APRIL 2015: Our Town Gwinnett/NE DeKalb Monthly Magazine

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The Gwinnett/NE Dekalb Monthly Community and Family Magazine

Our Town April 2015

Lawrenceville l Snellville l Lilburn l Stone Mountain

Meet the group at The Familytree Garden Center, see story on page 5.

11 15 17 18

Community Member Spotlight: Charles Norton Iron Accents – Practically Elegant Getting Schooled with: Camp Creek Elementary Sports Talk with: Coach Dru Ulloa, Brookwood High Lacrosse





Are You Suffering with... R Chronic Pain R Depression R Obesity R Diabetes R Fatigue R Fibromyalgia R Headaches R Heart Burn/Acid Reflux R High Blood Pressure R High Cholesterol R Irritable Bowel Syndrome R Menopause Symptoms R Sleep Issues/Insomnia R Low Energy

Most of us know that when you improve your lifestyle, not only do you lose weight but many health problems improve. But sometimes the body needs more than just a balanced diet and exercise. You could be having other health issues that may be prohibiting you from having the full effects of a good healthy lifestyle. That’s where Functional Medicine may be able to help. As a Doctor who practices Functional Medicine, my job is to assess what your body needs so that it can work (FUNCTION!) at its best - without the use of stimulants or drugs! And if you are on medications, I will work with your Medical Doctor to help you reach your health goals!

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These results may not be typical. Results with products may vary from individual to individual. These nutrition recommendations are provided solely to support good nutrition with the intent of supporting the physiological and biochemical process of the human body and not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. Be advised that any nutritional program recommended by Dr. Gravante is not intended as a primary therapy for any disease. Prior to starting any diet, nutrition or exercise program, you should consult with your medical physician.


For more information call 678-825-2049 • OurTownGwinnett.com

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Where doctor meets neighbor A doctor who is familiar with your medical history brings peace of mind. We have more than 100 physicians in 30 locations specializing in internal and family medicine and multiple specialties such as ENT, OB/GYN and orthopedics. Our physicians are able to seamlessly utilize the resources and consultations that our three hospital network provides to give you the best care. Our physicians groups are in your neighborhood to provide you a personal healthcare experience. Call today to find a physician near you or to schedule an appointment.


Our Town

Primary Care Practices Centerville Primary Care

Rockbridge Family Medicine

Lenora Church Family Medicine

Atlanta Podiatry Group

3555 Centerville Highway, Suite 100 Snellville, GA 30039 770.985.9957 www.centervilleprimarycare.com 2356 Lenora Church Road Snellville, GA 30078 770.972.0340 www.lenorachurchfamilymedicine.com

1800 Tree Lane, Suite 120 Snellville, GA 30078 770.925.2010 www.rockbridgefamilymedicine.org 1600 Medical Way, Suite 250 Snellville, GA 30078 770.979.1890 www.atlantapodiatrygroup.com

www.dmpg.org 404.501.MYDR For more information call 678-825-2049 • OurTownGwinnett.com


Maurice Jove M.D. Introducing Nathan A. Jove M.D. as the newest physician to join our practice. 2400 Wisteria Dr Suite A Snellville, GA. 30078

770-985-9330 2801 N. Decatur Rd. Suite 200, Decatur, GA. 30033

404-296-5005 4743 Loganville Highway Suite 100, Loganville, GA. 30053

770-564-3393 We are the team physicians for the Archer, Parkview, Grayson, Collins Hill, Loganville, and Walnut Grove communities along with Loganville Christian School, and various Dekalb County Schools. Sports Medicine Arthroscopic Surgery Joint Replacement Surgery


For more information call 678-825-2049 • OurTownGwinnett.com

Our Town

On the Cover: The Family Tree Garden Center – A Gardening Destination By Stacye Carroll To anyone who grew up in the Atlanta area during Pike Nursery’s heyday, the Pike’s sign was as synonymous with Atlanta culture as the Coco-Cola sign and the blue dome atop the Hyatt Regency. Pete Pike sold the business in 2004, but today, over ten years later, Pete still serves as a consultant to the company that bought Pikes. According to daughter Dana Pike-Van Vlakes, Pete still occasionally takes his place behind his original desk that’s now part of the Pete Pike Museum. The museum occupies the right side of The Family Tree Garden Center in Snellville. The building had been Pike’s store #8. Dana, who has worked alongside her father since she was in high school, says she and husband, Jeff VanVlake, felt the decision to open the business in March of 2010 addressed a real need in the area. “People come here for the variety,” she says, “but also for our customer service.” At least one employee of The Family Tree Garden Center has been with the Pike family for over thirty years, and nine employees are Georgia Certified Plant Professionals. “It’s important to have knowledgeable employees who know their field. A knowledgeable person can offer expert advice and help you achieve your gardening goals no matter your

level of experience. We can help you customize your yard to suit your lifestyle,” says Dana. Landscape Quick Sketch is one of the customization services offered. Free of charge, customers can schedule a twenty minute appointment with a professional landscape designer. A sketch is drawn of a small area in the shopper’s yard. Afterwards, the customer is shown all the plants needed to bring the drawing to life. The Family Tree Gardening Center boasts over five acres of top quality plants and products, which is one reason The Family Tree has become what Dana calls a “destination store.” License plates from several counties can be seen in the parking lot. “People come here expecting to find quality plants and unique variety. We are able to buy from small, local growers because we can take ten or twenty of something unusual, but we also bring in plants from California and Florida. Our stock is always changing, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, write it in our request book and we’ll try to find it,” she says. In The Garden Shop customers will find unique gifts, home and garden décor, and yard art that change with the seasons. The store is also one of the few places that carry Lampe Berger fragrance lamps, prompting Continued on page 18

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Ninja Ninja Warrior WarriorObstacles Obstacles Parkour/Free Running/Tumbling Fitness Training Center Parkour/Free Fitness Training Center The GRunning/Tumbling winnett/NE Dekalb Monthly Community and Family M agazine — An EndResultz Company Our Town is published and direct mailed to select homes in the Publisher/Owner Gwinnett /NE Dekalb area. Opinions expressed by the writers and Ryan T. Sauers staff are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the ryan@endresultz.com publisher. Our Town reserves the right to edit and/or reject any ediCreative Director torial or advertising content. Our Town is not responsible for errors Elsie Olson in advertising beyond the cost of the space or for the validity of claims elsie@endresultz.com made by advertisers. Editor Entire contents copyright 2015 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole Catherine L. Osornio or in part is forbidden in any media without written permission from Cover Photographer the publisher. Kerr Studio Inc. Webmaster/ Our Town Gwinnett “Life is an Obstacle Obstacle and andNo NoObstacle ObstacleisisToo Too Big!!!” Big!!!” Technology Consultant 1227 Rockbridge Road Finley Williamson IV Suite 208-171 Train with Train with Stone Mountain, GA 30087 Feature Writers American Ninja American Ninja 678-825-2049 Rachael Brice Warriors atthe the ONLY ONLY Warriors at Heidi Campbell Ninja WarriorGym Gyminin Info@EndResultz.com Ninja Warrior this Area! this Area! Stacye Carroll Perry Rosenbaum

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Our Town Gym: Gym: 678-671-3539 Glenn: Glenn: 678-458-7320

7 From the Publisher: One Man’s Opinion 8 Five Years Strong: The Amanda Riley Foundation Continues to Bring Smiles to Kids with Cancer 9 Taking Both the SAT and the ACT 11 Community Member Spotlight: Charles Norton 12 Living4ward: Clutter and Passion 13 Safety Tips for Cell Phone Usage $25 OffOff $25 14 How to Protect Yourself Online: Cybersecurity Matters an Accents Obstacle andNo NoObstacle Obstacle Too Big!!!” “Life Obstacle and Big!!!” Iron – Practically ElegantisisToo 15 is 17 Getting Schooled with: Camp Creek Elementary Train with Train with American Ninja Brookwood High Lacrosse American 18 Sports Talk with: Coach Dru Ninja Ulloa, Warriors atthe the ONLY ONLY Warriors at Broadcasting, Newstalk 1160 19 Up Close with: JWNinja WarriorGym Gyminin Ninja Warrior and Voice of the Arts 1690 this Area! this Area! 20 Travel Tales: Spring Break Nightmares…Or Not! Pet Like Perch: Stimulating Your Dog’s Brain at Mealtime 21 You Would You Like to Train Train LikeAnAn American Ninja Warrior? Would to Like American Ninja Warrior?

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Our Town

From the Publisher: One Man’s Opinion @RyanSauers

By Ryan T. Sauers

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I hope you are off to a great April. Spring break is here, and am I ever thankful for the warm weather that seems to be here to stay. How about you? In this edition, we have a cover story on the amazing group at Family Tree Garden Center. A few feature stories include “getting schooled” with Camp Creek Elementary, “sports talk” with Brookwood Lacrosse, and a “community member spotlight” on Charles Norton, among many others. Our Town’s overall readership grows each month. This is through our high quantity of copies mailed to select homes, additional copies distributed in our display shelves in strategic areas in the community, our online version which is growing exponentially, and our heavily Old Hwy media audience that stays connected each month. engaged social 78 Hwy 78 Please visit the online version at OurTownMagOnline.com, or our social sites at Facebook.com/ ★ and Twitter.com/OurTownGwinnett, and YouTube.com/EndResultzInc to OurTownGwinnett FRATELLI’S stay connected. PIZZA Our new website (almost done) is at OurTownGwinnett.com, and we are now po allowing specific int banner advertisements on it. Rd Our Town continues to provide a high-end quality printed product (gloss and unique size) with content people want to read. We provide better stories and lower adverting rates, and we touch readers through a variety of channels. We integrate online, print, and social media so you can choose how you “consume the content” we offer. This is a “true win-win” for our readers and advertising partners. Finally, I ask that you support our advertising partners who invest, believe in, and support this community. Please consider where you spend your money and choose an Our Town partner. Thank you for doing this. This issue is my team’s third full year running Our Town Gwinnett, and our new edition in Grayson and Loganville, which has met with great reception, is quickly growing as well. We are excited about the future and know the best is yet to come. Hang with us…as this is going to be fun. Here’s to a great April, and as always: this is my town, your town, Our Town! ge Dr

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Five Years Strong: The Amanda Riley Foundation Continues to Bring Smiles to Kids with Cancer By Heidi Campbell

    


  




       

      

Research shows that clinicians with advanced certifications get better results, faster. At BenchMark, we have more advanced certified therapists than any other physical therapy provider in the region.

“If you are blessed to have healthy children, don’t take it for granted,” says Barbara Riley, the founder of the Amanda Riley Foundation. It has been five years since her daughter, Amanda Riley, a 17-year-old Brookwood High School student, lost her battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma: a rare solid tumor cancer. Since Amanda’s passing, Barbara and Steve Riley have worked tirelessly to create, run, and promote the Amanda Riley Foundation that is dedicated to putting smiles on the faces of kids battling cancer. “Initially, I thought about raising funds for research,” recalls Barbara Riley, “but decided instead to directly support the children by giving them toys, gift cards, and electronics.” Working with the AFLAC Cancer Center at Scottish Rite hospital, the Foundation provides direct support for families of children who have been diagnosed with solid tumor cancer, the same type of cancer that Amanda had. “We hope, one day, to directly support all 370 plus children diagnosed with cancer each year in the Atlanta area, but we don’t yet have the means to do so,” says Riley. “We give 100% of donations received to the kids. We pay no salaries and have no overhead. Every person who works for our Foundation, including Steve and myself, is a volunteer.” The Foundation provides assistance at the hospital and beyond. Every Monday, they provide lunch for approximately eighty people: kids, parents, and nurses. They provide snack, toiletry, and gift baskets for the inpatient families. Most recently, they purchased $2,500 worth of games for the new Xbox One game systems that are going into almost forty rooms at two hospitals. “We support kids and families from diagnosis until the treatment is finished,” shares Riley. “We provided presents for 73 kids this Christmas, and we often help families pay car payments, rent, and utilities.” The volunteers are excited about two upcoming fundraising events. On June 6th, from 7 a.m. to11 a.m., they will host the 5th annual “Miles 4 Smiles” walk and run festival at Tribble Mill Park. There will be a 10K, a 5K, and a mile fun-run, along with vendors, booths, and kid activities. On July 25th they are planning their first “Gala 4 GOLD” event at 550 Trackside in Lawrenceville. This event will include silent and live auctions, dinner, and guest speakers. Registration is currently open for both events at the Foundation’s website. This year, in addition to directly supporting the families, the Foundation hopes to fund their first fellowship for Rhabdomyosarcoma research. “We need to find a cure. Just before the holidays, I lost six kids in four weeks. It is overwhelming. I have never been so passionate about anything in my life. I do this so I can help other kids battling as Amanda did,” says Riley. “This is what I do.” More information at www.amandarileyfoundation.org

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Our Town

Taking Both the SAT and the ACT By Carol C. Wood

Move Forward with Confidence!

Students frequently ask if they should take the ACT in addition to the SAT. The answer is, “Absolutely!” Both the SAT and ACT are designed to provide college admissions officers with a predictor of a student’s first year academic achievement in college and a common “yardstick” to compare students from a wide range of educational backgrounds. Here are some benefits of taking both the SAT and ACT:

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• Colleges accept either test. • Both tests are different. The SAT is a critical thinking, deductive reasoning, and problem solving assessment. The ACT is an achievement or content-based test that assesses what a student has learned through his/her coursework at school. • Students may score better on one test than the other. Those who are conscientious and work diligently on school coursework will score higher on the ACT. Those who have a high IQ will often score higher on the SAT due to his/her innate ability to problem solve. By taking both tests, students can determine which test provides a better showcase of their abilities. • The ACT may save a student from having to take four SAT II Subject tests. Some colleges will not require a student to take SAT-II Subject tests if he/she has taken the ACT. • There are penalties for guessing incorrectly on the current SAT; however, there are no penalties for guessing incorrectly on the ACT. I recommend that students take both college entrance exams two times each. They may want to hire a professional to properly prepare them with test taking strategies and a review and/ or re-teaching of test content. After taking the SAT and ACT twice, use a conversion table to determine which test yields the higher scores and then submit that test to the colleges that the student is applying to, unless the colleges use a “super score” system. Colleges that “super score” will use the best score from each test area from different test dates and sometimes even from different tests! More information at www.act.org for the ACT, or www.collegeboard.com for the SAT. Carol Wood is CEO of Total Learning Concepts http://www.totallearningconcepts.com/


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Our Town

Community Member Spotlight:

Getting to Know Charles Norton By Perry Rosenbaum Some people define success in terms of monetary value or material possessions, hoping to accrue as many things as possible before their time is up. Some see success only in the end result, viewing the journey as inconsequential. And some consider success to mean focusing only on your life’s work, neglecting everything else for that one goal. Charles Norton is not one of these people, and both his family and the Parkview community are better for it. For him, success is measured in emotional responses: “If the people around [his family] see sincerity and generosity in us, and they respond to us in a similar manner, that’s the greatest success we could achieve.” Norton, who has worked as General Counsel of the Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Association since 2000, is as prominent a figure around town as his wife, Lorna. Norton is a McDonough native, graduating from McDonough (now Eagle’s Landing) Christian Academy before earning his degree in business administration at Georgia State. He attended Emory Law School, where he and Lorna met. They both worked for prominent law firms until moving to Lilburn in 1998, at which point Lorna decided to practice law part-time instead of full, and Charles decided to leave private practice to take on an in-house position, reducing the amount of time they spent at their offices in the interest of spending that time with their children. “It wasn’t a hard decision,” Norton says of their collective choice. “It was a big decision, but not a difficult one.” This arrangement brought an additional perk with it. Besides finding more time for each other, the Norton clan threw themselves full force into their community. Charles recently completed a stint of six years on the Board of the Council on Alcohol and Drugs, and still holds similar positions on Parkview’s School Council, the Gwinnett Parks Foundation, the Parkview Cluster Foundation, and the Gwinnett Soccer Association, while Lorna remains a vital presence in any zoning and development battles. “Family-centric” is the best way to describe the Nortons. It’s apparent from their interactions that the decision to scale their work responsibilities back has paid off. This is perhaps best reflected in Charles’s view on time management. “It’s very important to me…to focus on family and community now instead of later. No board meeting takes precedence over my wife and kids.” That’s a good thing, because the younger Nortons (Alex, a senior at Parkview, and Gracie, in her last year at Trickum Middle) are involved in soccer programs, as well as several other extracurricular activities, that require a lot of time and dedication. Moreover, living within walking distance of Parkview and Camp Creek Elementary has afforded Charles and Lorna an opportunity to stay active in their children’s education. “Between the two of us,” Lorna opines, “there’s been a Norton presence on school councils for quite some time.” The two balance each other out well, as Lorna is the more cerebral, analytical one, while Charles prefers to handle matters from the heart. This marriage of tact and thoughtfulness in each of them has led to a peaceful (and prolific) cohabitation. Being so rich in familial love and positivity has certainly done wonders for them, but Charles doesn’t want it to stop there. “I try to treat everybody I come in contact with exactly how I’d want to be treated. Be genuine, credible, fair and compassionate in everything.” This lesson has been instilled in every member of the indomitable Norton family, and drives each one to sustained success, regardless of how it’s defined.

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Clutter and Passion By Jane Bishop, Life Coach/Speaker clut·ter /’kleter/ Noun: Collection of things lying about in an untidy mass. Verb: Crowd (something) untidily; fill with clutter. ee

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Walking into my office one morning, I suddenly realized why I had been unable to make progress on two projects. All I had to do was look at my cluttered desk. I had tolerated the untidy mass too long! The beautiful wood of the desk, which could not be seen, had become a place holder for “piles” rather than a place for productivity. According to the online Urban dictionary, “passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind body and soul into something as is possible.” I knew my next step would be to declutter the desk because when we choose to allow the “stuff” of life to continually suppress our passion, we have little ambition and desire to move forward. I am normally very organized and not prone to much untidiness. But occasionally it happens over time where I’ll think, “I’ll do that after my next trip,” or, “I can tolerate that one more week” – a mindset that culminates in a “collection of things lying about in an untidy mass.” The basic task of decluttering my desk refueled my enthusiasm and created energy. What are you tolerating that is creating clutter and draining your passion? How is that impacting your life? What choices will you make to tidy up the mess and reenergize? “There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela Jane Bishop is Owner/CEO of Take The Next Step. More information at www.takethenextstepcct.com

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Our Town

Safety Tips for Cell Phone Usage The use of cell phones is a common, every day activity. In fact, if someone does not have one, we almost get annoyed. It is important to realize the possible hazards of cell phone use. Last month I wrote about possible health risks of cell phones, especially with the risk being much higher for children. Children absorb more EMF (electromagnetic fields) than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner, and their relative size is smaller. Here are some safety tips for cell phone usage. 1.) USE A HEADSET OR SPEAKER: Choose either wired or wireless. If you go wireless, make sure to take your headset out of your ear when you’re not on a call. Use your phone in speaker mode. 2.) TEXT MORE, TALK LESS: Phones emit less radiation when sending text rather than voice communications. No texting while driving, please! 3.) CALL WHEN THE SIGNAL IS STRONG: Fewer bars mean the phone must try harder to broadcast its signal. Research shows that radiation exposure increases dramatically when cell phone signals are weak. 4.) WHEN IN USE, HOLD PHONE AWAY FROM YOUR BODY: The amount of radiation absorbed by your head and body decreases dramatically with even a small distance. Don’t put the phone in your pocket or clip it to your belt, even when using your headset. 5.) DON’T STORE CELL PHONES IN YOUR POCKET OR UNDER YOUR PILLOW: When a phone is on and not in use, it still sends out an intermittent signal, which means radiation exposure is still happening. Look up “cell phone radiation protector” to find great protection devices. Cell phones are getting more powerful, are used more frequently, and are used for more functions like watching movies and paying our bills. Common sense tells us that this can’t be good, especially when it has been determined that continuous radiation exposure is carcinogenic to the extent that its danger is considered “undetermined.” Take steps now to protect yourself and your family from the unseen hazards of modern technology.

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How to Protect Yourself Online: Cybersecurity Matters By Robert J Fordham Jr.

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Considering that many of our daily activities and businesses happen in cyberspace, cybersecurity is crucial. However, we often treat this matter lightly until we become the victims of a cyberattack and wake up with precious data lost, our accounts hacked and destroyed, and all of our work compromised. An increase in the number of cyberattacks and intrusions have been happening in a dramatic way, especially in the last decade. Therefore, reliable security is more than needed. The worst part about it is that you cannot defend it on your own. If you want to be protected, you need to hire a computer professional who knows how to manage this issue. He or she will have the proper tools to scan your network, set up cyberalerts, and most importantly, make your computer system difficult to be attacked. It is crucial to find out where the vulnerable spots lie so they can be addressed and reinforced properly before an ill-intentioned person finds this gateway and takes advantage of you. Cybersecurity is a matter everyone should be concerned about. The public, private, and government sector must be in it together. Never refuse to be a part of the protection of cyberspace. Identity and document fraud, even financial frauds are happening all of the time because of cyberattacks. People will lose their bank accounts, and their identity may be used for malicious purposes. It is something we cannot disregard because we will never know when one of us will become the next victim. One should not underestimate a cyberinvader, as they are more performant ways to get into your computer systems. Thus, to keep yourself safe, be proactive, and get the protection you need to keep your personal info (private) in an increasingly online world.

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Our Town

Iron Accents – Practically Elegant

A Day of ...

By Stacye Carroll When Larissa Benson bought the property at 135 E. Pike Street in Lawrenceville, she did so with an eye toward investing in a part of Gwinnett County she had grown to love. As the owner of two Re/Max franchises, Larissa wasn’t looking to change careers. Instead, she considered her investment a “side project.” The decision to use the property to open a second Iron Accents location – where you can find quality wrought iron furniture and accessories – came when Larissa realized she couldn’t bear the thought of renting the house after it had been renovated. Iron Accents originally began online in 1999 by Larissa’s mother, Valerie Kirves, who later opened a retail store in Clermont, Georgia. While the focus of the business hasn’t changed, antiques, wood furniture, and many other items have been added to a product line that might be best described as “practically elegant.” “We only carry quality products,” says Larissa, with most items being produced locally. “We don’t carry anything we wouldn’t put in our own homes, and we keep it changing.” Each room of the house is themed. In the Garden Room you’ll find candles, lotions, and floral items amongst the wood and iron. There’s a room filled with box signs of every size and sensibility, a men’s room, and a dining room where items from the Gracious Goods collection are displayed. The Peek-a-Boutique is filled with items for babies and small children from manufacturers such as Noodle & Boo and Mud Pie. A large room in the back of the house is available for meetings or parties of 35 to 50 people. Iron Accents takes care of the decorations and local restaurants offer food and drink at a 10% discount. Activities are held at Iron Accents every month. For instance, at Girls’ Night, food and drink are served, and participants get a 10% discount on anything purchased that night. Last month Iron Accents celebrated their one year anniversary with raffles and drawings each week. Be sure to add your name and address to their email list when you visit the store to receive extra discounts. Larissa Benson is the owner of Iron Accents – Lawrenceville. More information at http://www. ironaccents.com/lawrenceville-store.html

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Our Town

Getting Schooled with: Camp Creek Elementary Every year Camp Creek Elementary School and its student council participate in a variety of community service projects to promote student citizenship. Through these projects, students learn about local community needs and meet those needs by raising funds to support them. PJ Griffith, an Interrelated Resource teacher, and Kim Britt, a second grade teacher, co-sponsor the student council at Camp Creek. They love watching the students in action as they help families in need all across Gwinnett County and sometimes extending into the city of Atlanta. This year Camp Creek’s student council is comprised of forty-two students from the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. The student council’s most effective and profitable service project is Tanner’s Totes. The charity, founded in 2002 by Tanner Smith, was designed to aid pre-teens and teenagers who are undergoing long-term hospital treatment due to cancer or other life threatening illnesses. Smith conceived the idea for Tanner’s Totes when he was in 4th grade. He wanted to make kids with cancer laugh. Smith knows the heartache of watching a family member fight cancer. His own dad was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stage IV. Despite suffering from Graft vs. Host disease and being a double amputee, Tanner’s dad continues to serve as an inspiration to his son and to the internationally acclaimed charity. “It’s a really neat thing to be a part of,” Britt said. “One hundred percent of our proceeds go to Tanner’s Totes, so items including electronics, socks, finger nail polish, and sports balls can be purchased to fill the tote bags, which are delivered to teens in the hospital in the hopes of brightening their day.” This is the third year Camp Creek is contributing to Tanner’s Totes. The week leading up to Valentine’s Day, Camp Creek students, faculty, and staff were able to purchase a $1.00 candy gram to give to their friends or teachers. There was even a competition between classes to see who could cover the outside classroom

door with the most candy grams. As a special treat, Smith stops by the school to talk with the students about the importance of giving back to others. This year a total of $1,303.00 was raised for Tanner’s Totes. Recently, Camp Creek chose to collaborate with Parkview High School’s student council while working on another service project, Future Panthers. Each month a Camp Creek teacher recognizes a student based on excellent behavior or outstanding academic performance, and awards him or her with a T-shirt purchased by Parkview. These Future Panthers proudly wear their shirts to community wide events, especially athletic games and fine arts programs where they receive free admission during the school year. “Future Panthers has been extremely popular and a huge success and among the students and teachers at Camp Creek,” Griffith said. Another widely anticipated event and community outreach project at Camp Creek is the talent show, in the Parkview High School Theatre. Students were selected by a panel of judges and will perform for a live audience on Thursday evening. There will also be three donation boxes so spectators can donate to the cause they choose. Camp Creek always hosts an annual canned food drive in November and a coat drive in December. The food and coats are then taken to the Lilburn Co-op to help families in need. “It is amazing how much our student and parent volunteers care about the community,” Britt said. “We always have a great turnout and can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store.”

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Sports Talk with: Coach Dru Ulloa, Brookwood High Lacrosse By Perry Rosenbaum

Happy ‘Days’ Are Here Again! Patty and Steve Day know a great home when they see one. After all, they’ve moved 36 times, most recently to Olde Town Grayson. Olde Town Grayson offered the no-maintenance lifestyle the Days were looking for. They chose a roomy 3-bedroom villa, which was elegantly decorated by Patty, an accomplished interior designer. • Walk to shopping, restaurants and conveniences • Beautiful all-brick homes customized to your taste • Clubhouse, pool and exercise room

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If you’re an athlete in the South, your best chance of getting discovered is on the gridiron, the diamond, or the court. It’s a sad truth, but a truth nonetheless: football, baseball, and basketball reign supreme in Georgia. However, just because those three get the most love from college scouts, you will still find hardworking, dedicated athletes who get a commensurate amount of attention. Dru Ulloa, the head coach of Brookwood High’s lacrosse team, strives to turn his players into better athletes and better people. Ulloa, a Lilburn native and a Parkview graduate of 2005, played football and wrestled during his time in high school while also playing lacrosse for Tucker High’s travel team. “There was no lacrosse program at Parkview back then,” Ulloa opines, “so playing for Tucker allowed me to keep my skills sharp.” Ulloa is a bit more scientifically-inclined than you might expect a coach to be. He majored in both biology and chemistry at Mars Hill College where he continued his involvement with football and lacrosse. Since graduating in 2009, he’s been involved with lacrosse in the Gwinnett area full time. He spent two years working in the feeder program at Bethesda Park until Brookwood head coach Kris Muir left, at which point Ulloa stepped in to take over. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Ulloa also teaches special education at Brookwood. A Coach of the Year Award nominee, Ulloa’s greatest passion is to help students reach their full potential on the field and off. “A lot of times, I’ll get out there and practice with them,” he explains. “I prefer to lead by example, and I don’t talk down to them. They get as much respect as they give, which is a lot.” Ulloa is as concerned with how his pupils fare in the classroom as he is with their performance in-game, and his high standards are usually met. When asked who he draws inspiration from, he doesn’t hesitate to name four important people in his life: his parents, who “inspired [him] to be the best at anything [he] wanted to do,” his grandmother, who “always pushed [him] to be successful,” and his wife Elizabeth, who he credits as being “completely understanding of [his] commitment to coaching.” He adds with a smile, “I couldn’t do it without her support.” Religion is also vital to Ulloa, as he refers it as a great source of pride: “The three most important things in my life are faith, family, and friends.” While high school lacrosse may only be played primarily between February and May, Ulloa says the preparation for any given season is a yearlong affair. “All the coaches and I are constantly in motion during the offseason; we want to make sure we’re working as hard as the kids.” This involves youth camps that take place during the summer and fall, something Ulloa considers a testament to a thriving interest in the sport. Moreover, he mentions the community outreach that the kids participate in as paramount to their development as well-rounded people. “We go out to shelters, we do fundraisers…we’re always trying to give back to the community, since they put their time into supporting our team.” Ulloa strongly encourages anyone who likes to watch thrillingly intense lacrosse played by passionate young athletes to come enjoy a match. In particular, Senior Night (April 28th) against Mountain View promises to be one of the most meaningful games of the season.

The Family Tree Garden Center Continued from page 5 one customer to sigh as she walked by, “I forgot how addictive this place is.” “Tuesdays at the Tree” is one event offered at The Family Tree Garden Center. This month Mark Maher of Southern Living Plant Collection will discuss perennials and how to keep color in your yard from spring to fall. A weekend-long 6th anniversary celebration starts April 10, and customers will enjoy special deals, help from experts, and other treats. In addition to weekly specials, customers who sign up for email get exclusive notice of Wacky Wednesday deals and can save as much as 60% on selected items. For some, a visit to The Family Tree Garden Center is a form of therapy. “Some people just walk around,” says Dana. “No matter the stress in their lives, they come here and it’s their happy place.” Dana Pike-Van Vlake & Jeff Van Vlake own The Family Tree Garden Center. More information at http://thefamilytreeinc.com/.


For more information call 678-825-2049 • OurTownGwinnett.com

Our Town

Getting to Know: JW Broadcasting, Newstalk 1160 and Voice of the Arts 1690 By Perry Rosenbaum Some claim that radio is a dying medium, that the prevalence of podcasts and user-created content is putting the antiquated system of broadcasting to rest. A closer look reveals, however, that radio is thriving like never before, both in its original form and on the Internet. That’s likely due to shrewd people throughout the industry knowing how to adapt to a changing market. Jeff Davis, the vice president/general manager of JW Broadcasting in Atlanta, is clearly one of these disc-jockeying mavens with the prowess to keep his trade fresh. JW Broadcasting, which has provided metro Atlanta with both Newstalk 1160 and The Voice of the Arts 1690 since 2002, may not be the largest broadcaster in Georgia, but they’re determined to be one of the most reliable and sociallyconscious. “It’s a great joy to be in a position to help people,” Davis says with a resonant hint of pride in his voice. “We’re involved in food banks, summer camps for children with disabilities…we try to stay as engaged with the community as we can.” Davis has been in radio for several decades, so he’s no stranger to the intricacies of running two successful stations. “I was practicing law and I didn’t enjoy it,” Davis recalls, “but I did enjoy DJ’ing in high school and college, so it just made sense to throw myself into this business.” Davis admits that the challenges of keeping “terrestrial radio” relevant are significant, but they aren’t insurmountable. “All these digital platforms have cut into our business…but we’ve managed to keep up pretty well. We have a website, we stream everything 24/7, we’ve got an app for iPhones and Androids, so we’re staying abreast of these rapid changes.” In addition, technical difficulties can influence a station’s perception in the public eye, but Davis states that “the glitches, while plentiful, are normally taken care of so quickly you don’t even notice that something went wrong.” The various on-air personalities at JW Broadcasting continue to provide their listeners with fresh, meaningful content. More important than what’s being played or discussed, at least to Davis, is the talented stable of hosts in charge of those airwaves. “Being able to gainfully employ people, which in turn gives them the ability to support their families…it’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly. That’s a huge part of why I do what I do.” Those hosts, including John Lemley (City Café), Jennifer Green (Women on the Move), and Scott Morris (Dollar Bin Deluxe), are all committed to upholding the company’s high standards. Advertising is a powerful force in helping radio stations stay solvent. This, Davis says, is even more paramount for a smaller company such as JW. “People really love our stations and programming,” Davis explains, “but some of them may not realize that their patronage of our advertisers is what really drives business here.” He equates this to the noticeable difference between auditory and visual/tactile publicity: in a magazine (such as the one you’re reading now), you can easily see the ads on the page at any time. But with radio, the ad plays only for a brief moment. If you don’t retain it in either scenario, the ad has essentially failed. With a wide variety of programs appealing to all ages and sensibilities, not to mention the excellent on- and off-air staff, you’ll want to make sure to set your dial to either 1160 AM (Newstalk) or 1690 AM (The Voice of the Arts) for sharp, quality radio. More information at http://www.newstalk1160.com

(L-R – seated) Haleh Hamidi, M.D., Michael S. Mojcik, M.D., (Standing) Dorian Freeman RNC WHNP, Mary Lynn Campbell, M.D., Laura Bono, RNC WHNP, Traci Johnson, M.D.

Gwinnett ObGyn Associates is an icon in Gwinnett County, providing a lifetime of compassionate healthcare to women throughout metro Atlanta. The largest ob/gyn practice in South Gwinnett, located in Snellville next to Eastside Medical Center with interests that expand even beyond women’s healthcare, this group loves their community at large. The providers and employees remain active within the community supporting various fundraisers, participating in local fairs, 5k races, etc, interacting with other local participants as well as current and future patients. Gwinnett ObGyn is able to provide services in a timely manner and welcomes new patients to their practice, respecting that every woman is unique, with individual needs, and concerns. Providing the most current services to women is important to this group and includes annual wellness visits, gynecological visits, family planning, normal and high risk pregnancies, infertility, non-surgical sterilization, daVinci surgery and laporoscopy. Visit the practice website, www.gwinnettobgyn.com, where you can request an appointment online and be sure to “like” them on their Bimbola Abodunrin, M.D., Facebook page “Dr. Bim” joined the for Gwinnett practice in September 2014. Ob/Gyn Associates.

1700 Tree Lane Road Suite 290 Snellville, GA 30078

770-972-0330 Our Town

For more information call 678-825-2049 • OurTownGwinnett.com


Creating beautiful outdoor spaces from our family to yours.

Travel Tales: Spring Break Nightmares…Or Not! By Pam Walker

Lawn Maintenance CommercialhandhResidential Full-ServicehLawnhMaintenance Programs

Landscape Installation PlanthInstallationhandhDesign OutdoorhLighting RetaininghWalls WaterhFeatures Drainage Patios

A lot has been written about Spring Break trips. It is a parent’s nightmare! Is my child going to be safe? Will there be drinking? What about wild parties? Is there enough to do to keep them out of trouble? So often the kids organize these expensive getaways to places like Cancun, or even the Bahamas. But tucked away on “the quiet side of Florida” is Flagler Beach and Palm Coast. Voted as One of the Best Beaches, and one of America’s Smallest Cool Towns, Flagler Beach boasts 19 miles of roadside pink beaches. There are also 125 miles of biking trails in and around the area. This little laid back beach destination has it all. Condos and rental homes along the beach, hotels, and little funky places like Si Como No, one of those old time motels that has decked itself out to be a Caribbean hotspot. There is plenty to do from the famed fishing pier, to visiting Princes Place Preserve, the former home of Russian Royalty. Here you can kayak the marshlands, go boating on the Intracoastal Waterway, play golf, or just play on the beach. Don’t forget to visit Marineland. Started as a movie studio for Tarzan movies, Marineland is now a marine rescue center and a branch of hometown Georgia Aquarium where you can swim with the dolphins. You can also see rural Florida as it was back when the Cracker Cattle were brought to the US at the Flagler Agriculture Museum. As in any beach destination, there is plenty here to party with, but Flagler, the Quiet Side of Florida, is one of the best places to sit back and enjoy a safe Spring Break…without the Nightmares! Pam Walker is a Virtuoso Travel Consultant. More information at pliwalker@earthlink.net or www.walkeradventures.com

“Dr. Simmons is proud to offer Botox and Dermal Fillers. Call the office to schedule your consulta

678-773-0380 www.itmlandscape.com

Ca Tod llh ayW

Family owned and operated / Licensed and Insured

isJohn honored to beIV, we are committed to providing you with the high AtDr. the Simmons dental office of W. Simmons, comprehensive dental care, focused on both the function and beauty of your smile. A one of only nine dentists improving in patient care and comfort are our primary concerns. We are proud to run a practice that treats ea Georgia to have passed the kind, gentle, and caring manner, just like family. We offer a full range of the latest cosmetic a rigorous required to long-lasting, earn procedures thattesting concentrate on ensuring brilliant results you will love, and others

Cosmetic Dentistry The cosmetic procedures we offer can dramatically enhance the appearance of your smile. We offer a wide selection of procedures that can correct almost any dental imperfection.

• Porcelain Veneers • Teeth Whitening • Dental Bonding • Gum Recontouring • Dental Implants • All-Porcelain Crowns



Compassionate Dentistry Our superior services can recapture the health, functionality, and youthful appearance of your natural smile. Our practice focuses on providing Before After long-lasting results and promoting overall dental health. Hexcellent e a lt H y • B e a u t i f u l • i n s p i r e d PAGE 20

accreditation from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. His state-of-the-art equipment and updated technology allow him to affordably serveDENTAL CARE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY D.M.D., P.C. • SUPERIOR his patients by providing healthy, beautiful smiles. Our experienced team provides five-star service, personalized care, and an extraordinary commitment to your health and well-being. Please join our Call for an Appointment family by scheduling a new patient exam.


2381-B Main Street E Snellville, Georgia 30


John W. Simmons, IV, DMD, PC

2381 Main Street, Suite B www.smilesbysimmons.co Snellville, Georgia 30078 Hours: Monday 9:00am - 7:00pm Tuesday 7:00am 770-985-2437Office • smilesbysimmons.com Wednesday 7:00am - 6:00pm Thursday 7:00am - 2:

Dr. John W. Simmons, IV

For more information call 678-825-2049 • OurTownGwinnett.com

Our Town

Pet Perch: Stimulating Your Dog’s Brain at Mealtime By Terie Hansen

Gregory Morgan 770-797-9547 440 South Peachtree Street Norcross, GA 30071 gregorymorgan@allstate.com 119960

I love to think of opportunities to challenge my dog, Cole, in fun ways, whether by teaching her a new trick, or by both of us learning something new together. One of the ways I challenge Cole’s brain on a daily basis is at mealtimes using these two simple but fun ideas. 1. Treat Balls/Toys: You can find quite an assortment of shapes and sizes at your local pet store. These food dispensing toys are great for challenging your dog’s mind and body because your dog has to figure out how to get the food out, which usually involves moving the toy around. Take it one step further by putting your dog in a sit stay (good daily practice of sit/stay) while you hide the toy somewhere in the house. Then come back and say, “Find it!” Use a different toy each day to keep it interesting and fun. 2. Slo-Bowls: These are really cool food bowls that slow down a dog that eats really fast. They come in different cool designs, and they are sure to be a fun challenge for any dog. Check them out at www.slo-bowls.com . I challenge you to make your dog’s mealtime more interesting by starting with just one interactive feeding toy or bowl. The first time you try it, add a bit of something yummy with the food to help motivate your dog to really work at getting the food out. And if you would like to know how to teach your dog the “Find it!” game, give me a call. I’d be happy to share my tips and techniques with you! Happy feeding!

© 2015 Allstate Insurance Co.

Terie Hansen is Owner of Good Dog! Coaching & Pet Care. More information at www.gooddogcoaching.com.

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Our Town

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For more information call 678-825-2049 • OurTownGwinnett.com


Our Town

Gangwisch Dental Group LLC

Dr. Richard P. Gangwisch, D.D.S, M.A.G.D., A.B.G.D. Board Certified General Dentist Dr. John D. Hulsey, D.M.D.


Full Mouth Reconstruction Cosmetic Dentistry Sedation Dentistry (Oral & IV) Crowns and Bridges Dental Implants Root Canal Treatment Gum Treatment Oral Surgery Dentures Orthodontics Invisible Braces/InvisalignÂŽ Teeth Whitening


Our Town

Cosmetic and Family Dentistry

$100 OFF

Any Dental Service For Every Family Member (for new patients only) Financing Available 912 Killian Hill Rd., Lilburn, GA 30047


For more information call 678-825-2049 • OurTownGwinnett.com


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