Page 1

december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming



Now M

December 2010 Volume 2, Issue 6

24 — 27 On the Cover

The Barker Lounge – The Marine Family; Stars & Strikes – Chris Albano and Cheryl Campbell; The UPS Store - Jaleh Mozayanfar; North Georgia Chess Center – Joseph, Cathy and Mark Couvillion Photography by Kim Bates

Featured Articles 12

Listen to the Lights

Judy Pancoast will perform her song “The House on Christmas Street” on December 22.


A Sports Powerhouse

The Canady Family


Holiday Helping Hands

Lend a helping hand this season.


Apostolic Blitz

Pinecrest Academy students pay it forward.


Good Tidings We Bring

Katie Diem shares her thoughts on the Christmas spirit.


In Every Issue Birthdays................................................ 9 Humane Society................................... 17

Clubs & Organizations........................... 42 Community Numbers........................... 44

Community Calendar............................ 20

AroundAbout Community Magazines, Inc. Mission Statement: Our mission, as a Publisher, is to help build stronger communities through the content of our magazines and to help our customers grow their businesses by providing a conduit through which they can gain market recognition. Julie Brennan is the Title Manager for AroundAbout — Cumming magazine. Julie is a native of Vieques, Puerto Rico. She may be contacted at cumming@ 2

School Information............................... 39 Houses of Worship....................... 40 & 41

Elected Officials.................................... 46 Classifieds............................................ 47

Contributing Writers James Ball....................................................4 Kim Bates....................................................6 Carol Brazier..............................................15 Matt Coutu................................................31 Jyl Craven..................................................29 Katie Diem.................................................32 Ruth Goode...............................................13 Vivian Heard..............................................30 David Hill...................................................41 Kristyn Iodice.............................................33 Nancy Johnson...........................................22 Dr. Sherry Jordan.......................................23 Shelly Kent................................................22

Kathy Martin..............................................36 Maria Morgan............................................28 Sen. Jack Murphy.......................................10 Hannah Myers...........................................33 Christine Roberts.......................................28 Dr. Mira Kalman Sivan................................15 Dr. Stephen Thomas...................................23 Parkey Thompson......................................10 Tiffany Underwood....................................13 Melissa Vickery..........................................35 Dan Wang..................................................16 Valerie Donta Young...................................16 Luisa Zalsman............................................38

Around About — Cumming is printed with soy-based inks and on paper made from at least 25% recycled paper. Our printer also recycles all paper and ink waste. AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming


Community Keeping you plugged into the latest online happenings

Publisher AroundAbout Community Magazines, Inc.

by James Ball

Owners Karen and Jon Flaig

I wanted to use this space this month to tell you about the two very different ways that you can stay connected to the information and updates that we share on our website.

Executive Editor Kara Kiefer, (770) 615-3309

You may have noticed that we had two giveaways this past month on our Facebook page. We asked during both that you sign up for the “Community Updates” on our site to be eligible. Our “Community Updates” form is located half of the way down on the right sidebar of our site, and it looks like this:

Title Manager Julie Brennan, (770) 615-3322

Advertising Director Leslie Proctor, (770) 615-3304

Art Director Michelle McCulloch

This feature is for those that wish to be informed about important Cumming updates, as well as any important information that would interest those within our community… think lost and found pets, special events, and any other information that would need to be spread throughout the community. We do not have a schedule for these updates, and will only use this method of communication for important community information and updates about our website and its features., (770) 6153307

Digital Marketing Director James Ball, (770) 615-3310 AroundAbout — Cumming, a franchisee of AroundAbout Community Magazines, Inc., is a monthly community magazine. The mission of the magazine is to build a sense of community and pride in the Cumming area by providing its residents with positive stories and timely information. 18,500 copies are distributed free by mail and at 3,000 are placed at key distribution points to local residents and businesses.

There is also a bright button on the top right of our website that looks like this:

This feature enables you to stay informed about the information that we post on the website. For many, visiting our website every day to get the latest updates is not quite convenient. Clicking on this button on our site takes you to a page where you can enter your email address. This will subscribe you to receive every updated story from our site once a day via email. These updates typically are sent late in the evening. This is an excellent way to insure that you never miss a story or an update! You may opt-out at any time at the bottom of any email if you ever desire to stop receiving these updates.

AroundAbout — Cumming welcomes your comments, stories, and advertisements. The deadline is the 10th of the month preceding publication. Subscriptions are available for $24 per year. Send check or money order to the address below. The viewpoints of the advertisers, columnists and submissions are not necessarily those of the Editor/ Publisher and the Publisher makes no claims as to the validity of any charitable organizations mentioned. AroundAbout — Cumming is not responsible for errors or omissions.

We hope that you will want to utilize both of these features from our website. It is our desire to build stronger communities, and we certainly can’t accomplish this without dependable and established two-way communication with all of you!

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the Publisher. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2010.

Keep up-to-date with our community! to 3 ways ted c e n n o get c Connect with friends and keep up to date on what’s happening right here in Cumming!

4 Follow us on

Join the Cumming fan page aroundaboutcumming AroundCummingGA

AroundAbout — cumming

AroundAbout — Cumming 1025 Rose Creek Drive, Suite 340 Woodstock, GA 30189 Phone: (770) 615-3334 Fax: (770) 516-4809 Franchise Opportunities Available

Volume 2, Issue 6

december 2010


A Simple Globe

Holiday Shots with a Vision

by Julie Brennan

by Kim Bates

Growing up in the Caribbean afforded me great pleasures, including the beauty of the ocean and the breezes of the trade winds. It did not, however, have one remarkable winter treat that we sometimes enjoy here in Georgia – snow! While it may not be the most revered occurrence during the season, it does add a bit of flair.

The holiday season is a great time for photos of family, children, decorations, lights, and special moments that provide the perfect opportunity to capture the image of a lifetime. Here are a few tips for creating better than ordinary pictures for your holiday memories.

Snow globes have always captivated my attention. The intricate yet simple transparent sphere, usually made of glass, encloses a miniaturized scene of some sort. Along with the addition of water, which allows the “snow” to fall, some globes have built-in music boxes that play a Christmas carol. With so much going on in our lives today, the simplicity of a beautiful scene encompassed in a small globe came to my mind, and reminded me of the beauty that sometimes passes us by – as we live our hurried lives. In America, during the 1940s, snow globes were often used for advertising. In Europe, during the 1940s and 1950s, religious snow globes were common gifts for Catholic children. Snow globes have appeared in a number of film scenes, the most famous of which is the opening of the 1941 classic Citizen Kane. In the 1950s, the globes, which were previously made of glass, became available in plastic. Currently, many different types of snow globes are available. These globes are produced by a number of countries and range from the mass produced versions of Hong Kong and China to the finely crafted types still produced in West Germany. Snow globes feature diverse scenes, ranging from the typical holiday souvenirs to more eclectic collectibles depicting Christmas scenes, Disney characters, popular icons, animals, military figures, historical scenes, etc. Snow globes have even been used for election campaigns. So what’s the big deal about a snow globe? Nothing really, other than an ability to soothe a hurried life and remind us of how simple some things can really be, if we looked at them inside a water-filled globe filled with “snow.” Perhaps we can find a snow globe that incorporates the gifts we cherish most – those of love and friendship; of faith, patience or trust. I will look for my “Caribbean themed” globe – with palm trees and coconuts, where the “snow” has been replaced by sand. I know it will soothe my soul and calm down my hurried life. Feliz Navidad to all! 6

Be creative! Stay away from the typical holiday snapshots. Look for interesting opportunities. Don’t think you have to, or even should, place your subject matter in the center of the frame. You can create interest just by moving the subject left or right of center, or above or below the center line. Look for unusual or surprising reflections: someone’s face reflected in a decoration, or a beautiful Christmas tree reflected in a puddle of water. Christmas is full of shiny reflected objects and colors. Shoot your subject from a step ladder or from a kneeling position. Tilt your camera slightly. This can add a very dramatic effect to an otherwise ordinary photo. When photographing people, especially groups, shoot a lot of frames. Inevitably someone will turn their head, close their eyes, or look a little out of sorts. The more photos you take, the better chance you’ll have of getting the one excellent shot you’re looking for. Visualize your shot, set it up, and work quickly. Zooming in creates an intimate view of the person in the image. Don’t be afraid to zoom in; sometimes it is very effective to get only half of the head, one of the eyes, or part of a smile. When shooting groups, have your subjects look natural and be themselves. Stagger them so everyone is not perfectly lined up. When photographing children, try to get down to their level and see the world from their viewpoint. Position yourself at an angle where you can focus on your subject’s eyes. Look for the candid and unexpected shots that will preserve the emotions of the moment for a lifetime. Be prepared; have the batteries charged and memory cards formatted. Have fun, be creative, and be in the moment. Your camera is the extension of your vision. Make it work for you. Award winning photographer Kim Bates is the co-founder and current president of the Cherokee Photography Club and president of the North Georgia Camera Club Council. He can be reached at kbphotoart@

AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming



News Around Cumming Sawnee EMC Contributions Awarded

The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners recognized Keep Forsyth County Beautiful (KFCB) for its impact on the local community. Following a recent presentation of the annual cost benefit report, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners were presented with a symbolic check for $109,174 to recognize the fiscal impact KFCB has had on the county. KFCB is a public-private partnership established and supported by the Forsyth County Solid Waste Management Plan to address the need for education and public involvement in solid waste issues in the community. The mission of Keep Forsyth County Beautiful is to cooperate with government, businesses, schools, civic organizations and citizens in a joint effort to improve beautification, litter reduction and recycling.

Business 400 Welcomes Changes for 2011

The Sawnee Electric Membership Foundation presented checks to 11 charitable organizations during the 4th Quarter Awards ceremony. The Foundation Board awarded $35,900 to charitable organizations and $5,989 to teachers in the Bright Ideas grants. The recipients included: Supporting Adoption & Foster Families Together Forsyth County Certified Literate Community Program Mentor Me-North Georgia American Cancer Society Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation, Inc. Prevent Blindness Georgia Turning Point Women’s Healthcare CURE Childhood Cancer Children’s Center for Hope and Healing Dawson County Wee Books KARE for Kids

Keep Forsyth County Beautiful Recognized for Impact on Community

Business 400 is pleased to announce several changes designed to benefit businesses along the Georgia 400 corridor. Business 400’s Board of Directors welcomes Jeff Dean of Vital Signs & Graphics in Cumming as the organization’s newly appointed Vice President. Jeff brings a passion for excellence to Business 400 and looks forward to increasing members’ benefits in 2011. The monthly Business-to-Business network event will be held 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. January 4, 2011, at the new Convention Center at Lanier Technical College (7745 Majors Road), just off Exit 13 behind the Avenues in Cumming. Events include networking, sampling local restaurants’ cuisine, and cash drawings. At the November event, Gail Locklear, owner of Locklear Interiors, won the Business 400 cash drawing for inviting two guests to attend. Gail donated her winnings to a guest of honor, Adlen Robinson, a volunteer coordinator for Jesse’s House. Business 400 hosts events dedicated to stimulating the local economy through business skills workshops and networking. Everyone is invited to attend. For more information, please visit


AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

Happy Birthday! Wedding, Birthday and Anniversary Announcements are Free! E-mail to: Deadline is December 10.

Joel Stephens

Nicole Lea

Celebrating on December 12

Age 30 on December 12 Wife of Eric Lea

Renee Brisebois

May Brisebois

Age 6 on December 2 Age 48 on December 5 Mother of Renee Daughter of Wife of Art May & Art Brisebois

Jaret S.

Crystal Lynn Mistry

Age 28 on December 28

Age 20 on December 26

Benedetta Bellucci Montaturo Age 100 on December 1

Matt Coutu Age 14 on December 1 Son of Debbie & Chris Coutu Brother of Tommy

Dylan Clinton Jones Age 1 on September 17 Son of Kelly & Cameron Jones

Kenneth Pearson Happy Birthday from Stacy, Austin and Tori

Stork Watch

Happy Anniversary

Colin Robert Hanes Born on March 25, 2010 Son of Rob and Amy Hanes Brother of Brennan Hanes

David & Gail Hill Married 23 years on

Helen & Buford Hill

December 5 december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming

Married 69 years on December 7

Candice & Austin Williams Celebrated 5 years on October 1 Happy Anniversary, Babe! I love you!



Notes From Senator Murphy

Your Gift Buying Plan

by Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Ga 27th District

by Parkey Thompson It’s Christmas again. Some of my best childhood memories were all of the gifts we received, time off from school, and being with members of our family who we did not get to see very often. As a parent, my favorite memories have revolved around the knowledge that the Christmas gifts we are exchanging are paid for — no debt!

As I wrote this article, I began reflecting on the past year and thinking about the coming year. The elections are over, and we Republicans have gained 60 seats in the Congress, 7 seats in the Senate, and in Georgia, we’ve won every statewide seat. What does all of that mean? It means the ball is clearly in our court, and we need to do something with it. Americans and Georgians expect us to put our economy back in balance. We need to balance our budget, create jobs and establish immigration reform. Washington has a spending problem instead of a revenue problem, and Americans are going to expect the new Congress to act.

“Take full advantage of the wonderful life that lies in store for you. Rejoice in your freedom . . .”

The economy is showing some signs of life. Travel will be up more than 10 percent this Thanksgiving season, and retailers are hiring more this year, almost 70 percent more than two years ago. We need to think positive. Many friends of mine have had financial setbacks, but they will overcome. This too will pass.

This Thanksgiving, I am truly thankful for all I have in my life; its ups and downs are just part of living. I am thankful for all of my family, thankful for my wife, thankful for our military and pray for each and every one of them wherever they may be. Remember this quote from President Reagan: “Take full advantage of the wonderful life that lies in store for you. Rejoice in your freedom, and sample the full richness of the opportunities that lie before you. Help one another, trust in yourselves, and have faith in God, and you will find more joy and happiness than you could imagine.” I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I would love to tell you that experiencing a debt-free Christmas has always been something that’s happened at our house, but frankly I thought going into debt for Christmas was what everyone was doing. In fact, you may still be thinking that, but there is a better way. It seems like a new approach, but have you ever thought of your gift buying as a plan? How about a plan where you had already saved all of the money you needed and you simply had to execute your shopping list? To so many people, maybe even you, the concept is foreign. The habit of using plastic has been so ingrained into the Christmas experience that people struggle “It seem like a new to enjoy a festive, memorable holiday season for one reason — approach, but have they know the credit card bills you ever thought of will soon be on their way.

your gift buying as a plan?”

I want to encourage you to be different. Live by a plan! Plan your Christmas — saving, spending, relaxing, and making memories. Your plan is easiest when you start it in January, but you can still get focused in December. First, determine what you are going to spend for Christmas. Set an amount and stick to it. Divide your total amount by 12 and begin saving that amount each month. If you are disciplined enough, save the amount in cash. Second, make a list of who you are going to buy gifts for. Make this list as early in the year as possible. Unless someone is born or gets married, your list should be pretty static. It truly is better to give than to receive, but you do not have to give to everyone. Next, distribute your total amount by allocating a dollar amount to each name. Remember that everyone on your list does not need the same amount.

God bless our country. Sen. Jack Murphy (R-GA 27th District) may be reached at or (404) 656-7127.

Finally, spend! As you begin saving throughout the year, you will have cash to use on gifts. If you will buy and stash items continued on page 43


AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming



Listen to the Lights . . . And to Judy Pancoast Lights, cars, and music – a lovely combination of sights and sounds! A drive-through display of lights and music show can be found at the home located on 4730 Bryn Ridge Court in Cumming. The display was created by extreme Christmas decorators, Larry Drum, Brian Todd and Chris Hoard and runs through January 1. Car radios can be tuned into 88.1 FM to listen to the beautiful sounds of the season. Guests are welcomed to drive their cars and view the display Mondays through Thursdays from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and 5:30 to 10 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

pageantry each Christmas season to make a little magic for the young and the young at heart. “Everywhere I’ve lived, there’s been one of those houses,” said Pancoast. “It’s the one that everybody goes to see during the holidays. I have wonderful memories of going to see them as a kid, and when I was in my 20s there was actually one house that cheered me during a very depressing chapter in my life.”

In 2006, Pancoast’s husband discovered the first video online of a This is the fifth year for the show and it is bigger and better house that was playing her song in its animated display. “I have than last year with over 150,000 lights “dancing” to the beat no idea how that first homeowner found it, but before long there of 12 songs. The decorators hope the spirit of the season will were other videos popping up on various sites, and through them directly help raise funding and awareness for Family Haven, I found out about a worldwide network of ‘extreme’ decorators which provides victims of domestic who share information through a few violence and their families a variety of online sites,” Pancoast said. “They’ve services. Receptacles will be provided for welcomed me into their community with Donations needed donations. open arms, and made “The House on Christmas Street” their theme song.” for Family Haven! “We are overwhelmed and thrilled at the support of the Forsyth community,” In an effort to build a “buzz” around the Toilet Paper said Brian Todd, Cumming resident and song that can’t be ignored, she is spending Paper Towels extreme decorator. “We look forward the holiday season driving around the Cleaning Supplies each year to this wonderful opportunity to country in her 2004 van (which already celebrate the spirit of the season with the has more than 315,000 miles on it) and Trash Bags community, and be able to give back to performing live public concerts on the All Size Diapers Family Haven at the same time.” Videos lawns, porches and driveways of houses Twin Sheet Sets of last year’s show can be seen at http:// that are using her song in their displays. She’s literally going in a circle around Copy Paper the country, from New Hampshire to Pasta Dinners As a special treat, Judy Pancoast, the artist Washington to Texas and Florida and Cereal behind the song “The House on Christmas along the east coast. She’s even being Baby Wipes Street,” will be performing live on flown to the United Kingdom by a fan Wednesday, December 22 at 6 p.m. This to perform at his house “lighting” on Laundry Detergent song has been used by extreme decorators December first, with hopes of having the Swiffer Wet Jet Refills around the world, and is popular with song played on the BBC. Twin Plastic Mattress & children, teens and adults. Pancoast wrote the song “The House on Christmas So gather the kids, pack the car, and ride Pillow Covers Street” in 1998 as a tribute to homeowners on over to 4730 Bryn Ridge Court in who decorate their houses in lights and Cumming.


AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

Making an Impact During the Holidays

Autism Talk by Tiffany Underwood

by Ruth Goode As 2010 is drawing to a close, there are a number of activities that become part of our daily routine. We stay busy shopping for gifts, picking up ingredients for those holiday treats, and spending time with co-workers or family and friends. We take the time to reflect on what the year has provided us and for what we are thankful. For many of us, giving back is also something that becomes part of that routine. When shopping for that nephew, co-worker or letter carrier, we’re also purchasing items for those in need. Some of us buy food to donate at Thanksgiving while others collect coats for the cold weather or sponsor children for holiday gifts. We often consider this time of year a time to help others who are less fortunate.

Remind your friends that you like them independent of their parenting position. Often times, we get so overrun with the care of our child that we forget to take care of ourselves and that we have a separate identity. Schedule coffee or a low-pressure shopping day with your friend or, if they can’t get out, bring the outside to them. Bring a movie, fun drink, bright wrapping paper with real bows, and old Christmas cards or card stock to make gift labels. The togetherness of doing something fun and cheery can bring a sense of rapport outside of the nitty-gritty of everyday. There are many holiday parties, shopping, and cooking days left in the year. As a parent with a special needs child, I know firsthand how difficult it is to get these things done and, even more, how very difficult it is to hire a babysitter. The complexity of finding a babysitter that we trust is much more difficult than simply finding an available teen. We need someone who is equal to and aware of the safety issues our situation necessitates. Most of us would feel comfortable with a “regular” adult, but because we know that you are busy during this season, we will, in all likelihood, refrain from asking you. But we would be thrilled to accept your offer.

Give your time. Lend your muscle. Create opportunities. Inspire the next generation. Raise money. Raise hope. Raise the bar. Join us in the movement to Live United!

However, in these tough economic times, many struggle with whether or not they are able to give. What was once an easy decision is now a difficult choice to make. Am I able to give? If so, how much? If I give less, am I still making a difference? In our community today, know that giving even the smallest amount CAN make a difference in the life of someone in need. A $15 donation makes it possible for an underprivileged boy to participate in a Boy Scout program where he can build character, learn about the responsibilities of participating citizenship and develop personal fitness. The holiday season is also a time when the risk of a house fire increases. With a gift of just $25, the American Red Cross can provide blankets, food and shelter to a family who has been continued on page 43 december 2010

Do you want to be the object of good cheer this holiday season? If you have a friend who has a child with special needs, I can let you in on a few secrets (from personal experience!) on how to bless them and give them the gift of peace this year.

Many churches have programs and support already set up, with a special class for those with special needs or someone to assist your child in a regular class. If your church does not, now might be the time to set up an “As Needed” program. Having 10 to 12 people who would be willing to commit a Sunday of their time once a quarter, or two or three times a year, would be an excellent start. Put a sign-up opportunity in your bulletin, and include the youth. High school and college-aged young people will be equal to the task in most situations. As long as you have them in a “shadow” position, they have an idea of what is expected, and who to contact in an emergency. If you have an on-call Sunday schedule, and the rotation does not expect the same people every week, the response is typically very positive. The ability to worship without the constant pressure of being permanently “on” for my own child is such a respite and a gift that cannot be equaled by anything you could wrap up with a bow.

AroundAbout — cumming

continued on page 43 13


The Canady Family: A Forsyth Sports Powerhouse soccer, which she hopes to continue in college. Kristin also plays with the United Futbol Academy (UFA), a nonprofit organization established in 2010, out of the need to promote the game of soccer and to provide a new soccer experience for the Forsyth County communities. Katie, 15, attends the 9th grade at the Forsyth County Achieve Academy. Before injuries, Katie was a level 10/ pre-elite gymnast. Currently she coaches at NorthWind Gymnastics Center. Courtney, 13, is an 8th grader at Vickery Creek Middle and plays softball with the North Georgia Elite and runs track at her school.


enacity, hope, inspiration, and faith are pillars of strength and guidance for many families. The Canady family is certainly one example. Eve Robinson, a close friend of the Canady’s, describes them as wonderful. “They are great kids with great parents,” she said. It is a treat to meet Melanie and William Canady, and their children, Will, Kristin, Katie, Courtney, Blake, Rebekah, and Zach. The kids range in age from 18 to 4 and excel in sports as well as academics. “We’ve always taught our kids to be wise and diligent in all they do. Sports need to be fun or they become a business,” said William. “It’s not fun losing, but we learn a lot about life in tough losses. Mountaintop experiences are fun and we’ve had quite a few of those, but giving it your all and laying it on the line expresses who you are internally. Character and discipline are very important. We are a Christian family and want to respect God first and respect others in all that we do.” Will, a senior at West Forsyth High School, will attend GardnerWebb University in North Carolina on a baseball scholarship next fall. “I played baseball since I was four. In high school I played football and baseball, but last year decided to concentrate on baseball,” he said. Kristin, 16, also attends West Forsyth High School and plays 14

Blake, also a baseball player like older brother Will, attends the 5th grade at Vickery Creek Elementary and plays baseball with the South Forsyth Stallions travel team. The youngest of the girls, Rebekah, age 9, attends Vickery Creek Elementary and currently is a Level 5 gymnast at NorthWind Gymnastics Center. As a Level 5 gymnast, Rebekah has developed five compulsory skills: low bar, high bar, beam, floor and vault. As for four year-old Zach, the world of sports is wide open. When asked about having such a big family with so many sports enthusiasts and contenders, the Canady parents smiled. “It’s awesome having a big family. It’s amazing that kids can be so different personality wise and come from the same parents. That makes for things being exciting around our house. We’ve been blessed with a lot of great kids. Even though all of our kids have gravitated toward sports, they still have their own special personalities. We have a lot of fun and laughs along the way,” said William. Legendary basketball coach and hall of famer John Wooden (10/14/1910 – 6/ 4/2010) said “sports do not build character but, rather, they reveal it.” Just a few minutes with the Canady family reveals the character of this exceptional family.

AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

Things Are Looking a Little Different

Cut Your Cancer Risk — One Bite At A Time

by Mira Kalman Sivan, OD COVD

by Carol Brazier, RD, CDE, Northside Hospital Diabetes and Nutrition Education Program

If you’re in your 40s, you may have found reading has become more difficult. If so, you’re likely experiencing a common vision condition called presbyopia, a natural part of your eyes’ aging process. Presbyopia is a condition in which the lens of the eye loses its ability to focus, making it difficult to see objects up close. Symptoms include decreased focusing ability for near objects, eye strain and headaches. When people develop presbyopia, they find they need to hold books, magazines, newspapers, menus and other reading materials at arm’s length in order to focus properly. When they perform near work, such as embroidery or handwriting, they may develop headaches, eye strain or feel fatigued. A general eye examination, including measurements to determine a prescription for glasses or contact lenses, is a common test performed to find out if someone is suffering from presbyopia. Other tests include examination of the retina, muscle integrity test, refraction test, Slit-lamp test and visual acuity testing. Presbyopia can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. In some cases, the addition of bifocals to an existing lens prescription is enough. As the ability to focus up close worsens, the prescription needs to be changed. You can’t escape presbyopia, even if you’ve never had a vision problem before. Even people who are nearsighted will notice that their near vision blurs when they wear their usual eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision. If it is not corrected, vision difficulty due to presbyopia gets worse over time and can cause problems with driving, lifestyle, or work. Dr. Mira Kalman Sivan is an optometrist in private practice. She may be reached at 678-648-5185.

Change the way you eat and you could reduce your risk of becoming a cancer statistic. More than 570,000 Americans die of cancer each year, according to the American Cancer Society. One-third of those deaths correlate with diet and inactivity. Eating fruits, vegetables and fiber helps protect healthy cells from cancer-causing free radicals and keeps weight in check. Fruits and veggies build up your immune system with cancerfighting antioxidants. Fiber keeps food from lingering in the intestines, where it can latch onto cancer-causing carcinogens, breaking down good cells. If visions of spinach mounds and celery stalks haunt you, we have eight ways to think outside the salad bowl. 1. Morning Makeover – Top off your oatmeal or cereal with berries or sliced bananas. Making scrambled eggs? Sauté mushrooms with cancer-busting garlic for a veggie scramble. Wash it down with 100 percent fruit juice. 2. Get Saucy – Creamy pasta sauces can be loaded with fat, but you can use veggies and olive oil instead. Throw in tomatoes (lycopene), spinach (magnesium) and carrots (beta-carotene). 3. Go Asian – Chock-full of veggies, stir fries spice up a weeknight meal. Use a small amount of canola oil with snow peas, scallions and reduced sodium soy sauce. Substitute brown rice for fried rice. 4. Meatless Monday – Replacing meat with plant-based sources of protein, such as lentils, peas and beans, provides nutrients without the fat. Nuts also supply protein but are higher in fat, so be mindful of serving sizes. For diehard meat lovers, stick with chicken and turkey or fish. Keep red meat to a minimum, because it can contain more carcinogens when cooked. 5. Mix it Up – Create a dried-fruit mixture with ingredients such as apricots, apples, cherries, figs and dates. Sprinkle cinnamon or ginger and add your favorite nuts for an afternoon pick-me-up. 6. Shred It – Carrots, apples, oranges and zucchini can be grated and used in casseroles, pancakes, muffins and bread. 7. Blend a Smoothie – Blend unsweetened fruit, especially berries, with low-fat milk or yogurt. A spoonful of nut butter provides extra protein. Stock up on fruit in season and freeze for later use. 8. Add Flavor – Tempt your taste buds with antioxidant-rich seasonings such as rosemary, garlic, sage and olive oil. Pair bell peppers with hummus, roasted vegetables with herbs and balsamic vinegar, fruit with yogurt. Power up your turkey sandwich by swapping avocado for mayo. Northside Hospital, Atlanta’s premier hospital for women’s health, introduces Northside Healthcasts – your online health resource. Watch videos and learn more about cancer, nutrition and other healthcare topics you care about. Visit

december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming



How to “WOW” Your Guests with Your Christmas Table by Valerie Donta Young Well, we decorated the house for Christmas. Now it’s time to make the dining room table beautiful for the big Christmas dinner or party. What steps do you take to make everyone who comes into the dining room take one look at the table and say “WOW”? The first step is to choose a color scheme. Are you a tablecloth person, or like me, do you prefer a glasstopped table with beautiful placemats and napkins? Either choice is fine, as long as you coordinate the linens. They don’t need to be matched, just coordinated. You can use a print and solids together. However, if you have dishes that have much of a pattern, always choose solid linens. You can use textured linens if you have dishes with a bold pattern. Remember that you can use too much of a good thing!! Pull out the best of everything you own. Why not use it? If not for your family and friends, for whom would you use the good stuff? If you have more than one pattern, you can mix and match if the colors and patterns are compatible. Colored glasses are again a lovely choice, if you aren’t entertaining any wine purists. They, of course, would insist on using only clear glass to show the color and clarity of the wine. Start with a centerpiece, either long and narrow or upright and loose so guests can see each other through it. The centerpiece can be fresh flowers or a wonderful silk arrangement to be used year after year. Use charger plates under your dishes – start with dinner plates and stack salad plates and a napkin rolled or pulled through like a ruffle on top of the plate. Finish with water and wine glasses, and candles. (See photo for an example of the look). Now you can sit down and make a toast to your family and guests. Be proud of the elegant table you have set for them. . Wishing all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Valerie Young, aka “the Frugal Designer,” is a resident of Cumming. She may be reached at (770) 844-6337. 16

In Harmony with Nature by Dan Wang In Chinese culture it is believed that humans form a natural harmony with heaven and earth; thus the human body can be compared to the natural landscape. Veins can be visualized as rivers and blood as water running through them. When there is blockage, the flow is impaired and causes pain and discomfort. To relieve the pain, Chinese massage can be applied to every part of the body to relieve the tension caused by blockage. According to historians, Chinese medicine and massage have been around since 221 B.C. Referred to as An-Mo, this massage technique is based on An — press, and Mo — rub. Studies suggest that persons who receive “Studies suggest that persons massage therapy who receive massage therapy show a decrease show a decrease in stress, in stress, anxiety, anxiety, pain, fatigue and an pain, fatigue and an increase in relaxation. increase in relaxation.” As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. And, as many millions will attest, massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness. “I’ve experienced the benefits of massage and recommend it,” said Arlene Darby. For the past two months, she has added a monthly visit to her massage therapist as part of her healthier lifestyle regimen. “My work keeps me tied to a desk most of the day, with added strain to my body due to the normal pressures of the day, both at work and home. Being able to have a massage at least once a month has definitely helped my body release some of the pain and tension.” The popularity of massages continues to grow as does its incorporation into treatment plans for various health issues, including the treatment of cancer. For more information about massage and its benefits, visit www.

AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

Looking for a forever home . . . Jo

sie would ma great fi rst time ke a pet! She is easy going a nd grea with kid t s. old, she At 8-10 yrs is a home looking for who wil ls beyond her yea ee rs.

ng and dy, stro out r u t s is Vegas his people. At ab a ld make loyal to he wou anion. , ld o s r 2y omp nning c great ru


ulip is beautif a 2 year old ully ma rke bundle of love. d She is just h ap with yo py to be ua playtim nd to have e.

ng is a you Roscoyeaffectionate and ver /chow mix. His er gets rottweil says he m o m r er foste with oth et a t a e r g r me along as neve h d n a dogs r. strange


y is a 2 ye old Bur mese m ar ix. She is small er oh so fr is size and iendly. g

eous lon

rg Lily is goe with a great

Honey is soooo sweet and such a beautiful warm colored cat. She prefers to be the queen of the house, so would be best as a single cat.

Sweetheart & Stripes are litter m ates

ti hair tor y. She does lit a n ves perso s and lo id k h it well w n. attentio

and double the fun! Adopt them to gether for a discount!

Humane Society of Forsyth County 4440 Keith Bridge Rd Cumming, GA 30041 (770) 889-1365 or (770) 887-6480 email: The shelter is now open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. – 7 days a week! Check our Web site for dates/ times for Petco and PetSmart adoption events. december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming



Forsyth County Government News 110 E. Main Street, Suite 210 • TV Forsyth — Comcast Channel 23 •

Fire Department Helps Children in Need Members of the Forsyth County Fire Department are asking for your help to make this holiday season a special one for children in need. They are collecting new, unwapped toys for the 8th annual Aerial’s House toy collection. Donations can be taken to any Forsyth County fire station, the Fire Department Headquarters at 3520 Settingdown Road, or the County Administration Building at 110 E. Main Street. For more information about Aerial’s House, call Fire Department Headquarters at (770) 781-2180 ext. 0. For information regarding the distribution of toys collected through Aerial’s House, call the Forsyth County Family YMCA at (678) 3416337.

Meals for Seniors Make Season Brighter Bring holiday cheer to a homebound senior citizen in Forsyth County through the Home-Delivered Meal Holiday Gift Certificate Program. Meals purchased with a holiday gift certificate through Forsyth County Senior Services will be delivered through the Meals on Wheels program. The cost is $3.45 for one meal, $17.25 for meals for one week, $75.90 for one month, and $897 for an entire year. All gifts are tax-deductible. Senior Services hopes to provide 3,500 meals this holiday season. Call (770) 781-2178 for more information.

Public Invited to Take Part in Comprehensive Plan Workshop An update to the Forsyth County Comprehensive Plan is currently underway, and the Forsyth County Planning and Development Department is inviting the public to a community workshop set for 6 – 8 p.m. Monday, December 13, in Suite 220 of the Administration Building at 110 East Main Street in Cumming. The meeting will assess the potential Issues and Opportunities list, adopted during the partial update, to create a community generated inventory of the county’s strengths and challenges. This inventory forms the foundation for the community vision from which other components of the Community Agenda are established. The Comprehensive Plan serves as a policy guide in relation to growth and land use change. The plan addresses critical issues and opportunities through the incorporation of a shared vision for the future. The Georgia Planning Act of 1989 requires a local government’s comprehensive plan be updated at least once every 10 years. To receive additional information, access http://compplan. or call (678) 513-5866.

Water Saver Kits Available to Forsyth County Residents Water conservation is now a little easier. The Forsyth County Water and Sewer Department is currently offering Water Saver Kits for $10. These water conservation kits can be used to help save water, energy and money by reducing flow from showers and faucets, using less water per flush, and detecting toilet tank leaks. The Water Saver Kits effort targets homes built before 1993. Water Saver Kits can be purchased in the Forsyth County Water and Sewer Department main office, located inside the County Administration Building at 110 East Main Street, Suite 150 in Cumming. “We are hoping these kits make it easier for local residents to save their money while conserving this resource for future generations,” according to Tim Perkins, director of the water and sewer department.


AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming



Community Calendar: December Magical Nights of Lights

Dates: Now through December 30 Time: 5 – 10 p.m. Location: Lake Lanier Islands 7000 Holiday Road, Buford, Description: Enjoy the world’s largest light extravaganza and rekindle an old tradition or create a new one at Lake Lanier Islands Resort’s Magical Nights of Lights holiday celebration — a seven-mile drive through animated, festive, holiday light displays. At the end of your tour, the Holiday Village awaits you with carnival rides and games, pony rides and numerous holiday treats. Warm up with a hot cup of cocoa or step inside Santa’s Workshop for some holiday shopping and a visit with Santa.

Free Gift Wrapping

Dates: Saturday, December 11 & 18 Time: 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Location: North Forsyth United Methodist Church, 6150 Highway 400 Information: Volunteers from the church will wrap gifts free of charge, a service that is being offered as a way to bring both relief and joy to an otherwise hectic season. While there is no charge for the wrapping, donations will be collected for Whispering Hope Women’s Resource & Pregnancy Center. For more information, visit

Three Chimneys Farm 6th Annual Holiday Show

Date: Sunday, December 12 Time: 1 – 5pm Location: Three Chimneys Clubhouse 3625 Three Chimneys Lane Information: Featuring more than 28 vendors. For more info, please contact

Super Seniors Luncheon

Date: Monday, December 13 Time: 11:30 a.m. Location: First Redeemer Church Banquet Hall, 2100 Peachtree Parkway Information: Enjoy the music of special 20

guest singer Johnny Hall. $5 per person includes great food, excellent entertainment and wonderful door prizes. Join them for this fantastic time of fellowship! No reservations are required.

Complimentary Photos with Santa and Carriage Rides Date: December 18 Time: 1 – 5 p.m. Location: The Avenue Forsyth, 410 Peachtree Parkway Information: Enjoy complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides and photos with Santa, courtesy of Picture People. Photos with Santa will take place in The Park. In the event of inclement weather, photos will take place inside Picture People.

“Christmas Around the World”

Date: December 21 Time: 8 p.m. Location: The City of Cumming Playhouse & Historic School, 100 Main Street Information: “Christmas Around the World” explores the various traditions observed during the Christmas season. A father and daughter enjoy the thrill and excitement of each country brings as they come to life before their eyes in music and dance. The program is designed to showcase the wide variety of local talent depicting a worldly influence while being both entertaining and informative. Created and directed by Heavenly Expressions. www.heavenlyexpressions. biz.

“A Sawnee Christmas Party” Sounds of Sawnee Concert Band Date: Time: Location:

December 22 8 p.m. The City of Cumming Playhouse & Historic School, 100 Main Street

AroundAbout — cumming

Information: The Sounds of Sawnee 50-member concert band will return to the Cumming Playhouse for the 6th annual Christmas concert. Featuring the 10-member Shades of Grace choir from First Baptist Church of Cumming performing Deck the Halls (40`s and 50`s versions), Handel`s Hallelujah Chorus and many others. Ms. Alice Bryan is the director of the Sounds of Sawnee Concert Band. Guest conductors will be Dr. William Prescott, director emeritus and Dr. Darel Robertson, Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church of Cumming.

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University

Dates: Starting January 16 for 13 weeks (Sundays) Time: 7 – 9 p.m. Location: Pinecrest Academy, 955 Peachtree Parkway Information: What would your life look like if you had NO DEBT and were really IN CONTROL of your money? During this life-changing class, you will learn how to: get control of your money, tell your money what to do, stop struggling to make ends meet and change your family’s future. The class is designed to teach you how to get out of debt, stay out of debt and build wealth. Cost: $100 per family for materials. Contact: Pinecrest. to register.

Send Us Your Community Calendar Events! Deadline for the January issue is December 10. Email: cumming@ december 2010

Holiday Helping Hands Home-Delivered Meal Holiday Gift Certificate Program

Meals purchased with a holiday gift certificate through Forsyth County Senior Services will be delivered through the Meals on Wheels program. Those interested in making a difference for local senior citizens this holiday season may choose to provide meals for a day, week, month or year. The cost is $3.45 for one meal, $17.25 for one week, $75.90 for one month, and $897 for an entire year. All gifts are tax deductible. Checks should be made payable to Forsyth County Senior Services, Holiday Gift Certificate Program and may be mailed or delivered to the following address: Forsyth County Senior Services, 595 Dahlonega Highway. Cumming, GA 30040. All meals delivered through New Year’s Day will include a special certificate to wish happy holidays from the meal provider. Senior Services has set a goal of delivering 3,500 meals to local senior citizens this holiday season. Call 770-781-2178 for more information.

Holiday Gift Angels Program

Gift request tags from senior citizens are now available at the Senior Center at Charles Place, located on Dahlonega Highway next to the Cumming library. Each gift request tag contains the name of a local senior citizen as well as a gift idea for him or her. “I have seen in past years how our senior citizens light up when they are presented a gift from the Holiday Gift Angels Program because they know someone in the community thought about them,” Senior Services Director Shelley Johnson said. “Through this program, local residents and businesses have the chance to really brighten the holiday season for our seniors and show they care.” Program participants may deliver the boxed and unwrapped gift with the gift request tag (or another tag with

december 2010

the senior’s name and route number) attached to Forsyth County Senior Center at Charles Place. The center’s hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call (770) 781-2178 to receive additional information.

Aerial’s House

The Forsyth County Fire Department is asking local citizens to help make this holiday season special for children in need, by donating to the 8th annual Aerial’s House toy collection. Forsyth County fire stations and the fire department headquarters, located at 3520 Settingdown Road, are accepting new, unwrapped toys for Aerial’s House. Gifts may be dropped off under the Christmas tree in the lobby of the County Administration Building, located at 110 East Main Street in Cumming. For more information about Aerial’s House, call 770-781-2180 ext 0. For information about distribution of toys collected through Aerial’s House, call the Forsyth County Family YMCA at 678-341-6337.

Jesse’s House

Jesse’s House is a non-profit organization that provides emergency and long-term care to youth who have suffered abuse or delinquency. Jesse’s House grew out of the recognized need by the Cumming/Forsyth Council on Youth and Concerned Citizens for an emergency children’s shelter in the North Georgia area. Help this holiday season with gift cards and activity sponsors for the girls currently at the house. Gift Cards: Kohl’s, Target, Walmart, T.J. Maxx, Ross, American Eagle, Blockbuster, AMC Movies, Restaurants, Publix, Kroger, Ingles, etc. Sponsor fun activities for the girls such as: Six Flags, Slapshots, Stars and Strikes, Putt-Putt, the Atlanta Zoo, a Braves Game, Bogan Water Park, Lake Lanier Islands, Whirlyball, etc.

AroundAbout — cumming



Livin’ La Vida LocaL

The (Im)Perfect Gift

Experiencing International Culture and Flavor at a Local Level

by Nancy Johnson

by Shelly Kent My five-year-old has a small replica of the Eiffel Tower on her dresser and dreams of one day visiting France. Schedules, budgets, and international travel concerns will make that reality a bit far off, but doesn’t preclude me from finding ways to expose her to other cultures on a local level. Have you checked out Bukharaa Indian Restaurant in Suwanee? Veena is a gracious hostess who will walk you through the menu if you are new to Indian food. You’ll enjoy authentic atmosphere, people, and food as you delve into a whole new way of eating chicken, seafood, lamb, and vegetarian cuisine.

Bukharra Indian Restaurant 3651 Peachtree Parkway Suwanee 30024 (770) 817-1371

Some of the ingredients they use include cilantro, lime, almonds, cream, and tomato. The chefs at Bukharaa prepare their vegetables in 22 ways, taking ordinary vegetables to extraordinary heights,

and inspiring me to find ways to pep up the bland veggies at our own dinner table. Their flatbreads are melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and the shorbas (soups) and biryanis (pilaf with meat) are flavorful and will leave you with a craving that will bring you back for more. The staff enthusiastically shares Indian culture and enjoys bringing people into the fold. There’s even a recipe of the month posted on their website ( to encourage your own experimentation with Indian cuisine at home. As someone who lived in a small town while growing up, I have to say I am especially appreciative to have such a wide representation of other cultures to share with my daughter here in Cumming. Our next overseas flavor adventure? The German Gasthaus Le Café. Gute Zeiten!

I make cheese at home. This is probably the one unusual thing I do. While I like to cook in general, making cheese is my one pursuit that is uncommon, not shared by many others. It isn’t as hard as it may sound. Sure, it takes a fair amount of work, and some ingredients that aren’t usually found in grocery stores, such as rennet, citric acid, and mesophilic starter (a fancy name, but it comes in a package like Kool-Aid and you use it in about the same way). But once you have all the gear, you follow a recipe like any other. I am no pro. Results vary. Between the equipment, ingredients and the time that it takes, I’m not even sure it’s economical. But it’s a lot of fun and it impresses my friends. My family also likes this hobby of mine. They remind me of this every Christmas. They don’t seem to mind in the least if the cheese I make is imperfect. They are always ready to try it. This surprises me, at first. Then I remember my sister, who likes to knit and make jewelry. She tells me she’s “just an amateur,” that she only does it for fun, that it isn’t perfect. But whenever she is seriously mulling over what to do with her creations, I raise my hand and say “Me! Me! Me!” What we really give at Christmas is ourselves. Our gifts represent us. It is no surprise then that we want each gift to be perfect. Frankly, we would love to be perfect ourselves. More than that, we would love to give to those we care about all that is good and shiny and pristine. Who wouldn’t? So we do funny things each Christmas time. We spend lots of time, money and energy wandering the aisles of stores looking for just the thing that our loved one will find useful, beautiful and thoughtful, with no dings or scratches and at a price we hope we can pay off by June. Our beloved will no doubt appreciate it. It will be the perfect gift. But perfection is not what others need or want from us. They need us. This is why I like making gifts. Not just because they are more economical – though they are – but because they are more real. They are us, representing who we truly are in all of our love and dented glory. I can tell you what my friends, family and my kid’s teachers are getting this year. Little waxed rounds of cheddar cheese, maybe with sage or caraway seed. Our family picture and Christmas wishes will adorn a label on top of the wax. The label will be smeared. The wax will be drippy and uneven. I can’t even promise that the cheese will taste good, though I have a pretty fair track record. In other words, they will not be perfect. But imperfect gifts are what can make a perfect Christmas. They

Shelly Kent is a North Atlanta-based writer and can be reached at 22

AroundAbout — cumming

continued on page 43 december 2010

Do You Have Termites in Your Mouth

Enjoy the Holiday TreatsAnd Keep the Weight in Check

by Sherry Jordan, D.M.D.

By Dr. Stephen Thomas, DC The holidays are here and great tasting food awaits us: turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and more. This is a time when most of us pack on a few pounds and then search for a New Year’s resolution for greater health. There are things you can do now to avoid gaining too much weight during the holidays.

Do your gums bleed? Are your gums red, swollen, or tender? Do you or others around you notice bad breath? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could have gum disease, which I describe to my patients as having termites in your gums. You really don’t have termites, but the harmful bacteria have the same irreversible damage to the foundation of your teeth and gums that termites do to the foundation of your home. You usually don’t know that you have termites in your home until the damage has been done, which is the same with gum disease. Gum disease usually doesn’t hurt which is good and bad at the same time. If it hurt, you would want to know how to stop the pain. Since it doesn’t hurt, it can go unnoticed and untreated unless you visit your dentist regularly and have a periodontal screening. Gum disease is the silent deadly killer of teeth. If left untreated, you can lose your teeth from this disease. Gum disease has other systemic links, for instance you are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke, and it has been linked to some cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, kidney disease, pneumonia in elders, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and low birth weight babies. Eighty-five percent of people have some form of gum disease. Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, is the first stage of gum disease. Symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen, tender gums that bleed when brushing or flossing. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment from your dentist and good oral home care. Untreated gingivitis will develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a condition that is irreversible and destroys the bone that surrounds your teeth, or the foundation that holds your teeth in. The treatment for periodontitis is a deeper cleaning below the gumline by your dentist or hygienist. If you have advanced periodontal disease, you may be referred to a periodontist, or gum specialist, for further treatment. Contributing factors for gum disease are poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, and genetics. The way to prevent gum disease is to visit your dentist regularly, brush 2-3 times daily for two minutes, preferably with a rechargeable electric toothbrush like the Sonicare and flossing daily. Call your dentist today and make an appointment for your periodontal screening for the health of your teeth, and your overall health. Sherry Jordan completed her undergraduate studies at West Georgia College, and earned her dental degree from the Medical College of Georgia in 1995. She may be reached at (770) 888-6262. december 2010

First, increase your water intake. Most of us live in a dehydrated state and consume too much coffee, soda and/or alcohol. When your body is dehydrated, you can suffer from an array of symptoms, including hunger. A good rule of thumb is to divide your weight in half and consume that many ounces of water daily (If you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 oz. of water). You may feel a decreased desire to eat when you drink more water. Second, most of us will be “Most of us neglect shopping for holiday gifts. Try healthier choices parking farther away from store entrances and force yourself to during this time walk a greater distance. Also, take of year and wait the stairs (make sure your body until the New Year can handle it) instead of using the to make healthy elevator or escalator. Plan your route when you shop, and instead decisions.” of picking the fastest way, choose a longer route for more exercise. If you walk enough, you can get your 30-minute walk in. (For example, park at one side of the mall and walk to the opposite side, and then shop on the way back to your car.) Third, be selective in your quantity and food choices. Use a smaller plate and wait at least 30 minutes before you attempt a second helping of food. This will force you to eat less and give your body a chance to tell you it’s full. Choose healthier food by selecting more vegetables and fewer potatoes. When it’s time for dessert, start with only one at a time. Pick your favorite and then see if you still have cravings. (Tip: No single portion should be bigger than the palm of your hand. Try only eating portions that are half the size of your palm.) Try these three tips through the holidays. Most of us neglect healthier choices during this time of the year and wait until the New Year to make healthy decisions. Take care of your body, it’s the only one you have. Have a happy and healthy holiday season. Dr. Stephen Thomas may be reached at (678) 454-9122. For more information visit or

AroundAbout — cumming



The Royal Game King, queen, rook, bishop, knight, and pawns—not just terms of royalty and history—pieces in a game whose universal appeal stretches for a span of 1400 years. It is believed that chess originated in India and from there traveled to China and also through the Arab world to Europe. There are historical references that in India chess was used as a tool to teach military strategy to Indian princes. That is probably how chess acquired its nickname: the Royal Game. Research shows there is a strong correlation between learning to play chess and academic achievement. In 2000, a landmark study found that students who received chess instruction scored significantly higher on all measures of academic achievement, including math, spatial analysis, and non-verbal reasoning ability (Smith and Cage, 2000). “I started playing chess when I was 12 years old,” said Joseph Couvillion, along with wife Cathy, owns North Georgia Chess Center. “Over the years, I worked on my game as much as possible through playing chess and reading books about the


game. I really became interested when my Uncle Mark moved back to Atlanta; we studied and played together all the time, as well as played in tournaments together— which we still do today.” Joseph won the Georgia Class Championship (Class A) in 2004. Currently, he is ranked in the top 40 in the state of Georgia and has a rating of 1939 with the United States Chess Federation. Mark Couvillion began playing chess at age eight. Mark won the GA Class Championship (Class A) in 2005 and the Georgia Senior Open in 2010. He is ranked in the top 35 in the state of Georgia and has a rating of 1960 with the United States Chess Federation. Mark is a coach at the center, which has more than 100 members and hosts regular tournaments. “We focus on creating awareness of the game of chess and how wonderful it is for the mind. We are trying to grow the chess community in North Georgia as much as we can. We would like to see the young chess players continue playing up into their high school, college and adulthood years,” said Cathy. The Couvillions teach the game based on critical, analytical and creative thinking skill, which in turn helps the students develop creativity while providing them with a place to learn, relax and enjoy the game of chess.

AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

The Ultimate Hangout for Dogs More than half of all Americans are pet owners. With more than 72 million dogs and 81 million cats in the United States, some 37 percent of households include a dog and 32 percent have at least one cat, according to the 2007 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographic Sourcebook. The Barker Lounge, the ultimate play-good, feel-good, look-good hangout for dogs, serves all daycare and boarding needs for any discerning pet owner. The facility offers daycare, grooming, boarding, and training at 5165 Atlanta Hwy (Highway 9) in Alpharetta, in the Mardi Gras Shopping Center. “This is the ultimate hangout for dogs,” said Kelly Marine, owner and operator. Kelly, the mother of two and also a pet owner, understands the time, love, and care that dogs need. “Daycare isn’t just for children anymore. Daycare provides dogs the mental, physical and social stimulation they thrive on. Doggy daycare has been shown to teach dogs how to play

december 2010

in an appropriate manner with other dogs, as well as to learn to have more confidence in themselves. For young dogs, it teaches them invaluable social skills that will help them learn how to properly meet and interact with a variety of other dogs. Active dogs are given a proper outlet for all of that energy. And running, playing, and getting a good workout with friends is a fantastic way to keep pets in good physical condition. Our daycare guests even get a midday nap and snack.” Boarding dogs also get lots of playtime, and are only in their kennels long enough to eat and sleep. Visitors can see how happy the dogs are to be there. “It’s a home away from home,” said Kelly. “We treat each dog as if it was our own.” Kelly believes no dog should be without a loving home, and works with local rescue groups to foster dogs and help them find good homes. The daily interaction and socialization that these dogs are exposed to helps prepare them for life with a new family. More importantly, she added, the foster dogs get the opportunity to meet potential adoptive parents.

AroundAbout — cumming



The Perfect Getaway – Bowling, Games, Food and More! Stars & Strikes Family Entertainment Center was established in 2005, locally owned and operated, with three locations in the metro Atlanta. “Our mission is to provide quality customer service for families, corporate clients, and other groups so that they may have fun while enjoying great entertainment options and amazing food,” said Chris Albano, managing partner. Coach’s Corner Café, a sports-themed, full service restaurant in the entertainment center features a wide range of great foods. “Our facility can accommodate groups of all sizes - from 6 to 350,” said Cheryl Campbell, event sales manager. “We are able to host team building activities and seminars.” Currently the Cumming facility hosts the Georgia Leads Group of Cumming on Tuesdays. “We have also hosted The Sensational Women’s Alliance Network (SWAN) development group as well.” SWAN is an exclusive network and business development group for today’s professional business women. Stars & Strikes has hosted events for major corporations along the GA 400 corridor as well as Forsyth County. “Companies such as Siemens, McKesson, AT&T, Lexus, Home Depot, and Walmart, to name a few, have chosen our location for their events,” said Campbell. Stars & Strikes offers a wide range of services and entertainment options that include laser tag and video games, in addition to great food. “We are more than just a bowling alley,” said Campbell.


AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

The UPS Store More than Just Boxes

Recently, store employees have seen an increase of travelers who’ve chosen to ship their luggage before their holiday travels, in an effort to avoid airline fees. “You can pack what you need and avoid lugging your bags through long lines at the airport,” Jaleh said.

We see the trucks through town. We see the men and women in brown that travel the world, and our neighborhoods, delivering boxes, envelopes and much more.

And just in time for the year’s busiest shipping season, Jaleh reminds potential customers: Most ground packages require five days to reach their destination, but shipping coast-to-coast may take longer.


“Our store is here to help with all shipping needs, but also can help the busy, multitasker with so much more than just shipping,” said Jaleh Mozayanfar, owner of The UPS Store located at the Castleberry Southard Crossing Shopping Center in Cumming. Jaleh decided to open a UPS store after carefully reviewing several franchise options available for a woman entrepreneur. Along with packing and shipping, the store offers other services, including mailboxes, copies, notary, and binding; services that are helpful to businesses in the area, area residents and passer-byes.

december 2010

If you are shipping international to military members stationed overseas, options are available as although delivery time will vary.


Monday is the busiest shipping day of the week.


You can recycle your leftover packaging peanuts – bring them to The UPS Store.


You should include a label on the inside of the package with both destination and return address.


Take batteries out of toys and electronics before shipping.


Don’t ship perfume or cologne. They are considered hazardous materials.


Don’t use duct, masking or cellophane tape to seal your boxes for shipping.


AroundAbout — cumming



We Can Only Fix Ourselves

True Satisfaction

By Christine Roberts

by Maria I. Morgan

Back in my single days, I found myself in relationships where I was constantly having conversations like … he needs to change, he just needs to be more expressive, be more affectionate, listen better, be more responsible … and on and on. Everything was about how the other person needed to improve. Then one day I realized that the only person I could change was me. All the effort I was expending was futile. When I started putting energy into fixing myself instead of other people, life got a lot more enjoyable and amazingly healthy relationships started “coincidentally” showing up in my life. Now the idea of fixing or changing someone applies to any relationship, not just romantic ones. There are times when we feel frustrated about how our children, mother, father, in-laws or some friends act. And we are constantly pointing the finger at them, discussing or “That’s when it’s time thinking how things would be so much better if they were to turn the finger in the different. That’s when it’s opposite direction and time to turn the finger in the ask ourselves, how can opposite direction and ask we be different.” ourselves, how can we be different? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So start asking yourself, “Why am I the way I am?” Immerse yourself in taking care of you to be the best that you can be. Read self-help books, seek counseling, participate in some seminars or retreats, or join a small group with church. Wayne Dyer, a self-help guru, said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” It takes a lot of courage to address our own issues, but it is so worth it! We’re all works in progress, so we’re never finished growing and improving. When we take charge of ourselves, it is an amazing, empowering feeling. It may surprise you how the people who we used to try to fix, suddenly have changed. Imagine how much better our world be if all of us could have peace with who we are! Christine Roberts is a volunteer at Jesse’s House, (www.jesseshouse. org), a nonprofit organization that works with state agencies to provide a safe haven and long-term care for girls age 7-17 who are confirmed victims of abuse. To volunteer, e-mail: Christine can be reached for speaking engagements at cmroberts10@


Who can deny that food and holidays go together? Christmas is no exception. Spending time with dear family members can only be made sweeter by a table laden with food. My mouth is already watering in anticipation of all the delectable things that will make up the Christmas feast. I imagine myself loading my plate with all kinds of goodies — Kentucky stack cake and peppermint ice cream, not to mention the festively shaped cookies baked with care. It’s a dessert connoisseur’s dream. But in this dream of mine, something is missing: food that will truly nourish my body. If my plate is loaded solely with sweets, it’ll only be a matter of time before my body craves what it really needs — proper nutrients. You know, the ones found in the turkey, green beans, squash, and cranberry relish, also on the table. When fueled with the appropriate balance of food, my body is able to function properly. The problem: sometimes I fall prey to eating the “Spending time with things that sound good to me, rather than those that dear family members can are good for me. only be made sweeter by

a table laden with food.”

Christmas time offers me several opportunities to reflect on the real reason for the season — the birth of Jesus Christ. However, in a rush to send out the Christmas cards, decorate my house, and finish my shopping, I leave out what I really need — time spent with my Savior, time allowing Him to orchestrate my days so that balance is restored during a chaotic time. Consider the beautiful metaphor spoken by Jesus himself, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst,” (John 6:35). Sweets cannot satisfy my body’s hunger; neither can my soul be satisfied in living a life apart from Christ. As you wrap that last gift, and put the finishing touches on your Christmas feast, remember to make plenty of room for what will truly satisfy — the Lord, Jesus Christ! Happy Holidays! Maria Morgan is a freelance writer and a Cumming resident. Visit her on the web at

AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

‘Tis the Season for Stress Free Tresses

Never Too Old to Pursue Your Passions Justin Honaman makes music and finds success!

by Jyl Craven As we begin to enter into the winter season, many of us are anticipating those “chilly blues” and having that oh so familiar nightmare of long shopping lines and being elbows deep in shortening. During this chaotic time of year it can be imperative to reserve time to oneself as a means of preserving sanity. Not only can personal allotment be therapeutic but it can also mean the difference between uncomfortable family gatherings and tender picturesque moments. As the New Year approaches, the best way to treat yourself is with a trip to the salon. Many of us are very particular about the way our quaff is colored and styled. Yet, in the right hands, revamping our look can become less nail biting and more pleasurable. A new look will not only help to melt away the holiday stress, but it will inspire a fresh batch of confidence serving as the perfect accessory for all of your seasonal party needs. Consider the salon your own little black dress: a classic pick me up that works for any occasion. With all of the bold plums and metallics that are happening in fashion, a great complement is undoubtedly rich luxurious hair color, available to you at your local professional salon. If you currently are a blonde, brighter icier blondes are all over the runway. Don’t worry brunettes; a way to update your color for the holidays is by deepening your current shade or adding some red tones. One thing to be certain of; dimension looks great on every color so don’t hesitate to add some highs or lows! One trend that is becoming very prominent this holiday season is bangs, so even a small adjustment to the great look you already have can bring you right up to speed. Although you may feel that you can’t pull off a specific look, there are several remarkable specialty products for your hair type that can optimize your texture while restoring your hair’s vitality and maintaining its integrity. In addition, many salons offer conditioning treatments that are distributed with a relaxing scalp massage! In no time, you will be forgetting the troubles of proper table settings, and be much too occupied with feeling rejuvenated and beautiful. There is nothing more important right now than your mental health, so treat yourself to some much needed pampering. Complete your winter fashions with an amazing new hairstyle and even your mother in-law won’t be able to withhold a compliment. The value of confidence is immeasurable, and it is time to collect. Jyl Craven of Jyl Craven Hair Colour Studio of Canton. For information you may contact the salon at (770) 345-9411 or visit

“Make it happen!” “Live it out loud every day!” “I’m all in!” Say one of the phrases above to any of Justin Honaman’s friends or co-workers, and they will likely laugh and say, “You sound like Justin.” That’s because Justin is known for repeating these phrases frequently, and for demonstrating this passion and zeal for life. Justin embodies the principle of making things happen whether he’s at work or at home, with family or with friends. Justin is a business development leader at Coca-Cola. He’s also a dedicated community volunteer and sits on the boards of numerous community organizations including the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award committee and Consumer Goods magazine. He’s an active member at Buckhead Church, where he leads guest services teams and children’s worship weekly. He’s a dedicated Yellow Jackets fan and attends every home football and basketball game. He is a play-by-play announcer for his stepson’s football games. What really sets Justin apart is his passion for following his dreams and encouraging others to do the same. His message, and one that he shares regularly as he delivers workshops on personal branding, is that no matter how busy you are, you have to make time to follow your dreams, pursue your passions and give back. For Justin, this means pursuing his passion for writing and singing. He has always enjoyed writing and two years ago decided to put some of the life lessons he has learned on paper. The result was a book entitled, “Make it Happen: Live Out Your Personal Brand.” Saying no just wasn’t an option! Justin tells a story of how he decided at the “mature” age of 32 to formally pursue his interest in singing. He had always been interested in music, and had played the piano as a child. One thing led to another and he decided to record a country album. He recalls talking with a label executive in Nashville who pretty much told Justin that he was too old to record an album and that he shouldn’t waste his time. The challenge was on. Justin did record that album of 10 songs, one of which he wrote and dubbed the title track “Saturday in the South.” Fast forward four years, and that song has now been picked up by CBS Sports and is played on national TV weekly during the SEC game of the week. Not bad for someone who was told not to pursue his passion for writing and singing. Justin recently released his second album which crossed over from country to Contemporary Christian. The album, “Let Go & Let God,” features 10 tracks, all written and recorded by Justin. The upbeat tempo reflects the kind of music heard regularly on Contemporary Christian stations like Atlanta’s 104.7 The Fish. While Justin’s music isn’t being played on The Fish (yet), it is working its way up the charts in some of the smaller markets across the country. The album includes the song, “One Pledge,” which he wrote to honor his father who flew helicopters in an Army Medical Evacuation unit during the Vietnam War, and to honor all members of our armed services. In the spirit of giving back, a portion of proceeds from album sales benefit the USO. For Justin, the bottom line is that you have to “live it out loud every day” and give your full energy and enthusiasm to all you do. This enthusiasm can be contagious to all who come in contact with him. Visit Justin’s website at for more information.

december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming


Schools & Sports

Pinecrest Academy Students Serve 13 Organizations on “Apostolic Blitz Day” by Vivian Heard Each school year, Pinecrest Academy, a private Catholic school in Cumming, organizes an “Apostolic Blitz Day” when middle school students take a break from the classroom and spend a day off campus, serving others in our community.

lovingly open up to children they did not know, and how well they bonded in such a short time.”

Held in late October, Apostolic Blitz Day began with a student Mass at 8 a.m., after which middle schoolers boarded chartered buses, school vans, and parent-driven vehicles to begin their day of service in and around Forsyth County.

Apostolic Blitz Day directly supports the purpose of Pinecrest Academy, which is “to form Christian leaders who will transform society.” The school implements the “Integral Formation” method of education, which focuses on the complete development of all dimensions of the person: intellectual, human, spiritual and apostolic.

Students served the following organizations: Chestnut Ridge Assisted Living, Forsyth County Senior Center, Head Start Early Intervention Preschools, Easter Seals Early Intervention Preschool, White Oaks Assisted Living, Sarah Cares Adult/Senior Day Care, Sheltering Arms Early Intervention Daycare and Preschool, No Longer Bound, SMARTA International Preschool, Tara Plantation Assisted Living, and 40 Days for Life.

In addition to Apostolic Blitz Day, Pinecrest encourages continual service throughout the year via programs like Challenge Club for girls and Conquest Club for boys. Both organizations focus on the spiritual growth of students, which fosters opportunities for apostolic service to the community and beyond.

Girls in Mrs. Patricia Torrey’s 7th grade class visited SMARTA International Preschool. Upon arrival, the girls were each paired with a child, sang songs in Spanish, distributed snacks, and assisted with arts and crafts. During story time, students Ana Paula Sanchez and Steffi Harrisson read books in Spanish, while Maddie Brabrook read a book in English. Many of the girls received goodbye hugs from the children. “I cannot begin to express what an amazing experience this Blitz Day was for me as a parent chaperone,” said Teresa Quattrocchi. “It was wonderful to see our girls so


During another Blitz visit, 7th grade boys visited Sarah Cares Adult/Senior Day Care, where the students spent time talking with residents and entertaining them with music and Bible skits. “After their visit, the boys spoke of their experiences with authentic excitement, mentioning residents they spent time with by name and sharing the fun they had,” said Ms. Grethel Hoffmaister, a middle school teacher. “There was so much happiness, both for the day care residents and for our students. It was a joy for me to see the formation our boys receive at Pinecrest come to fruition and put into action.”

Seniors at Pinecrest participate in an annual spring mission trip as a finale to the years of service they have been a part of during their time at Pinecrest. Vivian Heard is a Cumming resident. She may be reached at or (770) 363-5542.

AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

Who Is Bruce Logan? by Matt Coutu Settling down with a good book is always a favorite pastime for Bruce Logan. Over the course of my writing career, he has really helped me. He is my mentor. He is originally from Montreal, Quebec, and has lived in the United States since 1954. Before he came to America, he was an officer in the Canadian Navy from 1949 to 1953. He lived in New York City for 44 years, and arrived in Atlanta in 1998. In New York, he owned a magazine called TV Shopper, which reported on important people from its Manhattan headquarters. Today, he writes oral histories on presidents and other famous political figures. Other hobbies include taking pictures, making videos, and eating Five Guys fries. He spends a lot of time on the computer creating picture slideshows and editing the photos he has taken. When you enter his home, you see that there are many places to sit. These are his reading spots. Throughout the day, he moves where the sun goes: in the morning in his chair near the back porch, afternoon living room, and at sunset, his upstairs patio. Near each of these spots is a table and on each table is reading material. He said it takes him about a week to read a 500-page book. He owns many more books than the ones a visitor can see. If you look into any of his closets, they are almost like miniature libraries! He has one library in his basement, one in the guest bedroom, and one in the upstairs hall closet. All of these areas are covered from floor to ceiling in books! I asked him how many books he owns, and he replied, “I don’t have an answer to that because every time we move, I have to get rid of some. I’m also constantly getting more.” Another issue is where to store

december 2010

them. I asked him if he had a favorite book. He easily replied, “All books are treasures. My favorite is the one I am reading at the time.” I wondered if anything crazy happened to him. “Well,” he said, “my wife says I do crazy things every day but the craziest I think I have ever done is gone hiking from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, down to the Colorado River all by myself.” He has traveled many places, including Poland, the United Kingdom and Burma. While he was in Burma, (now Myanmar) he put his foot in China. A mentor is defined as a ‘wise and trusted counselor or teacher’, a person who can guide you, help you, take you under his or her tutelage, and nurture your progress in the field. I can always go to Mr. Bruce, my mentor and friend, when I need information, and he gives me great advice. I know that I can definitely learn a thing or two from his experiences with writing, and I hope that I will be as successful as him in life. Matt Coutu is a resident of Cumming. He is a student at Montessori Academy at Sharon Springs and an aspiring journalist.

AroundAbout — cumming



Good Tidings We Bring by Katie Diem you and your kin. We all know the words of this song and many others; we’ll be bombarded with them in the stores as the Christmas season descends upon us. Forget the decorations and the visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads. Let me tell you one of my favorite things about the holidays. Even when I was much younger, I’ve noticed that people just seem, in general, to be so much nicer in December than in any other month of the year. I could never really put my finger on why — back then, maybe I believed that everyone was just eagerly awaiting the arrival of good ol’ Saint Nick.

on the downer of a night I was having. Here I was, a total stranger, and he stopped to offer some kind words before continuing on his way. Admittedly, it was slightly unnerving at first because, let’s face it, people don’t usually do that these days. Not without a motive, anyway. But perhaps his heart was a little more open, maybe he saw a girl who was down on her luck sitting at that table.

That’s my point exactly! Knowing the power in such small gestures of thoughtfulness, wouldn’t it be great if we all offered tidbits of free, no-strings-attached kindness — especially during the Christmas season? I’m sure most people have witnessed some kind of Christmas miracle, big or small, some circumstance that doesn’t usually happen at any other time during the year. It’s almost like a constant looping of a Liberty Mutual commercial, which calls random acts of To this day, I still see the best in people come out around kindness “responsibility.” I call them the heart, the true spirit Christmas time (except, maybe, when people are caught up in of humanity. And, if you’re a Christian, you know that Jesus the Black Friday shopping frenzy.) Maybe we can credit Santa came to this world to save mankind. He knew Claus, the cheery songs, the red and green, the vast depth of the hearts of mankind, and the or the vast selection of homemade Christmas sheer power of goodness hidden in there. He “I’m sure most people cookies. But I think there’s an underlying also knew how prone we are to ignore such reason. have witnessed some power. kind of Christmas We find ourselves searching for the perfect miracle, big or small, In this busy world, it’s easy to build a wall gift for the people we love. They do the same some circumstance that around our hearts. Cyberspace consumes for us. Our family and our friends — they doesn’t ususally happen us and pulls us away from the world outside all gather around us during the holidays. It’s our homes. We fight with each other about a at any other time during not about the presents here; it’s about the myriad of things — politics, religious beliefs, memories that are made. And it seems to the year.” controversial issues, the last hot-ticket item at lighten people’s hearts to gather around the the grocery store, sports rivalries (yeah, don’t fireplace and spend time together. even get me started on Auburn) and many other trivialities of our daily lives. And I wonder, what if people were to extend some of this positivity outside the household? For every one of us who is But enter Christmas. ‘Tis the season to be jolly. The Lord’s frolicking about and having fun over the holiday season, there’s birthday and Santa’s flight. Share some of those sugar plums someone who is suffering from a hard time. Now, I’m not with a stranger. Give someone who’s having a hard time a saying go buy presents for some random strangers — that’s not reason to deck the halls. Let the holiday spirit bring out the best the point. Sometimes the most meaningful things come in the in you — whether it’s offering words of kindness, finally putting form of encouraging words and simple acts of kindness. aside differences with someone, or letting the other mom get her hands on that last toy on the shelf. You won’t need a jacket I remember one night when I was totally stressed, sitting at a after the surge of warmth you just spread around. It’s not easy table outside a café in downtown Athens, and a man who looked being the nice guy, but it sure does pay off. Who knows? The to be in his late 20s came strolling down the sidewalk. Thinking person who you reached out to may come back one day in your he was just another passerby, I continued to sip my drink and time of need. Benevolence — the best gift you’ll ever give. Its drown in a vortex of dark swirling thoughts when he caught me boomerang effect — the best gift you’ll ever receive. off guard and approached me. He said “hey there,” extended his hand, and I hesitated. It must’ve been totally obvious that I felt On behalf of myself and everyone at AroundAbout-Cumming, pretty awkward in that situation, because after a moment he said, here’s to a safe, blessed, and very merry Christmas season for all “It’s just a handshake. The night is still young. Take care of of you. yourself.” And like that, he was gone. And in a strange way, his kindness resounded in me, especially 32

AroundAbout — cumming

Katie Diem is a freshman at the University of Georgia.

december 2010

How to Make it Through College While Preparing for the World Outside of It by Kristyn Iodice As I sit in my room, thinking about my final research topic for an English paper due at the end of the semester, I can’t help but reminisce about the ups and downs of my college experience thus far. I think about the day I moved into my dorm room at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville and the excitement that flooded my body as I watched my family drive away from campus. I was finally on my own. I felt as if I had life in the palm of my hand and at that moment I felt that anything was possible. Unfortunately, these feelings wore off eventually and were replaced by the important questions that come with the responsibility of being “grown up.” Those responsibilities that your parents always told you existed, but you knew that they were all wrong and that being grown up was only about freedom and no rules. At some point in college, your priorities switch, and you begin to realize that this is where you make plans for your future and decide a career path. For me, this was the most terrifying and difficult part of college. I called my mother on a regular basis, in tears because I felt as if I had no direction or clue as to what I wanted to major in or what I wanted to do after college. Now that I am a senior in college, everything has fallen into place. Here are some tips on how to make it through college while preparing for the world outside of it. Tip #1: Know that there will be a time where you have absolutely no clue what you want to do in life, and learn to be okay with that. During my college career, I changed majors four times before finally settling on English. Just remember that you do not have to decide right away. I would recommend taking courses in different studies that interest you, to get a better idea of what you may want to claim as your major. Tip #2: Live for yourself. Although you may have the pressure of everybody around you telling you to go one way or another with your education or career choice, you must realize that in the end, your job must please you! Make sure you go into something that you are passionate about, or you will regret not having a career in something you love. Tip #3: Look for internships or opportunities to shadow a person at their workplace. I have learned that this is probably the most important part of college. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and jump in feet first. If you have a certain career in continued on page 43 december 2010

Top Cars for Teenagers by Hannah Myers The thought of owning a car is in most teenagers’ minds. Parents will take their son’s or daughter’s requests, yet keep in mind the price, safety and capacity for the particular car that is desired. When car shopping for a new teenage driver, several vehicles will assure parents that their teenager will be safe according to car specialist from each individual manufacturer. The Honda Accord is affordable and rated by the Honda safety division as one of Honda’s top safety picks. Priced around $21,000, the Accord is a quality car for inexperienced drivers because it is easier to drive since it is smaller and more easily steered. The Honda Civic, priced around $16,000 to $19,500, has safety features such as antilock brakes and multiple airbags. The car can withstand the impact of larger and heavier vehicles according to Honda safety experts. The Toyota Camry, $18,500 to $28,000, is an excellent first vehicle because of modified safety features such as several crash-detecting airbags. The Suzuki SX4 has newly developed features and is a nice first vehicle because it will protect the driver from getting seriously injured if in an accident more than other cars would because of the safety features. Pricing starts at $17,000. The Kia Forte is ideal for teenagers who have limited driving experience because of the easy handling. The price ranges from $14,500 to $17,500 and will last longer than most cars because it is low maintenance according to Kia manufacturers. The Nissan Versa is priced at $10,500 to $12,000. This dependable vehicle provides the driver with more space and headroom than most other small cars. The Pontiac Vibe is a reliable alternative for drivers of any age. Parents will like it for their teens because of the improved antilock brakes, curtain airbags that surpass the number of airbags in many other cars. The Vibe has extra stability control and power steering. Price ranges from $16,000 to $23,000. The Subaru Impreza 2.5i provides drivers with a more intensified tire grip on slick roads. Costing around $18,500, the Impreza has advanced safety features that parents should like for their young drivers. The Smart Fortwo is priced at $12,000 to $15,000. Studies show that more car accidents occur when there are multiple teenagers in one car, so this simple vehicle is a perfect choice for any new driver. This tiny vehicle is an environmentally-friendly hybrid. Hannah Myers is 15 years old and a student at North Forsyth High School. An avid writer, Hannah has published a book titled Tell Me the Truth. It is available at all four branches of the Forsyth County libraries and at

AroundAbout — cumming



AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming


Schools & Sports

The Social Media Fad:

The Pros and Cons of Facebook and MySpace for Students by Kathy Martin These days, children as young as elementary school have Facebook and MySpace pages. As a parent, you may wonder about the dangers — and the benefits — of entering the social media world as an elementary, middle or high school student.. Just as social media and networking sites have grown tremendously for businesses and adults, staying connected is becoming increasingly important to younger children and teens. Many parents fear this evolution, and while it can be a distraction, there are many advantages to these types of applications, too.

They prepare students for the way the world is moving. Like it or not, social media is here to stay — and likely to be a part of your teen’s life and career forever. While it may be unfamiliar to you, such advancements are not bad. Social media is simply a sign of our global marketplace and your child’s role in it.

Cons They’re time-consuming. Adult users of MySpace and Facebook know how easy it is to get hooked. If unmonitored, teens can easily become addicted to these sites, wasting countless hours online that could be better spent engaged in healthier, more developmentally important activities. If overused, they minimize the development of people skills. While increased communication is a great thing, it’s important that students do not replace face-to-face interaction with posting and chatting on Facebook and MySpace. Interpersonal skills — such as active listening, holding conversations and problem-solving — are an extremely important part of a teen’s development. Cyberbullying happens. The alarming statistics about children targeting and harassing other children online are enough to make most parents want to get rid of their family computer altogether. However, parents can and should teach their children appropriate online behavior as well as how to deter bullying situations before they escalate. Websites such as www.makeadifferenceforkids. org and are helpful resources for students and families.


They can be powerful learning tools. Learning in the 21st Century is very different than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Our children are technologically advanced, and many forwardthinking schools and teachers are now finding ways to engage students via technology, creating class Facebook pages, assigning projects that incorporate social media (which often excites tech-savvy students), using Angel for homework assignments, and more.

Online dangers do exist. The Internet has made it easy for those with bad intentions to pose as other people. From an early age, parents should monitor their teens’ social media usage to ensure they are not communicating with strangers or other suspicious people. It is important for teens to understand the importance of privacy settings, being safe online and never revealing personal information on open chat or posting forums.

Social media platforms give students access. The internet has revolutionized access to information, and similarly, social media has changed the way people communicate. It has made it possible for a ninth-grade student in Cumming, Georgia, to make friends around the world, with anyone with whom he or she shares a common interest.

There is no doubt that social media can enhance teaching and learning, but parents should stay involved, monitor their teen’s internet usage as much as possible and maintain open communication with their teens. Facebook and MySpace can be an enjoyable, enriching part of a teens’ life, provided he or she continues to make school a priority and maintains a healthy balance of other activities.

They can promote social skills. MySpace and Facebook help shy and outgoing students alike make friends, build networks of contacts and socialize with a wider range of people than would otherwise be possible.


Kathy Martin, Executive Director of the Huntington Learning Center on Bethelview Road in Cumming, may be reached at (770)292-8994.

AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming


Schools & Sports

Respect The Picas! by Luisa Mendez-Zalzman “One pica must separate all the elements on the page.” Some of my students call them “peekas,” others call them “pecas;” “the picas” have become part of the daily lexicon in journalism/yearbook class at the school where I teach. I became familiar with the picas two years ago, but I never understood the true importance of this little but powerful page design element until this year. It clicked! Students get excited, ideas flow across the room and everybody is inspired to design their own ingenious pages. Sounds like a dream come true, right? Wrong! That is actually when the problem begins. You see, when you have the task of creating a yearbook for a whole school using the minds and very different talents of 30 students, you have to become very creative and resourceful to make the final product look like only one person did it. “A pica is an equivalent unit of composition measurement used in determining the dimensions of lines, illustrations, or printed pages.” In a yearbook it is used to maintain a balance between the elements of a page or spread so it looks organized. I have to admit that since I discovered the true meaning of the pica and its purpose, I was thrilled. I made a point to make it a living presence within the walls of the yearbook quarters. I said to myself, “Not only do they make the book look organized, but they also make countless hours of editing pages a less daunting task.” Of course, I was the only one thrilled with this new concept and soon found out that the students didn’t like it as much as I did. The pica, they told me, restrained them, made them think in squares; no freedom at all! Eyes were rolled, and excuses were made. “We have never use these picas before,” or “But my page looks great without the picas, Mrs. Zalzman,” were some of the comments I heard. “We are going to dream in picas, Mrs. Zalzman!” or “You stay in picas, you go crazy!” some others would joke. Unfortunately for them, the picas were here to stay. You see, I explained: “It is a win-win situation. If you respect the picas, the internal white space of your page doesn’t get messed up. If the internal white space of the page doesn’t get messed up, your page looks organized. Furthermore, you are securing yourself an A on the assignment because respecting the pica rule happens to be worth 15 points of your grade, and I will save at least one hundred hours of editing work.” Despite the frustration and endless complaints and jokes about the use of the picas, there is one thing I know with certainty: if I make sure that every single one of my students understands and applies this simple concept every time they make a page for the yearbook, the mission has been accomplished! Luisa Mendez- Zalzman is a teacher and yearbook advisor at a Forsyth County High School.


Scholarships Available to High School Seniors The Sawnee Foundation is offering scholarships to eligible seniors graduating in 2011. Scholarships will be awarded to students selected from the Sawnee EMC territory which consists of parts of Cherokee, Dawson, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall and Lumpkin counties. To be eligible, a student must be a high school senior and the student’s permanent residence must be served by Sawnee EMC. Scholarship packets have been delivered to local high schools in the Sawnee EMC territory. Applications are also available online at or by contacting Cindy Badgett at 678-455-1539. The application deadline is 5 p.m. January 14, 2011. Once a year, Sawnee EMC selects two high school students as delegates on the Washington Youth Tour. To be eligible, the students must be 16-18 years old and attend school in the Sawnee EMC service area or live in an area served by Sawnee EMC. These students will join approximately100 other students from Georgia. All expenses will be paid. Once in D.C., the group connects with hundreds of students from across the country for one incredible week in our nation’s capitol. The Washington Youth Tour is a fast-paced once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see how America works. Next summer’s tour will be June 9 – 16, 2011. Deadline for entry is February 18, 2011. “It is not just a week of sightseeing. It is even more than a chance to meet other students from across the nation and shake hands with congressmen. I gained a new sense of pride in my country and respect for those who fight and defend the freedoms it offers,” According to a recent delegate. The week includes meetings with state and national leaders and leadership training, and sightseeing. Students also meet and discuss their views with students from other states while learning about history, government and careers in public service. Senator Lyndon Johnson inspired the Washington Youth Tour at the Natural Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting in Chicago in 1957. Since then, more than 40,000 students have visited Washington to learn about electric cooperatives, American history and U.S. government. For more information or to apply, call Cindy Badgett, Director of External Affairs at (678) 455-1539 or visit Sawnee’s website at www.

AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

School Information

Elementary Schools

Big Creek Elementary 1994 Peachtree Parkway, (770) 887-4584 Principal: Sherri Black

Midway Elementary 4805 Atlanta Highway, Alpharetta (770) 475-6670 Principal: Todd Smith

Brookwood Elementary 2980 Vaughan Drive, (678) 965-5060 Principal: Kathie Braswell kbraswell@forsyth.k12,

Sawnee Elementary 1616 Canton Highway, (770) 887-6161 Principal: Dr. Eileen Nix

Chattahoochee Elementary 2800 Holtzclaw Road, (770) 781-2240 Principal: Dave Culpepper

Settles Bridge Elementary 600 James Burgess Road, Suwanee (770) 887-1883 Principal: Donna Morris

Chestatee Elementary 6945 Keith Bridge Road, Gainesville (770) 887-2341 Principal: Rebecca G. Johnson Coal Mountain Elementary 3455 Coal Mountain Drive, (770) 887-7705 Principal: Debbie Smith

Sharon Elementary 3595 Old Atlanta Road, Suwanee (770) 888-7511 Principal: Amy Bartlett Shiloh Point Elementary 8145 Majors Road, (678) 341-6481 Principal: Sharon Ericson

North Forsyth Middle 3645 Coal Mountain Drive, (770) 889-0743 Principal: Jeff Hunt Otwell Middle 605 Tribble Gap Road, (770) 887-5248 Principal: Steve Miller Piney Grove Middle 8135 Majors Road, (678) 965-5010 Principal: Terri North Riverwatch Middle 610 James Burgess Road, Suwanee (678) 455-7311 Principal: Kathy Carpenter South Forsyth Middle 2865 Old Atlanta Road, (770) 888-3170 Principal: Sandy Tinsley Vickery Creek Middle 6240 Post Road, (770) 667-2580 Principal: Kathy Rohacek

Cumming Elementary 540 Dahlonega Street, (770) 887-7749 Principal: Pam Pajerski

Sliver City Elementary 6200 Dahlonega Highway, (678) 965-5020 Principal: Kristan Morse

Daves Creek Elementary 3740 Melody Mizer Lane, (770) 888-1223 Principal: Eric Ashton

Vickery Creek Elementary 6280 Post Road, (770) 346-0040 Principal: Ron McAllister

Haw Creek Elementary 2555 Echols Road, (678) 965-5070 Principal: Dr. Amy Davis

Whitlow Elementary 3655 Castleberry Road, (678) 965-5090 Principal: Lynne Castleberry

Johns Creek Elementary 6205 Old Atlanta Road, Suwanee (678) 965-5041 Principal: Alyssa Degliumberto

Middle Schools

Lakeside Middle 2565 Echols Road, (678) 965-5080 Principal: Debbie Sarver

North Forsyth High 3635 Coal Mountain Drive, (770) 781-6637 Principal: Beth Hebert

Mashburn Elementary 3777 Samples Road, (770) 889-1630 Principal: Tracey Smith

Liberty Middle 7465 Wallace Tatum Road, (770) 781-4889 Principal: Connie Stovall

South Forsyth High 585 Peachtree Parkway, (770) 781-2264 Principal: Dr. Jason Branch

Matt Elementary 7455 Wallace Tatum Road, (678) 455-4500 Principal: Charlley Stalder

Little Mill Middle 6800 Little Mill Road, (678) 965-5000 Principal: Connie McCrary

West Forsyth High 4155 Drew Road, (770) 888-3470 Principal: Richard Gill

december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming

High Schools

Forsyth Central High 520 Tribble Gap Road, (770) 887-8151 Principal: Rudy Hampton Lambert High School 805 Nichols Road, (678) 965-5050 Principal: Dr. Gary Davison



Cumming Area Houses of Worship Assemblies of God

Northside Family Worship Center 2820 Brookwood Road, Cumming (770) 888-8852 Sunday School all ages: 9:30 a.m. Sunday Worship Service: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Bible Study: 7 p.m. Pastors: David & Robin Houtsma

Baptist Antioch Baptist Church 2465 Antioch Road (770) 887-6900 Sunday School: 10 a.m. Sunday Service: 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. AWANA: Sunday at 6 p.m. Wednesday Bible Study: 7 p.m. Pastor: Travis Bridgeman

Cumming Baptist Church 115 Church Street, (770) 205-6699 Sunday School: 9:30 a.m. Sunday Worship service: 10:50 a.m. Pastor: Dr. Barry Crocker

First Baptist Cumming 1597 Sawnee Drive, (770) 887-2428 Sunday Services: 9:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship Service & Bible Fellowship Groups 11 a.m. Traditional Worship Service & Bible Fellowship Groups Wednesday: 6:15 p.m. AWANA Pastor: Dr. Bob Jolly

First Redeemer Church

2100 Peachtree Parkway, (678) 513-9400 Sunday Services: 9:15 a.m. — New Contemporary Service (S&FC), Bible Fellowship & Worship 10:45 a.m. — Bible Fellowship & Worship 6:30 p.m. — Bible Fellowship Pastor: Dr. Richard Lee

Greater Heights Baptist Church 3790 Post Road, (770) 887-4802 Sunday School: 10 a.m. Sunday Worship: 11 a.m. Sunday Evening: 5 p.m. Wednesday Evening & AWANA: 7 p.m. Pastor: Chris Grinstead

Sunday School: 10 a.m. Worship Service: 11 a.m. Wednesday night adult and youth activities

North Lanier Baptist Church 829 Atlanta Highway, (770) 781-5433 Sunday Services: 8:30, 9:30 & 11 a.m. Sunday Spanish Service: 6 p.m.

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, Suwanee, (770) 888-4464 Wednesday Services: 6 p.m. Saturdays Service: 5:30 p.m. Sunday Service: 7:45, 9 & 11 a.m. Rector: Father Tripp Norris Curate: Father Joseph Greene

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit 724 Pilgrim Mill Road, (770) 887-8190 Services: Thursdays 12 noon, Sundays 8:30 and 10:45 a.m. Rector: Keith Oglesby

Greek Orthodox Saints Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene Greek Orthodox Church 3074 Bethelview Rd., (770) 781-5250 Divine Liturgy every Sunday at 10 AM Pastor: Fr. Barnabas Powell

Lutheran Living Faith Lutheran Church, LCMS

103 Buford Dam Road, (770) 887-0184 Sunday school: 9:30 a.m., all ages Sunday worship: 8 &10:45 a.m. Living Faith Lutheran Korean Church worship: 12:30 p.m. Wednesday evening fellowship meal (6 p.m.) Bible study for all ages (7 p.m.) Pastor Tim Droegemueller

Other Churches

Longstreet Baptist Church

Castle Christian Church

6868 Campground Road, (770) 889-1959

3149 Old Atlanta Road, Suwanee (678) 648-5248


AroundAbout — cumming Sunday Worship: 10 a.m. Wednesday Bible Study: 7 p.m. Senior Minister: Jason Rodenbeck

Family By Faith Worship Center Honoring the ministries of adoption and orphan care 4805 Atlanta Highway, Alpharetta (Midway Elementary School), (678) 230-4800 Small Groups: 9:30 a.m. Worship: 10:30 a.m. Nursery available Pastor: Randy Grimes

First Christian Church 1270 Sawnee Dr., Cumming, (770) 887-5542 Pastor Stan Percival

LDS Church 510 Brannon Road, (678) 577-4991 Sunday Service: 1 p.m.

LifePoint Christian Church 5000 McGinnis Ferry Road, Alpharetta (678) 366-2797 Sunday Small Groups: 9 a.m. Sunday Service: 10:30 a.m. Childcare available Pastor: Chris Stovall

NewSong Community Church 433 Canton Road, Suite 306, Located across from Ingles, behind the National Guard in Building 300, (770) 888-5212 Sunday Worship Service at 10:30 a.m. Pastor Case Koolhaas

Rameshori Buddhist Center 130 Allen Road, Unit B Sandy Springs, 30328 , (404) 255-1585

Presbyterian Deer Creek Shores Presbyterian Church 7620 Lanier Drive, (770) 887-6801 Sunday School all ages: 9:45 am Sunday Traditional Worship Service: 11 a.m. Childcare available Pastor: John S. Martin email:

Korean New Vision Presbyterian Church Meets at Parkway Presbyterian Church december 2010

The Country Preacher by David Hill What time of the year offers more unforgettable memories than Christmas? Ask anyone of any age to share the details of their favorite Christmas and you’ll hear some warm and maybe even romantic prose. The Christian story of our Savior’s birth is the greatest story ever told. Only God could have brought together all of these elements. No holiday drama has successfully imitated it. Did Dickens’ idea for Scrooge come from the innkeeper or was the character of Mr. Bailey in “It’s A Wonderful Life” taken from the wicked Herod whose taxes plagued the young couple? This Biblical story is about a couple’s struggle with poverty, taxes, heartless villains and even angels (not Clarence but Gabriel and the angelic choir), wealthy visitors with expensive gifts and God appearing in human flesh (John 1:14, 1). WOW! This story is too good to not be true. A Christmas visit to my grandparents’ house was a visit back in time. The remnants of their early life in the 1800s were everywhere about them. Mayslick, Kentucky, population 300 plus or minus, still looks much as it did before the interstate passed it by. Christmas services were held within walking distance, at the Baptist church. The church was started in the 1700s by a New York church that had begun in the 1600s. The area was relatively unchanged by modern commercial distractions. Christmas was still about Jesus’ birth and its celebration still centered around the family.

had tall ceilings. A shallow coal-burning grate was used for heat and partially lit the room. As a child, I was fascinated by the odor of the coal oil lamps and their strange flickering light. The usual gift from my parents to my grandparents’ was a ton of coal to help them face the winter’s weather. Grandpa was the last of the old time blacksmiths. Most of the horses were gone and his skills in metal work, which included making kitchen knives and tools, were being replaced by store-bought items. Many of those people today who have lost their jobs and have seen their companies disappear would sympathize with his struggles. Grandmother’s kitchen was full of mysterious new things to be discovered. Her tin bread box concealed giant cinnamon rolls covered with icing and filled with raisins. Across the room, a long handled dipper protruded from a bucket. Just outside the kitchen door, over the cistern, was a large pump shaped like an old tombstone. After a few turns of the crank handle, water came gushing out. I was spellbound. A black iron cook stove stood in the corner of the kitchen. At breakfast, I used a long-handled kitchen fork to make toast in the potbelly stove that stood in the center of the kitchen. Years passed before I learned that other families had a turkey instead of a fat hen for Christmas. On Christmas Eve, I slept on a goose-down featherbed Grandmother made for the loveseat that was scooted close to the fireplace. My Christmas memories are not the gifts under the tree but the gift of love that I experienced seeing my parent’s love shown to Mother’s family. Today a family without central heat, inside plumbing or electricity would be considered impoverished, destitute and

My grandparents’ house was very simple. The large living room

5830 Bethelview Road, (678) 200-5048 Sunday Services: 1:30 p.m. Pastor: Rev. Young Jeon

Parkway Church 5830 Bethelview Road (770) 889-8694 (½ mile west of GA 400 exit 13) Sunday Traditional Service: 9 a.m. Sunday Contemporary Service: 11 a.m. Childcare available for both services Senior Pastor: Bill Ford email:

Roman Catholic

St. Brendan Catholic Church

Lanier United Methodist Church

4633 Shiloh Road, (770) 205-7969 Mass: Saturday Vigil: 5 p.m. Sunday: 7:30, 9 & 11 a.m. & 5 p.m. Spanish Mass: 1 p.m. Weekdays: 8:30 a.m. Pastor: Father John Howren

1979 Buford Highway, (770) 887-0615 Sunday Traditional Service: 8:45 a.m. Sunday School: 10 a.m. Sunday Contemporary Praise Service: 11 a.m. Nursery available for both services Pastor: Ted Miller

United Methodist Bethelview United Methodist Church 4525 Bethelview Road, (770) 887-4888 Sunday Worship Service: 10:30 a.m. (child care available) Pastor: Rev. Deborah Griffith

Church of Good Shepherd 3740 Holtzclaw Road (770) 887-9861 Mass: Saturday Vigil, 5 p.m.; Sundays, 7:30, 9 & 10:30 a.m. and 12 noon; 5:30 p.m. Spanish Mass, 1:30 p.m. Weekdays: 9 a.m Pastor: Father Frank december 2010

continued on page 43

Cumming First United Methodist Church 770 Canton Highway, (770) 887-2900 Sunday Services: 8:45 & 11 a.m. (Child care available) Sunday Hispanic/Latino Worship: 12 noon Wednesday Communion Service: 12 noon Senior Pastor: Rev. John L. Cromartie, Jr. AroundAbout — cumming

Midway United Methodist Church 5025 Atlanta Highway, Alpharetta (770) 475-5230 Sunday Traditional Worship: 8:30 a.m. Sunday Children’s Church: 9:30 a.m. Sunday School all ages: 9:30 a.m. Sunday Contemporary Worship: 10:45 a.m.

Piedmont United Methodist Church 1170 Dahlonega Highway, (770) 887-0770 Sunday Services Bible Study 10 a.m. Traditional Service 11 a.m. Bible Study 5 p.m. 41


Cumming Area Clubs and Organizations Business Networking Business 400 Meeting: First Tuesday 5:30 — 7:30 p.m. Location: The Metropolitan Club, 5895 Windward Pkwy., Alpharetta Contact: (877) 581-1039 or Information: The goal is to provide the 400 Community the opportunity to effectively network and to view the 400 corridor as a single economic engine. $250 annual membership fee. Visit twice for free. Central Forsyth Leads Group Meeting: Second & fourth Tuesdays 11 a.m. — 1 p.m. Location: The Columns at Pilgrim Mill Apartments Contact: Nancy Wright, (770) 886-0500 or Information: No fees. Open to all. Forsyth Area Networking Meeting: Every Wednesday morning from 7:15 — 8:30 a.m. Location: North Georgia Wellness, 104 Colony Park Drive, Suite 800, Contact: Dr. Forrest Watts, (770) 886-7070 or drforrest@ Juli Phillips, (770) 205-9221 or Information: Membership is $90 per quarter. You are required to attend two meetings before applying. Forsyth Network for Business Professionals Meeting: Thursdays 11:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m. Location: (New) Bello Italian Restaurant 101 Meadow Drive Contact: Fred Burak, (678) 677-0815 Information: $50 membership fee and $10 monthly. Visit twice for free. No occupation overlap. Call first. Georgia Leads Group of Cumming Meeting: Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. Location: Stars & Strikes, 133 Merchants Square Contact: Cheryl Campbell, cheryl@ Information: There is a membership fee, may visit twice for free. The Inspiration Network of Cumming Meeting: Third Wednesdays from 7 — 8:30 p.m. Location: The Nurturing Nook, 205 Pilgrim Mill Road Contact: Leanne Temple, (678) 965-5969 Lunch and Learn Meeting: Fourth Tuesday 11:45 a.m. — 1 p.m. Location: Cumming Chamber of Commerce Contact: (770) 887-6461 or cfccoc@ Information: Free for first timers. The cost is $5 for members. Pizza and drinks are provided. South Forsyth Leads Group


Meeting: Location: Contact:

2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. No fees. Holiday Inn Express – John’s Creek, 7146 Mcginnis Ferry Rd., Suwanee Robin Grier (770) 887-2772

Women In Business Networking Meeting: First Tuesday, 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Location: Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce Event’s Facility 513 W. Maple Street Contact: (770) 887-6461 Information: Free for members; $5 for non-members. Register online at www.

Charitable Organizations Georgia Highlands Medical Services Contact: (770) 887-1668 Information: This is a non-profit Community Health Center (CHC) serving the medical needs of North Georgia since 1979. Horse Rescue, Relief & Retirement Fund, Inc. Contact: (770) 886-5419 Website: Humane Society of Forsyth County No-Kill Shelter Location: 4440 Keith Bridge Road Contact: (770) 887-6480 Information: Non-profit, no-kill shelter for cats and dogs. Website:

Civic Organizations Ducktown Chapter #460 — Order of the Eastern Star Meeting: 2nd & 4th Fridays at 7:30 p.m. Location: 4655 Canton Hwy. Contact: (770) 887-8147 Rotary Club of South Forsyth Meeting: Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. Location: 6300 Polo Club Drive Website:

Political Organizations Democratic Women of Forsyth County Meeting: Second Thursday Location: Different restaurants in Cumming Contact: Mary Chatfield, (770) 887-1106 Facebook page: DWFC GA Information: Democratic women meet monthly and the meetings alternate between lunch and dinner meetings with programs. Forsyth County Democratic Party Meeting: 2nd Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Location: CooCoo’s Nest restaurant, corner of Freedom Parkway & Pilgrim Mill Road, Cumming Contact: Ricia Maxie at or Mary Chatfield at (770) 887-1106

Recreation & Hobbies Cuong Nhu Martial Arts Club Contact: (404) 423-3524 Meeting: Every other Wednesday at 7 p.m. Location: Central Park AroundAbout — cumming

Website: Cuong-Nhu-Martial-Arts-Club/ Information: No fees, open to 16 years + North Georgia Chess Center Location: 2450 Atlanta Hwy. Suite 1401 Contact: Joseph or Cathy Couvillion 770844-9204,, Information: Call for hours. Membership $15 per month or $150 annually. Lessons are also available please contact us for additional information. Piecemakers Quilt Guild Meeting: 2nd Tuesday of each month; 4th Tuesday is “sewcialbee” (community quilts, classes or just getting together) Location: Christ the King Lutheran Church 1125 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road, Cumming Website:

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-hour information line: (770) 886-0696 Information: Group of Alcoholics Anonymous located in Forsyth County Website: Forsyth County Newcomers and Women’s Club Meeting: Third Thursday of each month Location: Windermere Golf Club Contact: Imy Rach, Information: A luncheon with program, many interest group activities every week (ladies, mens, couples and singles). Open to all women currently living in the county. Website: Labrador Friends of the South, Inc. Location: PO Box 933, Cumming Contact: Website: Moms Club of Cumming — North Monthly meetings with informational speakers, park play days, holiday parties, fieldtrips, playgroups and a monthly MOMS Night Out. Contact: Website: Moms Club of Cumming — Southwest Meeting: Last Tuesday of each month Contact: NAMI Forsyth Dawson Lumpkin Meeting: Thursdays, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Location: Forsyth County Family Center 133 Samaritian Dr., Cumming, GA Information: Two support groups (family & peer) meet every Thurs. except the last when there is a speaker. Contact: Website: december 2010

Making an Impact During the Holidays

How to Make it Through College

burned out of its home. A grocery bag of food worth $50 from The Place of Forsyth County supplies an elderly couple food that will last up to one week.

mind, I would highly recommend getting involved in the field in some way to make sure that it is the right career for you. Otherwise, you are taking the risk of spending four years to get a degree to work in a field that may not be for you.

continued from page 13

A $100 gift to the Holiday Giving Tree for Kids will make sure one child receives gifts and clothes for Christmas. None of us can give everything but each of us can give something and make a large impact on the entire community this holiday season. From children and youth to senior citizens, your change can make a difference in the lives of many people.

continued from page 33

Tip #4: Get involved! One of the best parts about college is having the opportunity to meet new people and develop a network that can help you in the long run. Take the time to join clubs, get to know teachers, or even get an on-campus job. You never know what will come out of it, but at least you will gain reliable references to use in the real world.

If you would like to donate this holiday season, and help those who are less fortunate, contact United Way of Forsyth County at (770) 781-4110 or visit Information on other programs and volunteer opportunities is available as well.

Tip #5: Do not be afraid to talk to your career counselor. Even if you think you know exactly what career is for you, take the time to go see him or her at least once or twice. Counselors have reliable information to help you in your career hunt. I would recommend asking a career counselor to review your resume before applying for a job.

Your Gift Buying Plan

Things really do have a way of working out, but you have to be willing to take chances and reach high. Thanks to these few tips, I am now almost done with school, I have an amazing internship, and I have direction for my future. Just remember, it is not about mapping out your entire future. Who knows where you will be 10 years down the road? But it is about making choices that will lead you into the next chapter of your life.

continued from page 10

throughout the year, you can buy things that are truly on sale. Track your purchased gifts by writing the item next to each person’s name so that you do not over-buy. Christmas and the days before and after should not be stressful or depressing. They can be enjoyable and memorable. Living by a plan will help that happen.

The (Im)Perfect Gift continued from page 22

Merry Christmas! Parkey Thompson is a personal financial coach at Financial Focus. He offers a free 30-minute consultation. Call 678-648-9940 or visit www.

Autism Talks

continued from page 13

The ideas shared are not just for this busy holiday season. Simply take out the holiday and add the everyday friendship. You will certainly be helping your friend in more ways than you ever expected. For more practical ideas, read Same Lake, Different Boat: Coming Alongside People Touched By Disability by Stephanie O. Hubach. Tiffany Underwood and her husband Nathan are the proud parents of Elise, a lovely young lady with Down Syndrome. For helpful tips and to join other parents of Down Syndrome children, visit www.superdownsy.

come from us rather than a store shelf. Their value cannot be figured using arithmetic. They carry heartfelt gratitude for friend or kinship past, and a tacit anticipation for the same or better in the future. More important, they represent the perfect Gift who took on imperfection – the ultimate present that was given to us on an ancient Christmas night, and for whom we celebrate each year. What could be more perfect? Nancy Johnson is an ordained United Methodist minister. She can be reached at Read more of her writing by visiting her blog, A Feast For The Soul, at

The Country Preacher continued from page 41

prospects for an Appalachian government poverty program. Conveniences are just things. Make Christmas a time to learn about love, real values and important virtues like character. We should be concerned more about losing our homes than we are about losing our houses. May you experience God’s love. He sent His Son that we might experience forgiveness of sin and share His home in Heaven. John 3:16. Rev. Hill is a Cumming resident and a frequent guest preacher at Antioch Baptist Church.

december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming



Community Information Numbers & Websites Emergency — 911 • AroundAbout — Cumming • (770) 615-3334 Hotlines — 24 Hour Help Lines: Battered Women Hotline Poison Control Center — Atlanta Outside Metro Atlanta Rite-Call (Child Medical Problems) Sexual Assault & Family Violence Center Medical Northside Hospital — Forsyth 1200 Northside Forsyth Drive

(770) 479-1703 (404) 616-9000 (800) 222-1222 (404) 250-KIDS (770) 428-2666

(770) 844-3200

Neighborhood Healthcare Center 2825 Keith Bridge Road

(770) 844-7494 (770) 886-7135

Health Department 428 Canton Highway

(770) 781-6906

Fire and Law Enforcement City of Cumming Police Department 301 Veterans Memorial Boulevard Forsyth County Fire Department 3520 Settingdown Road Georgia State Patrol Libraries Forsyth County Public Library 585 Dahlonega Road Sharon Forks Branch 2810 Old Atlanta Road Parks and Recreation 410 Pilgrim Mill Road

(770) 781-2000 (770) 781-2180 (770) 205-5400

(770) 781-9840

(770) 781-9840 Main Number: (770) 781-2030

Athletic Division

(770) 781-2215

Central Park Recreation Center 2300 Keith Bridge Road

(678) 455-8540

Windermere Park 3355 Windermere Parkway

(770) 205-4715

Fairgrounds 235 Castleberry Road

(770) 781-3491

Golf Clubs Chestatee Golf Club 777 Dogwood Way, Dawsonville


(706) 216-7336

Country Land Golf Course 6560 Mayfield Drive

(770) 887-0006

Polo Golf & Country Club 6300 Polo Club Drive

(770) 887-7656

Windermere Golf Club 5000 Davis Love Drive

(678) 513-1000

Forsyth County Marinas Habersham Marina 2200 Habersham Marina Road

(770) 887-5432

Port Royale Marina 9200 LanMar Road, Gainesville

(770) 887-5715

YMCA 6050 Y Street

(770) 888-2788

POST OFFICE 525 Tribble Gap Road

(770) 886-2388

Schools See page 38 for complete listing Forsyth County Board of Education (770) 887-2461 UTILITIES City of Cumming (770) 781-2020 Water & Sewer Forsyth County Water & Sewer (770) 781-2160 110 East Main Street Solid Waste Advanced Disposal/Eagle Point Landfill (770) 887-6063 8880 Old Federal Road, Ball Ground Olde Atlanta Recycling LLC (770) 205-6912 2535 Ivy Street East Waste Management, Inc. 774 McFarland Road, Alpharetta Recycling Keep Forsyth County Beautiful

(770) 751-1304 (770) 205-4573

Telephone AT&T Residential Business

(888) 757-6500 (866) 213-6300

Georgia Power Sawnee Electric Membership

(888) 660-5890 (770) 887-2363

AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming



Elected & Appointed Officials United States Government: President Barack H. Obama (D) 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20500 Website: e-mail:

(202) 456-1414 fax: (202) 456-2461

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) Atlanta Office: 100 Galleria Parkway Suite 1340 Atlanta, GA 30339 Website: e-mail: use contact form on website

Senator Johnny Isakson (R) (202) 224-3643 Atlanta Office: One Overton Park, Suite 970 GA: (770) 661-0999 3625 Cumberland Boulevard , Atlanta, GA 30339 Website:

Rep. Nathan Deal (R), District 10 (202) 225-5211 Georgia Office: Wachovia Center GA: (770) 535-2592 340 Jesse Jewel Parkway, Suite 520, Gainesville, GA 30503 Website:

Rep. John Linder (R), District 7 Website: State Government: Governor Sonny Perdue (R) Website:

(202) 224-3521 GA: (770) 763-9090 fax: (202) 224-0103

(202) 225-4272 GA: (770) 232-3005 (404) 652-7003 fax: (404) 652-7123

Brian Tam, District 2 (R) e-mail:

(678) 513-5882

Jim Harrell, District 3 (R) e-mail:

(678) 513-5883

Patrick B. Bell, District 4 e-mail:

(678) 513-5884

Jim Boff, District 5 (R) e-mail:

(678) 513-5885

Forsyth County School System Superintendent, Dr. L.C. (Buster) Evans 1120 Dahlonega Highway Cumming Website: Forsyth County Tax Commissioner Matthew C. Ledbetter 1092 Tribble Gap Road, Cumming, GA 30040 Website: Board of Education: Ann Crow, District 1 (R) e-mail:

(770) 887-2461

(770) 781-2110

(770) 490-6316

(404) 656-5030

Mike Dudgeon, District 2 (R) e-mail:

(770) 781-5222

Senator Jack Murphy (R), District 27 e-mail:

(770) 887-1960 fax: (770) 205-0602

Tom Cleveland, District 3 (R) e-mail:

(770) 657-0810

Senator Chip Pearson (R), District 51 e-mail:

(678) 341-6203 fax: (770) 844-5821

Darla Light, District 4 e-mail:

(770) 887-0678

Rep. Mark Hamilton (R), District 23 e-mail:

(770) 844-6768 (770) 889-0229

Rep. Tom Knox (R), District 24 e-mail:

(770) 887-0400

Nancy Roche, Chairperson, District 5 (R) e-mail:

Rep. Amos Amerson (R), District 9 e-mail:

(404) 657-8534

LT. Governor Casey Cagle Website:

Forsyth County Government: Forsyth County Board of Commissioners 110 East Main Street, Suite 210, Cumming, GA 30040 (770) 781-2101 fax: (770) 781-2199 County Manager Doug Derrer (770) 781.2101 fax : (770) 781.2199 Commissioners: Charlie Laughinghouse, Chairman, District 1 (R) (770) 886-2810 e-mail: 46

City of Cumming Mayor Henry Ford Gravitt Cumming City Hall 100 Main Street, Cumming, GA 30040

(770) 781-2010

Cumming City Council Members: Quincy Holton, Lewis Ledbetter, Ralph Perry, John Pugh and Rupert Sexton City Administrator Gerald Blackburn

(770) 781-2101

City Clerk Jeff Honea

AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

Classifieds FREE TO GOOD HOME (These Ads Are Free)

Welcome To The Classified Section of FREE TO GOOD HOME Three Beautiful Cats that I must give free to a good home. They are indoor cats and have been well cared for. Please call Karen. (404) 431-6900.

This is regular feature of your new bi-monthly community magazine filled with local information, news and events for your community. If you have a specialized home repair/handyman service, a garage sale coming up, need help at the office, offer babysitting or nanny services, or have something to sell... THIS IS THE PLACE TO DO IT! items WANTED Old or Broken Guitars Wanted. They may be worth something, you never know. Jeff, (678) 776-8700.

Classifieds Work! You’re Reading Them ... Aren’t You?

Regular Monthly Categories:

• • • • • •


• • • • • •


Classified Deadline is the 15 of the Month for the Next Month’s Issue. th


1/W ord







with your


1/W ord



AroundAbout Community Magazines, Inc., 1025 Rose Creek Drive, Suite 340, Woodstock, GA 30189 • Fax: (770) 516-4809 PLEASE PRINT (All Fields Must Be Completed)

 Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  June     Oct  Nov  Dec


Category: Word Count:

, $1/word, Per Month (10 Word Minimum)

Box numbers, phone numbers, zip codes and abbreviations are counted as one word each.

 ADD A PICTURE (2.375” X 1.50”) FOR ONLY $39 (Per Month).

Email picture to

Ad Wording (please include phone #):

CC Account

Please make checks payable to AroundAbout Community Magazines, Inc. Form of payment: ¨ Cash or Check ¨ Visa ¨ Master Card ¨ American Express ¨ Discover # Exp: Sec. Code (CVC):

Credit Card Authorization Signature: Name: Street Address: City, State, Zip: Daytime Phone: AroundAbout — Cumming Classifieds is a monthly feature. All ads are accepted and placed under categories at the discretion of the publisher. Rates are only $1 per word, per month, with a 10-word minimum. “Pet Lost and Found,” “Ride Share” and “Free to Good Home” pet placement ads are FREE.


december 2010

AroundAbout — cumming


Support the Advertisers that Support Your Community! BANKING/FINANCIAL SERVICES

Summit Financial.................................................7 (770) 928-8100

Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners

Carpet Dry Tech...................................................1 (678) 368-5991


Discover Chiropractic & Rehabilitaion.... Inside Front (678) 456-9122


Kennesaw State University, Cont. Education.....34, 35 (770) 423-6765 www.kennesawedu/ Waldron Dentistry Dental School......................37 (678) 907-7907

Humane Society of Forsyth County...................17 (770) 889-1365, (770) 887-6480 4440 Keith Bridge Road, Cumming


Beadiful...............................................................1 (678) 455-7858

Pet/Veterinarian Services & Supplies

Free Home Traditions..........................................3 (770) 889-2570

Barker Lounge, The................................. Cover, 25 (770) 410-1DOG


Kim Bates Photography.......................................1 (770) 617-7597

North Georgia Chess Center................... Cover, 24 (770) 844-9204

Real estate & related services

Perfect Massage.................................Inside Front (770) 292-9599

Home Improvement/Repair & Services

Lake Nantahala..................................................45 (828) 321-3101

Mad Hatter Service Co., The..............................11 (770) 740-8133


Pike Nursery.......................................Inside Front (770) 205-1737


Lance's Jewelry.................................... Back Cover (770) 781-5500 1705 Market Place Blvd., Cumming



Custom Iron Works............................................48 (770) 781-8192

Services/Retailers Miscellaneous

For Your Eyes Only.............................................15 (678) 648-5185

Northside Hospital..............................................5

Jordan Dentistry..................................................7 (770) 888-6262

Norman's Landing...............................................3 (770) 886-0100

Reflection - Lake Nantahala...............................45

Shelly Kent, Writer...............................................3 (404) 232-9898

Baba's Gyros & Kabob.........................................7 (770) 888-8100

REStaurants/food services

Stars and Strikes..................................... Cover, 26 (678) 965-5707

Bello Italian........................................................11 (770) 888-1998 101 Meadow Drive, Cumming

The UPS Store......................................... Cover, 27 (770) 999-1052 5485 Bethelview Rd., Cumming

AroundAbout — cumming

december 2010

Dec. 2010 Around About Cumming Magazine  
Dec. 2010 Around About Cumming Magazine  

We Can Only Fix Ourselves - By Christine M. Roberts pg. 28