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Pages 28 & 29

Cover photo by J. King Images

In This Issue In Every Issue 4 Around Woodstock 8 Downtown Events 27 Celebrations 32 Community Calendar 34 Library Events 35 The Wanderer 40 Rob’s Rescues 42 Master Gardeners 44 Everyday Angels 48 Ribbon Cuttings 50 School News 52 Allatoona Lake Map 54 Directory of Advertisers 56 Noteworthy Contributors 47 Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists 45 Carey Hood 46 Harry Johnston 37 Tyler Kerley 41 Susannah MacKay 18 Margaret Miller 24 Denson Pepper 36 Daniel Robitshek 38 Susan Schulz 22 Greg Shaddix 51 Dave Shelles 30 Elisabeth Stubbs 26 Q&A - Rob Usher 49 Libby Williams Features 10 More Than a Cup of Java Is your favorite mug of coffee just another caffeinated drink or an invitation to mingle? 16 Family Fun at Station 24 Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services provides a day of fun and safety. 20 What’s in Your Watershed? All hands on deck for events intended to care for local streams, rivers and lake. 10 On the Cover Stitch Above the Rest
Gerdes has incorporated her dream car, a 1957 Thunderbird Dusk Rose she
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20 16 2 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 3

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!

What’s Moved

Dulci Artisan Gelato has opened at 775 Dobbs Road, Suite 108, Woodstock, just down the street from its former Chambers Street location. The new spot has indoor and outdoor seating. Gelato is handcrafted in small batches using traditional artisan production techniques. On Facebook.

What’s Closing

Queen Custom Couture, a bridal, prom and formal dress store at 9010 Main St. in downtown Woodstock, is relocating to a bigger location in Roswell. Marcy White and her mother opened the shop five years ago. On Facebook. www.queencustomcouture.com.

What’s Coming

At press time, a new Urgent Team Walk-in Urgent Care was scheduled to open at 4477 Towne Lake Parkway, Suite 130, beside Renasant Bank. Currently there are 19 centers in Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia, where urgent and family care, wellness services and occupational health services are available on a walk-in basis. www.urgentteam.net.

Ribbon Cutting

Dogwood Autism Services, 585 Molly Lane, Woodstock www.dogwoodautism.com www.aroundwoodstockmagazine.com Get Social With Us ← Subscribe to our newsletter! @AroundWoodstockMagazine @around_woodstock E Q
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Started Today! It’s CONTEST Time! Oct. 1-Nov. 15 ALL THINGS BRIDAL! Vote for your favorites in our Best for Bridal contest … promote your business for a chance to win! Sept. 16-30 WIN A COFFEE GIFT CARD! Test your coffee knowledge and enter for a chance to win a gift card for a local coffee shop. Sept. 1-15 WIN FAIR TICKETS! Learn a new activity to
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Letter From the Editor

This month, I’m happy to write about something that’s near and dear to my heart. Next to God, Glenn, Julie, Drew, Becca, Ellie and Bertie, John Henry and Bunny — well, maybe not next to, but high on the list right under cruises — is coffee. I was getting a little carried away there, wasn’t I?

One of this month’s features takes a look at coffee, which I’m comfortable saying could be declared the official beverage of Cherokee County. It’s clear after reading the reflections of Chantel Adams, owner of Copper Coin when it closed last year, and the reasons why so many folks spend time in coffee shops that we’ve stumbled onto something here. And so have the many coffee shops that are opening across the county. See Pages 10-14.

I had the pleasure of enjoying a few hours at Woodstock Coffee Co. recently, where I met Mike Anthony, our new content editor. We spent a few hours there training, diving deep into the processes that bring you this magazine each month. Mike brings a lot of journalism experience to the team, especially in sports reporting. Look for him out and about. He likely will be wearing a shirt or pullover with a Masters Tournament logo. Ask him what it was like to be part of a team that covered the event

for a large network of newspapers and TV stations and to have a frontrow seat during Tiger Woods’ press conference when he won in 2019.

I wonder if coffee shop owners mind if you bring your favorite mug from home? My favorite is my Lucy and Ethel mug. Just as we love our coffee, don’t we also have our favorite receptacles for it? My friend Polly gave me that mug years ago. She’s tall, thin, pretty and funny, so naturally she became Lucy. I am not sure what that says about me as Ethel in the duo, but oh well. I’ll take it because I love my friend! To her credit, her reasoning when I asked was that “Ethel is a faithful friend who can be trusted. You love to laugh. We’re both writers, journalists, moms and wives who share the same Christian values.” OK, I’ll be Ethel.

Yes, there are other features to highlight this month. Opportunities to help keep our rivers and streams clean with the Upper Etowah River Alliance on Pages 20-21. A personal story on survival after suicide claimed another victim on Page 18. And a look at the fun families had at Fire Station 24 on Pages 16-17.

So grab your favorite cup of java, and enjoy this month’s issue. Mine is a medium roast with lots of halfand-half. What’s yours?

America’s Community Magazine

Volume 10, Issue 11


Aroundabout Local Media, Inc. www.aroundaboutlocalmedia.com


Jennifer Coleman | 470-263-8414 jen@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


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


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


Laura Latchford laura@aroundaboutmagazines.com

Savannah Winn savannah@aroundaboutmagazines.com


Kathryn Holt kat@aroundaboutmagazines.com


Michelle Smith michelle.smith@aroundaboutmagazines.com


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 Woodstock 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 Woodstock, 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 WOODSTOCK | September 2023
As executive editor, Candi has two cups of coffee in the morning — especially tasty in her Lucy and Ethel mug — to help her get through each day.. Some say she likes a little coffee with her half-and-half, but no judging, please.
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IN town



9/11 Day of Remembrance

Sept. 11, 7 p.m., The Park at City Center, Woodstock

To honor our first responders and to remember those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

Taste of Woodstock

Sept. 14, Woodstock Arts Event Green, 1156 Elm St.

Don’t miss this opportunity to try tasty delights from some of the best restaurants in the area. Event is free, but you must buy tickets to forage. Ticket booths open at 4:30 p.m. For more information, http://tastewoodstock.com.

Movie on the Green

Sept. 22, 7-9:30 p.m., the Woodstock Green

The free community event features the Woody Harrelson movie “Champions” (PG-13). Details at www.circleoffriendsinc.org.

Sunset Symphony

Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m., Woodstock Amphitheatre

Enjoy an evening with the Cobb New Horizons Concert Band at 101 Arnold Mill Road, Woodstock. For more information, visit https://cobbnewhorizonsband.com.

MadLife Stage & Studios

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

The Outlaws, Sept. 7, 8 p.m. Tina Turner Tribute - Rollin’ on the River, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.

Molly Hatchet - American Southern Rock Legends, Sept. 16, 7 p.m. The Georgia Satellites, Oct. 6, 7 p.m.

Lantern Series

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

Parson James - Sept. 30

Fox Royale - Oct. 21

Woodstock Arts


Local Artist Showcase

Sept. 1, 6-9 p.m., the Reeves House

Every first Friday, meet the artist whose work is on display at an opening reception.

The Woodstock Arts Improv Troupe

Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m., Woodstock Arts Theatre

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

Art on the Spot

Sept. 15, 6 p.m., the Reeves House

In less than three hours, three artists will create a piece of art “on the spot” that will be raffled off at 8:30 p.m.

The Lasting Laugh

Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m., Woodstock Arts Theatre

The monthly comedy series brings in Atlanta-based comedians, with Jessica It’s All Good as the host. Recommended for ages 12-plus (content).

Jazz Night

Sept. 29, 6 p.m., the Reeves House

Unwind with live music and wine. Tables and chairs are provided.

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.

How Downtown Woodstock

Revitalized - Sept. 28

Weird Woodstock - Oct. 26

Woodstock Summer Concert Series

The free concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Amphitheater. www.woodstockconcertseries.com.

Drivin N Cryin - Sept. 9

8 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
Woodstock Summer Concert Series
678.909.5678 | 240 Chambers Street | Woodstock View our draft list | thestoutbrothers.com Our business wouldn't be where it is today without the help of our community. We want to always give back as much as they have given to us whether it be with coffee and beer, or just a place to call home away from home. early 2024! BOGO BREWING SOON New location alert: HICKORY FLAT buy one drink, get one free valid through October 31st inside the circuit 1 Innovation Way Woodstock circleoffriendsinc.org AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 9

Cherokee’s Cafe CULTURE

Coffee Shops Stir Emotions, Special Memories With Each Cup of Java

Whether the temperature is 95 degrees, or below freezing, it’s clear that Cherokee Countians love their coffee. Look at the networking photos that we feature quarterly, and you’ll see most people clutching a cup of coffee. Walk into any local coffee shop, and you’ll find busy baristas cranking out the caffeine as individuals or groups gather to discuss business or enjoy friendships.

Since Sept. 29 is National Coffee Day, we take a deep dive to discover the value coffee shops bring to our community. Chantel Adams, former owner of Copper Coin, offers her perspective. Famous for its laid-back vibe and homemade cinnamon rolls, the decade-old shop closed permanently on Sept. 3, 2022.

Tell me about your favorite coffee shop without telling me about your favorite coffee shop.

Whenever I ask this, eyes glaze over. A warm smile curls upward. The person will place one hand over their heart, sigh deeply, and then tell me a story

that starts like this: Imagine entering a place where words like grind and steam and swirl and drip are tossed around with careless abandon. Imagine a tray of fluffy rolls laced with cinnamon and enrobed in a silky cream cheese frosting. Imagine a place where “your table” waits for you to unplug so you can recharge.

Yep, you don’t have to be a classically trained barista to guess we’re talking about coffee. And whether you take it black or with cream or a single pump of caramel and light foam, you would be in good company.

As early as the 18th century, locals have been visiting coffeehouses for stimulating conversation, to meet lovers and friends, and engage in political debate. Johann Sebastian Bach even wrote a 10-movement piece that became known as the Coffee Cantata, which pokes fun at coffee’s addictive traits. After the famous Boston Tea Party, American colonists switched to drinking coffee as part of their rebellion. Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Bush drank so much coffee that their habits are the

foundation of American coffee lore. Here in Woodstock, the tradition continues. You might have heard the phrase don’t cry over spilled milk, but what about spilled coffee? When Copper Coin closed last year, tears flowed like cold brew on tap. And it wasn’t just because friendly faces with names like Logan, Kevin and Mary Margaret knew exactly how you liked your brew (extra hot and with a light sprinkle of cinnamon). It was because your third place locked the doors and closed, not just for the night, but forever.

What is the third place? In his 1989 book, “The Great Good Place,” Ray Oldenberg describes it as that sacred space apart from home or work where conversation, creativity and connectivity provide solace and escape. The third place is the cornerstone of a strong community. So how did Copper Coin become that place? What did it mean to our little town, and what are people doing now?

Just ask Nicole, a local entrepreneur who visited the coffee shop on her first visit to Atlanta and decided that any community that could support a place like this was worth putting down roots. Ask Quinn, who spent day after day sipping peppermint tea and shooting the breeze with the locals. Ask Marco, a quiet entrepreneur addicted to cinnamon rolls, who settled into his favorite corner every Tuesday to be inspired and work on his laptop.

This is the place where strangers become friends who become clients. It is here that first dates turn into true loves (Meet the Bentleys and the Taylors on Page 24), where students cram for big tests like the MCATs, and where young families meet Realtors who help them purchase their first homes. If you are lucky enough to find your third place, your heart will know it. You will be like the many Woodstock neighbors who still sigh, put one hand over their heart, and whisper, “This place was my sanctuary. It was my home. It gave me friends. It saved me.”

Local entrepreneur Chantel Adams lives in Woodstock with her husband, four (almost-grown) kids, and two feisty kittens.
10 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023

Our Advertisers Share Their Thoughts on Coffee and Community

Woodstock Beer & Coffee Market

240 Chambers St., Woodstock https://www.thestoutbrothers.com/ woodstock-ga-beer-market

“Our dear friends, the legendary Copper Coin, closed last year and our downtown area was left with a coffee spot void. We had customers ask if we served coffee and when we said no, we knew we had to change our business model. Now, we’re a hybrid store, where you can hang out with us in the morning, afternoon and at night. We bring the immediate downtown area a quiet place to work, a great cup of Alma roasted coffee, a light lunch and an adult beverage when work is done. We hope we can attract local residents to come across the tracks and bring more business to our neighboring store owners and be the cornerstone of our side of the street.”

Alma Coffee

3448 Holly Springs Parkway, Canton www.myalmacoffee.com

“We hope Alma Coffee will always be a warm, welcoming spot for our community where every guest is guaranteed to receive impeccable service and consistently extraordinary coffee. Cherokee County is where Harry and I met, it’s where we grew up, and it’s where our families live. It only made sense to plant Alma’s roots in the same place where we got our start.”

Circle of Friends Coffee With Purpose at The Circuit

1 Innovation Way, Woodstock www.circleoffriendsinc.org

“When I realized that this unique group of people faces a diverse set of daily challenges, more severe than those who are neurotypical, it created a greater sense of empathy in me and others to find more ways to help them find purpose by enhancing their lives through supportive employment and socialization activities. Cherokee County is where we live, work and play. We’ve seen the warmth of this community toward those with special needs, so it was a logical decision to plant our roots here. We’ve seen such a need that Circle of Friends will open its next location, Flourish Cafe, in early 2024 in Hickory Flat, so we can cover much of the county with each of our locations to serve up coffee, food and smiles.”

Barrel House Coffee Co.

275 Gilmer Ferry Road, Suite 5 Ball Ground


“As the owners of Barrel House Coffee Co., our primary goal is to make our community proud. We chose to open in Ball Ground because there’s nowhere else like it. We live, eat and shop in Ball Ground. We’re raising our babies here. This place — and this community — is home to us.

“At Barrel House, we strive to ensure that every guest (those from Ball Ground and visitors alike) enjoys our coffee. We work to make sure every guest feels welcome; we know their names, we catch up since the last time we’ve seen them, and ensure coffee is ordered to their liking. Barrel House is more than a coffee shop; meetings are conducted at our tables, friends and family catch up, relationships begin and lives are changed here ... including ours.”

A Very Presidential Drink

• A pound of coffee per day was consumed at Monticello after Thomas Jefferson’s retirement.

• Teddy Roosevelt was known to drink nearly a gallon of coffee each day by the time he went to bed.

• George Washington imported 200 pounds of coffee in 1770, and Martha Washington had her own recipe for brewing and serving.

• President George H.W. Bush drank up to 10 cups a day and started the tradition of serving only American-grown beans at state functions.

• The Kennedy family used coffee as a campaign tool, hosting Coffee With the Kennedys in the living rooms of prominent families in Massachusetts to propel John F. Kennedy to the U.S. Senate.


www.whitehousehistory.org/ coffee-and-the-white-house https://blog.greenwellfarms. com/10-intriguingpresidential-coffee-habits.

AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 11
Copper Coin photos courtesy of Chantel Adams

A Community’s Heartbeat or Just a Good Cup of Coffee?

Some of our county’s most frequent coffee shop patrons tell us about their experiences.

Outsourced Executive

What value is a neighborhood coffee shop to you?

I don’t think I realized the full value of the local coffee shop until Copper Coin closed. Personally, the local coffee shop gives my spouse and me a place to grab coffee in a different scene after a good dinner. As much as restaurants try to have great coffee, they rarely do. It’s never as good as the product from a good coffee shop. Professionally, the local coffee shop offers me a place to meet new contacts, entertain potential clients, or catch up with a client and thank them for their business.

How can a coffee shop enhance a community?

Whether for professional or personal reasons, the local coffee shop offers me a place to showcase my community, what it has to offer, and the people that make it cool. It’s a place for people to have a first date or could be a place to pick up someone for a first date. It’s a place where business is created and closed. When it’s done well, it can be the heart and soul of the local community it serves.

What interactions have you witnessed?

What value is a neighborhood coffee shop to you?

Personally: I love coffee shops as a way to decompress and to enjoy being around others without the need to actually interact. I can have a lovely drink and snack and be able to meet friends, draw or just choose to sit and enjoy.

Professionally: I work from home as an artist. Having a coffee shop to work in is wonderful to get out of the house and get my creative ideas going. The snacks and drinks don’t hurt, either! Changing one’s location is sometimes so important to not feel trapped in one space.

How can a coffee shop enhance a community?

It’s a local gathering place. They can be considered an important third place for societies. This article by Psychology Today does a wonderful job of speaking about third spaces: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ live-long-and-prosper/201503/comforting-third-spaces. I think coffee shops are really important for gatherings and for personal enrichment.

What is your favorite coffee drink?

I love luxurious lattes and affogatos.

One of the most impactful meetings for me was six or seven years ago. Jerry King, an awesome local photographer, and I knew each other and were what I would consider acquaintances, but had never sat down and talked one on one. When we did, I got to hear his amazing story and felt comfortable and compelled enough to ask him: “What is it like to be Black in Woodstock?” He was not at all offended by my question and proceeded to give me his opinion. I don’t recall how long he spoke, but when I think he felt like he’d given me his take, he casually asked me: “What’s it like to be gay in Woodstock?” I then gave him my take. I do not recall how long we spent in that booth, but it had to be at least a few hours. Writing this, I now feel guilty for not purchasing more coffee, since we occupied a booth for so long.

What is your favorite coffee drink?

People who order coffee as the vehicle for sugar and junk make no sense, but when you drink bad coffee, you must cover up the taste. My favorite drink is black coffee with a light pour of oat or almond milk or an Americano with the same.

Dan Thrailkill relaxes with coffee and computer after meetings.
12 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023

David Samaha

Owner of Diesel David Inc.

What value is a neighborhood coffee shop to you?

Economical environment for a community connection, whether it be an open floor plan with coffee, a desktop and cubicle workspace, light food menu or full kitchen. A coffee shop is a hub to meet, make a plan or manage a busy schedule with a midafternoon pick-me-up.

How can a coffee shop enhance a community?

Communities benefit when an outlet for connections and creativity exists. Some people don’t regularly meet at a church, brewery or bar. A coffee shop fills that need.

What interactions have you witnessed?

We celebrate the firefighter that puts out the fire, but not the mom who turns the stove off when she’s finished or blows the candle out before leaving home. We celebrate the person who loses 100 pounds, but not the one who wakes up a little earlier to make it to the gym. We celebrate the graduate and honor school that issues the degree, but not the coffee shop where hours were spent making that piece of paper a reality. The remarkable thing about the coffee shop isn’t the one significant moment, but the thousands of moments that make those in the community significant.

What is your favorite coffee drink?

Cubano cappuccino.

Sheena Johnson Advisor/Partner with Copia Advisors

What value is a neighborhood coffee shop to you?

Personally, it’s an easy escape when I need a moment to just sit. Professionally, it’s an environment where I can meet with other people to discuss opportunities. I can use the space to work without interruption when a change of scenery is needed. It’s also nice when you can interact with other like-minded individuals and have a constructive conversation when you’re stuck trying to figure something out.

How can a coffee shop enhance a community?

It becomes the link that connects people who may have never spoken otherwise. I see a sticker from Bizarre or Black Rifle Coffee on a water bottle or laptop, someone with an Alma Coffee mug, etc. while being out in public, and can comment on it to that person because I’ve been there or have swag from the same purveyors on my personal items.

What interactions have you witnessed?

I’ve noticed small Bible study groups and students lifting each other up as they cram for finals or to get that last project finished. I had an interaction with a barista at Starbucks on Highway 92 — it was a good day, but I had made a very difficult decision and wasn’t feeling the best. She gave me a unicorn cake pop and a smile. I almost cried saying thank you.

What is your favorite coffee drink?

Weather dependent — hot or iced — coffee with half-and-half.

Mike Sena

Fee-only Certified Financial Planner ™

What value is a neighborhood coffee shop to you?

It amplifies the spirit of the community, the camaraderie. It gets me out of the house and interacting with others, talking about business or everyday life. I love the casual comfort of coffee shops.

How can a coffee shop enhance a community?

It serves as a gathering place, a magnet drawing others in, a place to talk about nothing or the issues of the day.

What interactions have you witnessed?

All sorts. Casual conversation and relaxed, easy smiles for the most part. I remember a fervent sales proposal, the backand-forth negotiating and eventual sealing of the deal. I remember the hand-wringing anxieties of a young teen model getting ready to pose for a portrait photographer.

What is your favorite coffee drink?

Small black coffee.

David Samaha, left, chats with Nick Carberry at the Circle of Friends Coffee With Purpose. Mike Sena, right, visits with Alexander Bryant at Alma Coffee.
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 13

Cherokee’s Cafe CULTURE

… in a Coffee Shop Not Far Away Once Upon a Time

David and Wynelle Taylor

It was 2011. I can’t remember if it was the music, the chugging espresso machine or the barista/minstrel singing Tom Petty cover songs that made me smile more, but the first time my friend and I walked into Copper Coin in downtown Woodstock, I was hooked. It was my first local coffee shop experience by which all others are now measured. Yet almost two years (and many lattes) later, I was standing in that same line, nervously waiting to order. Nervous because I was there on a double-date with a handsome man who intrigued me. Mutual friends set us up, and the four of us finished the evening nestled on comfy couches in the back room laughing and sharing stories.

That’s where my happily-ever-after began with my beloved husband, David. It’s been almost 10 years since we said our “I do’s,” and Copper Coin was the backdrop of some very special days: engagement pictures outside, coffee with Mama and Daddy — who now is with Jesus — moments of laughter over cups of java shared with friends.

Trevor and Jessie Bentley

Before I met my wife, Jessie, coffee wasn’t a priority to me. That changed in March of 2021 at Copper Coin, when I met my future wife for the first time. We had been talking for about a week before we made a plan to meet somewhere in the middle between where we lived. Copper Coin was the best option because of the cozy ambiance and relaxed setting. Not knowing someone can be nerve-racking, but we felt a calmness on our first date because coffee shops like Copper Coin feel more casual, a no-pressure kind of date.

We spent four hours at Copper Coin and probably would’ve talked longer if we didn’t have somewhere to be, but the rest is history. We returned many times to Copper Coin before it closed; it was a great spot to chat and grow closer. We got engaged in October 2021 and married in April 2022, just over a year after our first date! Copper Coin holds a special place in our hearts as the place we met and began our future together.

14 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 15

Fire Station Beats Heat With Education

Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services (CCFES)

Fire Station 24 recently put on a fun and educational display in the River Park community for hundreds of local residents. Firefighters from the station showed off equipment and demonstrated exercises routinely used to protect members of the community, while also taking part in games and providing refreshments to attendees. From showing off the power of a firehose to demonstrating how to perform CPR, members of Fire Engine 24, Squad 24 and Med-Con 1 were able to put some friendly faces to the services of CCFES.

A child enjoys complimentary popcorn during a demonstration. Sergeant Joshua Germon and Fire Apparatus Operator Connor Bourn.
16 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
Children assist firefighters in holding the firehose while spraying water.
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 17
Fire Apparatus Operator and Paramedic Beau Witcher narrates a mock incident as firefighters administer CPR.



Support Groups Are Available to Help Deal With This Illness

The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) has declared September Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide has been labeled a mental health issue in this country. NAMI wants the public to become more knowledgeable about this illness.

The dictionary defines suicide as “the act of intentionally causing one’s own death.” The World Health Organization reports that one person dies from suicide every 40 seconds.

On June 4, 2022, just one day before his 51st birthday, Canton resident Stanford Sullen became one of those statistics. Dr. Michelle Francis Sullen, his wife, was taken by surprise. “To my knowledge, he had never talked about suicide nor had he ever attempted this,” she said. According to Michelle, her spouse was a loving husband, father of two, and was employed by R&L Carriers (Kennesaw Freights) as a heavy-equipment operator.

“I saw nothing about him, nor our lives, to indicate that this would happen. He was kindhearted and good-spirited.

He gave freely to his family and his friends,” she said. “He was a man of God who began his day by reading a devotional, which he said set the tone for his day.”

Stanford also was a recovering drug addict who had struggled with substance abuse since his teen years in New Orleans, their hometown. Even after Stanford and Michelle married, his struggles continued. Their move from New Orleans to Canton didn’t help.

It was August 2005 when the couple and their 11-yearold son were forced to relocate to Georgia as Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans. Their decision to remain here was dictated partly by the fact that Michelle was 5 months pregnant with their daughter.

After 25 years of addiction, on Feb. 11, 2014, her husband finally sought professional help and admitted himself into The Extension, a licensed long-term residential treatment program in Marietta. “When in treatment, he learned to embrace spiritual principles that transformed his life for the better,” she said. He had eight years of sobriety before his death.

Stanford completed the program and became an active member of The Extension Alumni Association. He devoted his time and resources to the recovery community. Through The Extension and HOW Place programs, the former addict mentored adolescents who were struggling with substance abuse.

He also was a mentor/sponsor for others who were recovering from an addiction. Stanford received many awards for his acts of service.

In hindsight, his widow said, “We were together for 34 years. I stayed with Stanford through his many years of addiction. Those were rough times, but he eventually got himself together. He had been drug-free for eight years at the time of his death.”

Thinking back to those days, she recalled: “I was definitely a co-dependent during his addiction. He always had a roof over his head, food to eat and a car to drive. I often wonder, if I had not been a co-dependent or if I had left him early in his addiction, would he have gotten clean sooner?”

Michelle, an educator, advises anyone who is thinking about suicide, who is worried about a loved one or who would like emotional support to call 988 (Suicide and Crisis Lifeline). She also recommends finding a support group on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website, afsp.org/find-a-support-group.

Support groups also exist for families. She encourages survivors to join one of these. Grief from suicide loss is different from all other types of grief. The goal of a

18 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023

Creativity, Collaboration & Community

SHOP. Find unique, handmade goods from local and global artisans.

CREATE. Get artsy at workshops, opentable afternoons, classes and more.

HOST. Book a private crafting event. Perfect for groups, clubs or a ladies’ night out!

Survivors of Suicide support group is to give survivors a place where they can be comfortable expressing themselves and find support, resources and hope in a judgment-free environment.

Michelle takes part in two support groups:

1. Canton SOS — Meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:30-8 p.m., at The Oak House in downtown Canton. Contact Faith Sims at soscherokee@gmail.com.

2. Marietta SOS — Meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, 7-8:30 p.m., at Marietta First United Methodist Church, Building A. (Teens meet separately.) Contact Terri Johnson at Chose2Live@aol.com.

Other SOS groups, along with online groups and local chapters, can be found on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website at https://afsp.org/find-a-local-chapter.

Margaret Miller has been a resident of Cherokee County for the past decade. Her writing hobby led her to become a columnist for community and daily newspapers.

Michelle Francis Sullen and husband, Stanford Sullen.
678-701-3139 | theworkshop.site | info@theworkshop.site 9539 Highway 92, Suite 180, Woodstock Tues. – Thurs. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. • Fri. Noon – 4 p.m. AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 19

What’s Up

All Hands Needed to Care for Local Streams, Rivers and Lake

The Upper Etowah River Alliance (UERA) has a whole bunch of interesting activities coming up in which you, your neighbors, friends, co-workers or club members are invited (and needed) to participate.

Bacteria Day

One of our most important events is scheduled for Sept. 9. This is the fifth annual Bacteria Day, where we send trained Adopt-A-Stream (AAS) volunteers and lay volunteers out into the watershed to collect water samples of the headwaters from Lumpkin County to Lake Allatoona. Supplies and training on how to collect a water sample will be provided. You must provide your own transportation. All samples will be plated for E. coli, and results will be reported. This event will identify areas of concern that need to be monitored more closely and fix any problems.

If you’re looking to spend some quality outdoor time with a buddy, sign up to spend a few hours as a true citizen scientist helping us take our annual snapshot of the river. We meet at the alliance at 180 McClure St. at 8:30 a.m. If science is your thing, this is right up your alley. Sign up by emailing Lori Forrester at brenaucrew@hotmail.com.

Etowah River Cleanup

The Rivers Alive Etowah River Cleanup is Oct. 14. Gather your friends, fellow club members, co-workers and neighbors and help us get the trash off the riverbanks and out of the river. We try to get to as many places as possible in the watershed that we can access safely, including creeks and streams. We supply you with gloves and trash bags, fortify you with breakfast grab-and-go goodies, and we feed you lunch when you’re done.

20 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
Collecting water samples from Conns Creek for Bacteria Day last September.

Up in Your Watershed?

We start at 8:30 a.m. at the alliance, where you sign your waiver, and we give you bags, gloves and breakfast, then send you out into the watershed. At the end of the day, our partners at Cherokee County Stormwater Management collect your bags of trash, tires and whatever you find that doesn’t belong. It’s a fun day, getting dirty while doing a feel-good deed, cleaning up the Etowah. Oh, and you get a cool Rivers Alive T-shirt if you get there before we run out.

Little River Cleanup

Next up is the Oct. 21 Little River Cleanup at Old Rope Mill Park in Woodstock. Everything is the same except, for this one, we meet at the park near the pavilion at 8:30 a.m. to get your waivers signed, give you bags, gloves and breakfast goodies, then send you out into the park. You bring your trash bags back to the pavilion for pickup later by the city of Woodstock. Come get dirty while cleaning up the Little River – it’s a great opportunity for Scouts, too!

Call to Action

Adopt-A-Stream is how we monitor the water continuously in the five-county watershed that encompasses the Upper Etowah. If you live on a tributary of the Etowah and are willing to devote just an hour or two one day each month to gathering a water sample, we need you!

We train you, give you the supplies needed and meet you at the alliance lab on McClure Street to take your samples. If interested, email Lori Forrester at brenaucrew@hotmail.com.


Robert Morrison, a member of the Upper Etowah River Alliance board of directors, has stepped down after 18 years of service. Robert brought expertise in finance, water management and always-needed funding sources to the alliance. He will continue as an active member but has decided that now that he’s in his mid-80s, he’s going to spend more time on Lake Allatoona, water skiing. We thank him for his steady hand as a valued board member.

Need Support!

We need donations to fund our mission of keeping the Upper Etowah clean and safe. Please join the alliance or donate today at EtowahRiver.org or call 706-407-1115. Every dollar helps.

Upper Etowah River Alliance

The mission of the alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has been keeping an eye on the Etowah River since 1999, is to provide regional leadership, resources, consultation, education, training materials and events to protect and enhance the natural and economic resources of the watershed for present and future generations.

Covering five counties — Cherokee, Dawson, Forsyth, Lumpkin and Pickens — the UERA began as a forum for watershed stakeholders and soon developed a strong, volunteer-run program with Georgia AAS. The UERA provides training, equipment and chemicals for citizen scientists to test the river and tributaries at selected sites at regular intervals, returning the results to the state’s online AAS records. These records form an important database for environmentalists and local governments to use in water utilities planning, as well as commercial and residential developers and other businesses, including recreation outfitters. The UERA operates entirely on grants, donations and membership dues.

Laine Kirby Wood, Canton resident and the executive director of The Upper Etowah River Alliance, is a writer, adventurer, wildlife enthusiast and grandmother to seven.
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 21
Jane Graves, board chair, and Laine Kirby Wood, executive director of Upper Etowah River Alliance, clean up the river.

Amanda Belair Artist Spotlight

Amanda Belair of Woodstock began her career as a solo artist at MadLife Stage and Studios. She won the venue’s Undiscovered Artist Showcase, and her prize was being able to record her first EP there. She continues to perform there frequently.

Amanda’s social media links:

Q www.instagram.com/theamandabelair

E www.facebook.com/theamandabelair

D https://twitter.com/theamandabelair


How did you get started as a musician?

Growing up, it was always my dream to become a musician. I received my first guitar on my ninth birthday, and I took every opportunity to sing in choirs and talent shows. I also was writing songs in notebooks in my free time. My parents are musicians, so I was constantly surrounded by music. When I graduated high school, I attended college with a music scholarship but ended up leaving to pursue a career as a contemporary solo artist. For about three years, I played every gig and open mic I could find, while also working a couple of 9-5 jobs. I found a home in a few local venues, including MadLife, and eventually was able to support myself with those gigs.

How has touring with Roger Waters (a founding member of Pink Floyd) affected you?

The tour has been an incredible journey so far. I can’t even begin to describe how it has impacted my life as a musician and opened my eyes as an individual. Seeing the world and incorporating my love for music into the experience has been a dream, and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity. Professionally, I have learned new skills, being a background vocalist, and I have enjoyed breaking out of my comfort zone as a performer. Personally, it has been inspiring to see how impactful music can be. It has been wildly motivating for me.

Has touring with Waters changed how you write music?

I do think being on this tour has changed some of the ways I approach my writing now. I am more willing to try new techniques without judging or overthinking the process. Before, I was more rigid and strategic with my writing. Now, I’m not afraid to try something new or bold because those moments usually lead to some of the best songs. I’ve also learned to have more fun in the process.

Why is having social commentary in your writing important?

Growing up, I listened to a great mixture of artists. I found the artists and songs that really piqued my interest always had some sort of activist or honest undertone. Or at least some message of “Hey, wake up and do something about it.” Those songs made me hopeful and inspired to create change and sometimes just let me know that I wasn’t alone in my feelings. When I began writing, I found my own way to say something similar. This world can be very deceiving, especially with social media. And I want to be honest and real about what is going on in the world and how I am processing all of it.

22 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
Greg Shaddix is responsible for local artist development and relations at MadLife Stage & Studios, a premier concert venue and restaurant in downtown Woodstock.

Gift to Circle of Friends Inspires Fundraiser

Circle of Friends recently received a generous $500,000 donation from a longtime friend and client of the Keen family, founders of the nonprofit. As part of her will, Mary Ann Crowe (1940-2022) of Alpharetta left the organization this sizable gift to be used to enhance the lives of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the expansion of the team and programs that directly impact this population.

Founders Glenn and Diane Keen share mixed emotions about the generous gift.

“My family has known Mary Ann for over 30 years, first as a client of my father’s in the 1980s and then as a client of mine at Keen & Co.,” Glenn said. “Getting to plan with her to do the things she wanted before she passed was eerie on one hand, but so encouraging on the other.”

According to Diane, “While seeing her last days was hard to accept, we’re grateful for her heart and are thankful for how we got to walk hand in hand with her. She was such a joy in life, and her gifts are allowing others to experience the same.”

Mary Ann was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Crowe, a retired Delta pilot. Mary Ann also gave to other organizations that were near to her heart, including Phi Mu sorority, of which she was a member for more than 60 years, and Angel Flight, a program in which volunteer pilots serve the medically in-need community.

Mary Ann often could be found at the golf course and tennis courts, as she was a yearround Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association tennis player into her later years. Fitness was important to her, and much of her social life revolved around those she played with, especially from Webb Bridge Park.

To celebrate her legacy, a group of faithful volunteers, chaired by Gina Ulicny, has organized the first Mary Ann Crowe To Serve With Love charity tennis fundraiser to benefit Circle of Friends. The event is set for Sept. 8 at Cherokee Tennis Center in Woodstock. Head pro Cameron Leslie is assisting in the round-robin format, with generous prizes for winners. To register a team and participate, visit www.CircleOfFriendsInc.org/Tennis.

AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 23

Faces of Woodstock

Sasha Swetlowski

Local Musician Builds

‘Keyboard Wagon’

I find enjoyment hearing other people’s stories — where they came from and the path of their life journey. My musician friend Sasha Swetlowski has led a very interesting life and continues to do so. I recently sat down with him to hear his story about how he landed in Woodstock.

Sasha comes from an artistic and musical family. He began piano lessons at age 5 when his older sister began taking lessons. Classical music from “Looney Tunes” Bugs Bunny cartoons and the “Ghostbusters” movie seeped into his soul during this time and

would later prove to be an inspiration. His father, a professional musician, ran an instrument repair shop in the Tucker/Norcross area, which brought musicians from all over, and all genres, through the doors.

It wasn’t until high school that Sasha decided to take his musical talents to the next level after overhearing some cute girls swooning over a classmate who played the guitar. Sasha dug through the drawers at home until he found his dad’s harmonica and dived in headfirst. Sasha stumbled on a recording of “But Anyway” by Blues Traveler. From that moment on, he was hooked.

Sasha studied computer programming in college and joined a band called The Jagerbombs, which played several nights a week at the local SportsTime.

Bands come and go, often morphing into other projects, and Sasha found himself living and working in a house with new bandmates, from a group called Almost Blue. This group of 18- to 20-year-olds lived in the same house that The Black Crowes had previously lived in and kept one of their contracts written on a napkin posted on the wall. The Almost Blue crew enjoyed living together and playing around town, and they recorded music at ZAC Studios off Howell Mill Road — the same studio Whitney Houston and OutKast used.

A huge turn of events came when Tinsley Ellis reached out to Sasha on MySpace, and the two exchanged several messages. Sasha was working at a UPS store when he got the offer to go on tour with Tinsley. Initially, Sasha was going to decline, until he received encouragement one day from a regular UPS store customer, Yonrico Scott, who also just happened to be the drummer for Derek Trucks. The deal was solidified one night after Tinsley came to Sasha’s house for a jam session. Sasha decided to abandon his current life and hit the road with Tinsley.

In 2008, during his fourth tour with Tinsley, Sasha found himself playing the Wanee Festival, which was an annual event held 2005-18 at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Florida. The festival was hosted by The Allman Brothers Band, and Sasha met folks like Derek Trucks and his favorite keyboardist, Robert Walter, who was playing with The Greyboy Allstars.

Sasha moved to Woodstock around the “pandemic days” and enjoyed the walkability and welcoming music scene in this area. Most recently, Sasha designed and built a portable “keyboard wagon” that he can roll from his home near downtown Woodstock to any location and practice his craft. The keyboard wagon features its own power supply.

If you are lucky enough to catch Sasha out and about with his wagon, stop by for a listen and enjoy the tunes from one of the most talented and accomplished musicians living among us.

24 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
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Get to Know

What is your main responsibility?

I am currently serving my ninth year as the city of Woodstock’s Ward 6 council member. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to represent and serve the people of Woodstock. The council’s main responsibility is to establish municipal policies for the city to operate under.

What is your background?

My work background includes drafting, mechanical design, CAD (computer-aided design) administration, technical support and technical sales over the past 38 years. I have been with my current employer for 32 years. After high school, I went to LSU-Shreveport for a semester of general studies and then enrolled in

Northwest Louisiana Vocational Technical School, where I learned mechanical, electrical, architectural, piping and topographical drafting. I was hired straight out of school to my first full-time job, where I designed heavy equipment for the logging industry and semitrailers for six years. I then moved to my current employer, where I have worked on designs of high-speed packaging machinery and have been selling this equipment for the past 13 years.

What do you like about being on council?

I really like working with the city staff, the mayor and my fellow council members to make Woodstock the best place to live, work and play. We have an exceptional team, and I believe that is reflected in the way the city has grown.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Savannah but spent my early years in northwest Louisiana. I would say I “grew up” in the country near the small town of Ringgold, Louisiana. I’ve also lived in Bossier City and Shreveport, Louisiana; Tucson, Arizona; Grapevine, Texas; and Marietta and Kennesaw. I moved to Woodstock in 1996.

What future city projects excite you?

The City Center Project — it might take a while to be completed, but it will be worth it.

I am also looking forward to the interchange improvements at Interstate 575 and Ridgewalk Parkway, as well as at Towne Lake Parkway.

What are your goals?

To listen and learn from others, promote clear two-way communication, provide valuable input and direction, and ensure the safety and security of the people.

What’s something people might not know about you?

I like making things with my 3D printers and am learning how to laser engrave stuff.

How do you spend your free time?

I enjoy spending time with my wife and family, especially our grandson. I also enjoy working on my hobbies, which include designing and making useful things with my 3D printers, laser engraving, fixing/ improving things, shooting sports and learning more about history. Additionally, I provide remote computer/technical support for my parents in Louisiana. They think I am much smarter than I actually am.

Rob Usher
26 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
Woodstock Ward 6 Council Member


ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE FREE! Email: edit@aroundaboutmagazines.com

October deadline is Sept. 5. Please specify Around Woodstock. Word limit: 25.

Sept. 1

Happy seventh birthday, Claire!

We are so proud of you!

Love, Mom and Dad


Happy 15th birthday, Faith!

Love, Mom and Tim


Happy birthday, Mom!

We love you! Clara, Cate, Caroline, Casey and Jeff

Happy 12th birthday, buddy! I’m so proud of the smart and kind boy that you have become. I love you so much! Dad

Happy 70th birthday! You are the best mother and grandma that anyone could ask for! Love, your family

Dylan Duda Carol Duda Claire Katz
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 27

New Showroom/Workroom Engages Clients in the Process From Beginning to End

Elizabeth Gerdes, CEO and creative director of Stitch Above the Rest, is offering her clients a unique experience when purchasing custom window treatments for their homes. In her new Woodstock workroom/showroom, clients can watch the fabrication process and see their design choices come to life.

This is a new level of personal service provided by Elizabeth, who opened her business in 2003.

“We invite our clients to go through the design process in our new showroom, and if they’d like to see how things are made, they can explore the workroom side as well,” Elizabeth said. “We take pride in the quality and craftsmanship we have become known for, and we want to share this attention to detail with our clients. As far as I know, no other custom window treatment company in the area is offering this level of service.”

Celebrating Two Decades

As one of 12 children growing up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Elizabeth learned to sew from her mother, who taught her the skills needed for hand stitching. Elizabeth moved to Georgia in 1993 and met her future husband, Glenn Gerdes, at work. By 2003, she found herself with three children under the age of 2 and needed a way to supplement the household income as a stay-at-home mom. Using the sewing talents she had honed since childhood, Elizabeth opened Stitch Above the Rest and started fabricating designer nursery items for friends. Word spread quickly and requests for custom draperies started to come in. By 2011, Elizabeth and Glenn had moved to Woodstock, where they were able to dedicate their entire basement to her growing business.

Elizabeth credits the success of her 20-year-old award-winning business to

the concierge-level service that defines Stitch Above the Rest. From start to finish, Elizabeth and her team meet with clients in the comfort of their own homes (or the new showroom, if preferred). The team will review design options, fabric and hardware selections, and take official measurements. Fabrication happens here in Woodstock, and the team returns to install the final product.

The showroom is filled with luxurious fabrics, trims, drapery hardware and more. It is a space that allows clients to meet with a window treatment specialist to create one-of-a-kind, out-of-thebox designer window treatments. The workroom space in the back is where clients can explore the new, modern drapery facilities and see custom window treatments at various stages of production.

Aiming to exceed expectations, Elizabeth said her mission is to bring extraordinary to the ordinary in every service provided by Stitch Above the Rest. In addition to custom drapery

28 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
Drapery hardware is among the items on display in the showroom.

projects, clients can select custom cushions, shades, blinds, shutters, top treatments and more.

No challenge is too great for Elizabeth and her team. They often are tasked with tackling oversized and unique projects that other workrooms shy away from. “Bring it to us. Challenge us. Let us show you that nothing is impossible,” Elizabeth said. “We are in the business of making your vision a reality. Just ask."

Dreams Do Come True!

Being able to call Woodstock home for more than a decade has been rewarding for Elizabeth and Stitch Above the Rest. She has grown her business beyond her wildest expectations to include the opening of a new location and recently has seen a childhood dream come true.

Since high school, Elizabeth has had a fondness for classic Thunderbirds. A 1957 Dusk Rose has always been her unicorn. This year, she purchased her dream car

through an online auction, sight unseen. “Knowing I was the highest bidder was surreal,” Elizabeth said. “Getting her delivered to my driveway was unbelievable. It was literally a dream come true, and I could not stop smiling from ear to ear.”

After some much-needed work from Georgia Classic Fords, the classic Thunderbird is running like new again and is out and about, helping to market Stitch Above the Rest. Elizabeth named the car Rose and created an Instagram page to chronicle Rose’s escapades (@PinkBird1957).

Elizabeth encourages selfies with Rose

and is excited to put her personal signature on these marketing efforts. “Being able to incorporate Rose into the branding of my business helps keep me in the forefront of my clients’ minds,” she said. “I want to be the first one they think of when they need window treatments. Having Rose helps ensure this.”

Elizabeth credits Woodstock and her Cherokee County community with allowing her to achieve her personal and business goals. “From a nontraditional business out of my home to opening up a new location, this community has afforded me more than I could’ve ever hoped for.”

Elizabeth, who learned to sew as a child, finds herself surrounded by swatches of drapery material.
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 29

Update Your Kitchen With New Countertops

More people are staying in the home they have these days and doing a bit of remodeling, rather than moving. Kitchens are one of the most popular rooms to remodel.

Nothing changes the look of a kitchen like new countertops, which are a great way to update. There are so many beautiful alternatives — granite, quartz, marble or quartzite.

Granite was a top seller for years, definitely an upgrade from Formica or laminate. It is a natural stone, mostly mined in Brazil, Italy, India and China. It’s almost always in “natural” colors — browns, tans, golds, some blacks and grays, and sometimes with flecks of other colors.

Quartz came along about 25 years ago. Quartz countertops are man-made from ground quartz rocks, resin and colors. It is exceedingly hard, does not stain as easily as granite and does not require as much maintenance as granite. It is, of course, more expensive than granite.

Marble has been the true luxury option for many years. It has the most beautiful whites for a white kitchen, but we like to say it’s for kitchens where there is no cooking being done. It is porous, so it stains easily, and is more expensive than granite and quartz. Most people opt for a

quartz that looks like marble instead.

New on the scene is quartzite. It’s a naturally occurring rock formed from sandstone at very high temperatures deep underground. It has similar colors and veining to marble but has exceptional strength, density and hardness. Expect to pay accordingly for this precious and beautiful countertop.

Pro tip: Make the trip to look at the actual slabs, and choose yours. There can be quite a bit of variation from one slab to the next, especially with granite, marble and quartzite, so this step is important.

Already have stone countertops? Don’t forget to seal them on a yearly basis. When properly sealed, the surface of your countertop will be much easier to clean, and any risk of staining is reduced. Note: Most quartz products do not require sealing.

Elisabeth Stubbs is one of the owners of Enhance Floors & More, one of Atlanta’s top-rated flooring dealers, located in Marietta.
30 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
Granite is a natural stone that’s almost always in tones of brown and tan. This kitchen counter is Giallo Ornamental granite.

Planning Your Next Home Improvement Project?

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Enhance Floors & More is one of the most experienced flooring companies in North Georgia. Founded 38 years ago in Marietta, the flooring showroom is locally owned and staffed by a skilled team with a combined 150-plus years of experience.

Clients rave about how Enhance Floors is a “one-stop shop and made what could have been an overwhelming experience easy and fun.” Pop in to browse the large selection of flooring options and see for yourself what all the hype is about.

ü Complimentary In-Store Design Assistance

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AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 31

Around & About


Canton First Fridays

Sept. 1, Purple Madness

Oct. 6, On the Border

Great food and live music 6-9 p.m. in downtown Canton. Check for updates at www.facebook.com/ CantonGAFirstFriday.

“The Curious Savage”

Sept. 1-3 and 8-10, Canton Theatre

Directed by Jeannie and Wally Hinds, the play tells the story of a wealthy woman who is committed to a mental institution by her greedy stepchildren. www.cherokeetheatre.org

Tennis Fundraiser

Sept. 8, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Cherokee Tennis Center

The Circle of Friends event at 155 Brooke Blvd., Woodstock, is the inaugural Mary Ann Crowe To Serve With Love tennis fundraiser, a women’s team doubles tournament. Register at www.circleoffriendsinc.org.

Community Sale

Sept. 9, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Little River Methodist Church, Woodstock

A missions fundraiser, individuals and businesses will have items for sale. Free to the public. For more details, visit www.littleriverumc.info or call 770-926-2495.

Canton Multicultural Festival

Sept. 9, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Etowah River Park

The free event will feature a soccer tournament, food tasting, performances, music and more. www.cantonga.gov/events

Cherokee Music Teachers Association

Sept. 9, 10 a.m., R.T. Jones Library Canton

First meeting of the season. Guests are welcome, and a potluck brunch will be served. For more information, contact Linda Lokey at linda@lokey.net.

Chili Cook-Off

Sept. 9, noon-5 p.m., The Mill on Etowah

The fundraiser for Project Hero will take place in the gravel lot at The Mill’s entrance. For more details, email info@weareprojecthero.org. www.etowahmill.com/events

Concert in the Park: Guardians of the JukeBox

Sept. 9, 7-10 p.m., downtown Ball Ground


Kid Biz Expo Golf Tournament

Sept. 11, Bridgemill Athletic Club

There will be breakfast, lunch, a practice session, door prizes, swag bags and a silent auction. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Cherokee County first responders.


Special Olympics Golf Tournament

Sept. 15, Lake Arrowhead Yacht and Country Club

Sponsored by the Kathy B. Davis Foundation, under the direction of Dave Davis, a state-certified Special Olympics golf coach. www.kbdfoundation.net/ upcoming-events.

Stand Up for Seniors

Luncheons are 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. the third Friday of each month. $10 donation.


Sept. 15: The Landings of Canton Hills, 1100 Reinhardt College Parkway

Oct. 20: Merrill Gardens, 12730 Highway 92, Woodstock

Nov. 17: The Retreat at Canton, 3333 E. Cherokee Drive

Shoppers browse the tents of 150 vendors and concession stands at the 2022 Riverfest.
32 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
Numerous countries were represented at the 2022 Multicultural Festival in Canton.

Plant Sale

Sept. 16, 9 a.m.-noon, Cherokee County Senior Center

The Cherokee County Master Gardeners propagated all the plants, shrubs and trees for this sale to assure they will grow in our climate. The center is at 1001 Univeter Road, Canton. www.facebook.com/ cherokeemastergardeners, www.cherokeemastergardeners.com


Sept. 16, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Cherokee

Veterans Park

Enjoy games, food, music and the coolest trucks in Canton for free at 7345 Cumming Highway. Quiet time for hearing sensitive 9:30-10 a.m. Contact Jessica Ascenzo, jnascenzo@cherokeega.com or 770-501-8002, to register your truck.

Family-Friendly Festival

Sept. 22, 6-9 p.m., Woodstock City Church parking lot

The outdoor event includes live music, face painting, cornhole, free food and special guests. Hosted by Hopedealers Worldwide and The ROCC (Recovery Organization of Cherokee County) to celebrate individuals in recovery from drugs and alcohol use. www.betherocc.org

Natural Wine and Jazz Festival

Sept. 23, 5-8 p.m., The Mill on Etowah

Taste 25 wines, enjoy jazz music and mingle with wine importers and distributors. www.etowahmill. com/events


Sept. 23-24, 10 a.m., Etowah River Park

The 39th annual arts and crafts festival will feature more than 150 vendors, local entertainers and more. Admission is $7.

www.serviceleague.net/fundraisers/ riverfest

3- and 6-Hour Mountain Bike Race

Sept. 30, 9:30 a.m., Blankets Creek Trails, Canton

www.mountaingoatadventures.com/ blankets6hour


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.

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 will be provided. Register by 5 p.m. Oct. 6. 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 www.runwalkorroll.com.

Optimist Club Golf Tournament

Oct. 20, Fairways of Canton

North Georgia State Fair

Sept. 21-Oct. 1, Jim. R. Miller Park


The fair features live music, free attractions and shows, farm animals, local entertainment, rides, food and more. www.northgeorgiastatefair.com

Lights on the Lake Registration

Sept. 25-Nov. 8

Registration is open for Lights on the Lake Parade on Nov. 11. To register, click on www.lakeallatoonaassoc.com/ events/.

Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup

Sept. 30, Lake Allatoona

Registration is open through Sept. 25.


Kickball Extravaganza

Sept. 30

Hosted by American Commercial Roofing, the Circle of Friends fundraiser is open to neurotypical and neurodiverse friends to play kickball together. Check the website for more details.

www.circleoffriendsinc.org/ fundraisers

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.

AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 33

September Is for Exploring

There’s so much to be excited about at your local public library this month. Join the Sequoyah Regional Library System (SRLS) as we celebrate National Library Card Sign-Up Month. With programming for all ages, experience passes, books and more, your SRLS library card is your ticket to discovery.

Then, visit one of our seven locations Sept. 18-22 for Sequoyah Space Explorers Week, where you can gaze at the stars and dream about Mars. Our libraries will be offering multiple space-themed programs for all ages to enjoy. Visit our Woodstock Public Library Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. for Astronomy 101 for Kids. Spend the evening with an astronomer from the Atlanta Astronomy Club Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at our Rose Creek Public Library. On Sept. 20, join us at R.T. Jones Memorial Library at 5:30 p.m. for Constellation Cross-Stitch. Finally, test your Jedi skills at our Star Wars Family Fun Night Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. at our Ball Ground Public Library. For a full calendar of events, visit SequoyahRegionalLibrary.org.

If you want to start your own adventure, look no further than your local public library. During National

Library Card Sign-Up Month, you can begin your journey of discovery by signing up for a SRLS library card. Our library cards are always free for those who live in Cherokee, Pickens and Gilmer counties. Visit our website or one of our locations to sign up for a library card.

If your child enjoys computers, start their adventure with coding skills at Ready, Set, Code! For Kids from 4-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays during September at the Woodstock Library.

If you always wanted to try a yoga class, the free Yoga at the Library on Sept. 9 from 11 a.m.-noon is perfect for beginners. Bring your mat to the Woodstock Library for a relaxing session. Another way to relax while learning is through our Adult Art Night on Sept. 14 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Woodstock Library. Paint and supplies will be provided. Adults can continue their art adventure on Sept.

28 from 6-7:30 p.m. with ceramic dish painting at the Ball Ground Library.

Kids also can develop their journey into art skills at the Apple Tree Painting for Kids on Sept. 26 from 5-6 p.m. at the Ball Ground Library.

And don’t forget to take some time to celebrate with us at the R.T. Jones Library 100th Year Birthday Bash on Sept. 9 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Eat, play and sing “Happy Birthday” as we end our celebration with a bang!

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 or visit https://sequoyahregionallibrary.org/. We hope to see you soon!

Sarah Childers is the marketing manager of the Sequoyah Regional Library System. A Wildlife Wonders representative introduces Priscilla the monkey to the crowd at Woodstock Public Library.
34 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
A young patron pets a hedgehog from Wildlife Wonders at the Summer Discovery Finale at Rose Creek Library.

A Golden Opportunity

Unearthing the Secrets of Cherokee Treasure Tunnel

In early November 1932, three boys — Roy Tippins and Bob and Jack Stuman — found a large granite stone with symbols carved on it, near the border of Cherokee and Forsyth counties. After asking the landowner for permission to dig near the spot and being refused, they returned several days later and found a second stone a few hundred yards away. Beneath it, they unearthed a clay pot, of Cherokee origin, containing 37 pounds of gold — what would be about a million dollars worth at its current market value.

The property owner, a Mr. Groover, filed a lawsuit for possession. The courts sided with the youths, saying the landowner had no legitimate claim to it either, and the boys were allowed to keep it.

The stone, which subsequently was moved to the University of Georgia, was carved by the Red Bank Tribe of the Cherokee people and was used as a center point, around which 25 clay pots, each containing between 6 and 37 pounds of gold, were hidden just prior to the Cherokees being forcibly relocated to Oklahoma on what has become known as the Trail of Tears. None of the other 24 stashes has ever been located, even though all of them were buried within a mile of the symbol stone.

The complete listing of each stash, its distance from the symbol stone and the amount of gold each contains can be found in Forest Wade’s “Cry of the Eagle,” published in 1969. If we believe the tally in its entirety — and the fact that the first entry matched exactly what was unearthed by the boys in 1932 — there is another $11 million of buried gold somewhere near the confluence of the Bruton and Red Bank creeks, just before they empty into the Etowah River, where the 30 or so families of the Red Bank Tribe lived.

The tale of buried Cherokee gold is even larger than this. As it turns out, the Red Bank Tribe had chosen to do on their own what several other tribes had banded together to do. In 1835, a chief named Rising Fawn suggested to a host of local tribes in the area that they build a secret tunnel with separate vaults, or niches, to store the wealth of individual families of each tribe.

The Red Bank Tribe did not trust the caretaking arrangement and opted to hide its own treasure. But many other tribes, including the Long Swamp and Big Savannah Cherokee, agreed to Rising Fawn’s plan.

Legend says that the natives labored for two years to construct the tunnel, 200 feet in length, cut into a steep hillside in Cherokee County near the Etowah River. Tribes from as far away as Dahlonega and Dawsonville were said to have brought their gold here and hidden it in the cave, which then was sealed, to escape detection. They entrusted the task of watching over

the hoard to a white man, Jacob McCarty Scudder, a Bureau of Indian Affairs agent who had been sympathetic to the Cherokee cause and had lobbied, in vain, against their forced removal. This arrangement was necessary, as it was believed that any native left to safeguard it likely would be deported at some point.

Forest Wade and a great many others were convinced that this tunnel existed. In his book, Wade catalogs a fair number of stories from independent sources claiming to have seen the various Cherokee communities collecting their riches, transferring them into clay pots and moving them at night — on foot, by wagon, by sled or by boat — to the secret location.

In each instance, any white man who came across the activity as it took place was unharmed by the Cherokees but was obliged to stay the night with them until those transporting the treasure returned, so they could not be followed to discover the hidden location.

In some cases, later information actually comes to us from relocated Cherokees in Oklahoma, who could read the symbols on the stones — symbols that told where to go from that spot in order to find the tunnel.

There are even stories of a Cherokee family member returning to the area later and finding Scudder, who then, as promised, retrieved their gold for them so that the family member could take it back to Oklahoma.

The tunnel’s location consistently is said to be close to the Etowah River, either in western Forsyth County or eastern Cherokee County. One report suggested it is in what is now Canton, in the vicinity of a “Mount Etowah.”

Does the secret Cherokee Treasure Tunnel proposed by Chief Rising Fawn really exist? Many have looked for it, without success. Still, the boys’ find in 1932 makes a strong case that there was a lot of gold buried by the native population in the late 1830s that has yet to be unearthed.

As to whether each tribe buried its own or whether there is a huge storehouse of gold in a long tunnel in Cherokee County, that’s anybody’s guess. I’ve left out a lot of work (and speculation) by folks who have tried to ascertain its location over the years because, if it does exist, I think we might be better off if it stays buried.

Quoting from The Message version of the New Testament: “Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.”

• “Cry of the Eagle: History and Legends of the Cherokee Indians and Their Buried Treasure.” Forest C. Wade. 1969.

• www.newspapers.com/newspage/384658189.

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.
WANDERER Wonderings of th e
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 35

Celebrating Yom Kippur, Teshuvah and Fall Feasts

Repent! How many times have we seen someone on a street corner shouting that word? Or perhaps we’ve watched a movie where one of the characters is portrayed as a crazed religious figure carrying signs with that word on it, claiming the world is coming to an end?

We have a natural aversion to that word and what it might represent, but did you know that the word for repent in the Hebrew is the word “teshuvah,” which comes from a simple root — lashuv — meaning to turn or to return?

The Jewish Fall Feasts — Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 15-17), Yom Kippur (Sept. 24-25) and Sukkot (Sept. 29Oct. 6), called the High Holy Days — are a culmination of a 30-day season of teshuvah. The Jewish nation is called to look inward, to self-reflect and return to the “source of life.”

We are encouraged to prepare for the High Holy Days by slowing down and reconnecting with what matters most of all — our vertical relationship with our creator and our horizontal relationships with our fellow human beings. We are called to undergo what is described in Hebrew as “cheshbon ha-nefesh” — literally an accounting of the soul.

This self-examination is not for the purpose of counting all the good and the bad we’ve done, in the hopes that the positive has outweighed the negative. It is, in fact, an acknowledgment that, as part of the human condition, there is good and bad in our hearts, minds and actions.

During this season of teshuva, we are encouraged to walk ourselves

through the difficult and sometimes painful process of turning inward to acknowledge our shortcomings honestly. Then, we are to turn outward and ask forgiveness from those we may have hurt, intentionally or otherwise. Most importantly, we are called to open wide our hearts to our creator, with a sense of humility, owning our flaws and asking his forgiveness.

However, true teshuvah is more than just recognizing our faults and asking for forgiveness. It is an opportunity to hit a spiritual reset button. It is a chance to let go of the greatest sins of all — the sins of apathy and forgetfulness — apathy toward hurting ourselves and others and forgetfulness over our eternal need for God’s love, grace and truth.

Of course, teshuvah is an enduring process, a daily struggle that is not one-and-done. On the contrary, it is a slow-motion activity that should be genuine and lifelong. The 30 days before Rosh Hashana and the subsequent intense 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur offer an opportunity to remind ourselves of this critical need to return to God and godliness and the transformative healing that this teshuvah can provide.

Our Christian friends will recognize this concept in many of the New Testament writings. The letter

to the first-century Jewish believers, Hebrews 12:1-2, states: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Teshuvah leads us to cultivate godliness while eradicating habits that lead into sin.

Yom Kippur is indeed the highest of the High Holy Days — the Day of Atonement, when we present ourselves to God, trusting in his forgiving grace, as it marks the climax of this period of teshuvah. For the believer in Yeshua (Jesus), it is a reminder of the atoning power of his sacrifice, once and for all, and the ongoing cry of the heart to follow that message of forgiveness, with a commitment to living a life of teshuva — a life of turning and returning to our creator.

Daniel Robitshek is senior rabbi, and he and his wife, Tracey, are honored to celebrate God’s love, with Jews and gentiles, at Congregation Beth Yeshua North Georgia.

36 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023

Finding Comfort in the Hand of the Master

My wife and I love to spoil our dog, Tumnus. He eats well. He sleeps in our bed. He frequents the dog park. And he even enjoys the occasional pup cup.

The problem is, Tumnus is a nervous wreck. Jane and I rescued him when he was only 5 months old, but he had already experienced so much hurt that most things continue to scare him even now, well over a year later.

Tumnus will often shake during car rides. He is terrified of mailboxes and trash cans. His name was inspired by C.S. Lewis’ character in “The Chronicles of Narnia,” the faun — Mr. Tumnus — who is initially very skittish, but in the end is very sweet and loyal.

Jane and I even joked the other night that we would start a puppy Instagram for Tumnus, and his bio would read: “Puppy Influencer. My journey in overcoming daily fears.”

Because he is so anxious, it is very hard to take Tumnus on walks. But, he has so much energy, he needs to exercise daily. The dog park has become sort of a crutch for us, so I’ve tried to be more proactive in taking Tumnus for walks at Hobgood Park.

To try and calm Tumnus’ nerves, I come up with creative ways to motivate him. Of course, it’s amazing how fast he will be obedient for a treat. Speaking gently to him, telling him what a good boy he is and how brave he is, also helps to comfort him.

However, I have also found something else to be very effective. Tumnus has a harness that goes around his chest. On the back, just under the clip for his leash, is a handle. If I gently put my hand under that handle, and not pull or yank him, but gently pull up with


my hand on his harness … something about that helps him to feel secure, knowing I am by his side.

When Tumnus feels the hand of his master upon him, he knows his master is near. I am just like Tumnus, and maybe you are, too. Even after we have been rescued by our savior, we all have areas of our lives in which we are so wounded that we continue to doubt his loving care for us.

“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, for he cares for you.” — 1 Peter 5:6-7

Notice that Peter addresses these words to Christians. Even as believers, we can continue to be filled with anxieties, but Jesus reminds us of his care by giving us “treats” like answers to prayers or Holy Communion. He speaks gentle words of grace to us through the word. Most of all, there are special moments — moments when we are maybe even most afraid — when Jesus gently puts his hand upon us to remind us that our master is near.

There is no need that is too great or too small for him. You can cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Tyler Kerleyis the rector of Resurrection Anglican Church in downtown Woodstock. He’s pictured with his wife, Jane, trying to take a photo with their dog, Tumnus.
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Celebrating Encompass Ministries

Helping People Get on Their Feet

At Encompass Ministries, independence is celebrated every day. This celebration started in 1998 after Lynne Saunders, founder of Encompass (originally Papa’s Pantry), and a friend returned home from a life-altering mission trip to India.

“Here I was, back in the good ol’ U.S. of A,” Lynne said. “Billboards boasting expensive watches and fashion (that) contrasted old apartments and hotels covered with graffiti. A church steeple spiked the background. The visual stopped me, as many questions began to stir in my heart, questions that changed my world and the world of thousands of families since.”

Lynne said she thought, “In this country with so many resources, why isn’t it working? In India, there were no government social services or churches to give aid. Why are families here still struggling to survive? Why were people not able to dig out of poverty? Why was childhood hunger becoming such a hot topic? Why, why, why?”

While wrestling with these questions long and hard in prayer, Lynne kept feeling a call to start a food cupboard.

“It wasn’t audible, but I began to sense God continuing to stir a solution in my heart,” she said. “I didn’t think I was qualified to start anything for the kingdom. Sure, I was a strong Christian, but I doubted what I had been taught — that God had a special call and purpose for every believer. Yes, even me.”

Papa’s Pantry (the original name and the spirit that will never change at this nonprofit) soon was launched in Lynne’s basement. She and her army of volunteers stayed busy visiting homes and distributing food to those in need.

“We help people get back on their feet and off government assistance,” Lynne said. “We give them the tools they need to do life successfully by getting behind the ‘why?’ of what keeps them from self-sufficiency.”

Within five years — in early 2004 — the first “open to the public” Papa’s Pantry opened. It was in one room of an older house (shared with Christian counselors) in downtown Canton that had turned into a business. In 10 short months, the pantry outgrew this space. In March 2005, the nonprofit moved into the building at 6551 Commerce Parkway in Woodstock, where it remains under the name Encompass Ministries.

Staff member Nick Mikell, center, with volunteers Jeanne Menna, left, and Lisa Feather.
38 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
Empty cabinets mean empty stomachs.

25 Years

The tools available to help get people back on their feet is the origin of The Master’s Training Center. Courses offered are:

• Stability: Career and Employment and Money Management.

• Goal-Setting and Life Skills.

• At-Risk Youth Training (off-site).

• Addictions Recovery Training (off-site).

Of course, the food pantry services remain constant, and the nonprofit also offers organic gardening. A bountiful organic garden has flourished behind the building for years and has provided countless families with fresh, healthy produce.

Encompass also offers community outreaches like school supply giveaways, free medical care in partnership with Bethesda Community Clinic and more. Its reach has expanded to surrounding counties, including Cobb and Pickens.

It’s easy to understand the meaning behind changing the name to Encompass in August 2019. So much of what the nonprofit does encompasses the whole person, restoring many to stability. The 2022 statistics reveal its impact on our communities: $1.1 million worth of food given, 24,706 people fed, 5,581 children fed, about 555,945 meals provided and 481 organization pickups. Even pets are covered, with 8,463 pounds of pet food being distributed. Restoration of independence always is worth celebrating, and you are invited! Encompass Ministries will be having a gala Sept. 14 to celebrate 25 years of helping people achieve stability and having the tools to stay there. Organizers have planned a wonderful evening, filled with beautiful music by four-time Dove Award-winning musician Stan Whitmire and an inspirational message from Fox News contributor and retired Staff Sgt. Johnny “Joey” Jones, who was wounded in combat. He will share his story of triumph and gratitude over his life-changing injury and disability. Joey’s story lines up with Encompass’ mission of helping people get back on their feet, even though he lost both of his legs. If you would like to get on board with the mission of changing lives at Encompass Ministries, visit encompassministriesinc.org. Encompass is still growing, and the biggest need is a new building with more space. To learn more, volunteer, donate or sign up for the celebration gala, visit the website or follow the nonprofit on social media.

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. Encompass’ core staff is made up of, from left, Valeri Walker, Faith Moody, Nick Mikell and Lynne Saunders.
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 39
The on-site organic garden provides fresh produce for countless families.

These animals are at Cobb County Animal Services, waiting for homes.

Rob’s Rescues

This month, I interviewed Sarah Carney of Hidden Acres Animal Sanctuary (HAAS) in Canton. Learn more at hiddenacresanimalsanctuary.org.

What is your mission?

This dog’s name is Zane. He is 6 years old and was a stray. He is scared in the shelter. He has good energy and would be a happy and active companion. He loves to walk outside and seems like a dog that would be good and loyal to you.

Hidden Acres Animal Sanctuary Therapy and Rescue is a nonprofit with a mission to spread hope, healing and love to rescue farm animals and human hearts and a purpose to bring joy to all who cross our path. We pay forward the hope, healing and love we instill in our rescue animals to local seniors, memory-care patients, hospice patients and individuals struggling with mental and emotional health through the natural and amazing benefits of animal therapy. We also have a youth empowerment program for middle and high school students. We believe animals are powerful healers, making us both an animal rescue and a human rescue.

How many animals are on the farm, and what type?

We have 87 animals, including goats, ducks, chickens, pigs, rabbits, birds, donkeys and a Holstein cow at the sanctuary. Each of these animals is personally touched and inundated with tremendous love and care every day by teams of volunteers.

Why did you choose a goat for your logo?

We have more rescue goats than any other animal. We take our goats to senior centers and have a lot of goat-related activities, such as goat yoga.

How do your animals come to you?

Mostly through large-animal vets and animal controls across a number of counties. Harley the pig wandered around homeless in Atlanta for two weeks. Bucky the donkey was 28 years old when he came to us. During all that time, he had never been touched. His hooves were so overgrown, he could barely walk. He also had a severely infected face as a result of being attacked by other animals. Rosie was the first pig in our therapy program. She was sold to college students by a breeder when she was just 2 days old. The kids tried, but couldn’t keep up with her needs, so I took her into the sanctuary. The residents of Camellia Place in Woodstock bottle-fed her, and she has brought lots of joy on her visits there.

This cat’s name is Wilson. He is a 4-year-old orange tabby. He came to the shelter as a stray. He is a pretty calm cat who doesn’t make much noise and enjoys being held a lot. He deserves and would love a great home.

Next month, my interview with Sarah continues, as she explains how farm animals are used as therapy animals.

Rob Macmillan is on a mission to help shelter dogs and cats. On Facebook @robsrescues. www.robsrescues.com.
40 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
Rob with Sarah Carney of Hidden Acres Animal Sanctuary.

Thrift Stores: More Than a Good Deal

This month, we are focusing on an often-overlooked way to support local nonprofits: thrift stores. We all know they are great for finding bargains, but how often do we stop to consider what an essential role thrift stores are playing in the support of others? Not only do they offer items at remarkably lower prices, their revenue often helps fund essential programming at local nonprofits.

You can help by cleaning out closets and donating items or by volunteering your time in the stores. From sorting and shelving to customers and cleaning, these stores depend on volunteers to keep their operating costs low and to make sure any profit goes where it is needed most. Check out these two great options that are listed on JustServe.org:

MUST Marketplace: Volunteer with MUST Ministries in Marietta as a greeter, cashier or stocker. All funds are reinvested in its programming.

Bascomb Mission Thrift: With two shifts to choose from each day and a variety of positions to fill, there’s no reason not to check out this standing opportunity in

Keep Families Together by Sorting and Preparing “Shop”: Sponsored by Together for Families, this great resource center in Kennesaw even allows children to volunteer and sort with their families.

Help Dress Those in Need: Volunteers can help sort and hang clothes every Tuesday morning at House of Hope in Canton. All are welcome!

Be sure to check out these great projects and many others on JustServe.org. Or join the JustServe Georgia Volunteers Public Group on Facebook for 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.
FOLLOW US ON TIKTOK! @AROUNDABOUTLOCALMEDIA Let’s get social! aroundabout-local-media AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 41

Native Alternatives to Replace Invasive Evergreen Shrubs

Evergreen shrubs are among the most functional plants for a homeowner’s landscaping needs. They have many uses, including foundation plantings, privacy screens and accent plants.

Unfortunately, some of the most commonly used evergreen shrubs are non-native plants with invasive or weedy tendencies. These popular landscaping plants include nandina or heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica), leatherleaf mahonia (Mahonia bealei), silverberry or thorny elaeagnus (Elaeagnus pungens), Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) and the many species of privet (Ligustrum species).

These shrubs invade natural landscapes through seeds, usually dispersed by birds and other wildlife, or vegetative means. They can do extensive harm once they take over woodlands, meadows and other natural areas. They shade out or outcompete native species, degrade natural ecosystems and reduce food and shelter for native wildlife. Large stands of invasive plants also can change the course of waterways and affect the water table.

Fortunately, there are many worthy native evergreen shrubs that serve as excellent alternatives to these invasive shrubs. The ones listed below typically grow to a height suitable for use in home landscapes:

Florida hobblebush (Agarista populifolia)

Shiny, lance-shaped leaves, 2-4 inches long on arching stems; new foliage is an attractive coppery red; 5-10 feet tall; small, white, bell-shaped flowers in the spring that are loved by pollinators; prefers moist, acidic soil in shade to part sun.

Dwarf yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria ‘Nana’)

Small, leathery, dark green, oval leaves; 3-5 feet tall; tiny white flowers in early spring, which mature into red berries on the female plants; tolerant of a variety of soil types, moisture conditions and sun exposures.

Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera)

Finely textured, oblanceolate, aromatic leaves; 15-25 feet tall; tiny and relatively insignificant blooms, but fruits on female plants are an attractive bluish white and are relished by many songbirds; fast growing and tolerant of a variety of conditions.

Rosebay rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum)

Leathery, simple, elliptic leaves, up to 8 inches in length; 6-10 feet tall; early summer flowers, which are white to pink and clustered in trusses; prefers well-drained acidic soil in shade to filtered sun.

Inkberry (Ilex glabra)

Mounded growth habit; 5-8 feet tall; simple, elliptic, glossy leaves, 1-2 inches long; tiny white blooms in the spring, followed by black berries on female plants; often found in wet areas but adaptable to average soil in sun to part shade.

Florida anise (Illicium floridanum)

Glossy, spicily fragrant, dark green leaves that are simple, elliptic and 3-6 inches long; up to 10 feet in height; spreads easily via suckers; star-shaped flowers are maroon to red and borne in the spring; prefers moist, rich soil in full to partial shade.

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

42 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
Florida hobblebush

Directors: Jeannie & Wally Hinds

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 Laughinginthefaceof sanityandgreed!
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AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 43


Identifying people in need in our community.

Woodstock resident Cherry Klein is no stranger to Cherokee County’s fitness community. The 51-year-old has spent the past 15 years serving our community as a Zumba and AquaFit instructor at LA Fitness and Onelife Fitness. She also works as a line cook for Sunset Grille and over the years has worked for MadLife, Marlow’s Tavern, Prime 120 and Tavern at Towne Lake.

Cherry’s friend Venus describes her as “a tiny little fireball of positive energy. She always has at least two jobs that she’s running to.”

In May, Cherry was gaining weight. “Cherry normally weighs 105 pounds soaking wet, and before our eyes, she had gained about 35 pounds within two weeks,” Venus said. Cherry also experienced abdominal pain and difficulty urinating, which caused her to retain water and rapidly gain weight. After several doctor appointments, she was diagnosed with cancer in her bile duct and a golf ball-sized tumor in her liver. Bile duct cancer, also called cholangiocarcinoma, is cancer that starts in the bile ducts, which are tubes that connect the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine. Cancer that forms in the bile ducts inside the liver is called intrahepatic bile duct cancer. Bile duct cancer typically is discovered in the later stages, as it takes time for the symptoms to present themselves. Cherry was diagnosed with Stage 2.

During surgery on June 1, a third of her bile duct and half of her liver were removed. A follow-up surgery was necessary to remove more cancerous polyps. Cherry needs another surgery to remove cancerous polyps in her pancreas, but she has to wait until her body has had time to heal. Chemotherapy finally began last month.

Cherry is married, with three children; two are grown, and her 16-year-old is still at home. Her husband is on medical disability, which makes her income critical for

her family. “I have always worked two-three jobs to help provide for our family. I love my jobs and the people I work with and for,” Cherry said.

After her diagnosis, Cherry’s insurance policy termed out, causing delays in her treatments. Thankfully, she now is covered by a new but expensive policy.

Her Zumba students set up a GoFundMe account, so others can help her get through this difficult time. “The amount of support she has garnered from the community is proof of the lives she touches every day. Cherry would never ask for help from anyone. She is strong and self-sufficient, but this is bigger than her. She would unquestionably do anything for us, and we now have the opportunity to show her how much she means to each of us. She has always been an inspiration to her students and is even more so now. Her positive attitude and energy shines, even though we know she doesn’t feel well,” Venus said.

Cherry believes God has given her this second chance “so that I can be a positive example to others, and I fully intend to win this. I am eternally grateful to my dear friends, students and strangers who have helped me so far. I still have a lot ahead of me, and I cannot tell you how much relief your generosity has provided us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

If you would like to help the Kleins, you can donate through GoFundMe at https://gofund.me/6676696d or through Everyday Angels, where 100% of donations go directly to the family.

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.

44 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
Cherry Klein is battling bile duct cancer.

IRS Intends to Begin Collections Again

Hoping for an IRS payment plan? It’s possible, but if you have not filed your income tax returns for the past six years, the IRS will not accept any repayment proposal from you. If you owe taxes from prior years but have not filed all returns, IRS collections will send you notices, which might result in a levy action. It is best to file all required income tax returns before the IRS begins its collection protocol.

If you haven’t heard from the IRS lately, you’re not alone. The IRS put its usual collections efforts on pause for about three years but recently announced that collections will begin again in late summer. You might receive notices threatening liens or levies. If you have not filed all your returns, you will need time before you can address the liabilities. It’s best to file the returns before you deal with any tax liability. The IRS might file a return for you and assess a liability. This is called a substitute for return. The IRS calculation of your tax owed usually is higher than if you had filed yourself.

How long can the IRS collect unpaid taxes?

The federal government has 10 years to collect assessed, unpaid income taxes. The key word is assessed.

If a tax return has not been filed by the taxpayer or the government, then the statute of limitations does not begin, resulting in potential liability in the future.

Always open — and reply to — notices in a timely manner. If you ignore them, your options decrease with time. It then might become costly to appeal any governmental decisions.

Call a tax specialist to help you determine the next steps. In a nonthreatening manner, taxpayers can reach a resolution to their tax situations.

Denson Pepper is a CPA in the Acworth/Kennesaw area with 30-plus years of experience. He is an expert at helping people resolve their income tax problems. Call 678-797-5241 to make an appointment.

CPA Denson Pepper is your neighbor, with 30-plus years of IRS experience. He is an expert at helping people resolve their income tax problems. 678-797-5241.
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 45

Detailed Design Standards in Cherokee?

Is it time to develop more detailed standards for development in unincorporated Cherokee County?

We already have basic standards for lot size, building setbacks, buffers and quality facades on commercial buildings. And of course, all buildings must conform to the Georgia building code.

Past attempts at elevated design standards in some areas have mostly failed. It’s a bit controversial. There’s a natural resistance to being told how a site and building should look. And we all have somewhat different ideas about what looks good. Governmentimposed standards don’t always make things better, but maybe it’s time to try again.

In my early days as a district commissioner 20 years ago, the Board of Commissioners invited each of the major rural communities to work with the county to create a township plan, with unique, high-quality standards for site layout, architecture, landscaping and signage for new commercial development. A plan was adopted for the conservation-minded Union Hill community. One plan reached the final stages for the Free Home/Lathemtown community. But opposition from independentminded property owners erupted at a big meeting under an arbor there one evening. During the heated discussion, a huge oak tree on the property split and fell onto some of the parked cars. It dramatically marked the end of that effort. The Union Hill plan was withdrawn, and the township concept died.

Years ago, the county implemented plans for unincorporated Highway 92 and south Bells Ferry Road. Both allowed developers to bypass the zoning process in exchange for higher quality standards. But most Highway 92 developers opted not to use the standards. The Buice Lake community is the first significant new development to use the even higher standards required on Bells Ferry

Road. It’s nice, but the intensity of development allowed under that plan will add significant traffic.

About four years ago, we attempted a detailed plan for the Hickory Flat business district and immediate surrounding area. Some missteps in that process led to widespread belief that it was intended to accelerate development when most area residents felt there was already too much. The plan was postponed indefinitely.

We successfully created a small-area plan for the Highway 92 area west of Woodstock Road. It’s less about architectural standards and more about the limits of industrial development and attracting some quality retail development.

We’ve recently agreed to create a small-area plan for the area between Old Highway 5 and Interstate 575, south of Toonigh Road. Overlooking I-575, it’s potentially a place for some needed high-end offices, but the road access is terrible. The goal is to decide

what uses are appropriate and how to configure the roads to serve the area.

The county’s new comprehensive plan calls for a detailed corridor plan to be created along Highway 20, east of Canton, which is being expanded to six lanes. We need to avoid letting it become a haphazard commercial corridor.

I’ve asked that we try again in Hickory Flat, this time clearly focusing only on managing and shaping the commercial growth that is already arriving. How do we make it better, attracting desirable uses like quality shops and sit-down restaurants instead of fast-food, auto services and storage? And perhaps most important, how do we provide sufficient roads and otherwise manage traffic?

You probably know other unincorporated areas that would benefit from more detailed planning.

As always, I’m 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.
46 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023

The Incredible Shrinking Uterus

Pregnancy and childbirth are remarkable experiences that bring joy and change to a woman’s life. One fascinating aspect of postpartum recovery is how the uterus, the remarkable organ that nurtured your baby, gradually returns to its pre-pregnancy size.

During pregnancy, your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby. It undergoes significant changes to provide a nurturing environment, with its muscle fibers stretching and thinning to accommodate the increasing size of your little one. By the time you reach full term, your uterus has grown from approximately the size of a lemon to the size of a watermelon!

After delivering your baby, your body begins the process of uterine involution, which is the gradual shrinking and returning of the uterus to its pre-pregnancy size. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

• Immediate postpartum stage. After giving birth, your uterus starts contracting because of the release of the hormone oxytocin. These contractions help to expel the placenta, reduce bleeding and initiate the involution process. You may feel these contractions, commonly known as afterpains, which can be more pronounced during breastfeeding.

• The first few days. The uterus continues to contract and shrink. By the third or fourth day, it’s typically about the size of a grapefruit. These contractions, often called cramps, can be mild to moderate and are a sign that your uterus is healing and returning to its original size.

• Weeks following delivery. The involution process continues as the uterus gradually reduces, reaching approximately the size of a pear by two weeks postpartum. By the end of six weeks, it typically returns to its pre-pregnancy size. Several factors can influence the rate and effectiveness of uterine involution, including breastfeeding, subsequent pregnancies and delivery method.

Breastfeeding stimulates the release of oxytocin, which enhances uterine contractions and helps speed up involution. If you have had multiple pregnancies close together, the uterine muscles may not have had enough time to fully recover, potentially slowing down the involution process.

Vaginal births typically involve more intense contractions during labor, aiding in the initial stage of involution. However, regardless of the delivery method, your uterus will still undergo the involution process.

The journey of pregnancy and childbirth is awe-inspiring, and the body’s ability to recover and heal is truly remarkable. As you embark on your postpartum period, remember to give yourself time, rest and proper care to support healing and recovery.

Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists, PC has seven OB-GYNs and five advanced practice providers, with offices in Canton and Woodstock.
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 47

Ribbon Cuttings

Cherokee Chamber 3605 Marietta Highway, Canton 770-345-0400 // www.cherokeechamber.com

1. The Right Choice Academy 6845 Highway 92, Suite 140A, Woodstock www.therightchoiceacademy.com

2. Hampton Inn by Hilton – Woodstock 450 Parkway 575, Woodstock https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/ atlwshx-hampton-atlanta-woodstock/

3. BeeHive Homes of Woodstock 7819 Hickory Flat Highway, Woodstock beehivehomes.com/locations/woodstock/

4. Pegasus Support Services LLC 265 Parkway 575, Woodstock www.pegasussupport.com

2 4 3 1
48 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023

Claiming a Share of Creative Crown

Did you know Atlanta was named the Most Creative City in the United States last year? To determine this, a study by Workamajig analyzed the state of each city’s creative economy and atmosphere by looking at the “number of museums, artists and musicians, creative jobs in industries such as marketing, arts and design, as well as the number of film and music festivals per capita.”

Now, Woodstock might not be inside the perimeter, but we are comfortably nestled in the Atlanta metro area, so we will happily include ourselves as a contributor to the city’s creative reputation. With such a vibrant and thriving community of artists, Woodstock Arts is excited to be constantly creating platforms for locals to share their art.

Speaking of those platforms, we have two major opportunities in our visual arts gallery, The Reeves House, to celebrate our local artists. Back by popular demand, “Small Town: Small Works” returns Oct. 12-Dec. 12. Featuring artists who live within a 15-mile radius of Woodstock, this show will display works of art that are small in size but big in impact. The walls are filled to the brim, making it a huge celebration of our local art community. 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.

After “Small Town: Small Works,” our focus shifts to fostering the next generation of artists who will help us maintain our stake in the Most Creative City honor. From Dec. 14-Jan. 14, we will feature our “Creative Kids!” exhibit, showcasing the incredible talent of our artists in grades K-12. By celebrating the next generation and providing a platform for children to show off their artistic talent, we are encouraging their creativity and inspiring them to continue pursuing their passion for art, while also providing an opportunity for the community to enjoy and appreciate the unique perspectives of our young artists.


Art has an extraordinary way of transcending boundaries and building bridges between people. It sparks emotions and opens conversations that otherwise might have remained unspoken. Through our visual arts initiatives, we aim to cultivate a sense of unity and openness within our community, while putting our artists’ talents on display. Make sure you join us at The Reeves House to connect with your local arts community.

WOODSTOCKARTS.ORG | 678.494.4251 PLUS...
Libby Williams is the marketing manager for Woodstock Arts. Look for @woodstockgaarts on social media.
Lantern Series
LatinX Voices Exhibition at the Reeves House Aug 10 – Oct 8 W.I.T. Family-Friendly Improv Show Sep t. 8 , 7:30 p m UPCOMING: NEVER MISS A BEAT! Lantern series | SEPT. 30 Stay in our Loop! There is always something happening at Woodstock Arts! The Lasting Laugh Family-Friendly Stand-Up Sep t. 15 , 7:30 p m the atre| oct . 13 -22 PARSON JAMES AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 49

School News

Rowing Comes to Middle Schools

The Cherokee County School District earned a $45,000 national grant from the George Pocock Rowing Foundation to add rowing to its middle school physical education program.

“We’re excited to expand our middle school PE program, thanks to the support of the Allatoona Rowing Association and this generous grant,” Superintendent of Schools Brian V. Hightower said. “The rowing lessons will offer our students another path to fitness and the chance to learn a competitive sport, and we look forward to seeing our students succeed through this new opportunity.”

Erg Ed is a classroom-based indoor rowing education program that teaches students rowing fundamentals on Concept2 RowErg machines. The curriculum emphasizes not only rowing, but also goal setting and teamwork.

Career Pathway Program Gains Funds

The Cherokee County School District (CCSD) earned a competitive Cultivating Teachers grant of $10,000 from the Georgia Department of Education to expand its career pathway program for future teachers. The funding will help CCSD to add a career pathway program in Teaching as a Profession at Etowah High School for the 2024-25 school year.

“We’re very fortunate in Cherokee County to be a destination district for teachers, but part of our success is due to growing our own future educators through our career pathway teaching program,” Superintendent of Schools Brian V. Hightower said.

Elementary Student Wins Award

Woodstock Elementary School fifth-grader Eli Fox received the 2023 Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award presented by the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce. The award recognized the outstanding business plan Eli created for the chamber’s Lemonade Day Cherokee County program.

Eli’s business plan included investors and paid employees for his Eli’s Hero Lemonade stand, which raised more than $500. Eli also received $100 from First Horizon Bank and a $100 Amazon card from the national Lemonade Day program.

During the Good Morning Cherokee chamber meeting, President and CEO Pam Carnes interviewed Eli about his experience and what he planned to do with the money he earned.

“Spend some, give some to charity, save some, give some to my employees,” Eli said, mirroring the “spend, save, share” model the program encourages students to follow.

When asked about his future aspirations, Eli didn’t hesitate: “Sell some more lemonade.”

| September 2023
Sequoyah High School teacher Rachel LaChine prepares students for future roles as educators through the career pathway program for Teaching as a Profession. Eli Fox earned the 2023 Youth Entrepreneur of the Year award for his Eli’s Hero Lemonade stand.

KSU Chemistry Student to Be Double-Owl

If she’s not in the lab, you can find Kennesaw State University (KSU) senior Ariane Charland-Martin on one of her favorite hiking trails around the area. This is where she decompresses from life as a dual bachelor’s and master’s student studying chemistry.

In combining her love of the environment and her love for chemistry, the Woodstock resident helps create conjugated polymers from which organic electronics can be made and that can be degraded when their usefulness has passed. That excites Charland-Martin, who said she feels she is doing something to reduce pollution and help the environment.

“The idea that our polymers can be processed into thin films for flexible screens, that’s incredible. But I think the part that I enjoy the most is the sustainability aspect,” she said. “Plastic pollution is a big issue, and I’m actively trying to make it so that they can be degradable. That’s exciting to me.”

Through KSU’s Double-Owl program, Charland-Martin is now on a fast track to both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry and to continue this impactful research.

“It’s a bit of extra work, but I love what I’m doing,” Charland-Martin said. “The Double-Owl will put me in a good spot for a career in chemistry, which is a

program I wasn’t aware of before I came to KSU.”

The Double-Owl program affords undergraduates the opportunity to take up to nine credit hours toward a master’s degree while still an undergraduate, which saves money and time for a student. Charland-Martin carries a full load of undergraduate courses and has already started on her master’s studies with a couple of graduate classes, including polymer chemistry and research skills and ethics, taken in fall 2022. Instead of needing four years for a bachelor’s plus two years of graduate school for a master’s, she’ll finish both in five years.

Her journey started in spring 2022 with research in the polymer chemistry laboratory of assistant professor Graham Collier, who suggested she apply for the Birla Carbon Scholars program that offers a stipend for 10 weeks of research in the summer. One of 11 scholars, she won the top prize at the annual symposium in August 2022. As she gained experience in the lab and a love for the science, she learned about the prospects for a scientist with a master’s in chemistry.

“Dr. Collier suggested that I look into the Double-Owl program and build my research project into a master’s thesis,” said Charland-Martin, also a KSU Journey Honors College student. “Knowing how a master’s degree in chemistry can help me in my career, I decided to go for it.”

Charland-Martin arrived at Kennesaw State in fall 2020 and said that she chose KSU for its proximity to home and her part-time job, as well as its affordability. After her Birla Carbon Scholars project in summer 2022, Collier hired her as a paid research assistant through his grant from the National Science Foundation. He said Charland-Martin’s love of chemistry and passion for research come through in her presence as a leader in the lab.

“Ariane brings an infectious enthusiasm to her project and the lab culture,” he said. “Since she joined the research group, she quickly ascended to a leadership position and has really helped grow the group’s expertise in a new direction. Overall, she is an exemplary student and a great ambassador for the Double-Owl program.”

Ariane Charland-Martin is working on bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry.
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 51
Charland-Martin is enrolled in the DoubleOwl program.
52 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 53

This wonderful publication is brought to you by these local businesses. When using our advertisers’ services, please let them know you found out about them from the Around Woodstock magazine!

EDUCATION & PERSONAL SERVICES Camellia Place 1 770-296-1513 www.camelliaplace.com MUST Ministries 47 www.mustministries.org Next Step Ministries 47 770-592-1227 www.nextstepministries.net Seniors Helping Seniors 5 470-995-6977 www.shsnorthwestatlanta.com FOOD & DRINK 7 Tequilas 7 Woodstock: 678-217-7770 www.7tequilasmexicanrestaurant.com Circle of Friends 9 www.circleoffriendsinc.org Reformation Woodstock 25 678- 345-8080 www.reformationbrewery.com Susto’s Taco Bar 3 Restaurant: 678-400-8131 Catering: 678-400-8160 www.sustostacobar.com Taste and Brews Fall Festival Inside front www.tasteandbrews.com Woodstock Beer & Coffee Market 9 678-909-5678 www.thestoutbrothers.com HOME & AUTO Bryan Plumbing Services 9 770-826-5277 Enhance Floors & More 31 770-565-3808 www.enhancefloors.com Honda Minibikes 45 770-617-0244 Stitch Above the Rest Cover, 28-29 770-365-0561 www.stitchabovetherest.com That’s My Patio/That’s My Pergola 3 770-597-5175 www.thatsmypatio.com www.thatsmypergola.com Window World 3 770-303-0757 www.windowworldatlanta.com Woodstock Quality Paint & Body 7 770-926-3898 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Denson Pepper, CPA 5 678-797-5241 www.densonpeppercpa.com Hartman Law 25 770-284-1111 www.hartmanlawfirm.com Innovation Spot, The 19 770-262-3668 www.theinnovationspot.com 54 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 Around Acworth | Around Canton | Around For advertising rates and information, contact Jennifer September 2023 Advertisers

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IN WDSTK 43 www.inwdstk.org/events J. King Images 23 404-384-2794 www.jkingimages.com Jéa Salon + Spa 1 470-461-5661 www.jeasalonandspa.com Woodstock Funeral Home and Cremations 5 770-926-3107 www.woodstockfuneralhome.com RECREATION & FITNESS Champions Film Showing 9 Cherokee Theatre Company 43 770-591-0282 www.cherokeetheatre.org MadLife Stage & Studios 15 678-384-2363 www.madlifestageandstudios.com North Georgia State Fair 7 770-423-1330 www.northgeorgiastatefair.com Riverfest Inside back www.serviceleague.net Woodstock Arts 49 678-494-4251 www.woodstockarts.org RETAIL & PETS Cherokee County Animal Shelter 43 www.cherokeega-animals.org Cotton Mill Exchange 5 770-992-9294 www.cottonmillexchange.net The Workshop 19 678-701-3139 www.theworkshop.site WELLNESS Gentle Dental Care/Georgia Dental Implant Center Back cover 770-926-2784 www.georgiadic.com Georgia Eye Partners Inside front 404-531-9988 www.gaeyepartners.com AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023 55
Around Kennesaw | Around Woodstock | TowneLaker Jennifer Coleman | 470-263-8414 | jen@aroundaboutmagazines.com

New Resource for Foster Families

A new resource center has opened to assist foster families navigating challenging times. The Goshen Family Resource Center (FRC), home to Goshen Therapeutic Services, offers mental health and family support services designed to prevent families from experiencing a crisis and that lowers rates of addiction and self-harm in the community.

Through the FRC, families can access mental and behavioral health counseling, parenting classes, addiction-based resources, affordable housing information, employment coaching and community navigation resources. Also available will be access to other holistic, preventative services.

With the help of community partners, Goshen leadership and staff hope to open this resource to any family needing support. A fundraising drive is underway to raise money to renovate the back half of the building, which is located at 230 Marietta Highway, Canton. Visit www.goshenvalley.org for more information.

County Communications Team Wins Awards

The Cherokee County Communications Division earned four national awards for communications materials to keep Cherokee County residents informed. The awards were given by the National Association of County Information Officers, part of the National Association of Counties (NACo), during a recent NACo annual conference.

Cherokee was one of three Georgia counties recognized. Forsyth and Rockdale counties’ communications teams also were acknowledged for their work. This was the first year Cherokee entered the competition and the third year of the department’s existence.

“It’s an honor to be recognized on a national level for our work here in Cherokee. As a small two-person department, we serve as both an internal and external communications team,” said Communications Director Erika Neldner, who works alongside Andrea Barker, assistant communications director. “We work to assist county departments, staff and elected officials with a variety of projects, from news releases, coordination with media, graphic design and branding to training, social media and newsletters.”

DanceSport Team Performs Oscars-Style

Six members of the Cherokee County Special Olympics DanceSport team recently attended LIFCON2023, the annual LaBlast Fitness convention at the Pink Palace, The Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach, Florida. They were invited to perform an exhibition dance for the Oscars Theme Gala night.

Laura Mikszan, DanceSport coach and founder of the nonprofit Fitfully Forward, choreographed and taught the group an Oscars-themed production, which included dancing to Oscar-winning music in small groups, trios, duets and solos, complete with costume changes. The dancers worked hard in preparing for their gala performance, and their dance production brought the audience to its feet.

However, the highest form of praise came when Louis Van Amstel was spotted doing the LaBlast disco moves to the song “Fame” along with the group as they performed their disco dance. Van Amstel is the creator of LaBlast Fitness, a “Dancing With the Stars” pro, three-time world dance champion, Emmy-nominated choreographer and Special Olympics Dance Ambassador.

56 AROUND WOODSTOCK | September 2023
DanceSport coach Laura Mikszan and group members Kristin King, Justin Swantek, Erica Revalski, Cora Beth Browning, Ryan Ellis, Reed Rogers and Special Olympics Dance Ambassador Louis Van Amstel. Erika Neldner Andrea Barker
A rts & Cr a f t s Festiv a l Saturday, Sept. 23 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. All proceeds raised through this event benefit Cherokee County children in need. $7 donation at the gate •Free for children 10 years and younger. •Free parking and shuttle services. Etowah River Park 600 Brown Industrial Pkwy. No coolers, bicycles, skateboards or alcoholic beverages on site. See you there - rain or shine! Learn more at www.serviceleague.net

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