stories on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at R.T. Jones Memorial Library. Interested in learning more about the paranormal?

Visit Rose Creek Public Library on Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. to learn all about ghost hunting with Georgia Paranormal Investigations. Finally, wrap up your October at the Woodstock Public Library Boo Bash on Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. With games, crafts, snacks and more, there will be something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Looking for a fun way to experience this month’s solar eclipse? Look no further! Your local public library has several opportunities for the community to get excited about this solar spectacular. Eclipse programs for all ages include solar eclipse drop-in crafts on Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. and Sun and Moon Eclipse Earrings on Oct. 13 at 4 p.m. at the Ball Ground Public Library, an eclipse-themed STEAM Night at the Woodstock Public Library on Oct. 12 at 5:30 p.m. and eclipse viewing parties at R.T. Jones Memorial Library and Rose Creek Public Library starting at noon. Visit SequoyahRegionalLibrary.org to view our calendar for more information.

Whether you’re looking for your next read, your next hobby or your next storytime, Sequoyah Regional Library System is proud to be your dynamic destination for discovery. Stop by your local library to see what you might discover next. We hope to see you soon!

Sarah Childers is the marketing manager of the Sequoyah Regional Library System. Young computer whizzes take part in Ready Set Code for Kids recently at the Woodstock Public Library. This young patron practices her skills with the reading dog at the Woodstock Public Library.
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EDUCATION & PERSONAL SERVICES Camellia Place 1 770-296-1513 www.camelliaplace.com History Cherokee 33 770-345-3288 www.historycherokee.org MUST Ministries Gobble Jog 45 www.gobblejog.org Next Step Ministries 21 www.nextstepministries.net FOOD & DRINK 7 Tequilas Mexican Restaurant 7 770-479-0847 www.7tequilasmexicanrestaurant.com Mama Eva’s Pralines 11 www.mamaevaspralines.com Rock N Roll Sushi 3 678-880-6450 www.rocknrollsushi.com HOME & AUTO BridgeMill Auto Care 3 Canton: 770-720-0765 East Cobb: 770-641-9906 Bryan Plumbing Services 9 770-826-5277 Canton Closets 1 770-598-4068 www.cantonclosets.com Honda Minibikes 41 770-617-0244 Landscape Matters 5 770-403-5813 www.landscapemattersinc.com ServiceWise Electric 11 404-704-4903 www.servicewiseelectrical.com Window World 5 770-303-0757 www.windowworldatlanta.com PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Abigail Peyton Photography 21 www.apeytonphotography.com Credit Union of Georgia 13 678-486-1111 www.cuofga.org/promo Denson Pepper, CPA 5 678-797-5241 www.densonpeppercpa.com Edward Jones, Sarah Kendall 1 770-720-6245 www.edwardjones.com/sarah-kendall Geller Law 9 770-321-1878 www.jenngellerlaw.com INWDSTK 45 www.inwdstk.org/events Sunshine Mortgage 11 678-952-9020 www.sunshinemortgage.com RECREATION & FITNESS Canton First Friday 7 www.cantonga.gov Cherokee Theatre Company 43 770-591-0282 www.cherokeetheatre.org Kennesaw State University College of the Arts 17 www.artsksu.com Around Acworth | Around Canton | Around For advertising rates and information, Jennifer Coleman October 2023
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KSU Arts Gala 25 www.artsksu23.givesmart.com Waymark Gala 21 www.waymarkfoster.org/gala Woodstock Arts 49 678-494-4251 www.woodstockarts.org RETAIL & PETS Cherokee County Animal Shelter 25 www.cherokeega-animals.org Cotton Mill Exchange 9 770-992-9294 www.cottonmillexchange.net Golf Cars of Canton Inside front cover 678-880-1156 www.golfcarsofcanton.com WELLNESS áylo Health Back cover https://aylo.io/canton BridgeMill Dentistry 7 770-704-1812 www.bridgemilldentistry.com DT Chiropractic Cover, 28-29 770-580-0123 www.dtchiropractic.com Gentle Dental Care and Inside back cover Georgia Dental Implant Center 770-926-2784 www.georgiadic.com Georgia Eye Partners 3 www.gaeyepartners.com Nia Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics 27 770-479-9999 www.niadentistry.com Around Kennesaw | Around Woodstock | TowneLaker Coleman | 470-263-8414 | jen@aroundaboutmagazines.com
AROUND CANTON | October 2023 55
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These animals are at Cobb County Animal Services, waiting for homes.

Rob’s Rescues

Hidden Acres Animal Sanctuary (HAAS) in Canton spreads hope, healing and love to rescue farm animals and human hearts. If you missed the first part of my interview with Sarah Carney of HAAS last month, you can read it at  aroundcantonmagazine.com. Learn more at hiddenacresanimalsanctuary.org.

Tell us about farm animals as therapy animals.

We work with each and every animal on the farm, providing them with exceptional care and love. We then help pay this forward by working with our rescues to provide animal therapy to those who need it most.

This dog’s name is Blanche. She is a medium-size gray dog who came to the shelter as a stray. She is a very calm dog who seems to just want to relax. She is very easygoing and would be a good companion. This is the most docile bully-breed I have ever met, and she really could use some affection.

We work with Cherokee County’s special-needs residents and seniors. The transformations we have witnessed have been life-changing. We work with a 14-year-old girl who has cerebral palsy. When she first came to the farm, her parents couldn’t believe how her muscles relaxed in the presence of the animals. Lying a bunny across her heart brought such calm. She feeds the animals with her feet, and it is an incredibly therapeutic experience for her.

Our Youth Empowerment program started by bringing families who had lost a child to suicide to the farm. The Core Community Empowerment School has realized how empowering animals are and brings 15 to 20 self-harming and troubled youth here to do a weekly service project and have animal immersion time. We take goats on leashes to senior centers.

The farm has a designated animal rehabilitation and care team. This group of volunteers is assigned four animals apiece that they connect with every week and take into the community to do good. Ask any of the volunteers, and they will tell you that their lives have also been completely transformed working with these animals.

Is there a story that you like to tell?

This farm was built to provide sanctuary to farm animals. I have always felt that animals are strong, powerful healers. The therapy program actually started during COVID. My grandmother was my favorite person in the world. COVID was a terrible thing for the elderly in our community. Senior facilities were completely locked down, and families could not visit. The elderly lost so much interaction with the outside world and loved ones.

When these lockdowns started happening, I took one of my goats and trained him to walk on a leash. I sent him with a volunteer who works at one of the local memory-care centers, and the goat spent a large part of the day interacting with the patients. The feedback about the transformation among the memory-care patients during the goat’s visits was incredible. The therapy program grew from there.

Can people visit the farm?

We do not have a paid staff, and we are all volunteers here. There is no public access to HAAS. We do, however, have events. We have goat yoga and farm tours, as well as a privateevent space. You can sign up for these events on our website. All proceeds go straight toward caring for the animals. We also have apartments on the farm, The Goat Inn and The Horse Inn, which have been voted Atlanta’s Top Airbnb Experience.

This cat’s name is Rocket. He is a 5-year-old stray. He loves to be held and is a very sweet cat. He has very long legs and seems to like people a lot. I know that he would really like a home.

Rob Macmillan is on a mission to help shelter dogs and cats. On Facebook @robsrescues. www.robsrescues.com.
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Rob with Sarah Carney and Duchess at Hidden Acres Animal Sanctuary.
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