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For some kids throughout Georgia and beyond, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is the first and last line of defense against illness and injury. But it is only with the support of our donors that we can provide the innovative procedures and groundbreaking trials these children need. Your gift makes the difference. Give where it matters most. Donate today at





Health & Wellness Home & Life 12 14 16 17 18 20 22 24






Features 26






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Abigail Blum is an avid photographer and storyteller. She may be reached at photosxabigail@gmail. com. @abigailblum #photosxabigail

Larry Brown is a retired journalist. Larry is a member of the Cumming-Forsyth Optimist Club and a mentor with Mentor Me North Georgia. A community volunteer and sought-out writer, he may be reached at

Tom Burgess is the owner and operator of Christian Brothers Automotive in Cumming. Tom retired from the United States Air Force in 2009, after serving his country for over 22 years. He may be reached at 678.614.8583 SPECIAL REPORTS/VIDEO Michelle Hall 904.386.0417 WEB CONTENT STRATEGIST Matt Coutu EDITOR/FEATURE WRITER

Ava Clavijo is a student at Forsyth Central. She may be reached at

Rebecca Dumas is the owner and color consultant at Gregory’s Paint & Flooring. She may be reached at rebecca@

Pam Evans is an Associate Broker with Century 21 Results. She may be reached at 678-778-6551.

Kimberly Bond STAFF WRITER Katielee Kaner GRAPHIC DESIGN Samantha Angeli 770.310.4486

Jacqueline Thompson Graves is a freelance media developer, writer, and the author of the book review blog The Book Buffet. She may be reached at

Rev. David Hill is a Cumming resident and frequent guest preacher at Antioch Baptist Church. He may be reached at davidkhillhpm@

Amy Lyle lives in Forsyth with her husband, four teenagers and a large dog. Her first book, The Amy Binegar-Kimmes-Lyle Book of Failures is a top eBook on

PHOTOGRAPHY Adam Pendleton 678.208.7077 • PRINTING AND MAILING SERVICES Power Marketing & Printing 678.990.3618 • smccaffrey@powermp

Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker. She is the awardwinning author of Louie’s BIG day! She may be reached at

Renal Olsen is the director/ collaborator of Reaction Co., a marketing and communications company. Rena may be reached at or 770-634-1279

Narendra Singh, MD, FRCP(C), FACC, FAHA is the Director of Clinical Research, Atlanta Heart Specialists LLC, Atlanta, GA. He may be reached at or

Mira Sivan is a family practice optometrist with an emphasis on ocular disease, contact lenses fitting and pediatrics. She may be reached at 678-648-5185.

Abby McCall Smith is a college student and avid writer. She may be reached at abbymccallsmith@

Rachael Walkup is the owner of, wife, mom and blogger. She may be reached at

The mission of My Forsyth magazine, a publication of Market Complete LLC, is to provide readers with stories and information about their communities and its people. 22,000 copies of your community magazine are distributed via direct mail and throughout local businesses as part of our rack distribution. We welcome your comments, stories and advertisements. Subscriptions are available for $25 per year. The viewpoints of the advertisers, columnists, and submissions are not necessarily those of the MarketComplete LLC. The Publisher makes no claims as to the validity of any charitable organizations mentioned. My Forsyth is not responsible for errors or omissions. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from the Publisher. All rights reserved. ©Copyright 2019 My Forsyth • 5485 Bethelview Road, Suite 360-135 Cumming GA 30040 (p) 678.614.8583 | (f) 770.888.1511

A Note From the

PUBLISHER My Community One of the nicest things about publishing a magazine is the opportunity to be a meaningful part of this community. Everywhere you turn, amazing people are doing beneficial work through a variety of organizations. All of us at My Forsyth Magazine are grateful to be a part of and to support many of these great causes. Choosing a particular cause to help is an individual choice. It takes passion, time and commitment. When asked to give money, serve on a board of directors, advisory board, host a fundraising event, volunteer, or play a role in a non-profit organization, each individual will likely find out all they can about the organization. Over the years I’ve learned about a myriad of organizations that help members of our community who need a little assistance now and then – from mentoring, social services, and addiction recovery to family violence, abandonment and food instability. A list of all the organizations that provide aid in our communities would take more than one publisher’s letter. To list the remarkable men, women, and businesses that assist each of the organizations in our community would take many pages, as would any intent to thank each one. So perhaps it would be easier to do this – give thanks to all who, in one way or another, whether at work or home, once or often, give of their time, talent and treasures to help their fellow man/ woman. And let’s not forget those who come to the aid of our four-legged friends -dogs, cats, and horses, to name a few.

Most of us have a cause we believe in and support with all of our might, and in doing so, are reminded of our humanity. When society strikes a blow to our community, we gather to help each other and persevere. We work together to rise from the ashes of bad into the greater good. Doing the right thing for each other because we can, and it matters, will always win. We create our own village – our group of likeminded individuals that work together to reach a common goal. As time passes, things seem more complicated. No one individual is to be blamed for the complexity of life – it is what it is. However, it is up to each individual to work alongside others to make life a bit less complicated. Finding solutions to problems, lending a hand to someone in need, striving to make our communities better for each other - these are lofty goals that we can accomplish. If we set our minds to do so.

Julie Brennan JULIE BRENNAN Publisher






Bring the kids for some summer fun at the splash pad at Forsyth County’s-Old Atlanta Park. The Splash Pad is open through July 31, the splash pad will be open through July 31 on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. From August 1 through September 2, the splash pad will be open from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays. The splash pad will be open on Independence Day and Labor Day. Daily admission for children ages one and up is $2 (cash or check only). Annual passes and rentals are also available.

Old Atlanta Park is located at 810 Nichols Road. For more information, visit

Help make this summer a safe one for you and your family with these tips from the Forsyth County Fire Department. CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE DAY SAFELY • Always have adult supervision when lighting fireworks. • Do not allow children under 12 to handle any form of fireworks, including sparklers. • Never re-light or pick up failed fireworks. STAY SAFE IN SUMMER HEAT • Never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle – not even for a minute. • If you see a child or pet unattended in a hot vehicle, call 911 immediately. • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours and be sure to stay well hydrated with water. BE SAFE IN THE WATER • Never swim alone – use the buddy system. Neither adults nor children should swim alone regardless of age or skill level. • Always be aware of potential dangers in all environments, including unfamiliar surroundings such as while on vacation or at community pools. • Never use a floatation device as a substitute for a supervisor or as a toy.

Parks & Recreation Offers

Exciting Adventures for Groups

THROUGH SEPT. 30 Reminder: Outdoor Burn Ban in Effect throughout the Summer

Don’t forget that the countywide ban on outdoor burning remains in effect through September 30. The state-mandated ban prohibits all outdoor including the burning of leaves, yard debris and storm damage. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division imposes this annual ban on outdoor burning to comply with federal clean air regulations and to help improve Georgia’s air quality during the hot summer months, a time when people, particularly young children, are more likely to be outdoors. For more details regarding outdoor burning regulations, visit or call the Forsyth County Fire Department Fire Marshal’s Office at 678.455.8072. 10 MYFORSYTHMAG.COM VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2

Plan your next great adventure with Forsyth County Parks & Recreation! Outdoor recreation opportunities abound for groups, families, clubs, teams, scouts and birthday parties. Rock climbing, river canoeing and tree climbing are just some of the exciting activities offered. To learn more, call 770.781.2217.


For the second year, the Forsyth County Animal Shelter will be waiving all adoption fees through September 3, 2019. All pets adopted during the “Summer of Love” will be microchipped, spayed/neutered and have age appropriate vaccinations. The shelter is located at 4065 County Way and is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Come find your perfect match! In addition to seeking homes for all of the animals in their care, the shelter is always looking for volunteers. For more information on adopting or volunteering, visit the shelter’s web page, Facebook page, or call 678.965.7189.

N EWS AROUND FORSYTH Kare Bears Donated to the Northside Hospital Forsyth Emergency Department In keeping with a tradition that began over 14 years ago, a generous donation of stuffed bears was made to the Northside Hospital Forsyth Emergency Department (ED) by realtors with the Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners. Over 40 bears with special handwritten messages are now available at the ED to be used when young patients being treated in the department need a little extra comfort. “The bears are well-received by our young patients,” stated Lynn Jackson, hospital administrator, during the presentation of the bears. “These bears are comforting to the patients and provide our staff with a little extra help when children are being treated.” Once they are treated and discharged from the ED, the children get to take the bears home as a forever friend.

Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners | 770-312-0135 After seeing her great-grandmother in the hospital for prolonged periods of time due to illness, Clara Hamilton, a member of the Girl Scout Troop 11805, and daughter of Northside Hospital Forsyth’s NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) unit pharmacist Carrie Hamilton, decided that her Girl Scout Silver project would be dedicated to her grandmother. “A teddy bear that I gave to my great-grandmother before she died gave her great comfort,” Clara explained. Clara raised funds via sponsorships to purchase over 40 Memorable Pets. The stuffed dogs and cats, along with baby dolls, were recently presented by Clara to the NICHE Unit. Kristine Walden was Sara's Silver award advisor. Walden is also Clara's troop leader along with Lisa Schoenfeld. The pets will be available to the staff in the NICHE unit to present to patients who need a sense of purpose, to love and care for something while being treated in the unit. “Clara’s initiative to make such a positive impact on the lives of our geriatric patients is exemplary,” said Sharon Edwards, Nurse Manager. “Our staff and the patients are most grateful to Clara for her generosity and creativity.”


For over 20 years, Mary McGinnis has walked the halls of local hospitals and nursing homes with her dogs. As part of the Happy Tails, McGinnis joins a group of dedicated volunteers who provide an added level of comfort and care. “I love doing this,” McGinnis stated. “It makes people happy and provides me with a great opportunity to help and give something back to my community.” Since 1991, Happy Tails volunteers have shared the comfort, healing, and connection of the human-animal bond. The furry volunteers, along with their humans, show up whether there’s rain, snow, or sunshine.

For more information on Happy Tails, visit VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2 | MYFORSYTHMAG.COM 11


Faulty Wiring Can faulty wiring increase my electric bill? We hear this question all the time from our customers. There are tons of things that can cause your electric bill to go up. For example, it’s common for electricity use to skyrocket in the summer when the air conditioner starts running daily. Having company come to stay will increase your electric bill due to increased use of appliances and lights. Installing additional appliances can also cause a jump in your electric bill. A second refrigerator, a deep freezer, or a window AC unit will all make life more comfortable or convenient. They will also draw extra electricity on top of your current usage. However, replacing old appliances with efficient new Energy Star models should decrease your bill. If none of these things seems to explain a recent increase in your electric bill, it’s time to look at your actual utility bill. Take a look to see if your kilowatt hour use has gone up over the last few months. If not, have your utility rates increased? The cost of electricity goes up from time to time. This is obviously outside of your control, but it could be the nudge you need to reduce your electricity use. If your utility bill seems to be in order, the next step is to call in an electrician to do an inspection of your home. Diagnosing the problem will probably require an expert to check your wiring, outlets and fixtures. Now is the time to ask, can faulty wiring increase my electric bill? Can Faulty Wiring Increase My Electric Bill? Yes It Can. Problems with wiring can cause electricity leakage in many ways. If you live in an area with cold winters, the continual cycle of freezing and thawing soil can cause rocks to puncture underground wiring. It happens all the time in

northern climates. Bare wiring for a water pump can short out when it contacts the metal pipe. Check your attic and crawl space for frayed and damaged wiring. This can be caused by many different conditions, but a wild animal chewing on the wires is one extremely common example. Damaged wiring can cause the connected appliance to heat up and consume extra electricity. A situation like this calls for both an animal control professional and a licensed electrician right away. Faulty Thermostat Wiring Can Pose Problems Another rare but possible scenario involves faulty wiring in your HVAC system. Sometimes, a thermostat can be incorrectly wired, causing the heating and cooling systems to run at the same time. So not only are you drawing about twice as much electricity as you should be, but both systems may run almost continuously as they battle it out to achieve the designated temperature. This problem is most common when people DIY their new thermostat installation. Old Wiring in Your House Can Mean Trouble An old house probably has old wiring running through its walls. Old wiring can be fraught with problems that can not only run up your electric bill, but can also pose fire hazards. Old fuses and circuit breakers may not be sufficient to handle your modern family’s electrical draw. Arc faults in poorly maintained older homes can cause a drastic increase in electricity use. If your house is more than a decade old, it’s a good idea to have a licensed electrician conduct a complete inspection of your system.

Check for Faulty Duct Work in Your House Your HVAC system is probably using more electricity than anything else in your house. It’s not wiring-related, but it’s worth getting your air ducts checked for leaks. An air leak will cause your furnace or AC unit to run more often than normal, and that’s an obvious cause of increased electrical costs. Double Check Your Electrical Meter People are only human, and humans make errors. It’s possible that the electrical company misread your meter last time they came out. If the reading on your bill doesn’t make sense against your current meter reading, bring it to your electric company’s attention. Chances are that they will reduce your bill while you wait on the phone. Arc Angel: Georgia’s Pros for Fixing Faulty Wiring More and more people are worried about their growing electric bills. For this reason, Arc Angel Electric provides electrical inspections for clients all the time. We are happy to evaluate your electric bill, conduct an energy audit, and check over your breaker panel and wiring. We can usually identify several possible ways for families to reduce their electric bills with small changes around the house. Still wondering if faulty wiring can increase your electric bill? Call Arc Angel at 770.889.9243 for the answers you need.

Since 2000, Arc Angel Electric has worked hard to ensure 100% customer satisfaction for every project. Our technicians offer a full line of electrical services, from new builds to upgrades. We continually strive to improve our customer service and expand our line of electrical services. You never know when an emergency will strike. Be sure you know who to call in the event of a power-related catastrophe. If you are tired of shopping around for professional electrical service providers who offer 24 hour emergency service, call Arc Angel at 770.889.9243. 12 MYFORSYTHMAG.COM VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2


their daily lives. Because we put systems in place to deal with regular chores like laundry and sorting the mail, they are less likely to pile up and become bigger projects. Systematization is key! What prompted you to write a book? I wrote Magically McOrganize because I saw too many of my clients genuinely struggling with the basics of organizing. I want to teach people that they are stronger than their clutter and that they can clear it for clarity. What do you think is the most impactful first step to becoming more organized? Getting tasks such as grocery shopping, sorting mail, housekeeping on a weekly/ daily schedule for completion. Is there any organizing product that you cannot live without? My favorite organizational tool is a labeled clear box/bin.

Be More Productive by Getting Organized An interview with professional organizer, McPatti Langston by Amy Lyle

Let’s face it, we all strive to be organized at home and at work. Everything in its place, easy to find and readily accessible. I recently interviewed a professional organizer, in my never-ending search for the best way to increase my productivity by being organized. How did you become a professional organizer? Over the years, several jobs (from food chemistry to investigative work) and interests have helped me polish and perfect the skills that ultimately led me to my career as a professional organizer/ stager. Whether strengthening my creative eye as a dance studio owner or developing my sense of self-discipline and knack for details in my sassy sleuthing days, I have spent my life learning to create systems for managing it all and have since been sharing that expertise with others. Tell us about the role and goals of a professional organizer. My goal for my clients is to have people change the way they think about organizing so that it is no longer a paralyzing chore. My role is to help clients alter their mindset and let go of the

Do you have any tips for moms with small children? Allow children to make smaller choices. One way to do this might be to let them pick out the outfit they want to wear for the next day. This will reduce chaos in the morning when they inevitably ask two minutes before the bus rolls up if “they can be Spiderman for school today.” What’s up next for you? I’m enjoying the balance of private organizing appointments as well as helping groups of people through public speaking engagements.

resistance and anxiety around tackling their own organizational projects and work with them to develop systems that are effective because they’re unique to their space. What’s your advice to people that are emotionally attached to everything? Some people struggle distinguishing between the need to keep their child’s first onesie and plastic, to-go containers that “You never know it might be good for something.” For some people, taking a picture allows them to let go of the physical item. For those who are really struggling with attachment, I recommend hiring a professional organizer. What is the greatest compliment you’ve ever received from a client? That my work has made a positive impact on


Follow MCPatti on Facebook and Instagram @mcorganize4u. Magically McOrganize link:


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In business for 38 years, taking the time to listen to your needs so you get the right equipment for the best and most fun results.

Always The Lowest Price. Click, call, or come by the shop! Located just off GA 400 exit 13 6110 Parkway North Cumming, GA 30040

Monday- Friday 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM EST Saturday 9:00 AM - 4:00 EST

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“A beautiful space speaks to the heart of those who occupy it.”


Assess your living space and conduct a furniture inventory so you know what’s needed, or what may need fixing or adjusting to provide the functionality you want in your home.


What are your living essentials? There’s no need to overwhelm yourself. What matters most is that you have the basics (i.e. bed, bedding, table, chair, curtains). The rest of your home will come together piece-by-piece and roomby-room. So be patient.


Create a realistic and workable budget for decorating your home.


Ask friends and family for any unused or unwanted décor pieces. They could have just the right item to go perfectly in your space.


Starting Over: When there’s no place like home By Lanada Chanel I remember all of the feelings after divorce from my first husband, I felt emotionally depleted. I was starting a life as a single mother with two sons and it was imperative that I create a happy home for us. It seemed like an almost impossible goal at first. But piece-by-piece, each room came together until I created a living space that we could be proud of. Our home was more than a roof over our heads; it was peaceful, and I did my best to make it as stylish as I could. It’s typical to have difficulty getting re-established after calamity hits home, but as the saying goes, “Trouble don’t last always.” With a few easy steps, you can create a home that exudes tranquility and comfort, and delivers the kind of peace of mind that compliments a healthy lifestyle. There are a lot of important things to consider when styling a home. Here are some tips to consider when you are in the midst of starting over. 16 MYFORSYTHMAG.COM VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2

Create your new living space with an open mind and excitement. Have fun with it! Browse furniture stores and departments for ideas and inspiration on styles and décor pieces that speak to you. If this coincides with a new phase in life, know that new beginnings can bring great fulfillment. You can indeed have inviting and calming décor and the home that you desire.

b.e. decors


could be very uncertain in this situation, and elevate the risk for some homeowners? If you know all of that going in, and plan for it, this can be a very viable option. If you are averse to risk and uncertainty and may not have a financial slush fund to help hedge any loss, this may be a bit uncomfortable.

Traditional Listing

Lots of Real Estate Selling Options

Can Lead to Confusion By Pam Evans

You may have noticed that metro Atlanta has a plethora of selling options when it comes to real estate. You may have encountered the barrage of TVand radio ads, Facebook ads, online ads, even old-fashioned billboards. Yes? And at least once a week someone asks me, “So, which is the best option?” Honestly, choice is good. Our real estate market is healthy, especially here in Forsyth County. A strong economic base is ripe for

opportunity and that is why metro Atlanta is one of the few cities in the nation with this staggering number of options that does not exist elsewhere. With the myriad of choices, and their competing messages, it may be tricky to determine which may be best for your situation. Also important is understanding what the risks and rewards are associated with each option.

Guaranteed Offer on Your Home

This sounds wonderful and reassuring, and it is. This option, available directly and through some brokerages including mine, utilizes internet cash buyers that the industry refers to as iBuyers. iBuyers are cash buyers backed by large hedge-fund type operations. They create an easy path to selling your home with the least amount of hassle and stress. Using their predetermined criteria, they will make a cash offer and close using the timetable most convenient for the homeowner. Our brokerage works with 3 distinct iBuyers, and this can be a great option for some people. The consideration with this option is the convenience fee charged by the iBuyer. These range anywhere from 7% to 13%, and in most

cases does not include the cost of repairs that the homeowner will be charged at closing, again, by the iBuyer. What really matters for the homeowner is how the math works out – does the cost and expense make sense, particularly when this may be a very convenient and speedy option.

Find Your Next Home – We’ll Buy it For You and You Move into It – Then Sell Your Old Home

Talk about a dream come true for a hectic household whose current home is too small! This can certainly reduce some stressors and make things more manageable. What is imperative to understand is that there are few guarantees that your first home will actually sell in a timely manner and for the suggested list price. If it does, you are golden. If it doesn’t, the homeowner needs to understand that they are continuing to make their mortgage payments on their original home after they have moved out. Once it sells, they may net far less than originally anticipated. Once this transaction is complete, they need to then purchase the new home from the company that managed this process for them – and make payments for the time they have already been living there. Do you see how the math

This is what people would refer to as the more conventional way to sell your home. This involves getting your home in market-ready condition – clean and spruced up to appeal to buyers, photos, open houses, and showings. Nothing terrible if you are working with the right Realtor to help, but definitely more effort required on the part of the homeowner. The benefit to a traditional listing and sale, if done effectively, is then netting the highest price for your home that the market will support. If your home is move-in ready and to today’s standards, buyers will flock to you and be willing to pay top dollar. It is true - buyers have been spoiled by HGTV and are often not visual thinkers. If they have to imagine what your house could look like with some work, they not only have to inherit your renovation project, but want a big discount for that hassle. Or, if you show them a lovely freshly painted, updated home, you’ve done the visual work for them, and they will emotionally want your home. Those are the homes that sell quickly, and for top dollar.

My Best Advice

Evaluate all the options – as all the options truly have merit. However, not all the options are right for everyone. Best is to discuss potential choices with a trusted and experienced Realtor. A good Realtor understands that times and options change, and those who keep current and offer choices and strategies to their clients are best prepared to help. Our job is to help you navigate the process, net you the most money possible, and protect you from risk. Accurately evaluating each option, including contract language and clauses is better served with the input of a real estate professional, which you can still have while exploring iBuyer options. You don’t need to go it alone. Evaluating traditional sale vs guaranteed offer and other options leaves no stone unturned, and gives the homeowner choices to consider, with some professional protection and guidance. If your Realtor is not willing to help you assess everything, or not comfortable doing so, talking with someone else may be in your best interest. After all, this is your financial next step.

Pam Evans is an Associate Broker with Century 21 Results, and can be reached at and at 678-778-6551. VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2 | MYFORSYTHMAG.COM 17

What Does a “Guarantee” Offer For Your Home Cost? By Craig Long ( and Holly Leonard (

It is not hard to miss billboards and radio ads advertising “guaranteed” offers for your home. In essence, the ads invite you to sell your home “hassle-free” and receive a “guaranteed” offer effortlessly. The question is, being at a fork in the road, which road do you take? There may be legal reasons that affect your decision, but those would require a review of the terms of the “guaranteed” offer. Assuming there to be no pernicious terms to be afraid of, the decision comes down to economics, and which one is more or less expensive route to take. Currently, the average home stays on the market in the north metro Atlanta approximately 68 days. The average home sales for approximately 97% of asking price. There is currently between three and four months

The ads do not mention if there is a cost to selling your home via a “guaranteed” offer but imply there is none. The ads do not tell the whole story, for there are costs. The first cost is not a commission, but a fee, commonly referred to as a seller concession, which can equal or exceed the commission you would pay real estate agents to sell your home, especially a brokerage like Haven whose commissions are often less than most of their competitors. Moreover, it is common for the “guaranteed” buyer to have the home inspected for problems. Remember the HVAC issue referenced above? As a result, the buyer will demand a discount for that imperfection. Is the discount for each imperfection, on average, more or less than what it would cost you to repair the issue yourself? If your analysis yields a response that it is cheaper to make the repairs yourself, you should make the repairs yourself. However, if it costs you less to take the “guaranteed” offer, it is rational for you to take the “guaranteed” offer, all things being equal. It is our guess that given how tight the market is, you will find your investments in making repairs yourself and selling the home through brokerages like Haven worth your while. of housing supply on the market. A “normal” market is approximately seven months, meaning it will take seven months, on average, to deplete the supply through closing sales without anyone new putting their home on the market. Given this large disparity in supply, supply is ultra-tight, and homes are selling relatively quickly, on average. The costs one has to calculate to sell their home obviously depends on the condition of the property. Common expenses might include painting the outside or inside, or both, laying new carpet, hiring a professional cleaning service to clean the entire house, or incurring some mechanical expenses to repair HVAC systems or pool pumps etc. A lot of these expenses are variable, meaning they may not have to be incurred.


Holly Leonard

Craig Long



“I’ve always loved music. (My mom) was always playing music as a child,” Vernon said. “I started buying records when I was in college. It just started as a hobby and grew into a business.”

Comeback Vinyl By Abby McCall Smith

Interview with Alex Vernon

COMEBACK VINYL OF DOWNTOWN ALPHARETTA IS WORKING TO PROMOTE THE AGE OF THE “NEW SCHOOL RECORD STORE”, AS CO-OWNER ALEX VERNON DESCRIBES IT. Vernon owns Comeback Vinyl with his mother, Karen. The business originally started as a booth at an antique mall in 2014 and grew to a single store location in 2015. As the Alpharetta area was expanding to accommodate to more foot traffic and independent businesses, the two saw the perfect opportunity to relocate to their current location in 2017. “I’ve always loved music. (My mom) was always playing music as a child,” Vernon said. “I started buying records when I was in college. It just started as a hobby and grew into a business.” The highly-motivated 27-year-old worked to teach himself how to manage the store without a business degree. He enjoys working for himself and did not need to experience the corporate world to realize that it wasn’t for him. Vernon continues to be inspired by jazz and rock artists such as The Rolling Stones, Wilco, and Drive-By Truckers. Comeback Vinyl’s selection includes a variety of music that is sure to please every customer. The store’s focus is to carry product that is “all killer, no filler”. Comeback Vinyl honors Record Store Day (RSD), which is promoted with the release of hundreds of limited edition records that are only available at independent record stores. RSD takes place twice a year (on the second Saturday in April and on Black Friday). This is a heavily celebrated event, so be sure to get there early enough to beat the line! The store also enjoys working with local photographers and models to offer a photoshoot location with no cost. 20 MYFORSYTHMAG.COM VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2

To sell and purchase records, schedule a photoshoot, or learn more, please call the store at 678-580-0583 or visit


ook Review

or since campaigned with a saxophone in hand. As a reader of mysteries and thrillers, he always thought it would be fun to try and write one. An agent suggested the two work together, and Patterson was delighted. “I can make stuff up. I have a good imagination, but the President has been there,” he told an interviewer. One thing to keep in mind as you read The President is Missing, when you ask yourself: “I wonder if that could really happen? I wonder if maybe they actually had this conversation in the past? I wonder . . .” The answer is “yes”. Clinton makes that clear in several interviews. His role in the writing was to ensure authenticity in the plot and execution of its parameters. “There are two chapters where Augie [a Suliman protégé] talks to the assembled group about what can happen. I think they are two of the scariest thriller chapters ever written, because they lay out what can happen. And we’re not prepared for it. So as the President said, this is a little bit of a warning shot for the country, because we’re not prepared,” Patterson said. Here’s an excerpt from the book, clearly written by Clinton. It’s written in the voice of the book’s character President John Duncan, yet it’s a tribute from President Clinton to the team of agents who had his back while he was in office. I knew a secret service agent personally, heard his stories (what few he could tell) and applaud these agents, their selfless work. “Secret Service agents never get the credit they deserve for what they do every day to keep me safe, to trade their own lives for mine, to do what no sane person would ever willingly do – step in front of a bullet, not away from it.”

The President is Missing By Bill Clinton and James Patterson

Review by Jacqueline Thompson Graves

Okay. First of all, let me clear this up. The President is not exactly missing. It’s more like he’s AWOL or called in sick when he’s just doing something he didn’t think the boss would approve. Except he is the Boss, isn’t he? Well, no. Really, when you’re President, the American public is ultimately the boss. And that boss is the ficklest, least understanding, ready-to-fire-you-in-a-heartbeat boss you’ll ever work for, which is part of why the POTUS went missing. That and national security or even world security, if you want to be all “America is the world’s policeman” about it. Meanwhile, a little background on the writers. You should know James Patterson if you read thrillers. Once you embark on an adventure with Patterson, you don’t do anything else until you’ve wrapped up the story. You’re the one calling in sick so you can read your characters out of all the messes they’re in. Patterson is probably best known for his Alex Cross character. If you don’t know Bill Clinton, I can’t help you. Most Presidents have a book or two out there. What’s a guy to do after he’s been the most important person in the world? (Someday I’ll write that sentence using “she”. Oh, happy day.) He can’t just chase golf balls and give speeches. Eventually he sits with a ghost writer and tells tales about his days in the Oval Office. Bill Clinton never did do things conventionally. No one before

Growing up, I associated terrorists with other words: “Palestine”, “Israel”, “Gaza Strip”. Newscasters told stories of faraway people fighting over a bit of ground, their weapons truck bombs and Molotov cocktails rather than armies and tanks. My country was busily staring down the Soviet Union, threatening to push its Red Button, terrified our enemy would push theirs first. A handful of terrorists seemed tame compared to Russia’s nuclear arsenal. 9/11 drove terrorism into our everyday consciousness. Terrorists now hate us, not just each other and, in fact, we seem to have become the Big Target. What if a terrorist figured out a really clever way to bring down the Big Target and we were completely unprepared for it? What if everything we think we’ve done to stave off and combat a terrorist attack was like squirting a water gun in a nuclear war? The book may worry you – a lot. And I think Clinton and Patterson actually intend that. True to Patterson form, the ending stuns. You may have to take another sick day to recuperate. While you’re home, you can change your computer password to something besides “password”. The President is Missing is coming to a Showtime screen near you (if you subscribe). Enter to win a copy of the book at my book review blog: http:// Interview quotes taken from a BookPage interview by Roy Neel, President Clinton’s former Deputy Chief of Staff. Read the full transcript here: https:// I invite you to email me to discuss books, coffee, chocolate or especially, Jesus, at You can read my book blog at


Why Are the Benjamin Moore “Whites” So Popular? By Rebecca Dumas

There is no question that no other paint company has a better selection of whites and off-whites as that of Benjamin Moore. Their palette contains the most extensive selection of whites which provide so many choices. This can make it difficult when struggling with selecting that perfect shade of white. Suffice it to say, when my clients (designers included), are struggling with colors this is usually the hardest of their decisions to obtain that perfect white for their particular space. The sheer multitude of choices in the Benjamin Moore palette ensures this is a good place to start when looking for that perfect white. There are over 150 selections that are. pigmented with a drop of this or that to give you that special undertone you are seeking. So many of the “OC” colors or Off-White collection were derived from the Classic Colors. Some of these include Cloud White, China White, Linen White, Navajo White, and of course my personal favorite “White Dove”. This is a warm white, with just enough color to take the edge off. It almost always works, and don’t try to have this one matched by another paint company or in lacquer, it is rarely the same.

The foundation of the whites first consisted of the ready-mixed colors starting with Decorator’s White, White, and Super White. When the Color Preview palette was created, so many new “Whites” were added including White Chocolate, Mountain Peak White, Sandy White, White Wisp, Vanilla Milkshake, and many more. The varying degree of color is so dependent on the natural light in the space. The cleaner whiter whites look the best with the cooler tones. If you are looking at the “greys”, some of the best whites to pair up with for your trim and ceilings would

include OC-65 Chantilly Lace, OC-18 Dove Wing, OC-26 Silver Satin, OC-19 Seapearl, and OC-25 Cloud Cover. For clients that want that perfect cream or ivory, Linen White is one of our most popular classic colors that provides just enough warmth, still staying light. Acadia White is another warmer tone that is a bit cleaner with a slight 22 MYFORSYTHMAG.COM VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2

green undertone, or you can opt to go a little more muted like a Soft Chamois. Whatever your project, we can provide that perfect complementary ceiling or trim color to finish off the space. Or a great look is to do a tone-on-tone look using the same color for walls, ceiling, and trim and just change the sheens. I like to specify walls to be our matte finish; ceilings a deader flat and trim a satin. So many of these “Whites” can be standalone colors or great colors that you can use by themselves, like China White, Pale Oak, Windsbreath, and Maritime White. These tones will stand the test of time, keep the space bright and provide that special backdrop for your art, fabrics, and furnishings. Rebecca Dumas: Owner/Color Consultant

Gregory’s Paint & Flooring Johns Creek & Cumming


Your Vacation Plans Are Ruined Because You Owed Money Instead of a Refund By Kurt Arseneau, Investment Advisor Representative, Registered Financial Consultant Whew, it is finally over, well for the most part tax season is over. However, the new season has started, and it is like a locomotive going down the tracks. I have never had so many people call about tax planning since April 15th. Folks just like you are calling because they either didn’t get the refund they expected, or they had to pay this year. With that being said, I thought I would share the top 10 Rules that changed for the 2018 tax season.

1. The top income tax rate dropped from 39.6% to 37%. The highest marginal rate applies to income over $500k for single filers and $600k for joint filers. 2. The standard deduction almost doubled,

rising to $12k for single filers and $24k for joint filers.

3. The personal exemption has been

eliminated and many itemized deductions were limited or eliminated completely.

4. In 2018, medical expenses totaling over

7.5% of AGI can be deducted by all taxpayers, thought it goes back to 10% AGI in 2019.

5. Owners of many pass-through businesses, including those in trusts, can now deduct 20% of their qualified income. 6. The estate, Good and Services Tax, and gift tax exemption amount doubled to $11.2 million for single filers and $22.4 million for joint filers. 7. 529 plans can now be used to pay tuition and qualified expenses K-12 private schools. Keep in mind that schools will likely change financial aid formulas to account for these new sources of tuition. 8. The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will affect even fewer taxpayers now that the

exemption amounts for single filers is $70,300 and $109,400 for married filers. The phaseout threshold was also raised to $1 million.

9. The marriage penalty is (mostly) gone as the threshold for married filing jointly exactly double the single threshold in all but the two highest brackets. 10. The Child Tax Credit doubled from $1k

to $2K and the phaseout threshold increased from $75k to $200k for single filers and $110k to $400k for married filing jointly. Is this the last time tax laws will change? Almost certainly not. Federal tax laws change regularly, and you can expect to see future changes as the US confronts its growing deficit and future spending needs (see disinherit your Favorite Uncle article). You can’t control what Congress decides to do, but you can review your existing tax and investment situation and consider some tactical moves to help reduce your tax burden. Reducing your tax burden may be as easy as putting an extra contribution into your

401k or working with someone who knows about Georgia Film Tax Credits (which we do). There is a reason why all the Films, TV Shows, and Netflix film here besides the weather and scenery. They get tax credits and when they don’t use them all they sell them to us. I won’t go into detail, but it can help reduce your tax liability with the state of Georgia. If you haven’t had someone review your tax planning strategy or even have a tax planning strategy, the first step is to get a “Tax What If Analysis.” This will tell us exactly what you can do to potentially lower your tax liability. If you would like to get a “Tax What If Analysis” for free visit my online calendar at https://go.oncehub. com/KurtArseneau or call me direct at (470) 839-9005 to schedule a 30 minute tax drop off. If you don’t do tax planning, tax preparation really doesn’t matter. PS – As a special bonus, the first 50 folks who call in for a Tax What If Analysis will get DVD of “The Power of Zero, The Tax Train Is Coming,” a documentary focused on the looming National Debt Crisis.

*Disclaimer Arseneau Advisory Group is not a CPA but has a CPA on staff to prepare the tax planning and tax preparation. This article in no way constitutes tax planning and should not be considered as such. Advisory Services offered by Wealth Watch Advisor, LLC. All other services offered though Arseneau Advisory Group. Wealth Watch Advisors, LLC and Arseneau Advisory Group are not affiliated.



Be courageous enough to start a conversation that matters! Here are a few questions to get you started!

The importance of BIG talk, not small talk! Oscar Wilde said, “Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” Locals Justin and Monique Honaman couldn’t agree more. After one too many meetings/coffees/dinners/parties with others where they came home exhausted because the conversation was so flat, they decided to leverage their love of really great dialogue and create a series of conversation-starter get-to-knowyou card games designed to get people talking, connecting, and relating. Their mantra is “BIG talk, not small talk!” Big conversations are energizing. They bring laughter, tears, reflections, learnings, and dreams. They allow people to reflect on shared past experiences and connect on shared future goals. Everyone has a story, and sharing those stories, experiences and memories is far more interesting than talking about the weather. The Honaman’s launched their first game, Cocktail Farty (where FART stands for Friends Admitting Real Truths), in October 2017. Look closely, and you will see that the Cocktail Farty packaging is designed to look like a roll of toilet paper. Cocktail Farty was such a hit with holiday shoppers in late 2017, and so well-received at the Atlanta Gift Mart in January 2018, that design-work immediately began on the next iterations of the game. By October 2018, four more concepts had been designed, manufactured and brought to life, and Whine Barrel, Brew-aHa, KegO’Cards and KIC-Start (standing for Kids in Conversation) hit the market. The Honaman’s are quick to point out there is nothing obscene or risqué (aside from a little potty humor in Cocktail Farty). Instead,

the purpose of the games is to drive really great conversations and dialogue that connect people more fully. Looking for the perfect hostess gift? Bring a bottle of wine AND Whine Barrel! Packing for your girls weekend away? Add Brew-aHa to keep the conversation flowing! Wishing your kids would put down their technology? Hand them KIC-Start! The most time-consuming part of the process is coming up with the 150 questions per game because the idea is to have all the questions across all the games be as unique as possible. And yes, the Honaman’s come up with and “test” each question themselves which can often slow down the process as they get side-tracked answering the questions. One thing is for sure, they never stop learning about each other! As with Cocktail Farty, the cylindrical packaging of each game remains unique and creative. Whine Barrel looks like a wine barrel where, “Whining has never felt so good.” KegO’Cards resembles a keg where you, “Tap In. Talk Out.” Brew-aHa resembles a disposable coffee cup complete with a thermal sleeve where you can check whether you want to, “Bitch, Rant, Explain or Whine.” Look closely at KIC-Start and you will see it resembles text messaging, so that “Kids in Conversation” maintain an element of technology “comfort.” The newest concept is a game called Kiss’N’Cards which includes 150 questions you might want to ask when you are dating!


“What is the one thing that surprises you the most about your life today?” ~ Cocktail Farty “When was the last time you were really proud of yourself?” ~ Whine Barrel “Whose advice do you almost always listen to? Why? ~ Brew-aHa “What is the weirdest thing you have ever seen someone do?” ~ KegO’Cards “What is the bravest thing you have ever done?” ~ KIC-Start “What’s been the most significant plot twist in your own life?” ~ Kiss’N’Cards

The whole idea is to teach the art of conversational curiosity where you learn to ask a question, listen with empathy, thoughtfully prepare an answer, respond and share. Our inspiration comes from recognizing the truly wonderful relationships that are made when people take the time to really talk, listen and connect to one another.

You can find the games locally at Pine & Pigment at The Collection, and at Johns Creek Books and Gifts. You can also find them online at and Amazon. You can learn more about Justin and Monique Honaman at Contender Brands.




Sugar Pike Market By Abigail Blum

Tucked in a small corner off Sugar Pike Road in Canton is a charming provisions and coffee shop that you must add to your “places to visit” list. Wine, meats and cheeses, artwork, and home goodies are only a few of the special offerings in Sugar Pike Market. While swaying the classic music playing overhead, I peaked at their coffee menu and, being a slight foodie, I had to order a coffee as well as one of their deliciously smelling stuffed biscuits. I would like to say I snacked on it while I toured the space, but it was consumed in a matter of minutes (I absolutely encourage you to snag one, they are incredible!). In one corner is an array of fine wines, and after doing some questioning, I found out they do free wine tastings on Friday and Saturday evenings. You can even buy a bottle to have with your dinner at their restaurant next door, Union Hill Grill – you can’t beat that! Across from the wine is what I would consider a specialty food/treat section. There are so many delicacies to explore, from German candies and chocolates to rare snacks and sips, and even freshly prepared lunches and desserts. They had samples of one of their German chocolate bars and trust me when I say it’s the best bar of chocolate I’ve come across. So decadent!

Beside the coffee counter is a cozy sitting space (that I chose to occupy), along with a coffee station where one would typically add cream and sugar, and a community basket of ‘give one, take one’ coffee mugs. They even provide pasta straws as an option to reduce plastic straw waste – I love when businesses are innovative and put concepts like that in place. While taking notes, owners Hannah and Alexander walked in and I had the pleasure of getting to know them and their shop a little more. 28 MYFORSYTHMAG.COM VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2

AB ‘Have you always had a passion for small business or would you say your passion is more entrepreneurial?’ A ‘I worked in corporate for 25+ years as an executive chef for Marriot, so the transition was harder, but it allowed for more fun and more creative freedom. I help Hannah with organization, but both of us bring a lot to the table. We make a great team.’

‘What brought you and Alexander together as business partners?’ AB

H ‘We work very well together and know how to create a sense of balance within in each other. If I get worked up, he really knows how to bring back to that place of peace.’

‘How would you define customer service?’ ‘Making a connection! By providing a ‘feel at home’ space that gives everyone a warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s also about being involved in your community and being able to carry quality products that you stand behind. You have to believe in every aspect. AB


‘Who has been your role model in life? Number one supporter?’ AB

A ‘Another executive chef I used to work with. They were a big influence when it came to my career and traveling. I also had a general manager who helped me in many aspects of my life and was incredibly inspirational. Hannah is a role model of mine as well. The way she creates, her passion, her views, her entrepreneurial side… she’s amazing.’ H ‘We are absolutely each other’s biggest supporters!’


‘Why a provision and café business?’

‘Our restaurant next door [Union Hill Grill] became so busy in the evenings that we were having to turn people away because we simply couldn’t get them in. So, we wanted to control the chaos a bit by opening a space that allowed people a place to walk around, wait for their table to be ready next door, and to allow for a bit more storage. They really benefit each other! It was also something I wanted as I’ve always had the desire to create something that is 100% my own – something self-started by me.’ H

‘What has been the biggest challenge with owning a business? Biggest reward?’ AB

‘It can be very physically and emotionally demanding. From learning to be a barista, to the fear of the unknown, and especially when it comes to making sure everything runs smoothly, things can become a bit overwhelming. However, the customers are what keep us going. They’re H

all really happy with what we’ve done, and the response has been great. People have really come together here and love our products just as much as we do. We’re like a little community.’

and specialty items, so having all of that really provides more options for visitors. And for me, I prefer coffee and something sweet.’ A ‘Wine for me. And definitely something sweet.’

‘Did you learn anything new about yourselves during the process?’

‘What advice do you have for anyone out there who is thinking of starting a business of their own?’



H ‘I need to be more relaxed! Everything will be ok. I need to learn to control the reaction. Alexander is a lot more calm and mellow than I am, so he’s always showing me a new approach. It’s very refreshing.’ A ‘Things are bound to happen that aren’t in our favor, and that’s ok. We will get through it together.’

AB ‘Any specific obstacles you had to face when opening the store?’ A ‘Construction. From floor to ceiling, we really did everything ourselves. We developed new skills, personalized so much, connected it to the Grill next door, had to get rather crafty - which Hannah is great at – and most of the fixtures you see are local pieces we found and fixed up. It was fun at times, but it was also a process.’

‘I love that Sugar Pike caters to different audiences – the wine drinkers vs. the coffee drinkers, sweet tooth vs savory; was that the goal? Which do you both lean more towards?’ AB

‘Just do it. Don’t be afraid to make decisions and fall down – because you will. Don’t be afraid of failing. Follow your dreams.’ H

After our chat, Hannah caught me looking at their logo on my cup. She told me how her daughter came home one day with a drawing of flowers, and that’s what became Sugar Pike’s logo. Her daughter thinks it’s the coolest thing, which she should, as it’s a perfect fit. Hannah and Alexander have something really special in their hands with Sugar Pike, and I always look forward to going in, grabbing coffee and a biscuit, and seeing what new goodies I’ll be taking home. Sugar Pike Market 5060 Sugar Pike Rd Canton, Georgia 470.210.5634

‘It works because all of it goes so well together. We knew we wanted quality products H


Mornings with Marie By Abigail Blum

When was the last time you allowed yourself the opportunity to sit down and enjoy your breakfast? A little too long, maybe? I was told of a little deli located in the Publix shopping center off Atlanta Road that offers local, hand-crafted meals. When I walked through the doors of Marie’s Deli, I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed. My first reaction was to the smell: a combination of fresh coffee, crisp bacon, peppered eggs, and the simmering batter of soon-to-be pancakes. Next came the sound: good conversations – always a good sign at any place of gathering! And then came the visuals: a classic deli with genuine Italian touches to provide an authentic feel. From walking by the cold cuts, peppers, sauces, and pastas on ‘Marie’s Market’ cart to gazing at the sweet treats waiting in the pastry case, my appetite was ready to experience its first morning with Marie. Marie was behind the counter and I thought, ‘what better opinion on what to order than from the creator of the menu herself ’? After she described the Ricotta Pancakes, I knew I was sold. If you don’t have a weakness for flapjacks like me, Marie also suggested the Frittata Scramble, as the two meals are some of her personal favorites. While patiently waiting for my breakfast, the sweet owner and I chatted about how her Deli came to be. Marie had always been a stay at home mom and enjoyed her role of being able to cook for her family. Eventually, she had decided to look for a job but didn’t want to be stuck in a cubicle. She told me God was a big motivator when it came to the idea of running away from corporate and instead, chasing her passion of creating something of her own. Marie always knew customer service and food were her passion, and it wasn’t long until Marie’s Italian Deli was born. When our conversation ended, I headed to a table and it wasn’t long before my pancakes were right in front of me; big, fluffy cakes drizzled with warm blueberry compote and a light crème. Let’s just say it didn’t take long for me to clear my plate! When Marie saw I had finished, she came to collect my opinion, and I didn’t hold back. It was the best meal I had had in quite some time. I couldn’t thank her enough for pursuing that dream of hers that allowed me this experience. She then told me that all of the photos on the walls were her family members – relatives that she too thanks very often. We then laughed over a few fun facts in her menu, such as her dad being behind the “Thatsa My Boat” dish – one that truly resembles a boat! We hugged and said our ‘see you later’’s and then Marie was back behind the counter cooking and taking orders. I was nothing short of impressed with my morning with Marie after leaving the doors of the deli. In fact, I couldn’t wait to come back with friends to introduce them to this gem (and to grab more pancakes). Make some time for yourself, your friends, or your relatives, and go visit Marie and her family for a truly unforgettable breakfast experience!

580 Atlanta Rd | Cumming, Ga. 30040 | Publix Shopping Center exit 14 GA 400 770.886.0084 | 30 MYFORSYTHMAG.COM VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2





by Julie Brennan

For over 20 years, Dr. Jim Morrow has led the charge in providing quality healthcare to patients in Forsyth County and throughout North Georgia. Dr. Morrow was one of the first physicians to practice on the Northside Hospital Forsyth campus in Cumming, Georgia. Upon opening Morrow Family Medicine in November 2011, his practice quickly became a “go-to� practice for Forsyth County residents. As time passed, the need for more physicians, staff and locations increased. Continued on next page VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2 | MYFORSYTHMAG.COM 33



“There’s no denying our need to increase the number of healthcare providers necessary to meet the demands of our growing population,” Dr. Morrow explained. “While

I’ve made the changes needed to accommodate this demand, I have also made sure that the quality of services offered to each one of our patients is never compromised by growth.” In addition to a second office, located in Milton, Dr. Morrow has increased the office space available in his Cumming location. “This new, state-of-the-art office, is located just behind Parson’s at Lakeland Plaza. Same great service, same email addresses, same website, same phone number – just a lot more space to serve you every day,” Dr. Morrow explained. Dr. Patrick Kindregan joined Morrow Family Medicine in 2016. Alongside the two physicians is a team of healthcare professionals who also understand the need for quality care to all who visit the medical offices. Often referred to as mid-levels, a team of physician assistants and one nurse practitioner work alongside Dr. Morrow and Dr. Kindregan. These remarkable healthcare providers have a broad scope of practice, extensive education and are clinically-trained to diagnose, treat and provide advanced, direct patient care. The Certified Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners work hand-in-hand with the physicians at Morrow Family Medicine. Board-certified physician assistants (PA-C) Jaime D. Kutter, Bunny Doster, and Mariann Simpson, and Certified Nurse Practitioner (NP-C) Jessica Kuhn, joined Morrow Family Medicine because they believe in the values set forth by Dr. Morrow. “Our patients have realized how valuable our certified clinician providers are to the efficiency of our practice and have learned that each member of our team plays a very important role in the delivery of our services,” added Dr. Morrow.

I do! To be privileged to earn a patient’s trust in the care of his/her health is an honor. I enjoy teaching patients and helping them with their physical and/or emotional concerns.”


Jaime D. Kutter, PA-C – Physician Assistant Since 2013, Jaime Kutter has been working as a Physician Assistant at Morrow Family Medicine. Kutter has been practicing in Forsyth County since 2001. “I grew up an “Army Brat” which meant I moved around frequently and attended four different high schools in four different states, graduating in Hawaii. I graduated from the University of Notre Dame before pursuing my physician assistant degree at Methodist University in North Carolina. I completed my master’s in physician assistant studies from the University of Nebraska. I started working with Dr. Morrow in 2001,” Kutter explained. “He trained me right out of school and although we took a hiatus from each other (he went to work with healthcare technology, and I worked as an oncology PA for several years) we came back together in 2013 at Morrow Family Medicine. Since then we have grown our work family.” “I am blessed to work as a Physician Assistant at Morrow Family Medicine,” Kutter stated. “Each day is rewarding — I absolutely love what


Bunny Doster, PA-C – Physician Assistant A graduate of the Medical College of Georgia Physician Assistant Program in Augusta, Doster joined Morrow Family Medicine in 2018. Her experience spans over 10 years. Doster has travelled extensively providing her expertise on mission trips to Kenya and Bolivia. She is an active member of the American Association of Physician Assistants and the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants. “My greatest reward is getting to know my patients and gaining their trust through continuity of care for each patient needs.It is a privilege to serve them every day.The relationships between the patients and me is a joy that prevents any need to watch the clock,” Doster explained.

Mariann Simpson, PA-C – Physician Assistant After completing her Pre-Med studies at Michigan State, Simpson continued her education at the University of Kentucky (UK) where she earned her degree as a Board Certified Physician Assistant.

“At UK I had the opportunity to work with rural communities and make an impact in an area that was in great need. While these experiences were rewarding, they also pushed me to become involved in writing and lobbying for PA privileges at the state and national level. I was also appointed a position on the Governor’s Task Force for Healthcare Reform,” Simpson added. “The opportunity to work with people and help them lead healthier lives, while also being able to connect and build relationships with them, is what makes my day so worthwhile. It really is such a blessing to have so many people who come back and share about their lives, share about their families, and to see these families grow and continue to lead happy and healthy lives,” Simpson said. “Family medicine is really about watching those families grow and having the opportunity to play even the smallest role. That these people trust me to take care of them, their families, and those they love is such an honor.”

Jessica Kuhn, NP-C – Nurse Practitioner Kuhn obtained her Master of Science in Nursing and completed the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Georgia State University in May 2012. She was selected to the international nursing honor society, Sigma Theta Tau. “I am passionate about providing high quality, compassionate care in a thorough, efficient manner. My interests include health promotion, cardiology, diabetes, and dermatology,” Kuhn explained.

THE MFM TEAM PHILOSOPHY “We have a great team at MFM. I am fortunate to have an amazing support staff including medical

In six years, the Forsyth BYOT Benefit has raised over $300,000 and brought home internet and devices to every student in Forsyth County who was in need.

assistants, front office, phlebotomist, providers, and office manager who all make my job easier while always making sure the patient is cared for with compassion,” explained Kutter. Simpson added her thoughts on being part of the MFM Team. “I am here to advocate for the patients, I am here to listen to them, and I am here to help guide them towards healthy choices. My patients are like family. I am so blessed to have so many patients that have allowed me to continue on this journey with them. I am so honored that Dr. Morrow has given me the opportunity to join his fantastic team.” Across the board, everyone who works at Morrow Family Medicine understands the importance of their work and the value of working as a team. From the front office person to the clinician, everyone at MFM is proud of their work. Community is important to Dr. Morrow. Along with his wife Peggie, they founded Forsyth BYOT Benefit to bring the necessary technology and internet connectivity to households and students without access to the technology they need to be successful in school. In six years, the Forsyth BYOT Benefit has raised over $300,000 and brought home internet and devices to every student in Forsyth County who was in need. Funds are raised in various events held throughout the year, including their sold-out BYOT Golf Tournament, held in the spring.

To Your Health Recently, Dr. Morrow added a radio show to increase ways to reach his patients and provide education to everyone searching for ways to stay healthy and updated on topics dealing with wellness. A new episode is available on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month on Business RadioX. The podcast can be heard anytime at “We practice pediatric, adult and geriatric medicine-whether it’s an illness, chronic care, or routine exam-we can help,” Dr. Morrow concluded.

770-781-8004 Office Hours Monday-Friday: 7:30 am to 5 pm Walk-in Hour: 7:30 am to 8:30 am Closed for lunch Noon – 1:30 pm • Same day appointments • Walk in clinic every weekday • Chronic disease management • Friendly staff • Brief wait times

3970 Deputy Bill Cantrell Memorial Rd. Cumming GA 12970 Highway 9 | Milton GA



Medicine for All By Kelley VanHorn

Do you wish you could lose fat and improve your body composition, make it through the afternoon without needing a nap or perhaps improve sleep (just to name a few health improvements)? Yes? You’re not alone! Women and men struggle with their health in a myriad of ways and do not understand how to improve their situation. The marketplace is full of fad diets that are not based on science at all; instead based on failure and fear and marketing gimmicks. They’re not sustainable in a way that allows one to turn a program into a lifestyle. Food is medicine and as a society we are not taught how to eat the right foods nor when and why to eat them. In fact, we are taught to restrict our food intake when in fact we should be increasing our foods in order to fuel every process within our bodies effectively. There are so many health issues in society because people are either under eating or focusing far too much on processed foods.

Enter the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®, the most effective 7-week online program that includes intermittent fasting (IF), carb cycling and macronutrient tracking (don’t worry we spend a full week learning all of these strategies). Science shows us that through IF, our bodies can tap into stored fat as fuel and help us turn into pro fat burners (among many other health benefits). We pair our nutritional strategies with effective exercises which helps us burn fat, lose inches and build lean muscle as we get stronger. The FASTer Way program offers a supportive online community where you can ask questions, learn from others and check in with your daily progress and get coaching from me. And, for those of you who simply cannot work out, the great news is that success is 80-90% nutrition anyway!

Over 100,000 clients all over the world have lost fat the

FASTer Way and they report more energy, better sleep, increased confidence, balanced hormones, clearer skin, and feeling incredible overall.

For more information, visit I run a new online group every 3-4 weeks. By visiting my site, you can find more info, register for my next round or schedule a free phone consultation with me.

Let’s get your questions answered and get you on the path to good health! 36 MYFORSYTHMAG.COM VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2


Prevent &

Protect: Navigating the Risks of Melanoma By Nathan Cleaver, D.O.

Melanoma is one of the most preventable, but dangerous forms of cancer. A melanoma is a tumor containing dark pigment; a highly-malignant tumor that starts in melanocytes of normal skin or moles and metastasizes rapidly and widely.

Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer, and overall prognosis is directly related to the depth at which it extends. The sooner a melanoma is identified, diagnosed and treated, the better the prognosis. Knowing the signs and symptoms

of melanoma may literally be a life saver. Melanoma can often violate the ABCDEs on inspection of a mole - asymmetry, irregular border, atypical color, or multiple colors, diameter larger than 6 millimeters, or evolution. Be sure to follow the following tips to best protect yourself:

1. GET CHECKED - Have a board-certified dermatologist perform a full body skin exam if you have a family history of melanoma, a significant lifetime exposure to ultraviolet radiation, a history of a blistering sunburn, or history of tanning bed use. 2. WATCH YOUR BACK - Perform self-exams routinely of your moles. Utilize your camera’s high definition setting to capture pictures of your body areas (face, back, chest, arms, legs), and print these photos. Once monthly, compare these photos to your body to monitor for changing size or shape of your moles. 3. APPLY SUNSCREEN EARLY AND REAPPLY OFTEN - Wear sunscreen with physical blocking ingredients (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) with an SPF of at least 30. One ounce, the equivalent to a shot glass, should be applied to the entire body when applying sunscreen. The FDA evaluates sunscreen at 40 and 80 minute intervals. If swimming or exercising outdoors, then sunscreen needs to be reapplied every 40 minutes. If out during the peak ultraviolet hours of 10 am – 2 pm, then reapply every 80 minutes. Invest in summer clothing with UPF, ultraviolet protective factor, that can provide optimal protection in areas that sunscreen use is not consistent. 4. THERE IS NO SAFE ‘BASE TAN’ – Tanning beds emit both UVA and UVB radiation, with an estimated 400,000 skin cancers a year directly related to indoor tanning. For this reason, the World Health Organization has declared tanning beds a carcinogen, a cancer-causing substance. Many of my patients that require routine surgery for their skin cancers state that ‘if they knew then, what they know now’, they would have better protected their skin. Well we now know the risks associated with unprotected ultraviolet sun exposure and increased risk for developing melanoma. Incorporating these summer time tips may not only save your own life, but may protect a loved one as well. Nathan Cleaver DO, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist and fellowship trained Mohs micrographic surgeon specializing in the medical and surgical management of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, in addition to routine full body skin exams. His office locations are in Cumming, Dawsonville, and Dahlonega. He may be reached at 770-800-3455. 38 MYFORSYTHMAG.COM VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2

Cannabis and the


Wonder Weed or Woes Awaiting By Narendra Singh, MD

Marijuana (cannabis) is making headlines every day. Medical use has been legalized in 33 states including Georgia. Ten states (but not Georgia) as well as the entire country of Canada have legalized recreational use and consequently overall consumption is rising. It is already a multibillion dollar industry. As a result, the health benefits and risks need much understanding. Cannabis comes from the cannabis sativa plant. It contains a number of chemical substances called cannabinoids, the two major ones being delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Our body has cannabinoid receptors. THC is what causes the intoxication “high”. THC concentrations are usually shown as a percentage of weight. Concentrations greater than 16% are considered high potency and less than 0.3% is considered hemp. CBD on the otherhand produces no intoxication but has a number of potential health benefits — analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, anti-emetic, anti-psychotic, ant-ischemic, anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety properties. Cannabis can be consumed in many wayssmoking as a joint or bong, vaping, as an oil extract, as an edible in food or juices, as a tincture in alcohol, or as a heated inhalation

through dabbing or shattering. Recreational cannabis has an addictive potential that is most common during teenage years. Chronic exposure in young individuals under the age of 25 increases the risk of problem solving deficits, inattentiveness, memory loss and learning disabilities. Cannabis can actually worsen anxiety, depression and increase the risk of schizophrenia. Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding leads to low birthweight babies, anemia, hyperactivity, cognitive deficits, reduced academic achievement and increased risk of future substance abuse. Marijuana use impairs driving ability by worsening judgement, motor coordination and reaction time. It is recommended on average to wait six hours after consumption before driving. The impact of cannabis on the heart is only beginning to be understood. Smoking and second hand smoke exposes the individual to the same toxins found in tobacco. Vaping reduces the exposures to some but not all carcinogens. This exposure is of greater concern in those with established coronary artery disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or peripheral vascular disease. High doses can trigger plaque rupture leading to a heart attack, stroke or limb loss. Cannabis raises heart rate and blood pressure which can conversely make people more anxious


or paranoid. It can also aggravate arrhythmias in those with a history of palpitations. Therefore the lowest dose needed to relieve symptoms should be used. Medical use of THC should start low at 2.5 mg a day and never exceed more that 20 mg in a day. Always let your health care professional know if you are using cannabis since some potential drug interactions exist. To date no major harmful effects of CBD on the heart have been identified. While there is lots more to be learned about the medical and recreational use of cannabis it is here to stay. As health professionals and as users we need to keep an open mind on its potential benefits but respect that it can also do harm. Legal complexities also provide a challenge to safe use as federal laws are discordant from state laws and each state has varied regulations. Best advice—consumer be aware!


Clinical Assistant Professor, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Director,Clinical Research-Atlanta Heart Specialists, 1400 Northside Forsyth Drive, Suite 200 Cumming,GA, 30041 678-679-6800 Cell 404-384-7227

Irregular Cycles By Dr. Stacey Pereira


of the Well Woman Exam

Many women experience irregular cycle patterns or irregular bleeding. There is a myriad of causes. You must get it checked out! Some women have this from onset of puberty while others may acquire it later in life. Women who are 18 years of age or older should have a baseline evaluation for their irregular cycles. Evaluation generally consists of some blood work to look at hormones and an ultrasound to look at potential structural causes of irregular bleeding. For women who are 35 years of age or older, it is important to also collect some uterine cells to make sure, however rare, that there is no cancerous cause to the bleeding. Structural causes, for example uterine polyps are generally addressed by removal. Uterine polyps can be removed in the office. It is a quick procedure done vaginally with no cuts and you are back to work the next day. Hormonal causes are usually treated with oral low dose hormones to regulate the cycle. For many women pills aren’t an option. Younger women who plan on

having children might pursue other longer term local treatments such as intrauterine devices. Ladies who are done with children may consider an ablation. This is a short procedure again done in office, where the cells that make the uterine lining are burned. Ablations have excellent long term outcomes and only 5-10% of women are unhappy with the outcome and choose to pursue a hysterectomy afterwards. Hysterectomies are almost always done laparoscopically — meaning with tiny cameras — and at Modern Ob GYN we use the most up to date approach with the DaVinci robot. This ensures the safest and quickest hysterectomy for women who are good candidates. Don't sit at home with your irregular cycles! It's important to get it checked out — and as you can see there's a ton of different ways to get it taken care of, whichever way fits your needs best.

Modern OBGYN has three convenient office locations. Visit our newest office at Avalon in Alpharetta located at 2710 Old Milton Parkway Suite 100, Alpharetta, GA 30009. For more information on our practice and providers, visit STACEY PEREIRA, M.D. is dedicated to women’s care and is excited to build relationships with patients to help guide them to their best health throughout their lives. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Pereira at Modern Obstetrics & Gynecology of North Atlanta, PC call 404.446.2496 or visit 42 MYFORSYTHMAG.COM VOLUME IX | ISSUE 2


All About Glasses How many pairs of glasses do I need?

change is called presbyopia, and it’s a sign that it’s time for an eye exam — and possibly a prescription for progressive lenses or custom reading glasses. COMPUTER GLASSES

That depends on your vision needs, your vision insurance, your budget – and even your fashion sense.

Most people get prescription eyeglasses to correct their vision, but other specialty eyewear includes computer glasses to reduce digital eye strain, polarized sunglasses to reduce glare and block harmful ultraviolet rays, readers to help you see up close, and ski goggles and sports glasses for when you’re on the slopes or riding your motorcycle. Sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement. Sunglasses are your first line of defense to protect your eyes against the damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. But fashion appeal is important, too — because it's often what drives the purchase of sunglasses. READING GLASSES

After age 40, virtually everyone starts noticing small print gets harder to read. This normal vision

Our increasing dependence on digital devices — including computers, tablets and smartphones — has created a new category of vision problems known as digital eye strain. Symptoms include dry and irritated eyes, blurred vision, light sensitivity and headache. It is possible to use single vision lenses for computer glasses that are specially prescribed for the one viewing distance you typically use. A much better solution is occupational progressive lenses that are especially designed for digital devices and your computer screen. Occupational, or "office," progressive lenses will allow the wearer to see clearly at the intermediate and new viewing distances needed to relieve the discomfort of digital eye strain (also called computer vision syndrome). For greater comfort, computer glasses should include blue light screening component that protects against UV radiation and high-energy visible blue light emitted by device screens.


By Mira Sivan, OD


Approximately 30,000 individuals end up in emergency departments in the U.S. each year with sports-related eye injuries, according to a study published by JAMA Ophthalmology. Some of the injuries result from people wearing everyday eyewear that does not meet the safety and performance standards required for sports and athletic use. Many of these potentially sight-threatening injuries could be prevented with eyeglasses that enhance sports performance. The protective sports glasses category includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields and eye guards designed for a particular sport. FASHION

Finally, eyeglasses as a fashion statement is a definite fad, one that even The Wall Street Journal weighed in on recently. Source: all about vision.

Mira Sivan OD, AAOMC Optometrist and Orthokeratologist 5851 S. Vickery St. | Cumming GA 30040 678-648-5185 |


Teaching Your College-Age Child about Money By Amy Monsen

When your child first started school, you doled out the change for milk and a snack on a daily basis. But now that your kindergartner has grown up, it's time for you to make sure that your child has enough financial knowledge to manage money at college. goal is to make sure that what goes out is always less than what comes in. LESSON 2: OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT For the sake of convenience, your child may want to open a checking account near the college; doing so may also reduce transaction fees (e.g. automated teller machine (ATM) fees). Ideally, a checking account should require no minimum balance and allow unlimited free checking; short of that, look for an account with these features: • A simple fee structure • ATM or debit card access to the account • Online or telephone access to account information • Overdraft protection

LESSON 1: BUDGETING 101 Perhaps your child already understands the basics of budgeting from having to handle an allowance or wages from a part-time job during high school. But now that your child is in college, he or she may need to draft a "real world" budget, especially if he or she lives off-campus and is responsible for paying for rent and utilities. Here are some ways you can help your child plan and stick to a realistic budget: • Help your child figure out what income there will be (money from home, financial aid, a part-time job) and when it will be coming in (at the beginning of each semester, once a month, or every week). • Make sure your child understands the difference between needs and wants. For instance, when considering expenses, point out that buying groceries is a need and eating out is a want. Your child should understand how important it is to cover the needs first. • Determine together how you and your child will split responsibility for expenses. For instance, you may decide that you'll pay for your child's trips home, but that your child will need to pay for art supplies or other miscellaneous expenses. • Warn your child not to spend too much too soon, particularly when money that has to last all semester arrives at the beginning

of a term. Too many evenings out in September eating surf and turf could lead to a December of too many evenings in eating cold cereal. Acknowledge that college isn't all about studying, but explain that splurging this week will mean scrimping next week. While you should include entertainment expenses in the budget, encourage your child to stick closely to the limit you agree upon. Show your child how to track expenses by saving receipts and keeping an expense log. Knowing where the money is going will help your child stay on track. Reallocation of resources may sometimes be necessary, but help your child understand that spending more in one area means spending less in another. Encourage your child to plan ahead for big expenses (the annual auto insurance bill or the trip over spring break) by instead setting aside money for them on a regular basis. Caution your child to monitor spending patterns to avoid excessive spending, and ask him or her to come to you for advice at the first sign of financial trouble.

You should also help your child understand that a budget should remain flexible; as financial goals change, a budget must change to accommodate them. Still, your child's ultimate


To avoid bouncing checks, it's essential to keep accurate records, especially of ATM or debit card usage. Show your child how to balance a checkbook on a regular (monthly) basis. Most checking account statements provide instructions on how to do this. Encourage your child to open a savings account too, especially if he or she has a parttime job during the school year or summer. Your child should save any income that doesn't have to be put towards college expenses. After all, there is life after college, and while it may seem inconceivable to a college freshman, he or she may one day want to buy a new car or a home. LESSON 3: GETTING CREDIT If your child is age 21 or older, he or she may be able to independently obtain a credit card. But if your child is younger, the credit card company will require you, or another adult, to cosign the credit card application, unless your child can prove that he or she has the financial resources to repay the credit card debt. A credit card can provide security in a financial emergency and, if used properly, can help your child build a good credit history. But the temptation to use a credit card can be seductive, and it's not uncommon for students to find themselves over their heads in debt before they've declared their majors. Unfortunately, a poor credit history can make it difficult for your child to rent an apartment, get a

car loan, or even find a job for years after earning a degree. And if you've cosigned your child's credit card application, you'll be on the hook for your child's unpaid credit card debt, and your own credit history could suffer. Here are some tips to help your child learn to use credit responsibly: • Advise your child to get a credit card with a low credit limit to keep credit card balances down. • Explain to your child that a credit card isn't an income supplement; what gets charged is what's owed (and then some, given the high interest rates). If your child continually has trouble meeting expenses, he or she should review and revise the budget instead of pulling out the plastic. • Teach your child to review each credit card bill and make the payment by the due date. Otherwise, late fees may be charged, the interest rate may go up if the account falls 60 days past due, and your child's credit history (or yours, if you've cosigned) may be damaged. • If your child can't pay the bill in full each

month, encourage him or her to pay as much as possible. An undergraduate student making only the minimum payments due each month on a credit card could finish a post-doctorate program before paying off the balance. • Make sure your child notifies the card issuer of any address changes so that he or she will continue to receive statements. • Tell your child that when it comes to creditors, students don't get summers off! Your child will need to continue to make payments every month, and if there's a credit card balance carried over from the school year, your child may want to use summer earnings to pay it off in order to start the next school year with a clean slate. Finally, remind your child that life after college often involves student loan payments and maybe even car or mortgage payments. The less debt your child graduates with, the better off he or she will be. When it comes to the plastic variety, extra credit is the last thing a college student wants to accumulate!

Amy Marie Monsen, CRPS®, CRPC®, AAMS® Raymond James Financial, Inc. T: 678.566.2500 // F: 678.566.2501 2400 Lakeview Parkway, Suite 200, Alpharetta, GA 30009

This information was developed by Broadridge, an independent third party. It is general in nature, is not a complete statement of all information necessary for making an investment decision, and is not a recommendation or a solicitation to buy or sell any security. Investments and strategies mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. member New York Stock Exchange/ SIPC does not provide advice on tax, legal or mortgage issues. These matters should be discussed with an appropriate professional. The information contained within this commercial email has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee the foregoing material is accurate or complete.



Oh No…

My Check Engine Light is On! By Tom Burgess, Owner, Christian Brothers Automotive, Cumming GA

“With this device you can diagnose your own car!” loudly proclaims the announcer in the commercial. “Simply plug it in, hook up your smart phone and you will know what the problem is. You can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars!” Too good to be true? Unfortunately – yes. What these devices show are data trouble codes, which are helpful in locating where the problem lies, but they do not actually diagnose the root cause of the issue. I equate it to a person going to the doctor with a pain in the shoulder. The doctor knows where the pain is, but it will take further examination, tests or even an MRI to understand why the shoulder is sending a signal to the brain that something is not right. When that Check Engine Light (CEL) illuminates, it only means that a sensor somewhere is sending a parameter to the computer that’s outside what the engineers considered ‘normal’. It could be that the sensor has failed, or the sensor is perfectly fine and reporting an actual problem. Any auto parts store or repair shop should read the code for free, so no need to buy a device to do that but having a code doesn’t solve the problem. For example, a common code, P0420, indicates an oxygen sensor is reporting a problem. It could be that the sensor has failed, or a wire to the sensor has broken. Or it could be that the sensor is accurately reporting too many unburned hydrocarbons at the sensor probe. That could be caused by a fuel trim issue creating too rich of a mixture, or a catalytic converter that has failed, or the vehicle is remaining in warm-up mode dumping extra fuel into the engine to warm up the catalytic converter. In fact, there are actually hundreds of reasons why an O2 sensor might report an out-of-parameters value. It takes testing with a diagnostic scan tool to determine what the real issue is. Decrypting a trouble code does not mean

TIP the problem is diagnosed. If that were the case, auto tech schools would be out of business. And what about aftermarket gadgets that stay plugged into the car to monitor problems? Well both Ford and GM have issued Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) regarding these devices. They found they can actually interfere with the diagnostics and operation of the vehicle! The TSBs states these devices can interfere with the data traffic on the various computer networks of the vehicle. Ford cites instances where the devices have caused modules to stop communicating – even with the shop scan tool. And GM has instances where the ABS module and engine control module have ceased to communicate. This may result in an ABS light illuminating on the dash. So, bottom line, the adage ‘If it sounds too good to be true it probably is’ certainly applies to these little devices.


One tip I will offer however: if you find your check engine light is on due to an ‘EVAP Very Small Leak’ trouble code, the most common cause is a loose gas cap or one that is not holding pressure correctly. Try tightening down the cap, and if after driving a day or two the light does not go out, try replacing the cap. Even if the gasket on the old gas cap does not look bad or show obvious tears or signs of permanent compression or distortion, I would change the cap before paying for diagnostics. Nine times out of ten we find the gas cap to be the culprit for these small leaks. Be advised, the car has to be driven with the fuel between ¼ and ¾ full for the evaporative emissions test to run and sense the cap is now tight or has been replaced.




Midway Elementary 4805 Atlanta Highway 770.475.6670 Principal: Jan Munroe

North Forsyth Middle 3645 Coal Mountain Drive 770.889.0743 Principal: Todd McClelland

South Forsyth High 585 Peachtree Parkway 770.781.2264 Principal: Laura Wilson

Brandywine Elementary 15 Martin Dr. Alpharetta Principal: Todd Smith

Sawnee Elementary 1616 Canton Highway 770.887.6161 Principal: Dr. Eileen Nix

Otwell Middle 605 Tribble Gap Road 770.887.5248 Principal: Steve Miller

West Forsyth High 4155 Drew Road 770.888.3470 Principal: Karl Mercer

Brookwood Elementary 2980 Vaughan Drive 678.965.5060 Principal: Tracey Smith

Settles Bridge Elementary 600 James Burgess Road 770.887.1883 Principal: Saran VonEsh

Chattahoochee Elementary 2800 Holtzclaw Road 770.781.2240 Principal: Barbara Vella

Sharon Elementary 3595 Old Atlanta Road 770.888.7511 Principal: Amy Bartlett

Big Creek Elementary 1994 Peachtree Parkway 770.887.4584 Principal: Laura Webb

Chestatee Elementary 6945 Keith Bridge Road 770.887.2341 Principal: Polly Tennies Coal Mountain Elementary 3455 Coal Mountain Drive 770.887.7705 Principal: Kimberly Davis Cumming Elementary 540 Dahlonega Street 770.887.7749 Principal: Lee Anne Rice Daves Creek Elementary 3740 Melody Mizer Lane 770.888.1223 Principal: Eric Ashton Haw Creek Elementary 2555 Echols Road 678.965.5070 Principal: June Tribble Johns Creek Elementary 6205 Old Atlanta Road 678.965.5041 Principal: Alyssa Degliumberto Kelly Mill Elementary 1180 Chamblee Gap Road 678.965.4953 Principal: Ron McAlliste Mashburn Elementary 3777 Samples Road 770.889.1630 Principal: Carla Gravitt Matt Elementary 7455 Wallace Tatum Road 678.455.4500 Principal: Charlley Stalder

Shiloh Point Elementary 8145 Majors Road 678.341.6481 Principal: Derrick Hershey Sliver City Elementary 6200 Dahlonega Highway 678.965.5020 Principal: Paige Andrews Vickery Creek Elementary 6280 Post Road 770.346.0040 Principal: Kristan Riedinger Whitlow Elementary 3655 Castleberry Road 678.965.5090 Principal: Dr. Lynne Castleberry

MIDDLE SCHOOLS DeSana Middle School 625 James Road, Alpharetta Principal: Terri North Lakeside Middle 2565 Echols Road 678.965.5080 Principal: Kim Head Liberty Middle 7465 Wallace Tatum Road 770.781.4889 Principal: Cheryl Riddle Little Mill Middle 6800 Little Mill Road 678.965.5000 Principal: Connie McCrary


Piney Grove Middle 8135 Majors Road 678.965.5010 Principal: Pamela Pajerski Riverwatch Middle 610 James Burgess Road 678.455.7311 Principal: Pam Bibik South Forsyth Middle 4670 Windermere Parkway Cumming, GA 30041 Principal: Sandy Tinsley Vickery Creek Middle 6240 Post Road 770.667.2580 Principal: Scott Feldcamp

HIGH SCHOOLS Academies of Creative Education 1130 Dahlonega Highway 770-781-3141 Director: Drew Hayes Forsyth Academy Gateway Academy Forsyth Virtual Academy Alliance Academy for Innovations 1100 Lanier 400 Parkway 470-695-7823 Principal: Brandi Cannizzaro Denmark High 645 Mullinax Road, Alpharetta 470-533-2521 Principal: Heather Gordy Forsyth Central High 520 Tribble Gap Road 770.887.8151 Principal: Mitch Young Lambert High School 805 Nichols Road 678.965.5050 Principal: Dr. Gary Davison North Forsyth High 3635 Coal Mountain Drive 770.781.6637

PRIVATE SCHOOLS Cornerstone Schools 4888 Browns Bridge Road 770.205.8202 Head of School: Angela Martin Covenant Christian Academy 6905 Post Road 770.674.2990 Headmaster: Jonathan Arnold Fideles Christian School 1390 Weber Industrial Drive 770.888.6705 Director: Carla Rutherford Ivy League Montessori School 1791 Kelly Mill Road 770.781.5586 School Director: Becky Carty Montessori at Vickery 6285 Post Road 770.777.9131 Montessori Kids Academy 3034 Old Atlanta Road 678.208.0774 School Admin., Maureen Danbury Pinecrest Academy 955 Peachtree Parkway 770.888.4477 Headmaster: Dr. Edward J. Lindekugel www.



Lambert High’s “Double Graduates” The class of 2019 at Lambert High School reveled in their accomplishments as they crossed the stage on May 29th smiling and waving in front of an arena full of ecstatic moms and dads. Every senior class typically strives to overperform and overachieve their prior year classmates but this year two students add accolades never before experienced by a Lambert High graduate. By Dr. Kelly Price

Two members of the senior class at Lambert High School are “Double Graduating”. As

they celebrate their completion of high school, these two young men will already have a college degree in their hands. Max Colley and Daniel Adamczyk earned an Associate of Science Degree in Information Technology from Georgia Military College just days prior to their Lambert High School graduation. They will have completed a journey started at the beginning of their high school junior year taking advantage of Georgia’s Dual Enrollment program. Dual enrollment provides high school

students with the opportunity to take college courses for both high school and college credit.1 Each year more students take advantage of the dual enrollment opportunity to start college courses in high school.2 They reach for this program for a variety of reasons. One, almost 100% of the college course costs are covered by state funds. Students do not pay tuition or other mandatory college fees and even course required textbooks are provided. Two, students are interested in increasing the rigor of their high school course load and earning additional points on their HOPE GPA.3 Three, students are interested in varying their daily schedule through attendance at a local college/university or utilizing the many online college course options. For the eligible student who meets the program entry requirements, there are many benefits of the dual enrollment program. Students who participate in dual enrollment may participate in school clubs, athletics and events at their home high school even if they take all of their courses at a college/university. Forsyth County students are embracing dual enrollment opportunities more each year. The University of North Georgia and Lanier Technical College are key partners in dual enrollment since they have campuses within the system. These two institutions continue to draw more dual enrollment students locally because of their proximity and depth of course schedules and offerings. Dual enrollment interest is growing through other nearby campuses including GA State University and Gwinnett Technical College. Online college/university courses are also on the rise and students are seeking these out for their dual enrollment options. The University of West Georgia and a list of other University System of Georgia institutions offer online core college courses that qualify for dual enrollment funding through their eCore program.4 Forsyth County School’s students also pursue the very competitive Distance Learning Math and Science courses

offered through Georgia Tech.5 Regardless of which institution is selected, students have options to pursue just a few classes or to reach for an associates degree, technical college diploma program or technical college certificate. The Lambert High “Double Graduates” Max and Daniel pursued the Online Degree Programs offered through Georgia Military College6 for their dual enrollment pursuits. The Georgia Military College online course structure appealed to them with common procedures and course structure. The online courses fit into their schedules as they completed their Engineering Pathway at Lambert High School and did not require travel to another campus. The quarter term length enabled them to take fewer college courses each term yet still complete the number of college courses required for an associate degree. Their families appreciated the customer service provided by Georgia Military College which included regular course performance updates to Lambert High School staff. With an associate degree credential on their academic resumes, both of these students have incredible opportunities awaiting them. Max has signed with the United States Air Force and will work in Cyber Transport Systems. Daniel is heading to the University of North Georgia to major in Cyber Security. As they leave the arena on May 29th as Lambert High School’s first Double Graduates, there are already four students on their heels striving to be a Lambert Double Graduate in May 2020. The growing interest in dual enrollment will drive continual adjustments to the program structure and funding. Families interested in dual enrollment can find details on their high school webpages, on the dual enrollment websites of the colleges/universities and through the Forsyth County Schools College & Career Development Department.7 Dr. Kelly Price was the Assistant Principal at Lambert High School.

1 “dual enrollment - GaDOE.” 5 Jun. 2018, Accessed 9 Mar. 2019. 2“dual enrollment - GaDOE.” 5 Jun. 2018, CTAE/Documents/DE-2018-PP.pdf. Accessed 9 Mar. 2019. 3“HOPE GPA Calculation | Georgia Student Finance ... - GAfutures.” Accessed 9 Mar. 2019. "eCore 4 Georgia's College Core Curriculum Online Classes." Accessed 9 Mar. 2019. 5"Distance Math and Science Programs | ...." Accessed 9 Mar. 2019. 6"Georgia Military College." Accessed 9 Mar. 2019. 7"College & Career Development / Workforce Forsyth - Forsyth County ...." Accessed 9 Mar. 2019.


Hawaii’s Plastic Beach By Hannah Testa, Founder Hannah4Change

The first time I saw the beach, I was enchanted. I was resting on a beach in Florida and ran my hands through the sand, saying “beach” for the first time. I splashed in the waves with my dad and said hello to the tiny fish jumping out of the water. It was right at that moment that I fell in love with the ocean and all of the life that it supports. However, that beautiful beach I visited as a toddler might not exist, by the time I’m a mother. Recently, I was visiting Hawaii at Kahuku Beach in Oahu and was shocked at how much plastic washed up along the shoreline there. Joining my dear friend, Robbie Bond, age 11 and founder of Kids Speak for Parks, and also the hardworking organization called Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, we cleaned up about a halfmile stretch of beach in about 2 hours. Us kids used handmade screens to filter out the sand and retain plastic particles while other volunteers picked up the larger pieces with their hands. We collected about 500 pounds of plastic in a short period of time!

What is most sad is that this beach is cleaned often by volunteers, and yet we know the plastic is expected to return. On one hand, cleaning up the beach seemed frustrating because we know unless we tackle the source of the problem and turn off the tap, plastic will wash ashore again. But on the other hand, we can’t just leave the plastic there either! What did we find? The most common items we saw today were bottle caps (some with Asian writing), pieces of fishing nets, and toothbrushes. There was also a lot of unrecognizable plastics. One of the interesting things I picked up was the bottom of a plastic bottle that had dozens of little bite marks taken from it. It was apparent that fish were eating from this plastic bottle! Glad I am vegan and no longer eat fish! In fact, we saw four large sea turtles resting on the beach. One of them was resting on a big piece of plastic trash. It illustrated for me that plastics are a common threat to animal species in our oceans. What didn’t we see? We didn’t see anything that wasn’t made of plastic because any biodegradable


products had already broken down! The problem with plastic is that it isn’t biodegradable, meaning it can’t be broken down into organic compounds. Instead, it breaks up into small, toxic microplastics that are eaten by fish.

Our dependence on plastic products needs to end if we want to protect our oceans and our beautiful beaches! We all need to see what we can do as citizens and consumers to reduce our plastic consumption, to recycle properly, and to voice our concerns loudly to politicians and business leaders about this growing environmental crisis. No matter where we live, the health of the ocean affects all of us. By taking the steps to curb our plastic consumption and “turn off the tap”, we can help ensure that future toddlers will have an ocean to fall in love with.

How are you in terms of planning? Do you enjoy planning out certain parts of your life? I know that I certainly do. I’m here today to share with you a story. This story is about a girl who loved to plan. A girl who basically planned out everything in her life - from meals to schedules to everything else in between. Can you believe that this girl even planned when to rest?

I’d like to introduce you to this girl. Let’s call her “Polly.” Life is going well. She is currently working parttime and loving what she does. But this girl wears a lot of hats – full-time mom, room mom, team mom, social media manager, marketing consultant, website designer, board member, project manager, and much more!

Her family life is good. She never misses anything in the classrooms or in sports. Yet she always feels stretched thin. Her kids are getting older and that means that schedules are changing. With schedules changing, this brings her to a crossroad. She decides that it’s time to determine what to do next with her career. Does she up her working time and grow her company? After much thought and prayer, she decides this is the right thing. But she still feels like something is missing. She begins praying daily. Asking the Lord to help guide her steps. Then she is reminded of a verse –

Over the next six days, it all becomes clear when a new opportunity arises. This new opportunity brings passion all into one place! Polly is so thankful that the Lord determined her steps. And all at once, Polly learns a vital lesson… She isn’t in control after all. And she can plan all she wants but the Lord will determine where she goes. And His plan is always good. Where does all this land with you? Do you find yourself in Polly? I know that I do. I believe it’s time to move forward with a new attitude this year! An attitude of open hands. Trust me, it’s not easy. But we c an do it!

“We can make our plans, but May your year be full of JOYFUL the LORD determines our steps.” surprises as you step back and let the Proverbs 16:9 Lord lead.


NON-DENOMINATIONAL Eastgate Church 2820 Brookwood Road O: 770.888.8852 Sunday Morning Worship Times: 9:15 & 11:15am Pastors: Ron & Charla Nelson Browns Bridge Church 3860 Browns Bridge Road 678.965.8000 Pastor - Andy Stanley Services- 9am, 11am, 4:30pm

BAPTIST Antioch Baptist Church 2465 Antioch Road O: 770.887.6900 Sunday School: 10am Sunday Service: 11am and 6pm AWANA: Sunday at 6pm Wednesday Bible Study: 7pm Pastor: Travis Bridgeman Berean Baptist Church 7110 Majors Road | 770-889-1302 Sunday Worship Service: 11:00am Classes for all ages: 10:00am Evening Service: 6:00pm Wednesday Bible Study: 7:00pm Children’s Clubs: 7:00pm Bob Baines, Pastor Cumming Baptist Church 115 Church Street | 770.205.6699 Worship times: Sunday School - 9:30am Meet & Greet: 10:45am Worship Service: 11:00 am Sr. Pastor - Jamie Archer First Baptist Cumming 1597 Sawnee Drive | 770.887.2428 Sunday Services: 9:30am Contemporary Worship Service & Bible Fellowship Groups 11am Traditional Worship Service & Bible Fellowship Groups Wednesday: 6:15pm AWANA Pastor: Dr. Bob Jolly First Redeemer Church 2100 Peachtree Pkwy. | 678.513.9400 Sunday Services: 9:15am – Contemporary Service (Auditorium) 10:45am – Blended Service (Auditorium) 9:00am & 10:45am; 6:30pm Bible Fellowship

Greater Heights Baptist Church 3790 Post Road | 770.887.4802 Sunday School: 10am Sunday Worship: 11am Sunday Evening: 5pm Wednesday Evening & AWANA: 7pm Pastor: Chris Grinstea Longstreet Baptist Church 6868 Campground Road 770.889.1959 Sunday School: 10am Worship Service: 11am Wednesday night adult and youth activities North Lanier Baptist Church 829 Atlanta Highway | 770.781.5433 Bible Studies: 9:00am and 10:30am Celebration Worship Service: 11am (main auditorium) Hispanic Service: 10:30am Activities Center Refuge Baptist Church 3525 Pilgrim Mill Road 678.807.7746 Sunday Bible Study: 9:30 a.m. Sunday Services: 10:45 a.m., 6 p.m. Wednesday Prayer Service: 7 p.m.

EPISCOPAL St. Columba’s Church 939 James Burgess Road 770.888.4464 Wednesday Services: 6:30 pm Saturday Service 5:30 pm Sunday Service: 7:45, 9 & 11:15am Rector: Father Tripp Norris Curate: Father Daron Vroon The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit

724 Pilgrim Mill Road | 770.887.8190 Services: Thursday 12 noon Sunday: 8:30 and 10:45 am Rector: Keith Oglesby

GREEK ORTHODOX Saint Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene Greek Orthodox Church 3074 Bethelview Rd., 770.781.5250 Divine Liturgy every Sunday at 10 AM Pastor: Fr. Barnabas Powell

JEWISH The Chabad of Forsyth 795 Brannon Rd Cumming Ga 30041 404-594-2092 Rabbi Levi Mentz


NewSong Community Church 433 Canton Road, Suite 306 770.888.5212 (Located across from Ingles, behind Sun. Worship: 10:15am, 12:30pm (Korean) the National Guard in Building 300) Sunday Worship Service: 10:30am Wednesday Evening Fellowship Meal: 6:00pm | Bible Study: 7:00pm (all ages) Pastor Case Koolhaas Bible Study: 7:00pm (all ages) Pastor Tim Droegemueller Rameshori Buddhist Center 130 Allen Road, Unit B 404.255.1585 facebook/livingfaithlutheranchurch Living Faith Lutheran Church, LCMS 1171 Atlanta Highway | 770.887.0184 Sunday School: 9:00am (all ages)

Christ The King Lutheran Church (Evangelical Lutheran Church In America) 1125 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road O: 770.889.5328 | Sunday Worship Services: 8:30 am (Blended) 11:00 am (Traditional) Discipleship Hour: 9:45 am (Sunday School)

OTHER Baha’is of Forsyth County 1-800-22-UNITE Canvas Christian Church 3560 Browns Bridge Road 770-887-5542 Pastor Stan Percival Crossroads Church of the Nazarene 6160 Southard Trace | 678.807.9392 Sunday School: 10am Worship Service: 11am Castle Christian Church 3149 Old Atlanta Rd. | 678.648.5248 Sunday Worship: 10am Wednesday Bible Study: 7pm Senior Minister: Jason Rodenbeck Family By Faith Worship Center 4805 Atlanta Highway 678.230.4800 Midway Elementary School, Nursery available) Small Groups: 9:30am | Worship: 10:30am Pastor: Randy Grimes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 510 Brannon Road | 678.455.5290 (Hall Phone) Worship Service: 9am, 11:30am & 2pm LifePoint Christian Church 3140 Old Atlanta Road Sunday Small Groups: 9:00am Sunday Service: 10:30am Childcare available Pastor: Chris Stovall


Deer Creek Shores Presbyterian Church 7620 Lanier Drive | 770.887.6801 Sunday School: 9:45am (all ages) Sunday Worship Service: 11am (Traditional) Childcare available Pastor: John S. Martin email: Chalcedon Presbyterian Church 302 Pilgrim Mill Road 770.205.9390 | Sunday Worship: 11:00am Pastor Tim Price Parkway Presbyterian Church 5830 Bethelview Road 678.889.8694 Sunday: 8:45 am Traditional Worship 11:00 am Contemporary Worship Pastor Mike Austin The Vine Community Church 4655 Bethelview Road 678.990.9395 Sunday Services: 9 & 10:45am Wednesday: Middle and High School youth meet at 7:15 – 8:30pm Jon Adams, Pastor

ROMAN CATHOLIC Church of Good Shepherd 3740 Holtzclaw Road | 770.887.9861 Mass: Saturday Vigil: 5pm, Sundays:,7:30, 9 & 10:30am & 12 noon; 5:30pm, Spanish Mass: 1:30pm, Weekdays: 9am Father Frank, Pastor St. Brendan the Navigator Catholic Church 4633 Shiloh Road | 770.205.7969 Daily Mass: Mon. – Sat.: 8:30 am Tuesday, Thurs. & Fri.: 6:00 pm Wednesday: 7:00 pm (en Español) Saturday Vigil Masses: 5:00 pm & 7:00 pm (en Español)

Sunday Masses: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:40 am, 12:20 pm, 2:00 pm (en Español), 5:00 pm Fr. Matthew VanSmoorenburg, L.C., Pastor

Parochial Vicars: Fr. Patrick Langan, L.C.,

Fr. Paul Alger, L.C., and Fr. Nikola Derpich, L.C.


Remember not to Forget By Maria I. Morgan

I love the book of Joshua. Joshua has succeeded Moses as leader of the children of Israel by this time (a challenging job, no doubt!). The people are poised on the brink of entering the Promised Land. Chapter 4 sheds light on something God felt was important for the Israelites—remembering. Twelve memorial stones were to be taken from the Jordan River and set up in Gilgal. Why? So, when future generations asked why the stones were set up, the people could share the goodness of God:

helped them spread the truth about the God they worshipped.

Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever. Joshua 4:22b-24; KJV

It helps us have the right view of who God is:

Remembering all the Lord did for them served to keep the people humble and grateful. And

Remembering all the things the Lord has done in our own lives is crucial for us too.

For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. Psalm 96:4 It reminds us He is always with us: ‌for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5b It reinforces our trust in Him:

But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works. Psalm 73:28 It challenges us to talk about how He has provided: Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Ephesians 3:20

How have you seen God at work in your life recently? Write it down so you will remember. And then share it with someone else so they can experience the goodness of our Heavenly Father.



o all Forsyth Network for Business UNITED METHODIST Professionals Bethelview United Methodist Meeting: Thur: 11:30am – 12:30pm Church Location: 4525 Bethelview Rd. | 770.887.4888 Jim’N Nick’s at The Collection Sunday School: 9:15am 3180 Ronald Reagan Blvd Sunday Worship Service: 10:30am Contact: David Fountain (child care available) 770-627-2121 Check website for Bible study classes Pastor: Rev. Mark LaRocca-Pitts The Inspiration Network of Creekside United Methodist Church Cumming Meeting: 3rd Wed: 7 – 8:30pm 673 Peachtree Parkway Location: The Nurturing Nook, 770.888.8449 205 Pilgrim Mill Road Sunday Worship: Contact: Leanne Temple 8:30am (Traditions-in Chapel) 678.965.5969 9:30 & 11am (Contemporary in Worship Center) Kiwanis Club of Cumming Kidz Church: 9:30 & 11am Meeting: Wednesdays 12pm – 1pm Bible Studies: 9:30 & 11am Location: Golden Coral www.creekside.nett 2025 Marketplace BLVD Cumming First United Methodist Cumming GA 30041 Church 770 Canton Highway | 770.887.2900 Sunday Services: 8:45 & 11am Member Power Networking Lunch (Traditional) Meeting: Every Tues. at 12 Noon Worship Services: Location: Various chamber member 9:51am (Contemporary) restaurants 1:30pm ( Hispanic/Latino en Español) Contact: 770.887.6461 9am (Lake Service (May-August) Info: $15 for members & $30 for non-members Lanier United Methodist Church 1979 Buford Highway | 770.887.0615 South Forsyth Leads Group Sunday Traditional Service: 8:45am Meeting: 2nd & 4th Wed: 11:30am Sunday School: 10am (No fees) Sunday Contemporary Praise Location: Starbucks-141 & Ronald Service: 11am Reagan (Nursery available for both services) John’s Creek, 435 Peachtree Pkwy. Ted Miller, Pastor Cumming, GA 30041 Contact: Robin Grier | 770.887.2772 Midway United Methodist Church 5025 Atlanta Hwy. | 770.475.5230 Women Who Mean Business Sunday: 8:30am – Historic Chapel Meeting: 1st Tues. Registration: (Traditional) 7:30am Sunday: 9:45am – Sanctuary worship Location: Cumming-Forsyth County Sunday: 9:45am – “BLAST” Chamber of Commerce Kids’ worship Event’s Facility, 513 W. Maple Street Sunday: 11:00am – Sanctuary worship Contact: 770.887.6461 Info: Free for members, $30 for nonmembers Register online at Piedmont United Methodist Church 1170 Dahlonega Highway 770.887.0770 CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS Bible Study: 10am & 5pm Health Center (CHC) Traditional Service: 11am Serving the medical needs of North Georgia since 1979. Horse Rescue, Relief & Retirement Fund, Inc. Contact: 770.886.5419



Central Forsyth Leads Group Meeting: 2nd & 4th Tues: 11am—1pm Location: The Columns at Pilgrim, Mill Apartments Contact: Nancy Wright 770.886.0500 or Info: No fees. Open to all

Humane Society of Forsyth County No-Kill Shelter Location: 4440 Keith Bridge Road Contact: 770.887.6480 Info: Non-profit, no-kill shelter for cats/dogs. www.

There’s Hope for the Hungry Contact: 678.513.9400 Info: Non-profit organization partnering with churches across North Georgia to feed those in need. Rotary Club of South Forsyth Meeting: Wed: 12:15pm Location: Forsyth Conference Center 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd Piecemakers Quilt Guild Meeting: 2nd Tues, 4th Tues is “sewcialbee” (community quilts, classes or just getting together) Location: Christ the King, Lutheran Church 1125 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road, Cumming www.piecemakersga.netw The Place of Forsyth County Location: 2550 The Place Circle Contact: 770-887-1098 Info: Non-profit, serving the Forsyth community with financial emergency assistance, clothing, food and many additional support services.

SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS AA Cumming Meeting: Meets four times daily Location: Ingles Shopping Center at 432 Canton Highway (Hwy 20) Second suite on far left. 24/7 Line: 770.886.0696 Info: Group of Alcoholics Anonymous located in Forsyth County Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) Caregiver Support Group First Wednesday of each month 7:00pm Northside Forsyth Hospital 1200 Northside Forsyth Dr 1400 Building, Bennett Classroom B Contact: Holistic Moms Network – Forsyth County Monthly meetings with informational speakers, yoga group, play groups Meeting: 2nd Tues: 6:30pm Location: Land of a Thousand Post Road, Cumming Contact: Ann Linke Labrador Friends of the South, Inc. Location: PO Box 933, Cumming Contact:

Moms Club of Cumming – North Monthly meetings with informational speakers, park play days, holiday parties, fieldtrips, playgroups and a monthly MOMS Night Out. Contact: www. Moms Club of Cumming – Southwest Meeting: Last Tues. of each month Contact: NAMI Forsyth Dawson Lumpkin Meeting: 2nd & 4th Thursday 6:45 pm - 8:15 pm (support meetings for consumers and family members) Location: Forsyth County Senior Center, 595 Dahlonega Hwy, Cumming, Ga. 30040 Educational meeting: 3rd Tuesday 7 pm Location: United Way of Forsyth County, 240 Elm Str., Cumming, Ga. 30040 Contact: Website: Single Mom Meeting Connect with other single moms, learn about paths to higher education and get links to community resources. Light dinner provided and free on-site childcare/ homework help provided. Meeting: 2nd Thurs: 6:30pm ocation: 210 Dahlonega St., Suite 203, Cumming Contact: Valerie Daniel Faith’s House, Inc. 770.205.6311 SMART Recovery Meeting: Every Tues: 6:30 p.m. Location: Professional Recovery Counseling, LLC. 107 W. Courthouse Sq., Suite 274

The Country Preacher By Rev. David Hill

The unrest of today’s world has created a general preoccupation with the Bible’s prophecy. Prophecy has been called “pre written history”. Man’s history began with man. God’s history preceded the world’s creation. “What was eternally determined in Him before the ages will in the ages be carried through and perfected.” How can mankind understand the behavior of the worlds’ nations without Divine revelation? Recently, a major network discussed a news article which labeled an international leader as Antichrist. Leaders of the past, Nero, Alexander the Great, Napoleon and Hitler were thought to be the demonic personage who would unite the world’s economies, religions and governments to oppose God. The network concluded that the government leader was not Antichrist but only a king from the book of Revelation! It is amazing to find a secular news program discussing international events in the context of Scripture. God opens the door to the future and lets us look, Revelation 4:1. Often prophecies provide a brief look and a few details to help us understand future events. Almost everyone is familiar with the fulfillment of some prophecies. Jesus was born “In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet”, Matthew 2:5;

Micah 5:2. There were 16 detailed prophecies in reference to Christ’s death and crucifixion that were literally fulfilled, including sold for 30 pieces of silver, forsaken by His disciples, Zachariah 11:12, 13:7; betrayed by a friend, Psalm 41:9; crucified with thieves and buried as a rich man, Isaiah 53:12, 53:9. Many people who read the Bible avoid any literal interpretation of its prophetic passages. Though it’s a revelation from God, the Bible isn’t written in superhuman or celestial language. We are to compare Scripture with Scripture (John 5:39). “Search the Scriptures” and “study” (II Timothy 2:15) them. A simple cursory reading isn’t enough. It is the Bible’s teaching that Israel, the nation, people and land are promised God’s protection. They were “chosen” to give us the Bible (Romans 3:2), the message of salvation (John 4:22), His commandments as a standard of righteousness (John 1:17) and the birth of the Messiah, the Christ (Isaiah 9:6-7). The book of Obadiah prophesied doom to Edom. “There shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau” because they failed to protect Esau’s brother Jacob’s people Israel. America should be very cautious in their relationship with God’s chosen! The predictions of God’s true prophets must

always “come to pass” or “it is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken”, (Deuteronomy 18:22) and they are a false prophet. The disciples asked Jesus to tell them “what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?” Matthew 24:312, lists false Christs (messiahs), “wars and rumors (reports) of wars”, perhaps one war following another without a time of peace, food shortages, new diseases, an increase of earthquakes in unusual places and this is “the beginning”. There will be a hatred of believers in Jesus Christ, the killing of Christians and “iniquity” or lawlessness will be widespread. These are easily understood predictions. Read your Bible and you’ll find many predictions are less complicated than perceived. We have always used animals to symbolize countries, the Russian bear, the English lion, the African leopard, etc. Just think of the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions! The prophetic symbolism in Daniel and Revelation, whether referring to ancient or modern nations, is not so difficult. Christian persecution which appears almost daily in the news has many people asking prophetic questions. Forget USA Yesterday newspaper, the Bible reveals the future.


Recovery Community Has a New Home in Forsyth County By Rena Olsen

Catherine remembers all too well that feeling of being alone, even with a house full of kids, when she first moved to Forsyth County. A mother of seven children, she fought alcohol addiction and had been in long-term recovery for a number of years before moving to a new home on Lake Lanier. Without a support community in place to help buoy her recovery, Catherine began drinking alcohol again.

She eventually sought treatment, which saved her life, but knew an even greater challenge awaited…living life in long-term recovery.

“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but connection,” explained Catherine. “I didn’t write this, but surely lived it and saw first-hand the importance of community and connection in recovery.” “When I got better, which I did, I promised to do something,” she said. To help others like herself in long-term recovery, Catherine, along with her peers in recovery, established the Recovery Community Foundation of Forsyth (RCFF) in 2016. “We began to step out of the shadows and share our recovery stories of hope, looking to address the stigma associated with addiction,” said Catherine. “It was powerful from the very beginning, as we began to unite and organize the recovery community into a force for good.”

RCFF secured funding in the form of a grant in 2018 and The Connection opened in September. The Connection is Forsyth County’s first Addiction Recovery Support Center. All services are free. Forsyth County Commissioner Cindy Mills was instrumental in arranging for the use of a county-owned building at no cost for The Connection. THE CONNECTION IS: • A safe place for people to gather, meet and have fun • Home to multiple pathways of recovery • A safe haven, free of drugs and alcohol • Welcoming for all people and their families to get help and learn how to be healthy together • A place for support, free resources and to find other people who are doing well • Led by people in recovery who help advocate for people in recovery


Catherine, sober now for over six years, is remarried to her husband Bill, also in longterm recovery. The two have dedicated their lives to helping others, like themselves, find connection, hope and fullness of life in recovery.

The Connection is located near downtown Cumming at: 608 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Cumming, GA 30040 Phone: 470-253-8564 Email: Web:


The Designer Drug Generation: The Dangers of Teens, Vaping and Synthetic Drugs By Meghan Robinson BS-Psych CADCT, North Georgia Family Counseling Center

Synthetic designer drugs come in a wide variety of laboratory-produced chemicals that are sprayed on different materials. These lab-based products sold in gas stations and vape stores, give most teens the false impression of being harmless. • Seizures • Hallucinations • Suicidal tendencies and attempts • Homicidal tendencies • Delusions • Overstimulation • Aggression • Paranoia • Chest pain • Heart attack • Death • Overheating that causes a person to tear off his/her clothes • Other self-destructive behavior like bashing one’s body or head against walls

Targeted, marketed and branded to attract youth, these designer drugs have lethal consequences. Packaged like party favors, cartoon characters, bright colors, reds, orange, yellow and green. American teens are captivated. Labeled and sold under false pretense, an incense or bath salt, are marketed with catchy names like K2, Bliss, Spice, AK-47, Mr. Happy, Scooby Snax, Kush and Kronic. In fine print, labeled "Not for Human Consumption." Spice also known as K2 is making a comeback with the rise of teen vaping. Substance abuse professionals, parents and health officials have witnessed the deadly surge Synthetic Spice, also known as K2. Over seventy people died in New Haven Connecticut. Immediately following, 300 people similarly overdosed in Washington, D.C. in a two-week period. The overdoses were not caused by heroin or fentanyl. The

deaths caused by tainted synthetic marijuana known as K2, a drug that had seemed to lose popularity in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta is tracking multiple outbreaks across the country associated with synthetic cannabinoids.

Less severe symptoms of synthetic drugs can include: • Agitation • Anxiety • Heart palpitations • Sweating • Inability to speak • Restlessness • Euphoria Just like illicit drugs, synthetics are addictive, compulsive, chronic and deadly.

What is causing the rise in this dangerous drug? Teens use of synthetics like K2 because they believe it doesn't show up on most urine tests. Vaping synthetic drugs leaves virtually no odor, leaving it essentially, undetectable to most parents. If it is synthetic, can it be that bad? It’s these teens and unsuspecting adults who are filling up emergency rooms across the country. If you are trying to determine if a person has abused a synthetic, you might be looking for signs and symptoms like these:

Meghan Robinson, BPsych, CADC-T, CPRC is a member of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Certification Board of Georgia, a non-profit committee that provides continuing education for treatment providers. She may be reached at 404.772.2633 or

References : Zawilska JB, Wojcieszak J (2013) Designer cathinones: an emerging class of novel recreational drugs. Forensic Sci Int 231:42–53. CrossRef Medline Baumann MH, Partilla JS, Lehner KR (2013a) Psychoactive “bath salts”: Not so soothing. Eur J Pharmacol 698:1–5. CrossRef Medline






AUTOMOTIVE/CAR REPAIR HOBBY/ROBOTICS Atlanta Hobby – pg. 15 SERVICES 678-513-4450 | behind Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell at Hwy 9 and Hwy 20 Christian Brothers Automotive -pg. 47 470-253-7376 |

BREW PUB/TAPROOM Cherry Street Brewing Co-op – pg. 5 770-205-5512 |

JEWELER/JEWELRY STORE Gems In Art – pg.7 770-844-8005 | Lance’s Jewelry –Back Cover 770-781-5500 |


Hello Pam Evans Real Estate – pg. 15 678-778-6551 | The Dinsmore Team – pg. 65 770-712-7789 |

RESTAURANTS /FOOD SERVICES/CATERING Casa Nuova Italian Restaurant – pg. 31 770-475-9100 |



Bliss Mamma Wellness – pg. 37 770-722-2711 |


Cumming Dance Academy – pg. 49 770-781-4922 |



ELECTRICIAN/ELECTRIC SERVICES Arc Angel Electric – pg. 13 770-889-9243 |


Amigo Embroidery – pg. 45 404-216-5740 |

FINANCIAL PLANNING Arseneau Advisory Group – pg. 25 470-839-9001 |

Adam Pendleton Photography – pg. 64 678-208-7077 |

PHYSICIANS/MEDICAL SERVICES Children’s at Forsyth – pg. 3 404-785-3100 | Modern OBGYN – pg. 43 404-446-2496 | Narendra Singh, MD – pg. 41 Atlanta Heart Specialists 678-679-6800; 770-622-1622 | North Atlanta Dermatology – pg. 37 770-814-8222 | Northside Forsyth Internal Medicine & Geriatrics – pg. 19


770-205-5512 | Lenny’s Subs – pg. 59 678-947-0336 | Fax orders: 678-947-5343 Palapa’s Bar and Grill – pg. 27 770-889-1002 |

Gregory’s Paint & Flooring – pg. 23 770-887-1363 Cumming | 770-476-9651 Johns Creek

North Georgia Smiles – Inside Back Cover 678-648-7311 |

CSB Home of Rick Tanner’s – pg. 31

770-844-0877 | Obstetrics & Gynecology of Atlanta – pg. 44 404-252-1137 | The Southern Skin & Beauty Bar – pg. 39 770-284-8763 |


Tam’s Backstage – pg. 32 678-455-8310 | Tam’s Tupelo– pg. 32 470-839-2024 | Your Pie Cumming – pg. 9 678-341-9023

RUNNING/RETAIL STORE North Georgia Running Company – pg. 61 678-771-8270 |

TRANSPORTATION/ NON-EMERGENCY ABW MedTrans Solutions – pg. 59 678-567-6644

WASTE DISPOSAL/RECYCLING Advanced Disposal – Inside Front Cover

Meet Bob Slaughter

The following is a recent interview that recently took place with Bob Slaughter, Founder and Director of Smart Growth of Forsyth County, a non-profit organization dedicated to achieving a balance between the competing economic and social needs of development and the environment and the quality of life in Forsyth County.

How long have you lived in Forsyth County? We have lived in the county nearly 20 years – not long by some standards! I originally moved to Forsyth County in 2001 on the cusp of a deployment to Saudi Arabia with the US Army literally just after 9-11; I retired in 2008 after 24 years of active service as a Lieutenant Colonel. We bought a home in District 2, in the Bridle Ridge subdivision, and lived there until the spring of 2005, when we moved a short distance away to a home in the St. Marlo subdivision. In the fall of 2010, we moved to a home in an unincorporated (non-subdivision) section of District 5, near the Dave's Creek Trail subdivision and have lived there ever since. Did you find that your time and experience in the service helped you in establishing Smart Growth? Absolutely. My initial involvement in community planning and smart growth began in the spring of 2004 – when I was approached by some neighbors about plans for a big box development across the street from the Bridle Ridge subdivision and adjacent to the neighborhoods of Hunters Run and Laurel Springs in south Forsyth County. After attending a few of the community meetings it was clear to me that the effort needed direction – so I wrote, what we call in the Service, a “Campaign Plan” and subsequently found myself leading that fight! It took us four years but ultimately we prevailed. It was during that experience, that we realized the concept for Smart Growth Forsyth County, Inc., a registered 501-C4 non-profit, non-political, volunteer-run organization dedicated to serving the residents of Forsyth County in the pursuit of ensuring the highest and most sustainable growth balanced with the environment to protect the quality of life for our families. The experience was as a wake-up call to everyone in my family to the larger issue of uncontrolled, unplanned growth in our county, which has been, and remains, an unnecessary and destructive force that threatens the very things that brought us here to live in the first place What has Smart Growth Forsyth County done over the years? Hard to sum up 14 years in a couple of sentences! I would say firstly we have established SGFC as a respected, reliable, balanced, issue-focused

resource for citizens and communities of the county to engage with the County and the development community in seeking the balance that is a winwin for everyone. We engaged in dozens of specific homeowner and community disputes and issues; put stream buffers back in the lexicon of development here; we were involved in all of the overlay efforts; the Comprehensive Plan developments; conducted a seminal Big Creek Watershed study; affected the broader acquisition of greenspace; provided clear alternative approaches to determining density; and, arguably, I think we can lay some claim to being a catalyst within the community of local organizations in the effort to organize to move the County and developers off the dime – in short we have always taken an approach that emphasized and focused on data/information – to let the land do its own talking – to seeking reasonable compromise. We have not always been successful or particularly popular with everyone but that’s okay. That comes with the territory. Why has SGFC selected tree preservation, mass grading and storm water management as their current focus? In 2017 we made a conscious decision to shift our focus from the smaller, individual issues to broader issues that affect the entire county. We started with new approaches to determining density and applying greenspace requirements and after the Comprehensive Plan was completed, saw an opportunity there within the defined objectives of the County to make a difference, county-wide. As we researched the issues surrounding mass grading and the tree ordinance, well, what was clear to all of us in just driving around the county – it became crystal clear that here was an opportunity to significantly change the conversation about how the County develops. It has been a fascinating journey. Did you realize that there are measurable, undisputed advantages not just to citizens but to development in preserving trees and reducing mass grading? Trees clean the air, improve water quality, reduce stormwater runoff -- older trees indicate least disturbed soils, which contain the seed beds and micro-organisms that sustain the original forest species – and natural woodlands serve as best stormwater detention mechanism we could have! Your approach has four pretty specific components – could you comment a bit on each? These were developed, inspired in large part, after considerable debate/discussion – from work done by Kathryn Kolb in the City of Atlanta and a sister non-profit organization, CityintheForest – and then adapted to our County needs and requirements. We wanted to keep it simple, straight-forward. First – plan for trees first. That means we should be planning for trees at the beginning of the permitting process – even the sketch plat process and give the County Arborist formal veto power over a plan. This is the only realistic and practical

By Patrick Foster

way to save trees and greenspace on development sites – and is really the fairest way to help developers in their planning. Second – save the best trees. CityintheForest developed a Tree Value Matrix – which we can adapt to our County -- which prioritizes which trees are the highest value based on size, health, species and location. This method is easily incorporated into the existing site survey process. A requirement to preserve “high” and “excellent” value trees, according to the matrix, would ensure our best trees are preserved and again – provide developers the clear guidance they require in their planning process. Third – end mass grading and reduce the impervious surface of development. This is probably the most contentious aspect of our recommendations – to flatly deny mass grading in all but very limited commercial and institutional projects and then minimize that grading and require multiple public hearings and a specific justification and determination by the Department of Engineering. This is also known as “building to the land”. Lastly, we need far more effective enforcement. No plan, rule, regulation or law is worth its salt if the penalties for violation are not sufficient to serve as successful deterrent. So, at this stage, how can the Community get involved? Emailing their District Commissioners is a great start. Stopping by a Smart Growth meeting once a month—they are open to the public—or by a meeting of another of the community organizations like the Post Road Committee, or Fix Forsyth Traffic. Writing letters. Attending a specific Board of Commissioners meeting or public hearing is always a big help. Posting pictures of violations. Calling Code Enforcement. Educating yourself and your children at and The important idea here is that it does not take a big commitment or big action for change. Do what you can, when you can, for something that concerns you. My commitment to the SGFC organization and its effort stems from a love of our County and that unique rural suburban mix! I have a deeply held belief that the growth process should, and can be, carefully managed to the extent that it can be a win-win for both the community and development. We can achieve a balance between the competing economic and social needs of development and our environment and our quality of life. Smart Growth Forsyth County is dedicated to achieving this end. And I am honored to have been fortunate enough to bring SGFC to life, to lead it, and to continue to serve in various capacities within the organization.

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Profile for Julie Brennan

My Forsyth Magazine June 2019  

It's that time... take a break and enjoy reading that latest issue of your community magazine! In this edition, learn about Morrow Family M...

My Forsyth Magazine June 2019  

It's that time... take a break and enjoy reading that latest issue of your community magazine! In this edition, learn about Morrow Family M...