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Volume 1 | Issue 5

December 2013 28-30

First Baptist Church Roswell Where Tradition Meets Contemporary


Georgia Resident Celebrates 40 Years as Santa Claus


Artist Profile: Susan McLean


In Every Issue

Dr. Charles Stanley On Faith and Freedom 2

North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

06 Calendar

22 Community Life

14 Business Life

32 Academic Life

20 Family of 4

48 Book Review

150 North Street, Suite A, Canton, GA 30114 (O) 770-213-7095 | (F) 770-213-7106





PUBLISHER/PHOTOGRAPHER Jack Tuszynski EDITORIAL Michelle Martin ART Tiffany Atwood Candice Williams

MostCherished Gift

The T

he holiday season is upon us. Regardless of how our individual faiths lead us to celebrate, the one thing we all have in common this time of year is that we all spend a little more. Some may spend more money; more importantly, however, we spend more of our valuable, ever-fleeting and priceless time with the ones we love.

This is the time of year when we gather around our dining room tables, meet in the living room or gather around the kitchen. We may travel down the street, across town or around the globe. FaceTime, Skype or video chat overseas in small groups around our computers or pass our phones from one set of hands to the other to hear voices and see faces. It’s our time of year to catch up, learn about our pasts, and talk about our plans and dreams, and become

even closer than before. We choose to take the extra time during the holidays, in whatever way we know or can, to feel a closeness with those whom we care about and love, our friends forever...our family. I realize now, as I make way to south Georgia to sit beside my mother in her final days, that last Christmas was our last. I’ve none of the toys, gadgets or even my first camera that she bought me anymore, but I’ll forever cherish the caring, laughter, love and the memories of the time we spent together. May peace and love that passes all understanding be with you and your family. God bless.

Jack Tuszynski, publisher

SALES Jennifer Allen Janet Ponichtera CONTRIBUTING WRITERS State Senator John Albers, Julie Brennan, Crystal Bryant, Michael Buckner, Michael Consoli, Rick Coursey, Arlene Dickerson, Lisa Ethridge, Catherine Groves, Fred Hawkins, Heike Hellmann-Brown, Jeff Kincaid, April Kitchens, Michelle Knapp, Dr. Amanda Kossick, Julie Lippitt, Dr. Mike Litrel, Chris Miller, Dr. Vishant Nath, Christy Noll, Joe Parker, Will Rumbaugh, Vic Shandor, Laura Stalemark, Suzanne Taylor North Fulton Family Life magazine is your monthly community magazine and a publication of Family Life Publications. The magazine’s mission is to bring relevant, positive stories and timely information to its readers and to provide local businesses with a premium outlet for community-based advertising. Each month, copies are distributed free by mail and through local businesses in the North Fulton area. Please contact us or visit our website for a current list of locations where copies of the magazine can be found and other information. North Fulton Family Life welcomes your comments, stories and advertisements. Subscriptions are available for $25 per year. Please contact us for payment options. 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. North Fulton Family Life magazine is not responsible for errors and omissions. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission from the Publisher. © 2013 All rights reserved.


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013



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E v en t s December ‘Holidays Along the Divine 9’ The convention and visitors bureaus for the cities of Alpharetta and Roswell have jointly produced a holiday event guide, “Holidays Along the Divine 9,” featuring more than 120 special events and activities marking the holiday season. The activities will take place in the downtown areas of Alpharetta and Roswell off Highway 9, which runs from the square in Roswell northward through Alpharetta. Christmas in Roswell Enjoy a variety of celebrations in numerous locations as the Southern Trilogy historic homes are dressed in seasonal splendor and open for tours; festivities in the historic shopping districts; musical and dance performances; art; theatre; and more. The special 1850s Heirloom Holidays “Living History Weekend,” December 6-8, will feature living history interpreters portraying some of Roswell’s most famous residents, including Barrington King and Mittie Bulloch. The “Living History Weekend” also will include a tour of the historic homes, period dinner, special holiday bazaar, bonfire and more. Guests are invited to embrace the city’s history by wearing period clothing for the event’s best-dressed contest. 770-640-3253,


Kids’ Holiday Craft Workshop Join other children for some fun crafts making your own holiday decorations. Supplies will be provided by the City of Johns Creek. 2:30 p.m., Johns Creek Arts Center, 6290 Abbotts Bridge Road, Bldg. 700, Johns Creek. 678-512-3200,


‘The Nutcracker’ Roswell Dance Theatre, part of the Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance,


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

will present the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker.” Check the website for the complete performance schedule. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. 770-998-0259,


Christmas Tree Lighting The magic of Christmas will glisten with the annual lighting of the City of Alpharetta’s 45-foot live spruce tree featuring 10,000 white lights! Arrive early for activities before the lighting, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus in the gazebo; Mayor David Belle Isle reading “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”; lighted train rides; holiday crafts; and other fun. 5-8 p.m., Milton Square City Park, Alpharetta. 678-297-6078,


Northside Hospital’s Christmas Tree Lighting For the 25th year, Northside Hospital (Atlanta, Cherokee and Forsyth) will honor those affected by cancer with the lighting of a giant Christmas tree atop each of its campuses. Each of the nearly 200,000 Christmas tree lights represents someone whose life has been touched by cancer. Lights can be purchased and designated in honor or memory of family, friends and physicians. Festive cards, designed by local students, will be sent to loved ones. All proceeds will go directly to assist cancer patients and families in need with medical care, medicine, transportation and lodging. Lights will be available for purchase at the Celebration of Lights event on Dec. 6 and throughout the holiday season. All gifts are taxdeductible. The free community event will include photos with Santa Claus and many other kids’ activities. Fred Blankenship from WSB-TV will emcee. 6-8 p.m., Northside Hospital-Forsyth, 1200 Northside Forsyth Drive, Cumming. 770-667-GIVE (4483) continued on page 8

Library Events ALPHARETTA 238 Canton St., Alpharetta 770-740-2425 Northeast/Spruill Oaks 9560 Spruill Road, Johns Creek 770-360-8820 Ocee 5090 Abbotts Bridge Road, Johns Creek 770-360-8897 Roswell 115 Norcross Street, Roswell 770-640-3075 Line Dancing Tuesdays, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Northeast/Spruill Oaks Enjoy improved physical and mental health with this fun, relaxing activity, taught by Jean Chen, a longtime line-dancing instructor. Dahn Yoga Classes Tuesdays, 6:30-7:45 p.m., Northeast/ Spruill Oaks Classes combine stretching, breathing and meditation (for beginners). Bring a yoga mat or towel and wear loose, comfortable clothes. Free ESL Classes Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., beginner and intermediate levels Thursdays, 11 a.m., beginner and intermediate levels; 12:15 p.m., advanced Northeast/ Spruill Oaks Branch In-class registration is ongoing. Friends of the Northeast Library Book Club December 4, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Northeast/Spruill Oaks Book selection: “Rules of Civility.” Enjoy interesting and lively discussions. New participants are welcome. Adult Volunteer Orientation Wednesdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Northeast/Spruill Oaks Ages 15 and older. Reservation is required. Conversational French Class Thursdays, 11 a.m., Northeast/Spruill Oaks Branch Join library French tutor John Cook for beginning French lessons. Pre-registration and questionnaire are required before attending class. Students must arrive on time. continued on page 9



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E v en t s continued from page 6


Holiday Festival Emory Johns Creek Hospital will host a holiday festival on its campus, featuring music from local school choruses; crafts; ribs/Brunswick stew dinner plates by the Johns Creek Fire Dept. (sales will benefit Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation); and a visit from Santa Claus! Also, enjoy the hospital’s holiday light show along Hospital Parkway. 6-8:30 p.m., Emory Johns Creek Hospital, 6325 Hospital Parkway, Johns Creek. 678-474-7000,


Sl’Hay Ride Bring the family to enjoy a winter wonderland hayride around the park, followed by cookie decorating and hot chocolate. Each child must be accompanied by a parent; children under 1 year old are free. 6:30-8:30 p.m.,


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

East Roswell Recreation Center, 9000 Fouts Road, Rowell.


Breakfast with Santa Come out for a Continental breakfast, along with music, games, dancing, face painting, crafts; entertainment; and Santa Claus! Space is limited. 9-11 a.m., Bill Johnson Community Activity Building, 10495 Woodstock Road, Roswell.


Back to Nature Holiday Market & Festival Chattahoochee Nature Center’s holiday market will feature more than 40 vendors on hand selling their local, handmade, eco-friendly goods to make your holiday gift-giving special. Best of all, admission to CNC is free for the day! 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. 770-992-2055,


Founders Day Parade Join the annual celebration of Johns Creek’s official incorporation on December 1, 2006. Each year, the City of Johns Creek observes the anniversary on the

first Saturday in December, culminating a week-long series of events. This year will mark the city’s sixth anniversary! The parade has grown to more than 80 units and thousands of participants, including a NASCAR racer, Shriner clowns, local high school clubs and bands, and colorful floats from area businesses, organizations and neighborhoods. The parade route will travel west on State Bridge at West Morton and end at Kimball Bridge Road at Ocee Elementary School. 10 a.m., State Bridge Road at Kimball Bridge and West Morton roads, Johns Creek. 678-5123200,


Gingerbread Decorating Decorate your own gourmet gingerbread house any way you wish (house and supplies included). Registration is per house. Ages 5 & up. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., East Roswell Recreation Center, 9000 Fouts Road, Roswell.


Santa Jam Immediately following the Founders continued on page 10

Library Events continued from page 6 Young Volunteer Orientation First & last Thursday of the month, Northeast/Spruill Oaks Ages 12-14. Parent must attend first 10 minutes; 12-year-olds must be accompanied by adult when volunteering. Limited to six students; reservation is required. Meditation & Yoga Class Fridays, 11 a.m-12:15 p.m., Northeast/Spruill Oaks Branch Learn the Korean “one” yoga method for stress relief and good health. Bring a yoga mat or towel and wear loose, comfortable clothes. Class is limited to the first 25 participants. Homeschool Science December 6, 10:30 a.m., Roswell Kevin Howard, an aerospace engineer and science educator, will present a special science program for homeschoolers. Each workshop will focus on a different scientific topic. Ages 6-10. Wire-Beaded Snowflakes December 11, 5:30 p.m., Ocee Wire-beaded snowflakes are an easy and pretty expression of your creativity. Ages 5 and up. Terrariums for Teens December 12, 4:30 p.m., Alpharetta Create a terrarium with easy-to-care-for succulents and/or prickly plants. Adorn your room with greenery or give someone a cool gift. Registration is recommended. Semester’s End Event December 12, 6 p.m., Ocee Enjoy sandwiches, cookies, drinks and classic games (Charades, Twister, Mad Libs and more) in celebration of the end of the school semester. Ages 12-18. Friends of the Roswell Library Book Sale December 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. & December 15, 2-4 p.m., Roswell The Friends of the Roswell Library book sale will feature all genres of books for all ages. All proceeds benefit the Roswell Library. American History Bee for Middle School Students December 14, 1 p.m., Ocee Questions will reflect the Fulton County Schools’ Social Studies curriculum for middle school students. First-, second- and third-place winners will receive a ribbon and certificate. Registration is required. To register, please send an email containing your name, age and grade to with the subject line History Bee. All participants must be registered by 5 p.m., December 6. Grades 6-8. Lego Club December 17, 4 p.m., Roswell No theme for December’s club — work on whatever you want! Ages 5-10. Registration is required. Holiday Crafts and Jolly Stories December 17, 4:30 p.m., Northeast/Spruill Oaks Craft time and stories for the holidays. Ages 5-9.

Making Holiday Memories By Christy Noll The holidays are a special time of the year to celebrate or create family traditions and memories that last a lifetime. Memories can be made by simple gestures, attending an annual event, baking, decorating or making crafts and homemade gifts together. Pick Out a Christmas Tree: Each year after Thanksgiving, our family ventures to Hunter’s Farm in Alpharetta to pick out our fresh Fraser Fir Christmas tree. My kids love to make ornaments from wood in the craft area, drink hot chocolate, and take a wagon ride. Bake: My mother passed down a recipe for divine pecan pie. I don’t come close to making it as good as she does, but baking pecan pies is a tradition I enjoy during the holidays. A good friend of mine sets aside a full day during the holidays to bake an assortment of cookies to deliver as gifts. Crafts: This is a fun way to make memories while spending time with your friends. A friend of mine invited a group of women to her house while the kids were at school. We each brought a craft that we all could make easily together. Afterward, we enjoyed lunch with mimosas! It was a great time! Decorate: Make memories decorating for the holidays as a family. Play holiday music, drink hot chocolate, and have the kids help string the lights, place ornaments and other holiday décor around the house. Holiday Events: Celebrate the season and make memories by attending a holiday event or performance together. It could be the start of an annual family tradition. A favorite in our house is “A Christmas Carol” at The Alliance Theatre. The most heartwarming story of the season comes to life with holiday carols, stunning stage magic and a tale of redemption. Other suggestions include: annual Christmas tree lightings, caroling with neighbors, Stone Mountain Christmas and holiday light shows. The holidays are a special time of the year to let others know how we feel about them. Make a special effort to do good deeds for others and create memories to last a lifetime!

Christy Noll is founder of, a resource that connects North Fulton families with community organizations, programs and events.



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E v en t s Day Parade, Santa Jam will include a special photo opportunity with Santa, games, activities, food, moonwalks and entertainment for the entire family. 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Johns Creek High School, 5575 State Bridge Road, Johns Creek. 678-512-3200,


Christmas in Crabapple The sixth annual Christmas in Crabapple holiday celebration will feature Christmas, Hanukkah and holiday music favorites from local children’s choirs, a community bonfire and photos with Santa. 2-5 p.m., historic Downtown Crabapple, Milton.


Sounds of Christmastime Atlanta Vocal Project a cappella chorus will be joined by A Mighty Wind quartet, Boardwalk, Vox and other special guests. This concert is presented by Atlanta Vocal Project and Johns Creek High School. 2 & 7 p.m., Johns Creek High School, 5575 State Bridge Road, Johns Creek. 404-919-7464,


Holiday Celebration on the Square This family event includes carolers from local schools, the lighting of Town Square, a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and a special visit from Santa Claus! Pictures with Santa will be available at a nominal fee. The holiday shuttle bus will run regularly to and from Santa’s Secret Gift Shop, opening immediately after the lighting of the Town Square. 5 p.m., Town Square, Roswell.


Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra Christmas Gala & Holiday Pops Concert Enjoy hearing many of your favorites, from “O Holy Night” to “Sleigh Ride” and “White Christmas,” performed by Johns Creek Symphony’s full orchestra and choir. The concert also will feature The Joe Gransden Quartet as special guest. A champagne dessert reception will immediately follow the concert. 8 p.m., St. Benedict Church, 11045 Parsons Road, Johns Creek. 678-491-0174,


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continued from page 8


Snow on the Square Enjoy a touch of winter in Downtown Alpharetta as the corner park is filled with snow. Be ready for snowballs, snowmen and wintery merriment! Sip on a cup of hot chocolate or coffee while visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the gazebo. Bring your camera to capture family photos. 1 p.m., 2 S. Main St., Alpharetta. 678-297-6000,


An Instrumental Evening of Christmas Music The orchestra at First Baptist Church Roswell, featuring handbells and other instruments, will perform various Christmas music in this special instrumental concert. 6:45 p.m., First Baptist Church Roswell, 710 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell. 770-587-6980,


Candy Cane Hunt Enjoy a pizza dinner before going out on a fun hunt for different types of candy canes. Bring a flashlight and bag or basket to hold your candy canes! All ages; parents and children must register. 5:30-7 p.m., East Roswell Recreation Center, 9000 Fouts Road, Roswell.


‘Babes in Toyland’ & ‘Nutcracker – Land of Sweets’ Atlanta Dance Theatre will perform a festive ballet duo comprised of excerpts from “Babes in Toyland” and “Nutcracker – Land of Sweets.” All ages will delight in this original dance production, showcasing the talents of more than 90 dancers and actors, and featuring appearances from Atlanta Workshop Players. 7:30- 9:30 p.m., Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. 770-998-0259


‘The Nutcracker’ Fleetwood Dance Theatre will perform “The Nutcraker” on December 13 (8 p.m.), December 14 (11 a.m., 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.) and December 15 (2:30 p.m.). The two-hour ballet will be presented by the entire Fleetwood Dance Theatre Company, along with guest appearances by Atlanta area professional continued on page 12




Dental Insurance Plan Benefits

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continued from page 10

By Vishant Nath, D.M.D. With the end of the calendar year quickly approaching, now is a good time to take a look at your dental insurance plan. If you or your child is due for dental cleanings or treatment, here are some reasons why you might want to schedule them before December 31. If you or your child requires any dental treatment, scheduling it sooner rather than later is always the best approach. Delaying dental treatment can create the need for more extensive — and more expensive — dental treatment. Be sure to consult with your dentist and determine an appropriate timeline for scheduling the dental treatment. If you have dental insurance but are not familiar with the specifics of your plan, it is worthwhile to review your plan. This can be done by looking over the paperwork that you received upon enrollment, visiting the plan’s website, or making a phone call to your dental insurance company. It is also important to remember that your dental insurance represents the relationship between you and your dental insurance company — not you and your dental office. Though many dental offices will work to facilitate this relationship, ultimately it is your responsibility to maintain an active relationship with your dental insurance company. Once you know the basics of your insurance plan, you can determine whether it is beneficial to schedule any end-ofyear dental visits. Many plans will require an out-of-pocket deductible before insurance coverage is applied. If you have already met your deductible for the year and have work that needs to be done, it is wise to schedule it before December 31. Once you pass January 1, you will again be responsible for paying the annual deductible. In addition, most plans have a yearly maximum benefit. If you have not reached this yearly maximum, it will not carry over to the next year; so, if you have dental care needs, it is beneficial to schedule an appointment before the end of the calendar year to get the full benefits of your dental insurance plan. By scheduling your dental appointments in a timely fashion, you can improve your oral health and take advantage of the insurance benefits provided by the premiums you pay — both of which will give you reason to smile!

Dr. Vishant Nath is the owner of Canton/Milton/Roswell Pediatric Dentistry. 678-352-1090,


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

performers. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. Blessed Trinity Performing Arts Center, 11320 Woodstock Road, Roswell. 770-442-5229,


Breakfast with Santa All Johns Creek boys and girls are invited to have breakfast with Santa. Children will also enjoy music, holiday crafts, letters to Santa and pictures with Santa (please bring your camera). Registration deadline is December 6; maximum 20 children (accompanied by an adult) per breakfast. 8:30 & 10 a.m., Park Place at Newtown School, 3125 Old Alabama Road, Johns Creek. 678-512-3200,


Gingerbread Christmas Attend one of three 30-minute children’s workshops that will include preparing and decorating Christmas-themed cookies and making a craft to take home. Ages 6 and up. Limited to 10 children; reservations are required. 10 a.m-2 p.m., Archibald Smith Plantation, 935 Alpharetta St., Roswell. 770-641-3978,


Pet Photos with Santa Claws Dress up your pet in holiday attire and stop by Waggy World Paw Park for a special opportunity for pets to have their photos made with Santa Claws (bring your own camera)! Pet owners are encouraged to bring a donation for a local pet charity. 12-2 p.m., Waggy World Paw Park at Wills Park. 678-297-6143, Alpharetta.Ga.Us


Night at the Polar Express It’s family movie night! Bring the whole family in your comfy clothes to watch “The Polar Express” on the big screen. Popcorn, hot chocolate and goodies will be available. All ages; children must register individually. 6:30 p.m., East Roswell Recreation Center, 9000 Fouts Road, Roswell.


Reindeer Day Come out for this unique holiday tradition with live reindeer. Create reindeer crafts and warm up with campfire treats. 1-4 p.m., Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. 770-992-2055,


Alpharetta City Band Holiday Concert Enjoy festive and traditional holiday music at this free concert presented by the Alpharetta City Band and co-sponsored by Alpharetta Recreation and Parks Dept. and the Alpharetta Golden Age Club. Refreshments will be served following the concert. 3 p.m., Alpharetta Adult Activity Center at North Park, Alpharetta. 678-297-6140, Alpharetta.Ga.Us


‘On Holiday’ Atlanta Wind Symphony will present “On Holiday,” with half of the music inspired by vacations and half by the holidays. Free admission (donations will be accepted at the door). 3-4:30 p.m., Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell.


Mayor’s Holiday Open House Every resident of Milton is cordially invited to the second annual Mayor’s Holiday Open House, hosted by Milton City Council. The informal holiday party will be held at Mayor Lockwood’s home. All food and drinks will be donated by the city council and local businesses, and shuttled parking will be available at Milton High School, 13025 Birmingham Highway. RSVP via e-mail to RSVP@ and include your name and address to verify you are a Milton resident. You will be sent an invitation to print. 4-7 p.m., 375 Dorris Road, Milton. 678-242-2530, Angela.Thompson@


‘The Word Became Flesh’ The Chancel Choir at First Baptist Church Roswell will present its Christmas musical, “The Word Became Flesh.” 6:45 p.m., First Baptist Church Roswell, 710 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell. 770-5876980,


‘The Nutcracker’ Metropolitan Ballet Theatre will perform the classic holiday

ballet by Tchaikovsky, featuring Candy Canes, Mother Ginger, Sugar Plum and the Dew Drop Fairy. Special two-for-one tickets can be purchased for special activities (Land of Sweets Tea and Tutus at 12:30 Dance Class) before the matinee performances. 7:30 p.m., December 20; 2 & 7 p.m., December 21; and 2 & 6 p.m., December 22, Blessed Trinity High School, 11320 Woodstock Road, Roswell. 678-297-2800,


‘Handel’s Messiah’ The Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra will present “Handel’s Messiah,” the Christmas Portion plus “Worthy is the Lamb” and the “Great Amen,” also featuring the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra Messiah Choir and guest soloists. 8 p.m., Johns Creek United Methodist Church, 11180 Medlock Bridge Road, Johns Creek. 770-497-8215,


Cookies with Mrs. Claus at Barrington Hall During this 75-minute workshop, children will write letters to Santa and decorate holiday cookies while Mrs. Claus shares

some holiday stories. Special take-home containers will be provided. The workshop will end with a visit from a very special postman to pick up the letters to Santa. Children ages 4 and up. Reservations are required for one of two sessions. 10 a.m. & 12 p.m., Barrington Hall, 535 Barrington Drive., Roswell. 770-640-3855


Christmas Eve Services First Baptist Church Roswell’s special Christmas Eve worship services will feature a child-friendly service at 5 p.m. and a candlelight service for adults at 11 p.m. First Baptist Church Roswell, 710 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell. 770-5876980,


Sixpence None the Richer Roswell Presents the Doubletree by Hilton-Roswell LIVE in Roswell Series, featuring Nashville’s Sixpence None the Richer. The band will perform songs from its new release, “Lost in Translation,” and hit singles, including “Kiss Me” and “There She Goes.” 8-10 p.m., Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. 770-594-6232,



Business What's New Robinson & Miller, P.C. announced the recent addition of Lindsay Lindsay Culver Leigh Taylor Culver as associate attorney and Leigh Taylor as legal assistant. As associate attorney, Culver will represent clients in areas such as business law, estate planning and trusts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Colorado and a Juris Doctor degree from New England Law. Taylor will head communications efforts, including document production, and assist attorneys. Prior to joining Robinson & Miller, she was an account coordinator at The Wilbert Group. Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in mass media arts from the University of Georgia. “We pride ourselves on delivering top-notch service to clients,” said Chris Miller, partner at Robinson & Miller. “We’re very pleased to welcome these two talented professionals who will be invaluable to our team.” Founded by Debra Robinson and Chris Miller in 2006, Robinson & Miller, P.C., provides legal advice in the areas of trusts, estates and business law. 3460 Preston Ridge Road, Suite 100, Alpharetta. 770-817-4999,

Francis, Kingsley & Associates, P.C. opened a new office recently in Roswell. Julie Kingsley, a certified public accountant since 2001, leads the Roswell office. Prior to joining the firm full-time in 2010, Kingsley worked as a staff accountant and as an interim CFO for a private client. Her experience has included business and real estate accounting, individual and corporate taxation, and business consulting. Francis, Kingsley & Associates assists small businesses much like a CFO would — preparing financial statements and tax returns, overseeing accounting and providing strategic planning. Francis, Kingsley & Associates also has a Woodstock location. 1905 Woodstock Road, Roswell. 470-545-2038, Julie Kingsley

Salt Factory Pub opened November 4 in Alpharetta by restaurateurs Hicham Azhari and Fikret Kovac and culinary director Bob McDonough of F&H Food Trading Group. Azhari, Kovac and McDonough also partnered together on three other restaurants: the original Salt Factory Pub, OPULENT and Little Alley Steak, all located on Canton Street in historic Roswell. The new Salt Factory Pub location features an oyster bar, bocce ball court, al fresco seating, 24 draft beers and a varied scotch and bourbon collection. The English countryside pub-inspired design includes dark wooded interior, plush leather banquettes and chairs, and large, framed mirrors lining the walls. Salt Factory Pub is open for lunch and dinner: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-11 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-12 a.m., Friday-Saturday; and 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday. 102 S. Main St., Alpharetta. 770-998-4850, North Fulton Hospital has been recognized by the American Heart Association (AHA) with the Gold Plus Award for Stroke Care. This marks the third consecutive year that North Fulton Hospital has received the Gold Plus Award, which is the AHA’s highest award for providing quality care to stroke patients. North Fulton Hospital’s Stroke Program was also placed on the AHA’s new Target Stroke Honor Roll. The Gold Plus Award for Stroke recognizes facilities that meet stroke quality measures for 24 consecutive months. The quality measures include treating suspected stroke victims within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms, screening for dysphagia, and providing stroke education. North Fulton Hospital’s Stroke Center has been a Certified Stroke Center since 2005. The center has five neurologists and two neurosurgeons on staff, in addition to its program coordinator. North Fulton Hospital also was named to the Georgia Hospital Association’s Hospital Engagement Network Safety Leaders Circle, which recognizes hospitals’ improvements in patient care for the second quarter of 2013. North Fulton Hospital is one of 31 hospitals in Georgia to place in the Elite Circle, the highest on the list. 3000 Hospital Blvd., Roswell. 770-751-2867, 14

North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

End-of-Year Tax Planning By Joe Parker 2013 has been a big year for taxes. Earlier in the year, Congress passed legislation averting the “fiscal cliff,” and many of the Obamacare changes have taken effect or soon will. While few of us who watched the process would consider it Washington’s finest hour, we now have answers to many of the questions that have made proactive planning so difficult over the past few years. Now, as the end of the year draws near, it’s time to pull out the Magic 8 Ball and start to plan. Here are the highlights: • The Bush tax cuts are permanently extended for income up to $400,000 ($450,000 for joint filers). Ordinary income above those thresholds is taxed at 39.6%,

while qualified corporate dividends and long-term capital gains above those thresholds are taxed at 20%. • The 2% payroll tax “holiday” on social security withholding of 2011-2012 is over. This can mean more than $2,000 in additional taxes for those earning more than $100,000 per year. • The Alternative Minimum Tax has been indexed finally for inflation. This means Congress will no longer have to “patch” it every year to avoid entangling millions more taxpayers in its web. • The Medicare tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, have taken effect. This

means an extra 0.9% tax on earned income exceeding $250,000 and a 3.8% tax on investment income for taxpayers earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers). President Obama has called for trimming several more tax breaks, possibly including some “sacred cows,” like mortgage interest. However, after the recent government shutdown, there appears to be little appetite on Capitol Hill for further changes to the code.

Joe Parker is president/executive tax director at Summit Financial Solutions in Woodstock. 770-928-8100,



The Greatest Christmas Gift of All By Crystal Bryant The Christmas season is the best, and the worst, season of the year. The commercials have already started, telling children to make out their long Christmas wish lists. My 3-year-old, Jacob, has already bought in to the idea. I’ve already started my motherly mantra, “You can’t have everything.” Still, we have much work to do to bring him to the right path. My older two children, who are 12 and 9, however, have figured it out. They are keeping their lists modest this year and have begun to look at the Heifer International Gift Catalog for ways that they can give in return. Heifer International is one of my favorite charitable organizations; it has provided multiple opportunities for me to teach my children the true meaning of Christmas.

As we sit down each year to look at the gift catalog — which consists of things like a trio of rabbits, a share of a pig, ducks and chickens — we talk about all the blessings that we take for granted. Then, we talk about so many children throughout the world who may not have had anything to eat that day, yesterday and the day before. We imagine what it would be like to be a child who lives in a house made of mud and grass, with a dirt floor, no refrigerator, no bathroom.

This line of thinking is hard for us to comprehend, living in a country that is rich beyond measure and has a McDonald’s on virtually every corner. As I notice the sadness on my children’s faces, I encourage them and point out that we can change a child’s life from right here in Georgia. We can give a monetary gift that will help to feed one child or perhaps an entire village. They

Be the first to find the photo where these pieces belong! Please email to submit your answer. Be sure to include the magazine title, your name and contact information. Only emailed answers with full information will be accepted. Individuals can win only once per calendar year. Happy Hunting!

Congratulations to our November winner, Rebecca Paul! 16

North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

are always so excited that they want to send an entire ark filled with animals! So, as we talk about the birthday of Jesus as we celebrate Christmas this year and every year, we also talk about the gift that He is to us. We hang a stocking for Jesus along with ours every year to remind us to share with others the love, grace and forgiveness that He has given us. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Crystal Bryant is the wife of Pastor Chris Bryant at City On A Hill United Methodist Church in Woodstock. She is involved in women’s, prayer and children’s ministries. 678-445-3480,

By Mike Litrel, M.D.

I remember the first time I held a scalpel over a patient’s body. The razor edge gleamed against the soft skin. I was a newly minted doctor, just beginning four-year OB/GYN training at Emory University in Atlanta. Heart pounding, I made my first incision under the watchful eye of a senior surgeon. An hour later we were done: The patient and I both survived. Twenty years have passed since that day, and now I know it wasn’t just lessons in anatomy and physiology that made that first operation a success. My most important lesson occurred well before medical school. It was the year I almost flunked out of college. I had dreamed of becoming a doctor since I was 7 years old. My family was on vacation in rural Vermont when I gashed my leg playing outside. I looked at the deep wound, and I began to cry in terror as I watched the blood pouring out, the yellow fat and red muscle showing through my torn skin. An hour later, I was still crying when an elderly stranger in a long white coat entered the hospital exam room. With a confident smile, he told me I was going to be okay. I watched in trembling hope as he sutured my wound closed. Twenty minutes later, he was done.

The white-coated doctor was a hero. Before falling asleep that night, I looked at the stitches once again, and in that moment I knew I wanted to be a doctor, too. I wanted to wear the white coat and take care of frightened strangers in need. But less than a dozen years later, I was ready to give up on the dream. I was a struggling college sophomore, completely unprepared for how difficult premedical studies would be. Or how boring! What do calculus and linear algebra have to do with being a doctor? How do you learn to suture by studying physics and organic chemistry? I wanted to be watching TV, hanging with friends — not agonizing in the library over mind-blowing stacks of textbooks. I wanted to quit. Looking for a way out, I reached my heart out in prayer. “God, help me understand the consequences if I quit my dream.” The answer came. “You will hate yourself the rest of your life.”

“All that studying during college never quite made sense until I held the scalpel for the first time and experienced firsthand the intense concentration required to perform a surgery. Without those countless hours and years in the library, I would never have gained the skill.” Given no choice, I worked harder. All that studying during college never quite made sense until I held the scalpel for the first time and experienced firsthand the intense concentration required to perform a surgery. Without those countless hours and years in the library, I would never have gained the skill. I am blessed today to care for strangers in need. I enjoy my time in the operating room, and know I make a difference for my patients. But I also know that most human suffering is not cured by surgery or medication. God places in our hearts a dream of who we are and who we can become. Far more important to our health than seeing a doctor is holding on to this dream, no matter how much it hurts, and never letting go.

Dr. Mike Litrel is a national speaker and author on the faith-health connection, and a board-certified OB/GYN and specialist in pelvic reconstructive surgery at Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists.



The Reason

for the Season By Senator John Albers


erry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year! Too often, we are caught up in “political correctness” and miss the true reason for the season. I respect all faiths and wish my Jewish friends a very Happy Hanukkah. For me, Christmas is a day of celebration in remembrance of the Lord giving us his only son, Jesus Christ. It’s in this spirit that we spend the season preparing for his arrival and giving gifts to others. While we preoccupy ourselves with shopping for the perfect gift for family and friends, we must remember that the best gift we can give is service to another. December is a busy month preparing for the upcoming 2014 legislative session. I am sponsoring several important pieces of legislation to create jobs, empower a responsible society, and be excellent stewards of taxpayer dollars. I enjoy serving as your senator, and look forward to a terrific new year. Over the past five years, we have all faced a bleak economy and tight family budgets. Those less fortunate have lost their jobs, homes and livelihood due to the Great Recession. Amid such widespread hardship, helping a neighbor in need is a responsibility we all share. After all, we all need a helping hand from time to time. Christmas is a great time to begin volunteering. Communities across the state run special programs and events during the holidays, such as food drives, charity auctions and

special events for the elderly and families in need. There are so many simple ways to give someone the gift of a helping hand: Volunteer at a soup kitchen; give an extra can of food to a local food bank; or buy breakfast for a coworker. Send a few extra holiday greeting cards just to show you care; help someone with their luggage at the airport; let someone check out at the mall before you; or give your parking space to another driver. These small gestures of giving may not come wrapped in a box or topped with a big red bow, but they could mean a lot to the recipient. Sometimes, I will buy lunch for the car behind me at Chick-fil-A. This time of year, we must remember the true public servants who risk their lives for our own. Thousands of brave men and women in our armed forces, police, fire and EMS — some far from their homes and loved ones — will stand guard in the chill of night this Christmas. At Christmas, sending an email or a letter to a service member stationed overseas is one of the most precious gifts you could give. Pray for their safe return and be thankful for the freedoms they protect. President Calvin Coolidge said, “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” We must work harder to keep the spirit of Christmas alive throughout the new year.

Senator John Albers represents the 56th Senate District, which includes portions of North Fulton county. 404-463-8055,


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

Get Ready For a New You in the New Year! By Laura Stalemark LIFESTYLE New Year’s resolution time is fast approaching. Many of us strive for things that are hard to achieve or maintain. Don’t let your hair be one of those. Simple changes to your daily routine can help make your new year even better than you hope it will be.

This is the time! Once the holiday photos have been taken, you can take risks and try new looks on your hair. Ever want to try a new hair color? Do it! Has a new cut on Pinterest caught your eye? Go for it! A new look can spark self-confidence and inspire you to hold your head high in 2014. Since cooler weather means low humidity, trying a new cut won’t have the woes of retraining yourself during hard styling times. Hair will

retain its shape and style longer during the winter months. A new haircut can be a fun way to a fresh start. Adding bangs and/ or removing links is a great way to remove any residual damage caused by summer sunrays and chlorine absorption. Be sure to bring inspiration photos with you so your stylist can understand the look you desire. Talk to your stylist about how to style your new look (including how much time it will involve each morning) and how frequently you should schedule a trim to maintain the hairstyle. New color can also freshen up your look. Reds and browns are hot this time of year. A keratin treatment will help to hold in the color and also help dry your hair up to 40 percent

faster. Remember to bring photos of the tones that you like best. Your stylist will advise you on a new hair color that will look great and work well with your natural hair color and your skin tone. Whatever you decide, have fun! Don’t be afraid of making a change — whether small or dramatic — that will make you feel fabulous. Have a safe, happy and fabulous holiday and new year! L

Laura Stalemark is owner of Tryst Hair Salon & Boutique in Alpharetta. 770-772-7007,



Music Scene

Sip Wine Shop and tapas restaurant offers wine tastings at 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Saturdays. For only $10 per person, you can experience different flavors from five wines in a one-ounce pour of each. More than 50 wines are available in sip, half-glass, and full-glass pours, and 150 wines by the bottle. 12635 Crabapple Road, Milton. 770-475-7121,


Open Mic Night Quickly earning a reputation as one of the top jazz clubs in the Southeast and in the country, The Velvet Note hosts some of the best jazz musicians around. Sit back and enjoy the music in the intimate, 40-seat venue, or get up on stage yourself during Open Mic Night on Thursday! This is “the” Thursday night music scene on the north side of town! Reservations are not required. 4075 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta. 855-5VELVET,

North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

Holiday Dining

Sips at Sip

with the help of Michelle and Suzanne at ScoopOTP, we found some. Curious for more? Visit!

Santa & a Slice Treat your kids to a “merry dinner” at Diesel Pizza Pub. On December 1, 8, 15 & 22, at 5-9 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will make a special appearance at the restaurant. Bring your appetites (and your camera) and choose from pizza, paninis, subs, salads and more. 994 Alpharetta Street, Roswell. 770-641-1080,

Food & Fun


Date Night

Family of

Looking for family fun things to do? We are too! And

Trivia Tuesdays Taco Tuesday is also Trivia Tuesday at Twisted Taco’s Johns Creek location! Try the famous twisted taco and domestic bottled beer, both for $1.99 each, and try your luck at trivia beginning at 7:30 p.m. Check the website for other daily specials and events at all Twisted Taco locations. 9700 Medlock Bridge Road, Johns Creek. 678-822-5900,

Add Some Whimsical Fun to Your Garden By Lisa Ethridge The house is decorated for the holidays — whimsical and fanciful abound. The festive surroundings of December create a magical feeling that is hard to beat. To extend the merriment, many people who enjoy plants have discovered the year-round joy that fairy gardens offer. I got started with fairy landscaping when I found a rusty wheelbarrow in someone’s trash, filled it with rich soil, and decorated it with finds from the thrift store and throwbacks from the grandkids’ toy box. It made me happy. Google “fairy gardens” — the creativity and ingenuity will amaze

you. Scads of elaborate miniature wonderlands pop off the page to fire the imagination. To get started, select a low pot, basket with a liner, wheelbarrow, wagon, barrel, crate, drawer, birdbath or an appropriate terra cotta vessel. Next, select the spot in the garden to place your magical landscaping. Think about surprising garden visitors when they round a bend and view the secret, sylvan splendor. Then, the fun begins! All manner of furnishings, buildings and landscape features can be purchased in garden supply stores and online. And, shopping for the fairy garden will provide hours of fun during the chilly winter evenings. Don’t forget to stock up on gnomes, pixies, fairies and other characters to give life to the landscape.

When it’s time to put the miniature garden together, the right plants are key. The plants should be small to keep the proportions correct. Look for heat- and drought-resistant ground covers, plants, grasses and trailing vines. Wooly thyme or any thyme is quick growing and makes an excellent choice. Ornamental strawberry produces white blossoms and tiny strawberries for colorful interest. Blue Star Creeper grows up to 6 inches high and sports a blue flower. Platts Black “Brass Buttons” is a durable choice, and Cranesbill “Dark Eyes” add to the fun with a sweet, pink flower. Be sure to keep the garden well watered.

Lisa Ethridge is a certified master gardener with North Fulton Master Gardeners, part of the UGA Cooperative Extension Service. 404-613-7670,



Community Alpharetta Resident Awarded for Hospital Service Carol Henderlight of Alpharetta was recognized for 30 years of service to the Northside Hospital-Atlanta Auxiliary during the Auxiliary’s annual luncheon, held recently at Villa Christina restaurant in Atlanta. She is a buyer for the hospital gift shop.

Milton’s new Freedom Park

Freedom Park Opens in Milton Carol Henderlight

In addition to Henderlight’s 30-year service award, Northside Hospital honored all Atlanta Auxiliary volunteers and recognized the Auxiliary’s newly elected officers. Northside’s Auxiliary began in 1969 with 100 volunteers; today, the organization has 325 active volunteers, ages 14-99, who work in more than 30 departments and have given more than 47,800 hours of service to Northside in the past year.

Johns Creek Foundation Recognizes Volunteer of the Year

Karen Edge

The Johns Creek Foundation honored Karen Edge as its 2013 Outstanding Volunteer of the Year during the annual Mayor’s Ball, held recently at Atlanta Athletic Club. More than 200 people attended the event, “An Evening in Paris,” hosted by the Johns Creek Foundation and presented by Emory Johns Creek Hospital.

Edge was nominated for her volunteer work with the Chattahoochee Woman’s Club and Canine Assistants. She has volunteered with Canine Assistants for almost 10 years and is a certified volunteer, caring for and teaching service dogs. Edge also has served as treasurer of the Chattahoochee Woman’s Club for eight years, providing accurate financial reporting and ensuring good stewardship of the club’s funds. Edge was instrumental in bringing the two organizations together on the Chattahoochee Woman’s Club’s annual “Celebrate America Memorial Day Race.” As a result, a substantial percentage of race proceeds were donated to Canine Assistants to fund training for service dogs, and Canine Assistants named one of its puppies in training in honor of Chattahoochee Woman’s Club’s founding president, April Gaffney, who died of ovarian cancer. 22

North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

The City of Milton Parks and Recreation Dept. celebrated the opening of Freedom Park with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Veterans Day, November 11. Freedom Park is located at the corner of Deerfield Parkway and Webb Road. The park will serve as an exercise center for runners, cyclists and walkers on Deerfield Parkway and will host the City’s patriotic events. It features a quarter-mile trail and equipment for sit-ups and body curls, a cardio walker, and rowing and elliptical machines. Immediately after the ribbon cutting, local veterans raised nine flags representing the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, POW/MIA, the state of Georgia, the United States and the City of Milton. Rep. Tom Price and Milton’s elected officials, including Mayor Pro Tem Bill Lusk, a Vietnam veteran, attended the event. “Opening Freedom Park on Veterans Day is an appropriate tribute to our veterans, for it has been the veterans who have ensured our freedom for the last 234 years,” Lusk said.

Alpharetta Wins GRPA Award Anna Virgo, program coordinator for the City of Alpharetta Recreation and Parks Dept., was named 2013 Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) Seventh District Distinguished Programmer of the Year. The award was announced at the district awards banquet held recently in Lawrenceville. Virgo, who has been employed by the City since August 2010, was recognized for her demonstrated commitment to improving the quality of recreation programs offered by the Recreation and Parks Dept. She is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional and a Certified Pool Operator who oversees a variety of recreation programs, including gymnastics, swim lessons and the Alpharetta Anna Virgo Sharks Swim Team.

Designate Your IRA or 401(k) the Right Way By Chris Miller, Esq. Filling out a beneficiary designation form for an individual retirement account (an IRA) or an employer’s 401(k) plan deserves some careful thinking. There are pitfalls to avoid and strategies to use that can stretch the tax advantages of these accounts forward for decades.

Put Your Spouse First. If you are married, a spouse designated as primary beneficiary will have choices that non-spouse beneficiaries cannot use. For traditional IRAs, a surviving spouse can withdraw some or all of the funds and pay taxes on the amount withdrawn, or “roll over” the account into an IRA of his or her own and delay the income tax recognition until the spouse also reaches retirement age. For Roth IRAs, a spouse has the same choices, and it is even better for a surviving spouse to roll over and save a Roth account because the investment growth is not taxed as income. One drawback, though, is that once an account is rolled over, the surviving spouse has limited penalty-free access to the funds before he or she reaches retirement age. Be Careful with Kids. Adult children are good backup beneficiaries. They can elect a lump sum withdrawal or “inherit” the IRA. The “inherited IRA” option lets them withdraw funds over time, stretch out the income tax burden, and designate their own successor beneficiaries. On the other hand, minor children cannot claim the funds without someone seeking a conservatorship from a probate court. A better choice is to designate separate trusts for each of your minor children. Those trusts will be managed by a Trustee who can withdraw and distribute the plan assets when the funds are needed, such as for college.

Hero for

‘Xero!’ By Amanda Kossick, D.M.D.

Xerostomia, or dry mouth, has become the villain for our teeth. It is increasingly affecting more people and is detrimental to the health of your oral cavity. Even people with impeccable oral hygiene are at an increased risk of decay due to the lack of saliva in the mouth, which helps lubricate the teeth and gingiva. Medications are a very large cause of dry mouth. There are experiencing dry more than 750 medications mouth, or xerostomia, that cause xerostomia, and the list continues to grow. consult your dentist In addition, certain diseases to determine the and health problems can treatment plan that is contribute to xerostomia. Diabetes mellitus, cancer best for you. treatment, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome are examples of diseases and health conditions that can lead to xerostomia. If you have any of these health issues, your oral healthcare provider should know so that he/she can recommend treatment to prevent damage to your mouth from the lack of saliva flow and also to relieve symptoms of dry mouth.

“If you are

Double-Check Designations. Too often, a surviving

One way to cut down on dry mouth is to avoid alcohol and caffeine, which have a drying effect on our mucosa. Water, mint-flavored sugar-free gum, lozenges and brewed green tea all help alleviate the sensation of dry mouth. In addition, overthe-counter products, such as Biotene, Xylimelts and Oasis, are effective. A relatively new product that uses green tea extract also offers positive results. Made by Camellix, this product comes in rinses, lozenges, chewing gum and spray varieties that help to stimulate saliva flow. Find which one of these works best for you and your lifestyle.

spouse discovers that he or she was never designated as beneficiary of an IRA. Those qualified assets wind up flowing through the decedent’s estate, which means that the plan assets must be withdrawn and income tax paid sooner. If you do just one thing this month, make sure your beneficiary designations are up to date.

It is also recommended that you receive regular treatments of topical fluoride to prevent decay that typically occurs as a result of dry mouth. If you are experiencing dry mouth, or xerostomia, consult your dentist to determine the treatment plan that is best for you.

Chris Miller is an attorney at Robinson & Miller, P.C., Attorneys at Law. 770-817-4999,

Dr. Amanda Kossick is a dentist with DeMercy Dental in Roswell. 770-641-8010,



By Michelle Martin | Photos courtesy of


For Tim Cavender, there is no question in his mind that he was born to play Santa. His first opportunity came at the unlikely age of 15 for a school Christmas assembly at Cherokee High School, where he was a student. “I said no very quickly because I could imagine how the other kids would make fun of me,” he recalls. “Ultimately, I decided to give it a shot, and it was a great experience. What I learned was that Santa Claus and Christmas appeal to children of all ages — even high school kids who think they are so cool. You never are too old to enjoy the special magic of Christmas and experience the special hope that Santa Claus offers.”

North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

Now 40 years later, Tim has crafted his Santa look and likeness in the tradition of the old Coca-Cola Christmas advertisements. He attends Santa conventions and courses, researches countless movies and photographs depicting Santa in various styles throughout the last century, studies makeup and beard application, and stays current on the latest toys that may be on children’s Christmas lists each year. “Most Santa costumes are just that: a costume from a costume shop. So, the Santas tend to look alike,” Tim explains. “A few years ago I found a shop, Adele’s of Hollywood, that specializes in custom Santa suits. My suit is the first one made with the stars embossed into the fabric. It’s a little different from what most other Santas would wear, but has a more authentic look because it’s custom made.”

What really makes Tim such a special Santa goes beyond the suit, beard and “Ho-Ho-Ho.” As his wife, Pam, aka “Mrs. Claus,” explains, Tim makes such a great Santa because it’s in his heart. “He has a genuine love for children, and that is what Christmas and Santa Claus are all about,” she says. “The children sense that about him.” For Tim, playing Santa is a blessing. “I know the real reason for the season — the gift of God’s love through Christ. I like to think that the magic of Santa is an extension of the miracle of Christ. There are a lot of Christian themes behind Santa Claus,” he says, noting that Clement Moore, who wrote “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” was a minister and that the North Pole, where Santa lives, is the “highest point on Earth and the closest point to Heaven. Most of all, I know that Santa’s joyful and giving spirit comes from the love of Christ.”

December 6

-a-Thon Channel 11 Can rkway, 425 E. Barrett Pa m. Kennesaw, 12 p.

December 8


Governor’s Man 6 p.m.

The Cavenders enjoy playing Santa and Mrs. Claus at a variety of public and private events throughout the metro Atlanta area. Their most rewarding experiences, they say, are charitable events at children’s hospitals, nursing homes, centers for the mentally challenged and similar places. Tim recalls the first time he was asked to visit a young girl in the hospital. “I tried to come up with every excuse in the book to avoid it, simply because I thought it would make me feel uncomfortable. But all those selfish feelings and fears faded the moment I walked through the door and saw that girl’s eyes light up at seeing Santa. I sat with her on her bed and we had a great time, just talking and laughing. It was the first time I felt like I had made a difference and that playing Santa was my calling.” Hearing those unexpected, selfless and simple children’s

wishes also tugs at the heartstrings. “It’s very humbling when all a child wants for Christmas is a coat, something for her siblings, or for his mommy and daddy to be a family again,” Tim says. “I try to be encouraging and remind children in those situations that even though times may be difficult now, they are special and are loved. I never promise that Santa will give them what they wish for, but that Santa will try. Children believe Santa is magic, so they come to him with their innermost heart wishes. It’s very humbling.” In 2009, Tim made national news playing Santa to a young girl, Beau Bellinger, who had wished for her daddy to come home from serving in Afghanistan. The girl’s mother tipped Tim off that her daddy was already cleared to come home, and they arranged for Santa to make a special visit to

their home so the girl could make the special wish a second time. “I brought a star with me and told her to make a special wish on this special star. A second later, the doorbell rang and her daddy was home — just in time for her birthday that very day!” he recalls. “Being a part of moments like that and bringing joy to people who are in need, feel sad, are sick, or have physical or mental challenges is such a blessing. The greatest blessings always come when we give of ourselves in love.” The Cavenders can’t imagine not playing Santa and Mrs. Claus. As Pam says, “It fills our hearts and has become a part of us. Not playing Santa and Mrs. Claus would feel like a part of us is missing.” Tim adds, “I’ll do it until I die, or otherwise can’t manage it physically. Playing Santa is the most rewarding experience. I am so thankful to be blessed with a gift that brings so much joy to others.”




‘Twas the night before Christmas, and far out at sea Our vessel was sailing, as smooth as could be The stockings were hung from the balcony chairs With hope that St. Nicholas soon would be there The children were nestled all snug in their uppers Having just settled down from a Christmas Eve supper And Ma and myself, we were covered in aloe A bit too much sun, in a pool, warm and shallow When up in the sky, there arose such a clatter I leapt from my bed to see what was the matter To the sliding glass door I flew like a flash Well, more like a saunter, and less like a dash And what to my skeptical eyes should appear But a great shiny sleigh, and eight flying reindeer They circled our ship, from starboard to port As the moon lit the driver, a jolly old sort Who called to his team, in a happy retort “Now Dasher, now Dancer,” so on and so forth We raced through our cabin and into the hall To the very top deck, in time for us all To be awed by the sight of Old Santa’s sleigh As he lightly touched down, by the midnight buffet With a bundle of goodies thrown over his back He rose in the air and dropped down the smokestack Santa went straight to work, and later we learned He found every child’s cabin, from the bow to the stern Insides and ocean views, balconies and suites Santa filled every stocking, with toys and with treats By Michael Consoli

Until all his deliveries had been handled with care Then he noted he still had a minute to spare So he surfed the wave rider, with nary a fall While Dasher and Dancer scaled the rock-climbing wall And Prancer, who had always been fond of the cold Tried the ice-skating rink, a sight to behold

Michael Consoli is a professional travel and cruise specialist and owner of Cruise Planners. 770-650-7667,

And then with a whistle, Santa summoned his team And he bade us farewell, silent nights and sweet dreams And I heard him exclaim, as he flew out of view Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good cruise!


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013


Benefits of a Home Protection Plan By Fred Hawkins

Your home is the greatest investment you may purchase in a lifetime. Your home is just like your car; it needs routine service to operate properly. Just as your car needs the brakes checked and the oil changed, your home needs the electrical panel serviced and the GIFs tested. You will receive many benefits when you purchase a Home Protection Plan. Priority Service: When you need electrical service you want it fast. As a Home Protection Plan member, you and your family will be given first priority whenever you call. Being a plan member is like having an electrician on call! Electrical Safety Inspection: Your family’s continued safety is your top

priority. It should be for any service company as well. A Home Protection Plan will include a safety inspection on the day that you sign up and every year as long as the protection plan is valid. The annual electrical protection inspection will identify any new problem areas before they become a hazard to you and your family. Service, Satisfaction & Commitment: The company that you use should make sure you are satisfied with any service performed in your home for as long as you’re a home protection member. Exclusive Specials: From time to time you will receive special offers and discounts that will be given exclusively

to Home Protection Plan members. A Home Value Booster: Your Home Protection Plan is also transferable if you were to sell your home. That peace of mind could be a big selling point to prospective homebuyers. Or, you could transfer the Home Protection Plan to your new home as long as you are in the same service area. Safety Savings: You can receive a 10 percent discount on products and services needed to bring your home up to the minimum standards of the National Fire Protection Association, helping to keep you and your family safe into the future. With a Home Protection Plan, you will have purchased peace of mind for you and your family!

Fred Hawkins is owner of H&H Electric and Security LLC. 770-735-1136,




By Michelle Martin


irst Baptist Church of Roswell (FBC-R) has been an integral part of the Roswell community throughout its 141-year history. Ron Bradley, D. Min. and senior pastor at the church for 17 years, believes FBC-R’s lasting legacy is that it holds true to many of the traditions of the Southern Baptist Church while also embracing contemporary worship features. “I love to hear first-time visitors tell us that FBC-R offers everything they had been looking for in a church for so long,” he says. “To many people, FBC-R is the best-kept secret in town!” While many churches feature praise bands to create a more contemporary worship style to appeal to a broader audience, FBC-R features traditional hymns, a traditional choir in traditional choir robes and a pipe organ combined with a contemporary message. Pastor Bradley, as he explains, presents the


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

message of the Bible in an “interactive” worship style that people can relate to on different levels — spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. “My role as senior pastor isn’t just to lead worship,” he says. “My role is to connect the worshiper with God; to facilitate a spiritual interaction between our people and our Creator.” For Veterans Day last month, for example, Pastor Bradley passed out

cards for people in the congregation to write personal notes of appreciation to U.S. military as an outward demonstration of Christ’s love. During another recent service, he had a recliner brought onto the stage of the pulpit to demonstrate how a recliner pushes people up out of the chair. “Isn’t it neat how that works? It just lifts you right out of your chair,” he said. “Then, I told the congregation that I wished I could install that same technology in the pews here to get our people up and working for Christ.” One of Pastor Bradley’s favorite interactive worship services was on the scripture that warns Christians against being judgmental, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” (John 8:7). To illustrate the scripture, Pastor Bradley gave a rock to everyone in the congregation and asked them to reflect on times when they have been judgmental and unforgiving of others, and also when they have felt

Pictured (left to right): Rev. Jessica Asbell, Minister to Children Dr. Doyle Hamilton, Pastoral Counselor Rev. Jerry Tyler, Minister of Music Dr. Ron Bradley, Pastor Rev. Robert Turnbull, Minister to Students Dr. Kevin Head, Minister to Young Families



hurt when others have judged them. “One by one, you could hear people all over the worship center drop their rocks to the floor — letting go of their judgmental attitudes and bitterness,” he says. “That sermon was almost 10 years ago, but people still have those rocks in their homes as a reminder to be more forgiving and accepting.” Pastor Bradley describes his preaching style as “experiential.” He wants to convey the message of the Bible and show the love of Christ in unique, contemporary ways that apply to people in today’s contemporary world. “My goal is to help our worshipers communicate and have an experience with God,” he says. “When people leave FBC-R after Sunday worship, I want people to say ‘I have a great God’ rather than ‘that was a great service.’”

FBC-R’s blend of the traditional and contemporary continues to reach people of all ages, from as far away as Cumming to Acworth. Last year, 60 percent of new members at FBC-R were age 40 and younger. The church has a regular membership of approximately 650-700 in Sunday worship. “We’re small enough to know our people by name, but large enough that everyone can find a place to connect and grow,” says Pastor Bradley. 30

North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

Holiday Events Baby’s First Christmas December 1, 9:45 a.m.

Greening of the Sanctuary At FBC-R, there’s a ministry for virtually all ages and all stages of life — from newborns to newlyweds, singles to seniors. The Young Adults Ministry offers special programs that address specific issues in parenting, such as dealing with the new challenges of raising children in today’s digital age and navigating the process of adoption or fostering. Other ministries focus on helping adults and children with grief. Hope for Grieving Children brings together children from throughout metro Atlanta who are hurting and struggling with different feelings after the loss of a parent or sibling. In addition, special programs and events are offered to help grieving adults and children alike get through the holidays, which can be very lonely as they miss their loved ones. Chapter 2 is a widows’ ministry that offers special programs and activities to remind these special ladies that they’re still loved. The Youth Ministry is active with a variety of programs year-round, including a missions’ trip to Haiti planned for next summer. FBC-R’s missions’ work also supports local projects and families in need — through the local Angel Tree organization, area charities, hospitality efforts during Roswell’s annual Youth Day Parade and many more areas of service. “At FBC-R, we feel it’s important to be an example of God’s love not only to our church community but also to our local community and to the global community,” says Pastor Bradley. “FBC-R exists for others. That is the message we want people to live out and experience every day through FBC-R.”

December 1, 6:45 p.m.

An Evening of Instrumental Music

December 8, 6:45 p.m.

Birthday Party for Jesus December 15, 9:45 a.m.

Chancel Choir and Orchestra Music Presentation December 15, 6:45 p.m.

Christmas Eve Services Family Service, 5 p.m.

Adult Candlelight Service, 11 p.m.

First Baptist Church of Roswell 710 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell


Sunday Worship Services 8:30 & 11 a.m.

Sunday Bible Studies 9:45 & 10:45 a.m.

Wednesday Bible Studies

Men’s, Women’s & Youth Bible Studies, 6:30 p.m. Pastor’s Bible Study & Prayer, 6:45 p.m.

School, Community

Relationships Help Students Succeed By Will Rumbaugh & Vic Shandor

Schools in the Fulton County School System work hard to connect students with their community. An example of this effort is at Northwood Elementary, within the Northeast Learning Community, where faculty reached out to local experts to share their professional passions with students. Recently, Ryan Beesley, a Roswell High School graduate, who now works as a meteorologist for WALB- 24/7 Weather in Albany, Ga., visited Northwood Elementary’s fourth-grade classes as part of “Meet the Meteorologist” program. Beesley prepared a video, “A Day in the Life of a Meteorologist,” which included content from the science curriculum and showed the

students what his workday is like. Talented and Gifted students also heard from Executive Pastry Chef Andrea Litvin, from The Spence restaurant in Atlanta, and Georgia Tech geophysicist Chris Huber. Chef Litvin enhanced the science unit,“What’s the Matter in the Kitchen?” and helped students explore how such concepts as chemistry and changing states of matter can be applied in cooking. Huber helped students understand the constructive and destructive forces that shape the earth. He also shared volcanic rock samples and pictures of volcanoes he visited.

“Walk the Stage,” a program that fosters relationships and provides academic and social support. In addition to working directly with the students, 19 local business leaders mentored students in establishing future college and career plans. As a result, 77 percent of the students graduated on time. Local high schools have nominated 41 seniors for the 2013-2014 “Walk the Stage” program. In addition, 10 students at Elkins Pointe Middle School have become involved in the project, which will allow them to earn dual credit for middle and high school.

These real-world connections between the work of adults in the community and the work of students have lasting impressions. Similarly, schools in the Northwest Learning Community are learning that one of the keys to student success is a positive relationship with adults. The Northwest Learning Community engaged 39 at-risk seniors last year in

Will Rumbaugh (left) is area superintendent of the FCS Northeast Learning Community. Vic Shandor (right) is area superintendent of the FCS Northwest Learning Community.



Academic Japanese Students Visit EPMS Elkins Pointe Middle School (EPMS) welcomed 23 middle school students from Fukushima, Japan, on November 7-8 through the Kakehashi Project, a Japanese governmentsponsored youth exchange program. The goal of the program is to promote a deeper mutual understanding among the people of Japan and the United States, as well as to cultivate wider perspectives for students who wish to play active roles at the global level in the future. EPMS students and parents welcomed the Japanese students at a special ceremony in the school cafeteria. Honorable guests in attendance included Consul Sunaga from the Consulate General of Japan, Fulton County School Board President Linda Schultz, and other community leaders. During their visit to the school and home-stay with local host families, the Japanese students experienced American culture and family life firsthand.

Pictured (left to right): Grant Rosenbaum, BFES student; Claire Stenger, BFES parent; Haven Donnelly, BFES student; Gay Donnelly, BFES parent; and Kim Drake, SUFK-NFI

BFES Donates to Children in Need Students at Birmingham Falls Elementary School (BFES) stood up for at-risk youth in the community by donating meals to Stand Up for Kids’ North Fulton Initiative (SUFK-NFI), an organization that provides mentoring and support to homeless students and other students in need at area high schools. The meals, along with notes of encouragement written by students, were collected during the school’s annual fall festival. SUFK-NFI will use the donations to further its mission of helping at-risk students stay in high school and earn their diploma.

LWES Students Create Art Masterpieces

Johns Creek High Builds Podium for Northwood Elementary Two students in an advanced Engineering class at Johns Creek High School (JCHS) designed and built a This NES wooden podium was designed and handcrafted wooden built by JCHS Engineering students. podium for the front entrance at Northwood Elementary School (NES). Katie Babiarz and Chandler Collier designed and built the desk, which includes a laser-cut Northwood motto and a painted logo of the school’s stylized “N.” Babiarz and Collier, along with JCHS Principal Buck Greene and Engineering teacher Steve Sweigart, presented the podium during a recent visit to NES. They were greeted by fourthgraders Daniel Sorungbe, Kristen Obijeski, Arjan Upadhyay, Imani Perryman, and Hannah Collerette, who presented them with thankyou gifts that included a large banner signed by NES students and staff. The wooden podium includes a plaque acknowledging the designers and date. 32

North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

Zane White, Benjamin Donges, Sophie Hershkowitz, and Samanyu Vemuri display their original masterpieces.

Art Detectives is an art enrichment program at Lake Windward Elementary School that introduces children in all grades to master artists and the joy of art observation. Machelle Zirlott’s secondgrade class was shown a “mystery” painting and other paintings from such artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, Tissot, Warhol and Van Gogh. Simply using their observation skills, the students compared color, composition and painting style to determine which of these masters painted the mystery painting. The students were very engaged and excited by the lesson and were successful in their deductions! They also created their own masterpiece paintings, mimicking the textures of the painter who painted the mystery painting.

Friday Night

Photography by Michael Beck




North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013



Rx for a Healthy Furnace By April Kitchens You wouldn’t drive your car 100,000 miles without changing the oil. Well, the same logic holds true for your home comfort system. Regular, planned maintenance is the best way to ensure the healthiest, safest, most comfortable and energy-efficient system possible. By this time of year, you’re probably running your furnace. Faulty settings, dirty filters and congested burners can wreak havoc on the efficiency and operation of your furnace. Regardless of whether you have a forced-air heating system or some other furnace type, failing to maintain your heating system could result in high repair costs and even dangerous situations for your family. Top preventative maintenance on your furnace by a certified, trained, HVAC professional, should include: lubricating applicable moving parts; cleaning the air filters, motors, fan and burners; testing for carbon monoxide leaks; and inspecting the blower, fan belt, safety controls, gas pilot light, piping and even the thermostat.

Carbon monoxide testing is essential, as the heat exchangers of a furnace have the possibility of releasing carbon monoxide gas. This gas is poisonous and undetectable; if you were sleeping and this gas was released, you might never wake up. The heat-exchanger surface can collect dust and other debris that might hinder its operation, so it’s important to keep it clean. Have the inspector check the burners, as they are accountable for heating the exchangers that, in turn, blow warm

“Treat your furnace as a member of the family. It does have total responsibility for keeping you warm this winter!”

air through the duct work in the home. When the burners don’t work, the furnace won’t operate efficiently. If you believe you are capable of checking the burners yourself, inspect the flame at the pilot light. Clean-burning fuel will produce a blue flame, while a hot, unclean fuel will burn a reddish-yellow color. When this reddish-yellow color exists, it usually means the burners are corroding or becoming clogged from rust. The fan belt drive for the blower in the furnace should also be inspected yearly. While a frayed fan belt is not a danger to you or the furnace’s operation, it does reduce efficiency. Therefore, it is important to replace a frayed belt as soon as possible to increase efficiency and reduce the threat of the belt splitting apart. Lubrication at key points in the furnace is essential to quiet operation. Plus, it will reduce strain on the motor because the parts are not sticking or laboring. Another necessity is replacing the filters as needed. Some filters are reusable and require that you wash out the dust accumulation and then dry it before placing it back in the furnace unit. With disposable filters, toss the dirty one and replace it with a new one to ensure the dust and allergens released into the air are kept to a minimum. Treat your furnace as a member of the family. It does have total responsibility for keeping you warm this winter!

April Kitchens is the Director of Marketing at 4 Seasons Heating & Air. 770-504-5833,


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013


Power of One By Jeff Kincaid, D.M.D., M.S.

Sometimes, I think it’s important to step away from writing about the world of orthodontics and become a little introspective. I truly believe that it’s important for my patients to understand that my team and I care about the individuals whose teeth we are correcting. I hope that, in some small way, we are able to touch and perhaps change lives for the better. I stress to my team that the one kind word or act that may seem small or insignificant to us may just be the tipping point in changing a life. At a recent Rotary meeting, the poem, “The Power of One,” was shared during a discussion. I thought it was very

appropriate for the holiday season and worth sharing again. While I know I can’t technically “save the world,” I haven’t given up trying to make an impact, one person at a time. If each of us would strive to make a difference in the life of another, then we all would live a fulfilled life. Leaders understand the power of one, but do you? Read on.

Dr. Jeff Kincaid is a specialist in orthodontics and owner of Kincaid Orthodontics in Woodstock and Roswell.

“The Power of One”

(Author Unknown)

One song can spark a moment One flower can wake the dream One tree can start a forest One bird can herald spring One smile begins a friendship One handclasp lifts a soul One star can guide a ship at sea One word can frame the goal

One vote can change a nation One sunbeam lights a room One candle wipes out darkness One laugh will conquer doom One step must start each journey One word must start each prayer One hope will raise our spirits One touch can show you care One voice can speak with wisdom One heart can know what’s true One life can make the difference You see, it’s up to you! What one thing will you do that could impact the life of another?



Susan McLean: Poetry in Art

World, World, I cannot get thee close enough! Long have I known a glory in it all… By Heike Hellmann-Brown


a former Advanced Placement English teacher, I am inspired by the great literature I taught,” explains artist Susan McLean.“Like the beautiful words of such poets as Edna St. Vincent Millay or Emily Dickinson, a painting condenses thoughts and ideas and distills its message to an essence. It can touch hearts and minds and lets us see our world differently.”

McLean’s respect for those great painters, combined with her knowledge of the colors and the pigments of previous periods, also enabled her to take on several restoration projects — an endeavor she would love to pursue further.

Coincidently, it was in a high school classroom that McLean was introduced to the possibility of creating art.“A colleague showed me a painting she had done, and said,‘You can do it, too!’” With this challenge Susan McLean began to study the classical techniques of the Old Masters. She takes delight in reproducing paintings by John Singer Sargent, Joaquin Corolla and Anders Zorn.“While I copy a masterpiece, I connect with the original artist and learn what he has accomplished. I explore each brushstroke, his use of color and contrast to establish mood, the dramatic impact light has on form and hue…I try to see the world the way he saw it.”

In her original artwork she enjoys merging the old and the new. She also paints abstracts, but most often she gravitates toward nature, whether in landscapes or florals, sometimes inspired by photographs taken during her travels.“Beauty speaks to all of us on an elemental level similar to the collective unconscious,” McLean says. “My greatest challenge is settling on one subject. I just can’t seem to limit myself. I experience such freedom and joy when painting. Even when I drive in my car I am stunned by the beauty I see and wonder how I would paint that.” McLean’s ultimate goal is to continue developing her own style and to enjoy the freedom of painting what she wants to paint in hopes of appealing to a broad spectrum of art lovers.

Currently, McLean serves as vice president of the Alpha Arts Guild. “I enjoy the camaraderie and the collaboration,” she says.“As artists, we need to encourage and to promote each other.” McLean’s wish to give back stems from one of the most difficult times in her life.“I’m a breast cancer survivor. This experience taught me to be more fearless, to have more fun, to experiment with my art, and, most importantly, to appreciate and enjoy life. It also led me to make art my profession. I am so blessed to have found my passion, and I encourage others to find theirs. Becoming a professional artist was something that, ultimately, came from putting aside my fears and insecurities and embracing one of the things I most loved doing: painting.” Heike Hellmann-Brown is a published writer in the United States and Europe. She has translated and edited several New York Times bestsellers and has taught both English and her native German as a foreign language in a career that has spanned more than 20 years.


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

What’s New in

TV & Home Technology By Michael Buckner Recently, I attended the “CEDIA Expo,” one of the largest home technology trade shows designed just for nerds like me. I go to trade shows like CEDIA so that I can stay in front of the curve of home technology. Let me share with you what I considered the most interesting features of CEDIA Expo 2013. 4K TV’s (UHDTV): Move over 1080p HD. These new TVs will have twice the resolution of today’s flat-panel TVs. If your current 1080p TV were compared to a digital camera, it would be a 2 megapixel against a 4 megapixel. If you don’t think this is be a big difference, think again. I’ve seen this firsthand, and it’s amazing. Sony is leading the charge on this, with a 55-inch model available for $3,499 — and worth every penny. I’ll probably have one on display in my store by the time you read this. Dual Display: So, 3D TV pretty much was a flop, but the technology has been modified into a “dual display” that I expect to be huge! The dual display technology will allow two people to wear special glasses and watch two different shows on the same TV. Just think, your kids can watch a Disney movie while you and your spouse watch something of your choice! Or, one of you can watch a football game while the other catches up on DVR recordings. The only bummer is that one person will have to use headphones for the audio. This technology should be available to consumers next year. Smart Surge Protectors: Everyone has gotten the “please reboot” advice when calling tech support. Now, you can buy an affordable surge protector ($99) that will automatically reboot when the connection is lost. The surge protector is in constant contact with and; whenever it loses connection from the sites, it automatically reboots your modem and router! This helps to keep your Internet connection up and working a lot more. I hope you’re as excited as I am about these new home technology toys! Michael Buckner is owner of Audio Intersection, a provider of audio and video in Georgia. 770-479-1000,

Golf Ball

Selection By Rick Coursey


There are many choices when it comes to golf balls, and choosing the right ball can be daunting. When determining which golf ball is best for your game, ask yourself the following questions: • Do I need help to hit it straight and far? Is it more important to hit the ball a precise distance? • How many balls do I hit in the fairway from the tee box — 20, 80 or 90 percent? • Is spin on the ball a benefit for stopping the ball on a green, or is the ball spinning off in the woods? • Do I like a “hard” feeling ball or a “softer” feeling ball? • How far do I hit every club in my bag? On your next visit to a golf shop, your answers to those questions will aid the professional in helping you choose a ball that can take as many as 10-12 strokes off your score. Here is some basic information about golf balls to further help you: Distance Balls • Usually a two-piece ball that goes farther and straighter than a high-spin ball, this ball is a good choice for hitting longer shots. • Usually has a “harder cover” that may “click” when hit. If that sound is important to you, this ball is a good choice. • Usually cost less, so if losing balls is a concern and a lower price sounds good, then this is a good choice. High-Spin Golf Balls • Usually has a softer cover and the ball does not “click” when hit. • Usually a good choice for players who can strike the ball well, allowing more “control” of shots. • Not a good choice for golfers who often miss-hit the ball. More spin means more balls going off into the woods right and left of the fairway. Multi-layer balls can give the best of all worlds: distance, spin, feel and control. Answer the questions above, seek the help of an expert, get fit with the right ball, and you will be headed for a better game of golf! L

Rick Coursey is manager of Edwin Watts Golf in Johns Creek. 770-622-5040,




North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

By Julie Brennan | Photography by and courtesy of Dr. Charles Stanley


remember reading a magazine article back in college that had a line that is now part of my missives: “Now and then someone shares with you a beautiful moment.” The image that accompanied the quote was that of a young man standing at the top of a hill.

Recently, I was afforded a great opportunity. I had a conversation with one of the South’s most trusted and beloved figures in the Baptist Church — Dr. Charles Stanley. Our conversation touched on various topics, including faith, freedom, community and photography. ++ On

Faith and Freedom

“Folks lose faith by losing the Word of God. They move toward circumstances. God doesn’t change — we do. Read the Word of God.” Dr. Stanley then added, “The Spirit of God that is within you is still the same. He keeps His promises. We change our focus and, therefore, our relationship with Him wavers. “Our first freedom is our relationship with God.” Our conversation continued as we discussed how freedom is in jeopardy. The baritone voice of the 80-year old man began to share his concerns about the lack of knowledge of our history. “Loyalty and devotion were part of the steps that got us here throughout history,” he added. “We’ve lost sight of those two key areas.” As I continued listening, I was reminded of a quote by Dr. Stanley that I read when I walked into the In Touch building. “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.” ++ Today’s

Communication, or Lack Thereof

“People don’t know history. Who we are and where we came from — these are things we are not taught anymore. In order to keep our freedom, we must have a sense of responsibility for our freedom,” Dr. Stanley asserted. “Without history you are in jeopardy for anything that comes along.” I asked Dr. Stanley about his thoughts on communication, in a world filled with so many different ways that are supposed to keep us in touch. “We are so disconnected from each other — from emotional relationships and from God. Our capacity to have an intimate relationship with others is not there,” Dr. Stanley said. The various venues that are now available to reach everyone “on the face of this Earth” are, according to Dr. Stanley, one of the positive changes he has witnessed over the years. “We can guide and drive positive messages all over the world by using the technology that is now available.” While the message can be transmitted, the ability to form relationships appears to be in jeopardy.



++ Today’s


“There’s a sense of gloom and doom in the mind of people that needs to stop,” Dr. Stanley said. “Today’s news creates an emotional dilemma and we tend to forget the genuine truth. What did God say? “We shift our focus on circumstances and live in a society that is guarded,” Dr. Stanley added. When I asked him how folks view Jesus today, his answer was a bit surprising. “The Jesus of today is a character.” I asked what he meant by that. “Jesus is not in our minds; we are living in a guarded society where Jesus doesn’t have the same impact,” he stated. “We lack respect and honor, reverence and obedience.” Dr. Stanley also mentioned how our society does things that draw us away from God. “As we continue to move further away from Him, the harder it will be to bring us back.” ++ About


Walking though the building that is home to In Touch Ministries, I was fascinated by the beautiful and exquisitely mounted photographs that adorn the walls. Since age 13, Dr. Stanley has been interested in photography, a hobby he has mastered and shares with all who wish to see the beauty of this world. His photos focus on nature, birds, landscapes and animals. “God has given me the ability to capture the beauty of our world,” Dr. Stanley reflected. “When I see something, through a lens, I focus on what belongs there — and that which doesn’t belong goes away.” In 1962, while traveling to Haiti, Dr. Stanley realized that photography was a passion, and he began his quest for perfection in this art. “I am not a quitter. When I decided I wanted to learn to be a good photographer, I began reading books by Ansel Adams,” Dr. Stanley stated with a peaceful smile. “I am certain I own every book by Ansel Adams.”


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

Adams was an American photographer and environmental activist best known for his black and white photos of Yosemite National Park and the American West. Along with Fred Archer, Adams developed the Zone System as a way to determine proper exposure and adjust the contrast of the final print. Dr. Stanley not only researched the topic of photography but also attended seminars on the subject and even built his own darkroom. He recalls the moment when, while in his darkroom, he realized his tenacity had paid off. “I can do this,” he said to himself. Since that moment, photography has been Dr. Stanley’s alternative to preaching. Photography is an inspiration for Dr. Stanley. He is fulfilled and, as he explains, it allows him to capture what he sees in order to show others.

“I love to tell the story, for those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest. And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song, ‘twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.” From “I Love to Tell the Story” by Katherine Hankey, 1834-1911.

Dr. Stanley’s Helpful Path to Faith and Freedom 1. Read the word of God. The Bible is the foundation of spiritual truth. 2. Make your personal relationship with God a priority. 3. Focus on the message of God, not social issues. 4. Begin to take care of each other — uphold each other. 5. There are 30 life principles — read and apply them.

“When I have my camera, I am able to focus on something through a lens that takes away what doesn’t belong there,” Dr. Stanley explained, moving his hands into focus to depict the focal point that a lens brings to the naked eye.

“You see, we all need to have a deviation from our normal routine, an alternative. Otherwise, our brain never rests,” Dr. Stanley asserted. “I Love to the Tell the Story,” Dr. Stanley’s most recent book, is a beautiful photographic journey into lands that we may perhaps never see. The book is, as noted in its title, an expression of the beauty of God’s creation through photography. ++ Until

We Meet Again

As our time together came to a close, I realized that I had been given the opportunity of a lifetime: a conversation with a trusted and most eloquent religious leader that filled my mind and heart with joyful hope and happiness. Of course, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to show Dr. Stanley a few photos (on my cell phone) of my beloved island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Who knows, perhaps someday I can share with him the beauty of yet another one of God’s treasures on Earth.

Julie Brennan is a writer and publisher. She is a native of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Julie may be reached at

What is that Smell? By Julie Lippitt It smells like rotten eggs, but you know all the Easter eggs were found and the dirty gym bag was left at school. So what is that smell? Most likely, it’s sewer gas (methane gas), and it’s known by its very unpleasant odor. Sewer gas can occur naturally; it is a mixture of gasses produced and collected in sewage systems by the decomposition of organic household waste. Sewer gas is restricted from entering your home by plumbing traps — that funny-looking pipe under the sink that creates a water seal — and by exhaust vents on the roof. If everything is working properly, then you shouldn’t smell anything indoors. If you do, then be sure to check the following areas. Dry Traps: Because of lack of use, the water in the trap under the drain has evaporated. This allows sewer gas to come through the drain into your room. To fix this problem, pour a pitcher of water down the floor drain or run the tub/shower at least twice a month to prevent the traps from drying out. Air Admittance Valve: A non-functional airadmittance valve will allow sewer gas smell to seep into your home. The air-admittance valve also allows air flow to prevent a vacuum, so that you don’t end up with dry traps. If this is the case, a plumber will need to install a new air-admittance valve. Cleanout Plugs: If a cleanout plug is broken or missing, it will leave a space for the sewer gas to bypass the water trap. Sometimes, to clean sewer lines, the plug is removed and not replaced. A technician will need to come out and install a new plug. Toilets: If a wax ring seal between the toilet flange and the base of the toilet is broken, sewer gas will find its way under the toilet. Have you recently installed new flooring that would require the toilets to be reinstalled? These are just a few sources of sewer gas smell in your home. If you ever smell the “rotten egg” odor in your home, call your plumber immediately to troubleshoot and repair the problem.

Julie & Rick Lippitt are owners of Pete’s Plumbing in Alpharetta. 770-442-3934,



Holiday Hospitality UPDATED

Act Together Ministries Act Together Ministries will offer Christmas sponsorship to hundreds of children in north metro Atlanta. Sponsors are needed to act as “Christmas angels” and provide Christmas gifts to children in need, including foster children and children from low-income families. Sponsors are requested to purchase $75-$100 per child toward gifts, such as a coat, shoes or other clothing; games; and toys. Sponsors may request children by age and/or gender. Gifts should be donated by December 10. Act Together also needs volunteers to help distribute toys, sort and prepare gifts, and help with stocking stuffers for the children’s Christmas party December 14 at The Vine Community Church in Cumming.

Bank of North Georgia Through December 13, all area Bank of North Georgia locations are hosting a holiday toy drive to support a local charity. Customers and local residents can participate by bringing in new, unwrapped toys for boys and girls to any local branch: Crabapple Branch,

12355 Arnold Mill Road, Alpharetta, 770-664-7861; Johns Creek Branch, 3640 Peachtree Parkway, Suwanee, 678-474-1500; and the Roswell Branch, 10446 Alpharetta Hwy., Roswell, 770-594-6462. Cards for Military Personnel The holiday season is a great time to write a personal greeting to military troops. Stop by the fourth floor of Johns Creek City Hall to write your personal message, through December 13. 12000 Findley

Road, fourth floor, Johns Creek. 678-512-3200, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Join Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Santa Claus and thousands of spectators along Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta for the Southeast’s largest Christmas parade. The Children’s Christmas Parade, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., December 7, will kick off the holiday season; all proceeds from the parade will help fund programs and equipment to serve the patients and families at Children’s. The event is free and open to the public, but those seeking front-row access can purchase reserved bleacher seats for $18 at ParadeBleachers. The Macy’s Pink Pig ride, a beloved Atlanta tradition since 1953, will run through January 5, 2014. Each ride costs $3 (or two rides for $5.50, three rides for $7.50). The ride is located in the Pink Pig Tent


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

at the Lenox Square Mall upper-level parking deck, near Macy’s. A portion of the proceeds from each ride will benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Children’s Restoration Network During the holiday season, Children’s Restoration Network (CRN) will begin its “12 Days of Caring” program to provide new clothes, new toys and other gifts to children. Donations of new clothes and new toys are requested. In addition, churches, businesses and community organizations also may “adopt” an entire shelter or group home (CRN will match an organization to a shelter/group home depending on the organization’s ability to help). CRN also will sponsor a gift-wrapping party December 19-22; wrapping supplies will be provided by CRN, but extra wrapping paper and tape are appreciated. 770-649-7117,

Drake House The Drake House is a crisis residential assessment center for homeless women and children in the North Fulton area, offering immediate housing and programs designed to provide stability for the children and assist the family in working toward housing self-sufficiency. The Drake House accepts donations for its food pantry and cleaning supplies for the families, along with gift card donations for gas stations, grocery stores and retail locations, such as Walmart and Home Depot. Volunteers are needed for light facility maintenance. The Drake Closet in Roswell and Alpharetta are resale boutiques of women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Proceeds from the stores help to fund operations for The Drake House. The boutiques are located at 825 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell, across the street from Roswell United Methodist Church, and at 26 Old Roswell St. in Alpharetta, right behind Smoke Jack Restaurant. The stores are open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday. Volunteers are needed to assist buyers in the store. For more information: Lynn Canty, 770-587-4712, ext. 305, DreamWeavers of Georgia DreamWeavers of Georgia is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency located in Alpharetta that focuses on meeting the needs of children placed in foster care. The organization is dedicated to enriching the lives of foster children, creating opportunities and providing resources that

promote educational, emotional and social well-being of Georgia’s foster children. The Alpharetta community can help foster children during the holiday season and throughout the year. Volunteers are always needed for chaperoning field trips, tutoring, providing music lessons, etc. If you are interested in learning more or if you know of individuals, church groups, businesses or others who are looking for opportunities to assist a foster child, please visit the website.

770-255-1019, Festival of Trees Embassy Suites Galleria’s annual Festival of Trees, through January 5, 2014, will raise money for Atlanta nonprofit organizations by showcasing Christmas trees decorated by each organization; the trees will be decorated to reflect the individual organization’s mission throughout the community. Hotel guests and the public at large can make donations to one or more charities at a special gingerbread house located at the Embassy Suites Galleria lobby. The charity receiving the most donations will receive an additional donation through Embassy Suites Galleria’s community outreach efforts.

2815 Akers Mill Road, Atlanta. 678-460-2561 Foster Care Support Foundation Inc. Foster Care Support Foundation Inc. (FCSF) assists thousands of Georgia’s foster and displaced children by providing free clothes, toys and infant-care equipment. FCSF is in need of new, likenew, and gently worn clothing for preemie sizes to size 24; new underwear, socks and shoes (except infant sizes); toys in great repair; and boys’ pants and sneakers. FCSF also accepts gifts for teens, such as CDs and hand-held games. Monetary donations, sponsorships and volunteers are critical in helping FCSF continue to offer programs and assistance for children. 770-641-9591, GCAC of Georgia GCAC of Georgia (Giving Children a Chance) is a private foster care and adoption agency in Alpharetta. The Alpharetta community can help GCAC’s foster children during the holiday season by purchasing Christmas gifts and assisting throughout the year in a variety of volunteer areas. 770-255-1018,

Make-A-Wreath for Make-A-Wish Barrington Hall in Roswell will support the Make-A-Wish foundation by hosting the Make-A-Wreath fundraising effort through December 30. Festive holiday wreaths will be displayed and available for purchase, with all proceeds donated to the Make-AWish Foundation. 770-640-3855;

North Fulton Community Charities North Fulton Community Charities (NFCC) assists North Fulton families with rent, utilities, transportation, food, clothing, medicine

and other basic needs during short-term emergencies and longterm financial distress. In addition, NFCC provides special programs throughout the year to help preserve family traditions and relieve any additional financial distress. NFCC is seeking volunteers, family and senior sponsors, and donations of new toys, new or gently used warm coats and non-perishable food items for its annual holiday program. New toy donations will be accepted through December 20 at the NFCC Distribution Site, located in the former Comp USA store. 1425 Market Blvd., Suite 200,

Roswell. Operation Homefront Southeast Operation Homefront Southeast is collecting toys that will be distributed to local and Georgia military families for the Christmas holiday season. Toy donations are accepted through December 18 at the Kennesaw office. 3375 Chastain Gardens Drive, Unit 160,

Kennesaw. 770-575-2086, Senior Services North Fulton Senior Services North Fulton offers services to seniors of all income levels — from in-home services, senior health and wellness initiatives, transportation, advocacy, and resource and referral services, to Meals-on-Wheels and more. Four neighborhood senior centers (Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell and Sandy Springs) offer exercise, field trips and a wide range of activities to help seniors stay active, engaged and involved in the community. Senior Services North Fulton’s Angel Tree, MOW for Pets, and Days of Service programs help ensure seniors are not forgotten during the holidays and provide opportunities for intergenerational activities and community involvement. 770-993-1906,

Shop with a Cop The Alpharetta Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) pairs the city’s police officers, firefighters and other civic-minded volunteers with local families in need. PAL will collect monetary donations with the goal of raising $100 for each of the 100 children, who will get to “shop with a cop.” On December 10, the police officers, volunteers and children will team up for a night of shopping at the Windward Walmart. PAL also is accepting donations for a holiday dinner drive ($50 for a complete holiday meal) that will allow PAL to provide families in need with all the ingredients for a holiday dinner (to be delivered December 14). 678-323-5205

Toys for Tots New, unwrapped toys will be accepted at various drop-off locations throughout the North Fulton area, including Johns Creek City Hall (fourth floor), Johns Creek Police Dept. and three Johns Creek Fire stations, through December 13. Financial donations also are accepted. 12000 Findley Road, fourth floor,

Johns Creek. 678-512-3200,



Taste of

Slow-Cooked Pot Roast Serves 6-8


12 small white potatoes, peeled 1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 cup chopped onion 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce ¼ cup packed brown sugar 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 1 teaspoon salt


Place the potatoes in a slow cooker. Brown the beef in the oil in a skillet. Place the beef over the potatoes. Drain the skillet, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Add the onion to the drippings in the skillet. Sauté until tender. Stir in the tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil. Pour over the beef. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Return the sauce to a skillet just before serving. Cook over medium-high heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Serve over the beef. Note: You can also prepare this recipe in an oven-cooking bag in the oven. Bake for 1-1½ hours following the cooking bag instructions.

Recipe is from the “At Your Service: Southern Recipes, Places and Traditions” cookbook, produced by the Junior League of Gwinnett & North Fulton Counties (JLGNF). Since 1986, JLGNF has been serving the women and children of Gwinnett, North Fulton and South Forsyth counties. The mission of JLGNF is to strengthen the community by creating and implementing collaborative volunteer projects, including programs aimed at building self-esteem in girls ages 5-8. In addition to the cookbook, JLGNF’s fundraising efforts include an Attic Sale in the fall and the “High Heels High Times” fashion and shopping event in the spring.


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013




or Molly Allen, the days leading up to Christmas were always bittersweet. She always loved the holidays; but, the last seven years were nothing but reminders of what she wished she had said, and filled with tears and regrets. Molly grew up in historic downtown Franklin, Tennessee, a small southern town that is home to The Bridge bookstore. As a young kid in college, Molly would meet Ryan Kelly daily at The Bridge. Molly and Ryan were the best of friends — both committed to another, but still feeling something indescribable for each other. Charlie and Donna Barton, owners of The Bridge, have lived and breathed their bookstore for 30 years. As author Karen Kingsbury writes, “Charlie named it The Bridge because that was how he felt about books…They connected the past and the present, the present and the future. He believed that books brought people together and gave them a path to worlds they wouldn’t otherwise experience.” What Charlie and Donna didn’t realize was the impact their bookstore would have on so many lives…until the tragedy of the 100-year flood and its impact on their life’s business. Molly and Ryan, two patrons with whom that small bookstore once was so closely intertwined, hear of the tragedy that has evolved. As Molly and Ryan return to Franklin to help save their beloved bookstore, fate intervenes. Suddenly, all of the uncertainties of yesteryears are answered through the magic of Christmas. These two people — separated for so long, with so many misunderstandings — find each other again.


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

Countless others who also have cherished memories of The Bridge and the Bartons join Molly and Ryan in a rally of support. With each day counting down to Christmas, the Bartons’ desperate loss turns from tragedy to hope. “The Bridge” is a story of dreams, loss, eternal love, and the kind of magic that only Christmas can bring. “The Bridge” can be purchased at Barnes & Noble, Family Christian and other bookstores, and in e-Reader versions for Kindle and Nook.

Catherine Groves has lived in Georgia for 15 years and has lived in the South for considerably longer. An avid book collector (owning more than 5,000 books) and just as avid of a reader, she (as her children have said) “lives and breathes her books.” Catherine studied psychology, is working on an English degree, and is writing her first novel.

Three Reasons to Make

Training a Priority for Your Business By Arlene Dickerson In our technology-driven society the need for training would seem obvious. Most companies provide some kind of handbook, tutorial or even on-the-job training for program and process changes. But, nowadays many companies are sidelining careerdevelopment training. While it makes sense to put some of the responsibility for growth and development on employees, employers should still keep annual enrichment training in their budgets. Here are three reasons why. 1. Boost morale and improve customer service. Employees

feel valued when they are given enrichment training. This leads to better work all around, particularly in customer service. Employees

who are happier at work are more excited about diving in and making their customers happy. A sense of reciprocity kicks in: My company values me, so I want to show that I value my company. 2. Improve versatility and efficiency.

Small companies especially benefit from cross training. Employees get a better understanding of the business, feel a stronger tie to the teams they work with, and are able to work faster and better when they know the key steps that both lead to and follow their work. 3. Get more ideas for the business.

Training often gives employees a broader look at their company and its specific industry. This gets the creative juices flowing, soon

resulting in ideas for everything from process improvements to new products. Employee loyalty improves if their ideas are implemented. Enrichment training can be anything from a week-long offsite experience to a few hours in a training room, to a welldeveloped webinar that employees can participate in at their desk. Whatever the case may be, giving employees dedicated time to advance their skill set will give employers measurable long-term gains.

Arlene Dickerson is the co-owner/director of Technical Resource Solutions. 678-928-9491,



Young Business Professionals Join other young business professionals in the North Fulton area at the Young Business Professionals’ monthly meeting. For more information, contact Deborah Lanham,

Media Frenzy 2300 Lakeview Parkway Alpharetta

Guitar Center 970 North Point Drive Alpharetta

Green Bean Exchange 230 S. Main St. Alpharetta

A. J.’s Home Cooking 1170 Haynes Bridge Road Alpharetta

Nutriwell Coaching & Yoga 6395 McGinnis Ferry Road, Suite 301 Johns Creek

The Alternative Board North Atlanta 11555 Medlock Bridge Road, Suite 100 Johns Creek

Crabapple Martial Arts Academy 12060 Crabapple Road, Suite 1 Roswell

Thomas Eye Group 11690 Alpharetta Hwy. Roswell

Relocation Realty 535 Colonial Park Drive Roswell


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

Elected & Appointed


United States Government

State Rep. Harry Geisinger (R) (D-48) 601 Coverdell Legislative Bldg., Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: 404-656-0254 Fax: 404-594-1510 e-mail: State Rep. Chuck Martin (R) (D-49) 417 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: 404-656-5064 Fax: 404-463-2249 e-mail:

President Barack Obama (D) State Rep. Lynne Riley (R) (D-50) 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20500 401 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: 202-456-1414 Phone: 404-656-0188 Fax: 202-456-2461 e-mail: Website: State Rep. Wendell Willard (R) (D-51) Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) 132 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334 Senate Russell Courtyard-2, Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: 404-656-5125 Phone: 202-224-3521 Fax: 404-481-7111 GA: 770-763-9090 e-mail: Website: State Rep. Tom Rice (R) (D-95) Senator Johnny Isakson (R) 220 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334 1 Overton Park, Suite 970 Phone: 404-656-5912 3625 Cumberland Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30339 e-mail: Phone: 202-224-3643 GA: 770-661-0999 Fax: 770-661-0768 Website: Superior Court: Rep. Tom Price (R), District 6 Chief Judge Cynthia Wright P.O. Box 425, Roswell, GA 30077 Phone: 404-613-4185 Phone: 202-225-4501 GA: 770-565-4990 State Court: Fax: 770-565-7570 Chief Judge Patsy Y. Porter Website: Phone: 404-613-4345 Rep. Rob Woodall (R), District 7 Magistrate Court: 90 North Street, Suite 360, Canton, GA 30114-2724 Chief Judge Stephanie Davis Phone: 202-225-4272 Phone: 404-613-4433 GA: 770-232-3005 Fax: 770-232-2909 Probate Court: Website: Judge Pinkle T. Toomer Phone: 770-613-4070 Rep. Tom Graves (R), District 9 90 North Street, Suite 360, Canton, GA 30114-2724 Juvenile Court: Phone: 202-225-5211 Chief Judge Belinda E. Edwards GA: 770-535-2592 Phone: 770-612-4401 Fax: 770-225-8272 Website: Municipal Court:

Governor Nathan Deal (R) 203 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: 404-656-1776 Fax: 404-657-7332 Website: State Senator Brandon Beach (R) (D-21) 303-B Coverdell Legislative Bldg., Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: 404-463-1378 State Senator David Shafer (R) (D-48) 421-F State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: 404-656-0048 Fax: 404-651-6768 e-mail: State Senator John Albers (R) (D-56) 301-A Coverdell Legislative Building 18 Capitol Square SW, Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: 678-667-3656 Bus.: 404-463-8055 Fax: 404-656-6484 e-mail:

Joan P. Garner (D-6) Phone: 404-612-8226 e-mail:

State Rep. Jan Jones (R) (D-47) 340 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: 404-656-5072 Fax: 404-657-0498 e-mail:

Alpharetta Municipal Court: Phone: 678-297-6250 Johns Creek Municipal Court: Phone: 678-512-3444 City of Milton Municipal Court: Phone: 678-242-2525 Roswell Municipal Court: Phone: 770-641-3790 Clerk of the Court: Cathelene Robinson Phone: 404-730-5300

Board of Commissioners 141 Pryor St. S.W. Atlanta, GA 30303 Phone: 404-612-8200 Fax: 404-730-8254 Website:

Commissioners: John H. Eaves (D-1) Phone: 404-612-8206 e-mail: Robb Pitts (D-2) Phone: 404-612-8210 e-mail:

Tom Lowe (D-4) Phone: 404-612-8218 e-mail: Emma I. Darnell (D-5) Phone: 404-612-8222 e-mail:


State Government

Liz Hausmann (D-3) Phone: 404-612-8213 e-mail:

William Edwards (D-7) Phone: 404-612-8230 e-mail:

Board of Education Website: Linda Schultz (D-1) e-mail: Katie Reeves (D-2) e-mail: Linda McCain (D-5) e-mail: Julia Bernath (D-7) e-mail:

Other Fulton County Schools Superintendent: Robert M. Avossa, Ed.D. 786 Cleveland Avenue SW, Atlanta, GA 30315 Phone: 404-768-3600 e-mail: Website: Fulton County Medical Examiner: Randy Hanzlick, MD 430 Pryor Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30312 Phone: 404-730-4400 Fax: 404-730-4405 e-mail: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office: Sheriff Theodore Jackson 185 Central Avenue SW, Atlanta, GA 30303 Phone: 404-612-5100 Website: Fulton County Tax Commissioner: Arthur E. Ferdinand 141 Pryor Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30303 Phone: 404-730-4000 City of Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle Phone: 678-297-6020 e-mail: City of Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker Phone: 678-512-3313 e-mail: City of Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood Phone: 678-242-2484 e-mail: City of Roswell Mayor Jere Wood Phone: 678-512-3313 e-mail:



Clubs &


Business Organizations

Alpharetta Lions Club: 770-475-9344

BNI-Alpharetta Accelerators Chapter: 770-753-2032,

American Association of University Women North Fulton Branch:

Johns Creek Business Association:

JCCC Young Professionals Networking Group: 770-495-0545, ext. 107,

Children of the American Revolution — Martha Stewart Bulloch Society:


Johns Creek Economic Development Corp.: 770-495-0545 x105

Daughters of the American Revolution — Martha Stewart Bulloch Chapter:

Job Networking Group: 770-642-7943,


National Association of Women Business Owners: 678-539-8090,

Rotary Club of Johns Creek:

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta:

The North Fulton Bar Association: 678-735-5900,

Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton Counties Inc.: 770-476-3090,

GA 400 Rainmakers: 404-323-0049,

North Metro Women’s Connection: 770-335-6013

Kiwanis Club of Historic Roswell: 770-356-5211,

Northside Business Network Group: 770-594-2200

North Fulton Jaycees: 404-786-2665

Powercore: 404-816-3377,

North Fulton Optimist Club: 404-375-7033

Charitable & Support Organizations Alpharetta Clean and Beautiful: 678-297-6200 Basset Hound Rescue of Georgia: 770-499-1164 Child Development Association: 770-992-4339, Children’s Restoration Network: 770-649-7117 Companion Animal Connection: 678-493-9847, The Drake House: 770-587-4712, Foster Care Support Foundation: 770-641-959, Friends of the Alpharetta Library: 678-310-4772,

Alpharetta Roswell Newcomers Club: 678-318-1442

Roswell Junior Woman’s Club: Roswell Lions Club: Roswell Historical Society: 770-992-1665, Roswell Optimists: 770-993-5440 Roswell Rotary Club: 678-318-3647, Rotary Club of North Fulton: 770-475-0656, Sons of Confederate Veterans — Roswell Mills Camp #1547: 770-396-5034 Sons of the American Revolution — Piedmont Chapter: 404-310-3338, VFW Post 12002:

Funds 4 Furry Friends: 770-842-8893

Political Organizations

Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta: 770-740-2425,

Chattahoochee Republican Women’s Club:

Homestretch: 770-642-9185

North Fulton Democrats: 404-303-9142, ext. 2

Jacob’s Ladder Neurodevelopmental School and Therapy Center:

North Fulton Republican Women’s Club: 404-851-9704

Intake EMRG.: 678-964-4772

770-998-1017, Keep Roswell Beautiful: 770-641-3715, Next Century Youth: 770-335-7317, North Fulton Community Charities: 770-640-0399, North Fulton Senior Services: 770-993-1906, Ryan Lee Holland Cancer Foundation, Inc: 678-242-0471, STAR House Foundation: 678-306-4600, United Way of Atlanta: 770-614-1000

Recreation & Hobbies Alliance Française d’Atlanta-Roswell: 404-875-1211, Alpharetta Adult Activity Center / Golden Age Book Club: 678-297-6140 Alpharetta Arts Guild: 678-994-5630, Alpharetta Bridge Club: 678-361-5198, Alpharetta Camera Club: 678-297-6142 Alpharetta City Band: 770-475-9684 Alpharetta/Roswell Newcomers Club: 678-318-1442,

Civic Organizations

Alpharetta Singles Movie Club: 770-662-0916

Alpharetta American Legion Auxiliary Unit 201: 770-475-9023

AlphaFretters Dulcimer Satellite Group: 404-502-9076

Alpharetta Junior Women’s Club: 678-218-5732,

Atlanta Junior Bridge:

Alpharetta Optimist Club: 770-752-8122

Atlanta MasterCrafters Toastmaster Club:


North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

Alpharetta Walkie Talkies: 678-267-6142

Atlanta Stamp Collectors: 770-962-5888,

STAR — Singles Together at Roswell: 770-993-2012,

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve & Heritage Center: 678-366-3511,

Stars Soccer Club — Men’s League: 678-366-9008,

Axé Capoeira Atlanta, Inc: 678-252-9353,

Writers Network: 770-924-0528

Chattahoochee Celtic Pipes & Drums: 770-926-6898 Daylily Society of Greater Atlanta: 770-410-0548, Dudes ‘n Darlins Square Dance Club of Alpharetta: 770-751-7210, 770-361-1237, Georgia Regional Girls Choir: 770-722-3656, Johns Creek Arts Center: 770-623-8448, Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra: 678-748-5802, The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra: 770-623-8623 Milton Garden Club: 770-781-4634, Multisport Explosion Women’s Only Triathlon Team: Multisport Explosion Youth Triathlon Team: 404-308-6656, North Atlanta Dance Theatre: 770-772-8000, North Fulton Amateur Radio League: 770-993-9500 North Fulton Music Teachers Association: 404-786-8932, North Georgia Driving Club: Newtown Park Community Foundation: Newtown Recreation: 678-297-2662 Park Place at Newtown School: 770-667-5030, Performing Arts North: 770-772-0762, Roswell Fine Arts Alliance: Roswell Garden Club: 770-518-7021 Roswell Firehouse Harmony Brigade: 770-317-9571 Roswell New Horizons Band: 770-641-3950, Roswell Photographic Society: 770-594-6122, Songs of Atlanta Chorus: 770-977-4031 Southern Winds Concert Band: 770-993-2059

Support Organizations Alcoholics Anonymous: 770-686-3082 Anorexia Nervousa and Associated Eating Disorders — ANA: 404-307-5442 Atlanta Harm Reduction Center: 404-817-9994, Bereavement Support Group: 770-261-1767 Brain Injury and Stroke Group: 770-751-2650 Care Partner Support Group: 678-777-7241 Celebrate Recovery at Scott Mill Chapel: 678-764-8660, Diabetes Support Group: 770-889-7577 DreamPower Therapeutic Equestrian Center: 678-456-8082, Emotions Anonymous (EA): 404-307-1735 Foster Care Support Group: 770-261-1767 Knitting for Peace: 770-910-7022 MOMS Club of Alpharetta-West: MOMS Club of Roswell — South: Narcotics Anonymous (NA): 678-576-4838 National Alliance on Mental Illness — NAMI: North Fulton Moms of Multiples Club: Overeaters Anonymous: 770-992-6481 Parkinson’s Support Group: 770-261-1767 PFLAG — Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: Roswell UMC Counseling Center: 770-261-1767 S-Anon: 770-993-7253



Religious Services Baptist Atlanta Street Baptist Church 340 S. Atlanta St., Roswell 770-993-9451,

Bethany Baptist Church 2065 Bethany Rd., Alpharetta 770-475-6748

Boiling Springs Primitive Baptist Church 1200 Birmingham Rd., Alpharetta 404-444-6490,

Bridgeway Church 4755 Kimball Bridge Rd., Alpharetta 770-751-1972,

Clear Springs Baptist Church 11575 Jones Bridge Rd., Johns Creek 770-475-9223,

Clear Springs Missionary Baptist Church 2725 Kimball Bridge Rd., Alpharetta 770-664-6863

County Line Baptist Church 430 Strickland Rd., Alpharetta 770-475-9429

Crabapple First Baptist 12760 Birmingham Highway, Alpharetta 770-475-6111,

Cross Plains Baptist Church 6500 McGinnis Ferry Rd., Alpharetta 770-475-1210

Crosspointe Community Church SBC 77 E. Crossville Rd., Suite 100, Roswell 770-640-9959,

First Baptist Church of Alpharetta 44 Academy St., Alpharetta 770-475-6556,

First Baptist Church of Roswell 710 Mimosa St., Roswell 770-587-6980,

Gethsemane Garden Missionary Baptist Church 398 Hardscrabble Rd., Roswell 770-993-8232

Hopewell Baptist Church 15730 Hopewell Rd., Roswell 770-442-0793

Johns Creek Baptist Church 7500 McGinnis Ferry Rd., Alpharetta 770-623-8203,

North Roswell Baptist Church 112 Prospect St., Roswell 404-406-7419, NorthRoswellBaptistChurch.webs

Northside Baptist Church 11125 Houze Rd., Roswell 770-993-5207,

Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church 725 Pleasant Hill St., Roswell 770-993-2707,

Parkway Baptist Church 5975 State Bridge Rd., Johns Creek 770-476-4441,

Providence Baptist Church 20075 Providence Rd., Alpharetta 770-475-3627

Union Hill Baptist Church 4250 McGinnis Ferry Road, Alpharetta

Vision Baptist Church 1125 Alpha Dr., Alpharetta 770-456-5881,

Willeo Baptist Church SBC 990 Willeo Rd., Roswell 770-993-5189,

Zion Missionary Baptist Church 888 Zion Circle, Roswell 770-993-8587,

1015 Old Roswell Rd., Roswell 770-993-6084,

Judaism Chabad of North Fulton 10180 Jones Bridge Rd., Alpharetta 770-410-9000,

Congregation Dor Tamid 11165 Parsons Rd., Johns Creek 770-623-8860,

Congregation Gesher L’Torah 4320 Kimball Bridge Rd., Alpharetta 770-777-4009,

Messianic Judaism Congregation Beth Hallel 950 Pine Grove Rd., Roswell 770-641-3000,

Light of Messiah Ministries 990 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Suite 4, Roswell 770-642-4706,

Temple Beth Tikvah

2030 Old Alabama Rd., Roswell 770-993-0973

St. Andrew’s Catholic Church 675 Riverside Rd., Roswell 770-641-9720

St. Benedict Catholic Church 11045 Parsons Rd., Johns Creek 770-442-5903,

St. Brigid Catholic Church 3400 Old Alabama Rd., Johns Creek 678-393-0060,

St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church 11330 Woodstock Rd., Roswell 678-277-9424,

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church 535 Rucker Rd., Alpharetta 770-475-4501,

Alpharetta/Roswell Ward

North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013

St. David’s Episcopal Church

Reform Judaism

North River Baptist Church


13560 Cogburn Rd., Alpharetta 770-521-0207,

Epiphany Byzantine Catholic Church

11250 Crabapple Rd., Roswell 770-993-3635, 12090 Hardscrabble Rd., Roswell 770-992-7777,

St. Aidans Episcopal Church


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Lebanon Baptist Church


500 Norcross St. 770-640-7357 Spanish: 770-640-0531

9955 Coleman Rd., Roswell 770-642-0434,

Temple Kehillat Chaim-Reform 1145 Green St., Roswell 770-641-8630,

Lutheran Christ the Shepherd Lutheran Church 4655 Webb Bridge Rd., Alpharetta 770-475-0640,

Cross of Life Lutheran Church ELCA Roswell 1000 Hembree Rd., Roswell 770-475-9159,

Lord of Life Lutheran Church ELCA 5390 McGinnis Ferry Rd., Alpharetta 770-740-1279,

Messiah Lutheran Church – WELS 4765 Kimball Bridge Rd., Alpharetta 770-751-9357,

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church ELCA 10250 Haynes Bridge Rd., Alpharetta 770-475-4250,

The River Church 501 S. Main St., Suite 101, Alpharetta 678-860-0971,



Alpharetta First United Methodist Church

St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church

69 North Main St., Alpharetta 770-475-5576,

11450 Houze Rd., Roswell 770-642-9727,

Birmingham United Methodist


15560 Birmingham Hwy., Alpharetta 678-942-1600,

Christ United Methodist Church 1340 Woodstock Rd., Roswell 770-993-3945,

Ebenezer United Methodist Church 12900 Hwy. 140, N., Roswell 770-640-7287,

Johns Creek United Methodist Church 11180 Medlock Bridge Rd., Johns Creek 770-497-8215,

Midway United Methodist Church 5025 Highway 9, N., Alpharetta 770-475-5230,

Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church 9820 Nesbit Ferry Rd., Johns Creek 678-336-3000,

Northbrook United Methodist Church 11225 Crabapple Rd., Roswell 770-998-2000,

Roswell United Methodist 814 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell 770-993-6218,

St. James United Methodist 3000 Webb Bridge Road, Alpharetta 678-762-1543,

Non-Denominational Fellowship Bible Church 480 W. Crossville Rd., Roswell 770-992-4956,

Good News Atlanta Church 11000 Rogers Circle, Johns Creek 770-495-0200

Journey Christian Church 11365 Crabapple Rd., Roswell 770-993-4617,

Keepin’ It Real “Lighthouse” Inc. 61 Old Canton St., Alpharetta 770-360-5601,

Kingdom Ambassadors Intl. Worship Center

Alpharetta Presbyterian 180 Academy St., Alpharetta 770-751-0033,

Canaan Korean Presbyterian Church 11320 West Rd., Roswell 770-552-5505

Grace North Atlanta Alpharetta Community Center, 175 Roswell St., Roswell 770-331-1010,

Johns Creek Presbyterian Church 10950 Bell Rd., Johns Creek 770-813-9009,

Northminster Presbyterian 2400 Old Alabama Rd., Roswell 770-998-1482,

Perimeter Church 9500 Medlock Bridge Rd., Johns Creek 678-405-2000,

Roswell Presbyterian Church 755 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell 770-993-6316,

Other Churches Abundant Life Community Church 625-A Sims Industrial Blvd., Alpharetta 678-319-9700,

Alpharetta Church of God 1460 Mid Broadwell Rd., Alpharetta 770-475-5788,

Armenian Church of Atlanta 9820 Coleman Rd., Roswell 770-641-9267,

Atlanta Chinese Christian Church North 5055 Morton Rd., Johns Creek 770-667-9593,

Baha’i Center of Alpharetta 10690 Jones Bridge Rd., Johns Creek 678-393-9500

Baha’i Faith of Roswell 800-22-UNITE

Wills Recreation Center, 11925 Wills Rd., Alpharetta 770-853-7231,

Bridge To Grace

The Lighthouse Church

2385 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Roswell 770-587-2460,

18271 Union Hill Rd., Alpharetta 770-664-3644

C3 Church

North Point Community Church

13695 Highway 9, Alpharetta 678-696-1401,

4350 Northpoint Pkwy., Alpharetta 770-290-5600,

Calvary Chapel

Spirit of God Christian Church

200 James Rd., Alpharetta 770-442-8167,

11940 Alpharetta Hwy., Alpharetta 770-777-6889,

Christian Center Church

Stonecreek Church

1870 Woodstock Rd., Roswell 770-993-2038

13540 Highway 9, N., Alpharetta 770-754-7900,

Church of Christ-Northside

Church of Christ-Roswell 11670 King Rd., Roswell 770-992-2097,

Community of Christ 3315 Francis Rd., Alpharetta 770-521-1112,

Crabapple Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses 910 Mayfield Rd., Alpharetta 678-339-0349

First Church of Christ, Scientist 10920 Houze Rd., Roswell 770-998-9977,

The Hanuman Mandir 390 Cumming St., Suite 1, Alpharetta 770-475-7701,

Holy Trinity Christian Church 3655 Preston Ridge Road, Alpharetta 404-368-9790,

Inner Quest 12830 New Providence Rd., Alpharetta 770-521-2875,

Islamic Center of North Fulton 1265 Rucker Rd., Alpharetta 678-297-0019,

Jehovah’s Witnesses 9400 Brumbelow Rd., Alpharetta 770-594-9400

Lighthouse Church 75 Crowe Road, Alpharetta 770-664-3644

Morning Star Chapel 2780 Bethany Bend, Alpharetta 678-319-0041,

Reach One Church Meets at Mill Springs Academy 13660 New Providence Rd., Alpharetta 770-609-7941,

Restoration Church of God 410 Rucker Rd., Alpharetta 770-751-9697,

Roswell Alliance Church 1100 Allenbrook Lane, Roswell 770-643-0180

Roswell Assembly of God 11440 Crabapple Rd., Roswell 770-993-6586,

Roswell Community Church Meets at Hembree Springs Elementary 815 Hembree Rd., Roswell 678-677-4840,

St. Peter’s Place Anglican Church 362 South Atlanta St., Roswell 678-352-1224,

UU Metro Atlanta North 11420 Crabapple Rd., Roswell 770-992-3949,

World Harvest Church 320 Hardscrabble Rd., Roswell 770-643-9223,

10920 Woodstock Rd., Roswell 770-993-3512,





4 Seasons Heating & Air


Atlanta Orthopaedic Specialists


Audio Intersection


Bloom Orthodontics


Carpet Dry-Tech


Cigar Merchant


Cruise Planners

3, IBC

DeMercy Dental


Dentistry at Milton


Edwin Watts Golf


First Baptist Church Roswell

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Fleetwood Dance Center


H&H Electric & Security LLC


Kincaid Orthodontics


Mini Maid North Atlanta Ear, Nose &Throat Associates

5 13

Northside Hospital-Forsyth


Pete’s Plumbing Inc.

5 53 Reinhardt University Robinson & Miller Attorneys at Law

North Fulton Family Life | DECEMBER 2013


Roswell/Milton Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics


Talk of the Table


Technical Resource Solutions LLC




Thomas Eye Group


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