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Winter Fun Calendar Cooking Classes, Pops Concerts, Wilderness Night Hikes and More p. 16-17

Meet Your Neighbors A Ballerina, a Surgeon & a Philanthropist Brighten the Johns Creek Community

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From the Publisher

M Y

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you. Please feel free to send us information on people you feel contribute and do good things for your community. Do you have a

my East Cobb

MY HO Mte E and • M Y F A M I LY • M Y S oca ELF ers, an Adv e Family Life Music Lov FALL 2016 dor Celebrat an Ambassa ngs p.19 in Sandy Spri d in the ’Hoo

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Meet Your Neighbors

M Y F A M I LY •

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Happiness • Doing Good in the ’Hood

Concerts, Farmers Markets, Fireworks and More p. 16-17

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A Wellness Entrep reneur, a Closet Guru and Add to the Energy a Fitness Travel Guide of Alpharetta SELF M I L Y • M Y FALL 2016 E•MY FA MY HOM Home & Garden • My Health & Happin ess • Doing Good in the ’Hood

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guide for health,

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Fall Fun Calendar

place you want to share? Let us know by emailing

us at Whole Foods as well as your favorite hair

• Doing Good

Restaurant Week, Harvest on the Hooch, Glover Park Concerts and More p. 14-15

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Creek all around the neighborhood. You will find

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In the meantime, pick up your copy of My Johns

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Meet the 2016 Masters of Makeover

From Hungry to Healthy: Wholesom e Wave Georgia p. 72

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WINTER 2016

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Coming in 2017—My Vinings/Smyrna!

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S S T A R T

H E R E

Mary Blackmon Shines a Spotlight on Farm ers p. 52

H O M E

T V E M E N I M P R O

18

Elegant Extras

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Sherri Adair, President & Founder

S E L F

SELF

Y•MY FAMIL

We look forward

F A M I L Y • M Y

PRESIDENT/FOUNDER Sherri Adair

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H O M E • M Y

KITCHEN & BATH DESIGNER CONTEST WINNERS P. 42

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PHOTO BY BRIAN REEVES OF PERFECT DAY PHOTOS.

Dear Johns Creek Neighbors,

myJohns Creek

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Wishing the Johns Creek Community

For more than 25 years, Teri and Pete’s passion is to exceed the expectations of their clients. Their philosophy is simple: to provide the highest level of service for each and every client. “Whether the price of the property is $50,000 or $5,000,000, we work hard to find the perfect fit for all of our clients.” We have helped 85+ families successfully buy and sell their home in 2016.

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WINTER 2016

PHOTO BY BRIAN REEVES OF PERFECT DAY PHOTOS.

a Happy New Year!

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C NTENTS

Meet Your Neighbors Animal Lover

Linda Hickey saved an abused puppy who, in turn, saved her son.

Did You Know?

Ballerina

Stacey Slichter

Surgeon

19 Hey Johns Creek 4 Publisher’s Letter

’Hood Goodness

Oh My!

15

WINTER 2016

Hello Johns Creek Neighbors!

6

Dr. David Park uses his surgical talents to bring healing to those down on their luck.

11 13 26

My Home & Garden The Best for Your Nest

My Health & Happiness Look Good, Feel Good

My Family

At the Heart of the ’Hood

On the cover: Even ballerina Stacey Slichter can’t resist squeezing tomatoes at the market. Read about her work with Johns Creek’s North Atlanta Dance Academy on p. 22. Photography by Richard Calmes.

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9 16 29

’Hood Winks

Nod to Your Neighbors

Food Faves

Tried and True or New to You

Winter Events Calendar

Enjoy the ’Hood

Doing Good in the ’Hood

Lend a Hand to Local Causes

PHOTOS COURTESY OF (TOP LEFT) VIC BONVICINI PHOTOGRAPHY; (TOP MIDDLE) RICHARD CALMES; (TOP RIGHT) CATMAX PHOTOGRAPHY; (BOTTOM) LUV-A-BOWL.

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WINTER 2016

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’Hood Winks Nod

to

your

neighbors

DATE NIGHT IN JOHNS CREEK

Instead of adding a business location manually to your Waze app, take advantage of the new partnership between Waze and Johns Creek—which is the

first municipality in the world to partner with the popular navigation app to share business locations. Waze users can now navigate easily to any Johns Creek business location. JohnsCreekGA.gov

Savor the cozy atmosphere and Chef Marc Sublette’s passion for Italian cuisine at Trattoria 141, filled with warmth and charm. 9810 Medlock Bridge Rd. Trattoria141.com A touch of France dazzles at Viande Rouge, a steakhouse that has been called the most romantic restaurant in Georgia. Shops at Warsaw, 9810 Medlock Bridge Rd. VRSteakhouse.com

Sign up for the Big Green Egg Boot Camp to kick up your grilling skills at A&S Culinary Concepts, voted the best cooking class in Johns Creek. The best part? The all-day class on Jan. 21 ends with a delicious dinner. 9945 Jones Bridge Rd. ASCulinaryConcepts.com

my

Unleash your date’s creativity by booking a

annual Christmas Gala & Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 19 at the Johns Creek United Methodist Church. In “Side by Side,” the orchestra performs alongside Johns Creek’s best high-school musicians on Feb. 27 at the Johns Creek High School. JohnsCreekSymphony.org

private painting lesson at the Masterpiece Mixers Paint & Party Studio. 1030 Medlock Bridge Rd. MasterpieceMixers.com

WINTER 2016

The Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra is back for their 10th season. Enjoy their

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m ho

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ted ns a o n i y sig d b vat e e D at eno y l l ov R a n k c r i re re e o t C is ’s H n h Jo

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my Home & Garden The

best

Q

for

your

The Newtown Garden Plots encourage suburbandwellers to rev up their green thumb. In February 2017, applications will be available online to secure

your own plot for spring. Reminder—cooler weather brings out the best flavor in leafy greens, broccoli and cabbage. 3150 Old Alabama Rd. JohnsCreekGA.gov/ Community-Garden

Peace, Love & Decorating is a one-stop shop for holiday accessories. Pick up tree trimmings, stockings, candles, ornaments—or this festive holiday pillow before family and friends arrive for the party. 3129 Main St., Duluth. PeaceLoveAndDecorating.com

Johns Creek interior designer Lisa Gabrielson draws inspiration from her Italian travels. In this recent kitchen renovation, the open, airy space uses both modern elements and the client’s collected antiques. State-of-the-art appliances and the large island provide functionality, while the textured red area rugs add a European flair. LisaGabrielson.com

❏ Flowers like pansies and chrysanthemums love cool weather and add beautiful color to winter flower beds. ❏ Incorporate mulch into your flower beds to keep them healthy in winter—it keeps soil temps consistent and prevents weed growth. Pick up supplies at Woody’s Nursery, 2886 Buford Hwy., Duluth. WoodysNursery.com

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my

WINTER 2016

PHOTOGRAPHY BY (TOP LEFT) BRENDA RICHERKESSING; (MIDDLE LEFT) COURTESY OF LISA GABRIELSON DESIGN, PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAUREN RUBINSTEIN; (TOP RIGHT) PEACE, LOVE & DECORATING.

If I list my house for sale this winter, should I avoid using holiday decorations? A: A tastefully decked-out home lends a feeling of warmth when potential buyers come in. Try a basket of cinnamon-scented pinecones by the front door, a simple holiday centerpiece on the table and minimal lighting to avoid a “Las Vegas” effect. —Janet Weidmann, CEO, The WOW Team, Keller Williams BestHomesOfNorthAtlanta.com

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:51 PM

my Health & Happiness g o o d ,

f e e l

Plump up your pout with a little help from Juvéderm Volbella® xc. Available soon at Dermani Med Spa, this injectable increases lip fullness and softens the appearance of lines around the mouth for a smooth, youthful look. 11720 Medlock Bridge Rd. DermaniMedSpa.com Golda Kombucha’s line of fermented teas with

PHOTOS COURTESY OF (MIDDLE LEFT) GOLDA KOMBUCHA; (BOTTOM LEFT) ALL INSPIRED BOUTIQUE; (TOP RIGHT) CENTRESPRINGMD.

vitamins and live and active cultures offers a gut rescue. Grab one of their signature flavors like Koffucha, Apple Ginger Spice, Peach Ginger or Hibiscus Blood Orange at Amy’s Natural Foods. 10591 Old Alabama Rd. Conn. GoldaKombucha.com

Invite friends and family to your very own “Gathering for Good Party” at All Inspired Boutique. 15 percent of the sales go to a charity of your choosing. From home decor to bohemian tops and delicate jewelry, your gang will find something there that suits their style. 5950 State Bridge Rd. AllInspiredBoutique.com

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g o o d

CentrespringMD + Pediatrics is set to open in January 2017, led by Dr. Taz Bhatia, bringing integrative pediatric care to Johns Creek. The new office will offer traditional

pediatric services and advanced diagnostic tools to diagnose and treat conditions

like ADD/ADHD, autism, food allergies and more. 10220 Medlock Bridge Rd. CentrespringMD.com/Pediatrics U First Fitness’ team of nationally certified coaches and experts helps clients shed pounds with exciting,

high-energy workouts in a smallgroup setting. This local fitness facility even offers a special program for those over the age of 50 looking to get fit. 11164 State Bridge Rd. UFirstFitness.com my

WINTER 2016

L o o k

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WINTER 2016

Photography by Anastasia Alkema

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my Food Faves Tr i e d a n d t r u e o r n e w t o y o u

1. New to the acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) bowl concept? Luv-A-Bowl is here to help! This hip spot offers the perfect post-workout snack. Try their Johns Creek Bowl, blended with almond milk, acai berries, bananas, pineapple, blueberries and strawberries. 9700 Medlock Bridge Rd. LuvABowlJC.com

2 3

3. The Egg Harbor Cafe, in what was once the Fulton County Fire House, serves up whatever your breakfast passion is. Their egg scramblers, gluten-free pancakes and farmer’s market eggs benedict will remind you why breakfast is the most important meal of the day! 10270 Medlock Bridge Rd. EggHarborCafe.com 4. Taco enthusiasts rejoice! Johns Creek’s Twisted Taco cooks up some of the best tacos north of the border. From their Southern BBQ Fried Chicken Taco to the Boom Boom Shrimp Taco and all in between, this Mexican-food staple pairs well with their Naturally Twisted Margarita. 9700 Medlock Bridge Rd. TwistedTaco.com 5. Seven Sisters Scones offers a modern twist on a traditional European baked good. Sample their sweet and savory scones, like the S’mores, Eggnog or Buffalo Chicken Sconewich, for a perfect, tummy-warming winter treat. 6955 McGinnis Ferry Rd. SevenSistersScones.com

4

5

WINTER 2016

PHOTOS COURTESY OF (1) LUV-A-BOWL, (2) STONES CUISINE AND COCKTAILS, (5) SEVEN SISTERS SCONES.

2. Stone’s Cuisine and Cocktails, which opened this summer, focuses on seasonal, farm-to-table fare, and they aimed to give their upscale restaurant a small-town feel. The popular shrimp and grits offers blackened shrimp paired with crispy, creamy, cheesy grit cakes and roasted tomato sauce. 3719 Old Alabama Rd. StonesATL.com

1

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my Winter Events C Enjoy concerts, festivals, holiday celebrations and more!

C. DEDEC. 16

Johns Creek Ladies Networking Breakfast 10270 Medlock Bridge Rd. 9–10:30am Free with the exception of food ordered Network with Johns Creek professional women. JohnsCreekChamber.com

DEC. 17 11th Annual Christmas Gala Holiday Pops Concert Johns Creek United Methodist Church, 11180 Medlock Bridge Rd. 8pm $32, seniors (55+) $27, students/children $16 The Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra, Christmas Gala Chorus, Johns Creek Chorale, Jeremy Rush and special Guest Host Russ Spencer perform. JohnsCreekSymphony.org

DEC. 31 New Year’s Eve Celebration Johns Creek United Methodist Church, 11180 Medlock Bridge Rd. 8pm $32, seniors (55+) $27, students/children $16 New Year’s Eve event for the whole family JohnsCreekUMC.org

JAN. 7

Laughter for Wellness Northeast Spruill Oaks Library, 9560 Spruill Rd. 2–3pm Free Laugh away your worries with a workout combining laughter and yoga. Karen.Swenson@FultonCountyGA.gov

JAN. 10

JAN. 21–FEB. 24

Book Club Meeting

African American Celebration Exhibit

Northeast Spruill Oaks Library, 9560 Spruill Rd. 11am–1pm Free Discuss Elizabeth Strout’s book Olive Kitteridge. AFPLS.org

WINTER 2016

JAN.

Johns Creek Art Center, 6290 Abbotts Bridge Rd. 9am–5pm Free JohnsCreekArts.org

FEB. 3

FEB. 19

Feeding Friday

The Rainbow Gala

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve & Heritage Center, 9770 Autrey Mill Rd. 4:30pm Free Feed snakes, turtles, frogs, rabbits, ducks and chickens with the family. AutreyMill.org

4100 Old Alabama Rd. 6–10pm $125 Support North Atlanta Dance Theatre as they celebrate their 20th season— enjoy dinner and dancing. NorthAtlantaDanceTheatre.com

WHO IS T G R E AT, G R NEPHEW O JOHNS CR FOUNDE JOHN ROG

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s Calendar THRU DEC. 23

DEC. 17–18

Makers Market Holiday Sale

Thai Yoga Bodywork Certification Training

6290 Abbotts Bridge Rd. Cost varies Browse and buy artwork and handmade gifts by local Johns Creek artists. JohnsCreekArts.org

11705 Jones Bridge Rd. Times vary Cost depends on certification level Become certified in Thai Yoga Bodywork. ThaiYogaTrainings.com

O IS THE AT, G R E AT HEW OF A NS CREEK UNDER, ROGERS?

FIND ANSWER ON TABLE OF CONTENTS

Website WalletHub ranks Johns Creek #1 out of 100 Georgia cities as the best city in which to raise a family. Their number crunchers analyzed affordability, family life, schools and fun.

JAN. 4

JAN. 6

Wilderness Night Hike

Popping Corks in Paris

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve & Heritage Center, 9770 Autrey Mill Rd. 6:30pm $10 Guided night hike through Autry Mill Nature Preserve. Bonfire, s’mores and hot chocolate post-hike. AutreyMill.org

Pinot’s Palette Paint & Sip Studio, 11720 Medlock Bridge Rd. 7pm $45 Sip wine while you learn to paint.   PinotsPalette.com/JohnsCreek

FEB

JAN. 21

JAN 29 & FEB 26

Big Green Egg Boot Camp A&S Culinary Concepts, 9945 Jones Bridge Rd. 7am–8pm $130 Boot camp class for grill masters or beginners with the Big Green Egg. Includes breakfast, hands-on cooking instruction & dinner for you and a guest at 6pm. ASCulinaryConcepts.com

FEB. 23 Young Professionals Networking Event 11030 Medlock Bridge Rd. #110 Noon–1pm Free except for food ordered Enjoy an hour of networking—for professionals under age 40. JohnsCreekChamber.com

Toddler Fridays Hudgens Center for the Arts, 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy. 10:30am–1pm Members free, non-members $7 per child Drop in for storybook time and a hands-on activity with your little one. TheHudgens.org

Did You Know? The City of Johns Creek just had a birthday. On December 1, 2016, the city celebrated its annual Founders Day—but this time as a ten-year-old!

WINTER 2016

Did You Know?

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Myers CARPET

styles to fit your style 404.352.8141

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PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF (LEFT) LINDA HICKEY; (MIDDLE) CATMAX PHOTOGRAPY;

Patola by


NEIGHBORS

Linda Hickley, Animal Lover | David Park, Surgeon | Stacey Slichter, Ballerina

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WINTER 2016

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BY (LEFT) VIC BONVICINI PHOTOGRAPHY; (MIDDLE) SAWYER PHOTOGRAPY, HAIR AND MAKEUP BY DONNA MARTIN; (RIGHT) RICHARD CALMES.

Meet Your

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PROF I L E

Linda Hickey ANIMAL LOVER • PHILANTHROPIST • ORGANIZER

S

ixteen-year Johns Creek resident Linda Hickey was thrust into the media spotlight when she and her family adopted a rescued pitbull puppy named Xena. The story of her autistic son’s immediate bond with the puppy and how he began to heal through the dog’s love and patience is the inspiration behind Linda’s foundation, Spread the Words. The story begins when a horribly abused puppy was brought to Dekalb Animal Services in a severely dehydrated and malnourished condition. Miraculously, the puppy survived and was adopted by the Hickey family in 2013. But the miracle story didn’t end there: eight-year-old Jonny Hickey, who suffers from autism, formed an immediate bond with Xena. Soon, he went from shy and withdrawn to “chattering up a storm,” as Linda describes it.

[

XENA

[

SURVIVOR TO SAVIOR.

WINTER 2016

That year, the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals named Xena Dog of the Year, and the Hickey family attended the award ceremony in New York City. They became the center of attention and, to their delight, Jonny didn’t shy away when asked to interact with the media, something Linda says would’ve

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY VIC BONVICINI PHOTOGRAPHY, HAIR & MAKEUP BY THE GREEN ROOM AGENCY.

OFFICIALLY WENT FROM

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been impossible previously. She describes Xena’s contribution to Jonny’s transformation by saying, “Xena officially went from Survivor to Savior.” Marveling at the great strides her son made in dealing with autism and his relationship with the puppy, Linda was inspired to form a nonprofit organization, Jonny and Xena’s Spread the Words Foundation. Its mission is to enrich the lives of individuals living with autism and other developmental disabilities.

“We strongly believe in the bond between exceptional people and animals, so we support animal-welfare organizations as much as we can. Xena and I visit schools, clubs, youth centers and even jails, and we communicate with people through social media. We fundraise, lend emotional support to families and financial help to special-needs support programs. We just had our second annual Spread the Words 5K Fun Run & Walk, in partnership with Geico, this year. It was a huge success! Not only did our community come together, but hearts from all around the globe did too. We had virtual runners from every state in the nation along with people from many countries. In our first year, we raised over $20,000 for our causes. Amazing!”

PHOTO COURTESY OF LINDA HICKEY.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY VIC BONVICINI PHOTOGRAPHY, HAIR & MAKEUP BY THE GREEN ROOM AGENCY.

“We ‘Spread the Words’ of kindness, acceptance and hope through both our twoand four-legged friends in a program called ‘Become the Pawsibility,’” she explains.

Linda says that Johns Creek has had a lot to do with her inspiration. “Johns Creek is a gorgeous city. We have an amazing dog park and the Chattahoochee River where my dogs love to explore. The city has embraced the special-needs community, too, offering adaptive playgrounds and programs to provide opportunities for disabled children and young adults. I have said it time and time again—I am so proud to live here.” She says that she and her husband, Grant, occasionally find time for date nights in town. “We go to Sugo. We love Sugo! They have an outdoor patio and welcome our furry children to dine with us. And our family goes to Newtown Park for concerts and movies. Of course, you can’t beat nearby Avalon, The Collection and The Forum for fun shopping outings, too.”

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my

3 Ways Linda

Is Spreading the Word

 1 

Our “Spread the Words” Foundation, along with the Johns Creek Civitans, is planning our very first Special Needs Fashion Show, “Couture on The Creek,” presented by Belk. The show will highlight our special-needs community, who will be escorted down the runway by Johns Creek’s finest. Stay tuned for the date!

 2 

Our second annual Special Needs Prom will take place on March 10, 2017, at the Country Club of the South—because everyone deserves to go to prom! Last March, over 160 prom attendees had a magical evening full of friends, fun and, of course, lots of dancing.

 3 

My biggest dream is to bring a farm, a “rescue ranch,” to Johns Creek. We can rescue and rehabilitate animals there. This would be a farm where special-needs individuals will learn to run the place, take care of the animals and the garden, and work for one of the onsite industries that help support the farm. They will be offered meaningful work and they can contribute. This will give them self-worth and confidence, which fosters social interaction. XenaTheWarriorPuppy.com

WINTER 2016

XENA AND JONNY HAVE BECOME INSEPARABLE—TESTAMENT TO THE INTIMATE HEALING CONNECTION THAT’S POSSIBLE BETWEEN HUMAN AND ANIMAL.

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PR OF I L E

Stacey Slichter

PROFESSIONAL BALLET DANCER • CHOREOGRAPHER • MOTHER

Barre classes have taken the fitness world by storm, and professional ballerina Stacey Slichter says she can see why. She’s made a lifelong career out of her passion for dance and acknowledges that the physicality demanded by ballet can be grueling. When asked why she thinks barre classes are so popular now, she laughs. “I think people are discovering that dance is hard! It takes a lot of work and a little discomfort to make dance look so easy. The body of a dancer doesn’t happen overnight.” And she knows a dancer’s professional life can be fleeting. “It’s pretty well known that a ballet dancer’s career is short lived—much like that of a professional football player. There is only so much the body can take,” she admits. She says that dance is for those who love to move and who appreciate the discipline and artistic expression involved—even if they are just trying a barre or ballet class simply for exercise or to supplement training for another sport. Stacey Slichter was born to dance. “My aunt was a ballet dancer. I would stare for hours at pictures of her dancing. I knew by the age of seven that I wanted to be a professional dancer. I’ll never forget my first lesson. As soon as the music was on and my hands were on the ballet barre, I was forever hooked,”

[

[

WINTER 2016

I DISCOVERED BEING A MOTHER ONLY HEIGHTENED MY LOVE FOR DANCING.

she remembers. Stacey received a scholarship to study dance as a child at the Houston Ballet Academy and, when she was just 14 years old, she was one of 25 applicants from around the world chosen to attend prestigious Harid Conservatory in Florida. There, she trained under dance legends such as Maria Tallchief, David Howard, Violette Verdy and Claude Bessy. Prior to settling in Johns Creek six years ago, she danced with the Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Ballet Eddy Toussaint USA, Ballet Memphis and the Atlanta Ballet. Stacey moved to Johns Creek to teach and train at the North Atlanta Dance Academy. There, she says she is free to explore teaching, coaching and choreographing. “I am forever grateful to both Michael and Kitty Garrison for opening their doors to me.”

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She explains that she’s found the perfect balance between her career and motherhood now. “Once, I had an artistic director tell me he believed his female dancers couldn’t handle dancing professionally and being a mother. So, after finding out I was pregnant at the age of 30, I figured I would need to hang up my shoes. But, after giving birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl, I was back in the studio just six weeks later with my daughter by my side. I discovered that the experience of being a mother only heightened my love for dancing. Ten years later, I’m still at it!” Her favorite role on stage? “I’m a big fan of ‘Carmen.’ It’s my all-time favorite! She’s a fiery character who is exposed to a myriad of emotions— all to be portrayed in a matter of 45 minutes! It demands stamina, technique and artistry.” On the rare day when you catch Stacey away from the dance studio, you might find her relaxing at Spa Sydell or working out at Johns Creek Yoga. “For girls’ night out, I love Twisted Taco and Marlow’s Tavern,” she enthuses. “Family fun days are spent at the Studio Movie Grill or The Cooler. Johns Creek is very family oriented—especially for kids. It’s a wonderful place to raise my daughter and to call home.”

STACEY’S WORK WITH YOUNG STUDENTS BRINGS HER “JOY EVERY DAY.” THE NORTH ATLANTA DANCE ACADEMY OFFERS CLASSES FOR CHILDREN FROM THE AGE OF THREE TO PRE-PROFESSIONAL IN CLASSICAL BALLET, POINTE, MODERN JAZZ, TAP, CHARACTER AND EVEN MUSICAL BALLET. NORTHATLANTADANCEACADEMY.COM

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WINTER 2016

PHOTOGRAPHY BY RICHARD CALMES.

my

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CREATING UNIQUE, TIMELESS KITCHENS AND BATHS THAT ARE BOTH ELEGANT AND FUNCTIONAL DESIGNED AROUND OUR CLIENTS’ DREAMS, REQUIREMENTS AND BUDGETS.

DESIGNERS ON STAFF

YOU R LOC AL KITC H EN & BATH D ESIGN F I RM Visit our new Roswell Showroom

dovestudio.com | 404.405.5219 Druid Hills | Roswell 018-025_MYJC-winter_PROFILES.indd 24

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PRO F I L E

David Park S U R G E O N • F AT H E R • C O M M U N I T Y L E A D E R By Carey Sipp

David Park was literally “in stitches” when he decided to become a surgeon.

[

[

WE WANTED TO HAVE A HOME FOR UNINSURED

PATIENTS.

More than two decades, a wife, five children and thousands of surgeries later, Dr. Park has shared his gift of peaceful reassurance in many leadership roles. One that has had a tremendous impact on the community started at his beloved Johns Creek Perimeter Church. He and his wife, Darlene, a nurse who works part time at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, attend church there with their children. Ten years ago, David combined his passion for medicine and community service to help an interdenominational group of churches offer health screenings in apartment complexes in the Lawrenceville area. “We knew we wanted to have a home for uninsured patients, where they could receive consistent, holistic care for chronic diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure and kidneyrelated issues,” he explains. The work of Dr. Park and other volunteers led to the creation of The Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett. “Good Sam” will serve more than 10,000 uninsured, working poor and single moms this year. “We offer a lot of teaching, counseling and spiritual support,” says David, who has served as a board member since the health center’s founding. For this active surgeon—whether he’s on a pre-dawn run, starting a middle-of-the-night emergency surgery at Emory Johns Creek Hospital or helping a patient suffering with varicose veins in his practice at VeinInnovations on Johns Creek Parkway—the calm, reassuring manner he admired and learned as a teenager has stuck with him, to the benefit of his patients, family, church and community.

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my

WINTER 2016

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CATMAX PHOTOGRAPHY, HAIR AND MAKEUP BY THE GREEN ROOM AGENCY.

As a young boy, while playing the typical boy’s game of “sword fight” with his little brother, David’s sword—a vacuum cleaner tube—smacked the room’s overhead light fixture. As a result, falling glass slashed David’s top lip. As a skilled, reassuring emergency-room surgeon calmly stitched him back together, David knew what he wanted to do for a career. He wanted to become that calm, reassuring surgeon. And so he did, graduating with honors from the accelerated combined BA/MD program at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, and completing his general surgery residency training at Emory University.

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my Family

At the heart of the ’hood

1

If your kids want to expand their acting chops or just get more comfortable with public speaking, improv is a fun way to make it happen. The Johns Creek Arts Center offers an intro class, starting Jan. 11, to teach improv through fun games and exercises. At the end, kids perform for family and friends to show off their mastery of making it up as they go along! 6290 Abbotts Bridge Rd. JohnsCreekArts.org

1

2

Dust off those skates and hit the ice at The Cooler this fall. Show off your moves on the rink with skate tricks or keep it cool and just cruise along— either way, you’re in for a good time. 10800 Davis Dr. CoolerAthletics.com

3 4

Autry Mill Nature Preserve’s Wilderness Night Hikes offer a glimpse at nocturnal

woodland creatures lit by the bright moon on Dec. 15 and Jan. 4. These family-

3

WINTER 2016

friendly hikes take place from 6:30–8pm. 9770 Autry Mill Rd. AutreyMill.org

26

5

Help your kids join the “No Nugget Generation” by taking them to Zoë’s Kitchen, where you’ll find a kids’ menu with healthy options, like Salmon or Shrimp Kabobs, Pizza or Ham & Cheese Piadina or an Orzo Pasta Bowl. Yummy sides include hummus, Greek salad, roasted veggies, pesto faro and fresh fruit. 11250 Medlock Bridge Rd. ZoesKitchen.com my

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5

PHOTO COURTESY OF (5) ZOËS KITCHEN, PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELSIE AND LEXI AZIZ.

2

Register for “Breakfast with Santa” now so you and your little ones can enjoy a morning with the Big Elf himself on Dec. 10 from 9 to 10:30am. Treats plus holiday crafts, music and fun are on tap. Park Place at Newtown School, 3125 Old Alabama Rd. JohnsCreekGA.gov

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Ideas for More Family Fun in 2017 Have an Adventure… ❍ Swim with the sharks: Georgia Aquarium Swim with Whale Sharks 225 Baker St. NW Atlanta, GA 30313 (404) 581-4000 GeorgiaAquarium.org

❍ Try skydiving: Atlanta Skydiving (770) 684-DIVE ASCSkydiving.com

❍ Shoot the rapids: High Country Outfitters (888) 688-3485 HighCountryOutfitters.com

❍ Have a laugh: Whole World Improv Theatre 1216 Spring St. NW Atlanta, GA 30309 (404) 817-7529 WholeWorldTheatre.com

❍ Speak for yourself: Allconnect Toastmasters Multiple locations Toastmasters.org

❍ Put your skills to the test: Ultimate Escape Game The Atlanta Room 3200 Cobb Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339 (770) 497-1313 UltimateEscapeGame.com

❍ How about Chuck E. Cheese for adults? Game-X 275 Baker St. Atlanta, GA 30314 (404) 525-0728 GameXAtl.com

❍ Skate away: The Cooler

❍ Fore! Skyline Park 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE Atlanta, GA 30308 (770) 999-1530 SkylineParkAtlanta.com

Step Outside the Box… ❍ Get behind the wheel: Porsche Driving Experience One Porsche Drive Atlanta, GA 30345 (888) 204-7474 PorscheDriving.com

Play… ❍ Load up: Paintball Atlanta 5315 Shiloh Rd. Alpharetta, GA 30004 (770) 594-0912 PaintballAtlanta.com

Partake of the Classics… ❍ Get bowled over: Midtown Bowl 1936 Piedmont Cir. NE Atlanta, GA 30324 (404) 874-5703 MidtownBowl.com

10800 Davis Dr. Alpharetta, GA 30004 770-649-6600

CoolerAthletics.com

❍ See yourself in pictures: Spruill Center for the Arts Basic Photography Class 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd. Atlanta, GA 30338 (770) 394-3447 SpruillArts.org

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❍ Spin the wheel: All Fired Up Creative Art Classes Multiple locations AllFiredUp.com

❍ Find your rhythm: Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta Adult Dance Classes Multiple locations MyBallroomDanceClub.com

my

WINTER 2016

Get Creative…

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Enjoy a night out at Alpharetta’s most unique sports bar and restaurant! Finley’s Bar and Grill is located upstairs in The Cooler overlooking both ice rinks with floor to ceiling glass. The barn wood and rustic look gives Finley’s the perfect ski lodge feel that you are craving this winter! Finley’s delicious gourmet Italian menu by one of Atlanta’s top Chefs is the perfect place for a date night or your corporate holiday party or event.

10800 davis drive, Alpharetta, 30004

770-649-6600 Contact Tbardis@cooler.com for events or to schedule a tour of our facility.

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Doing Good in the ’Hood L e n d

a

h a n d

t o

1

l o c a l

c a u s e s

Good Samaritan works to ensure that all Atlantans

have access to the food and healthcare they need—you can help even if you aren’t a doctor. Volunteer at the farm, help out at the Johns Creek clinic, collect supplies or provide transportation. Every little bit makes the big picture possible. GoodSamAtlanta.org

2

Love landscaping or painting? Join volunteers with enAble this December to up the curb appeal of local homes. Spend a few hours with the enAble team to see how much you can help deserving disabled adults in Johns Creek. 1200 Old Ellis Rd. enAbleGA.org  

4

Help others see more clearly by collecting eyeglasses. The Georgia Lions Club recycles over 30,000 pairs of eyeglasses for those in need each year. Help them with the recycling process by washing, sorting and reading prescriptions. 3655 Old Milton Pkwy. LionsLighthouse.org

3

Mentoring a teen can be as easy as a 20-minute ride to soccer practice.

Project LIFT makes it easy volunteer as a traditional mentor, snack provider, transportation volunteer or even a specialevents planner. 2385 Holcomb Bridge Rd. ProjectLift.org  

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teaching seniors how to connect and share with these

newfangled devices. 5020 Johns Creek Ct. BlueHairTech.org

WINTER 2016

PHOTO COURTESY (MIDDLE LEFT) ENABLE.

5

Jane Ratliff started Bluehair Technology Group after discovering that her mom and many seniors couldn’t use popular technology simply because no one had taken the time to teach them how. If you have a knack for IT, help by

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Doing Good

Choosing a Charity: A Checklist for Giving

During the holiday season, it’s easy to become filled with the giving spirit. Before you write that check, drop off that gift or schedule that volunteer day, be sure to take the time to vet the nonprofit of your choosing. We’ve compiled tips on how to find worthy nonprofits to help you make the most of your generosity.

Find an Organization That Supports Your Mission Take time to think about what causes really matter to you. What issues tug at your heartstrings? Use those feelings and instincts as a guide to narrow down a few deserving nonprofits.

Set Your Standards Once you’ve found a couple of charities whose mission aligns with yours, think about criteria that are important to you. Is it important that the nonprofit keeps overhead costs as low as possible and uses the majority of donations to directly further its mission? Do you care less about overhead and more about statistics explaining the direct level of impact the organization makes?

WINTER 2016

Do Your Homework Head to websites like GuideStar.org to look into the nittygritty of the organizations of your choosing. GuideStar offers records from 1.8 million

nonprofits. You can even access an organization’s Form 990 (the basic IRS filing document for nonprofits) to assess the charity’s income, spending, mission and executive salaries. Its role is not to act as a charity evaluator, but merely as an unbiased source to find facts. Charity Navigator, on the other hand, does act as an evaluator. This website rates nonprofits based on a variety of criteria, including whether or not they properly registered as a 501(c)3 (nonprofit entity), length of existence, level of public support and more.

Look for Red Flags If you decide to research a charity yourself, take note of red flags. Does the organization withhold information about their programs or finances? Do they use pressure tactics to garner donations?

Decide How You Want to Give Once you’ve vetted and chosen a nonprofit, decide on what type of giving suits you. Do you want to have a hands-on experience and volunteer time? Do you want to donate physical items? Do you want to make a one-time monetary donation? No matter what route you take, your efforts will help an organization you believe in do more good and support a cause that matters to you. my Charity Navigator | CharityNavigator.org GuideStar | GuideStar.org

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My johns creek winter 2016