Snellville Spirit WInter 2019

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Snellville, Where Everybody’s Proud to Be Somebody WINTER 2019

Christmas Tree Lighting & Parade Saturday, November 30, 5 pm - 8 pm Lighted Parade Starts - 5:30 pm

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e v o r G e h T r e t n e C e n w o T at A logo has been chosen to represent The Grove at Towne Center – a highly anticipated mixed-use town center coming to the city.

Residents got a first look during a special reveal before the City Council meeting Oct. 28 on the corner of Clower Street and Wisteria Drive. “We’re thrilled to have a visual representation of a project that we’ve been working to create for so long,” said Mayor Barbara Bender. “Showing the logo to our residents brought such joy, and we’re proud to have a design that represents a few of the wonderful aspects of Snellville’s past and present, while also representing where we hope to go in the future.” The custom design features an oak tree with two intertwining trunks to represent the city’s rich history coming together with the present. The leaves are said to represent the individual residents of Snellville who are at the center of the project. Additionally, the color green was chosen to symbolize the planned greenway and green space the area will offer. Finally, “The Grove” is a nod to the city’s history, as this was the name of the location where founding community members came together for events and celebrations in Snellville’s early days. The $85-million project is being developed by CASTO, one of the country’s leading commercial real estate companies, together with Atlanta-based development partner MidCity Real Estate Partners. “We are pleased to provide a logo that the City of Snellville is proud to associate with The Grove,” said Shannon Dixon, executive vice president of Southeast Development for CASTO. “We believe this design incorporates the most important aspects that the city wishes to convey – community, a nod to the past, and excitement for what’s to come.” The Grove at Towne Center will be a walkable, destination space that will feature inviting restaurants, entertainment and retail spaces that will serve as key amenities for office users, residents and visitors. Shared use paths for pedestrians and cyclists will be located throughout the development, connecting the various components of the master planned project and the surrounding neighborhoods via the Snellville Greenway. The first phase of construction of The Grove at Towne Center project will include relocation of the city’s U.S. Post Office, expected to occur in early 2020 with a groundbreaking on the project anticipated for the second quarter of 2020. For more information and updates on The Grove at Towne Center project visit

>>> FIND THE LOGO - Hidden inside this magazine is the new logo for The Grove at Towne Center. The first person to email a picture of it to will win a prize. Winning email will be determined based on the time stamp on the email. Happy hunting! >>> MEET THE TEAM - Meet the team responsible for bringing you The Grove at Towne Center on Page 10. 3

Winter 2019 - Volume 38 Publisher/Editor: Kelly McAloon Editor: Brian Arrington

Thanks for the past, looking forward to future As we enter the holiday season, it is always a time to give thanks for the many blessings we have living in Snellville. It is a time to reflect on our past, celebrate our present and look forward to the great things that are possible in the future. We are blessed to have the volunteers that have made Snellville Tourism and Trade successful for a decade. I’d like to specifically thank the members of the STAT Board of Directors Billy Franklin, Kathy Emanuel, Jamey Toney, Alice Snipes, Kurt Schulz, Kyle Emerson, Regina Hart, our Executive Director Kelly McAloon and Administrative Assistant Summer Daniels. They have worked hard during the past year, and their contributions to our organization can’t be appreciated enough. This board, in concert with the awesome volunteers have made this year a success. I also want to thank our event sponsors in 2019. A big thanks to our keystone sponsors Eastside Medical Center, Walton Gas and ER Snell. In addition to our keystone sponsors, we have many other generous sponsors that make it possible for STAT to provide the activities and events every year. Without their support, we couldn’t do all the things we do, and I hope you will consider taking advantage of the products and services they offer. Our event sponsors are listed in this magazine and on the Snellville Tourism and Trade website. I’m looking forward to celebrating with you and your families at the 38th annual Christmas Tree Lighting and our 5th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade on Nov. 30 on the Towne Green. Looking forward into 2020, I know everyone is excited for the groundbreaking of The Grove at Towne Center, Happy Holidays to you and your family!


Don Britt, President, Snellville Tourism and Trade

Connecting our Community to Celebrate Snellville 4

Snellville, Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Snellville Spirit Magazine is produced by: Snellville Tourism & Trade Association

P.O. Box 669 • Snellville, GA 30078 Website: Snellville Tourism and Trade Association’s mission is to promote business, tourism and events in the City of Snellville. President Don Britt Vice President Billy Franklin Secretary Kathy Emanuel Treasurer Jamey Toney Board Member Regina Hart Board Member Kurt Schulz Board Member Alice Snipes Board Member Kyle Emerson Executive Director Kelly McAloon Administrative Assistant Summer Daniels City Council Mayor Barbara Bender, Mayor Pro Tem Dave Emanuel, Cristy Lenski, Roger Marmol, Gretchen Schulz and Tod Warner City Website: Magazine Design by Brian Arrington, Perry Cox and Kelly McAloon Magazine Cover Design by Kelly McAloon and Perry Cox Magazine Cover Photo by Kelly McAloon and Andrew Watson Photography Contributing Writers and Photographers: Kelly McAloon, Don Britt, Brian Arrington, Gretchen Schulz, Eric Van Otteren, Barbara Bender, Andrew Watson Photography and Perry Cox







Pictures of those making news in the city.



A large donation is given to the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op.



The extended season of the Farmers’ Market is on.



Read about Senior Center and park events.



This organization helps feed the area’s needy.



The Festival of Trees is back for another year.



Career-boosting program now offered in Snellville.



Snapshots of events in the city.



Stay warm with these winter favorites.



Snellville Tourism and Trade thanks its sponsors and friends.


The Grove at Towne Center gets a new logo.


Mayor Barbara Bender reports what’s going on in the city.


It’s official. Snellville has the best police in the state.


The season kicks off with a parade and tree lighting.


Who’s behind The Grove at Towne Center project?


A listing of area churches’ Christmas services.


New businesses open with ribbon-cutting ceremonies.


Take a look at two new City Council initiatives.


Find out where to shop local this holiday season.


The Grove is a perfect fit for small manufacturers.


Check out what’s sprouting at the Community Garden.








Mayor’s Message - Mayor Barbara Bender Snellville held the General election on Nov. 5 and I would like to congratulate Mayor Pro Tem Dave Emanuel on his re-election to the City Council. Dave has been a tremendous councilmember and I look forward to continuing to serve with him.

And while we will have a lot on our plate for the next 18-24 months related to The Grove, I am already working on ideas and formulating plans for the next four years. We will go into our Annual Council Retreat in January with one new member on the Council. It is at this retreat that we will lay out our priorities and initiatives for the next year. If you have concerns or issues that the Council should address, please email them to me at

We do have a runoff for Post 2 between Solange Destang and Brittany Marmol. The runoff election will be held on Dec. 3, so be sure to come back out and vote for one of these great candidates.

I thank you for allowing me the honor to serve as your Mayor. I appreciate all of your support and encouragement and I am always open to suggestions for how I can better serve you.

I, gratefully, ran unopposed and look forward to serving the next four years as your mayor. We have so many things in the works right now and it will definitely be an exciting time to be serving all of you. Our plans for The Grove at Towne Center continue to move forward toward the groundbreaking next year. All of the players on our development team are excited and are working full steam ahead to make our visions a reality. We look forward to updating you as plans progress ­— watch this space for continuing updates.

Our plans for The Grove continue to move forward toward the groundbreaking next year. All of the players on our development team are excited and are working full steam ahead to make our visions a reality.

Election 2019 - City Council Run-off needed to decide Post 2 council seat; Emanuel defeats challenger There will be a run-off election Dec. 3 to determine the winner of the city’s Post 2 council seat after none of the four candidates garnered more than 50 percent of the vote Nov. 5. In the Post 2 contest, Solange Destang received 567, Brittany Marmol notched 496, Wanda Blow got 90 and Thomas Mwambay tallied 39 votes respectively, meaning Destang and Marmol will square off Dec. 3 to decide the winner of the seat. Marmol’s husband Roger decided not to run for re-election for the post. The winner of the race would have needed to receive 597 votes to avoid the runoff.

From left, Judge Melodie Snell Conner administers the oath of office to Mayor Barbara Bender as her husband Greg holds the Bible.

Incumbent Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Dave Emanuel defeated challenger Cortez Riden 989 to 211. Mayor Barbara Bender did not have a challenger in her race and notched 1,093 votes. Early voting dates were not available at presstime, but can be found on the city’s election page on - Brian Arrington, Public Information Officer From left, Judge Melodie Snell Conner administers the oath of office to Mayor Pro Tem Dave Emanuel as his wife Kathy looks on. 6

Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Around Towne - News from Police and Public Works

Paving and stormwater projects named for 2020 Mayor and Council approved the stormwater and patching and paving projects for the 2020 fiscal year. The projects will be completed by July 2020, city officials said. From left are Gov. Brian Kemp, Snellville Police Department Police Chief Roy Whitehead, Lt. David Matson and Allen Poole, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Snellville Police Department wins top prize in state safety competition The city’s police department won the top prize at the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Awards Banquet in Macon in September. Gov. Brian Kemp presented the prestigious Governor’s Cup to Chief Roy Whitehead and Lt. David Matson in recognition of the achievements of the Snellville Police Department. “I am honored and privileged to represent the hard work of the men and women of our department as they strive to keep our city’s streets and roadways safe,” said Chief Roy Whitehead. “I am especially honored to receive this award on their behalf from Gov. Brian Kemp.” SPD also won first place in the Occupant Protection and Distracted Driving categories. Agencies throughout the state submitted applications based on their participation in the various enforcement initiatives of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety focusing on impaired driving, occupant protection, distracted driving and speeding together with efforts in education and community involvement. The Snellville Police Department achieved the highest score, earning the Governor’s Cup. Lt. David Matson and Sgt. Scott Smith prepared SPD’s submission qualifying the department for the award.

The stormwater projects were awarded to The Dickerson Group with a bid of $454,664. Stormwater infrastructure improvement projects are scheduled for the following areas: 1898-1899 Harbour Oaks Drive 2018-2039 Harbour Oaks Drive 1560 Summit Chase Drive 3197 Classic Drive -1271 Green Turf Drive 3156 Classic Drive -1235 Green Turf Drive 3317-3329 Summit Turf Drive 2990 Riverbend Drive 3327-3326 Classic Drive 3211-3200 Grand Central Drive 1863 Bennett Ridge-1843 Valley View Drive 3310-3311 Grand Central Drive The street patching and paving bid was awarded to the lowest bidder, E.R. Snell Contractor, Inc. not to exceed the budget amount of $696,000. The streets that will be repaved and/or patched are: Valley Drive Valley Way Lanier Drive Lanier Way Twin Springs Drive Scenic Drive Vail Valley Court Deer Valley Court Aspen Ridge Heavenly Lane Zermatt Way Beaver Creek Lane Brooks Court Summit Turf Lane 7

By Kelly McAloon, STAT Executive Director

Saturday, November 30th 5-8 PM | Towne Green Parade begins at 5:30 PM at Wisteria Plaza and ends at the Towne Green. It’s the most wonderful time of the year sharing the holiday experience with family and friends. Experience the joy and laughter as Snellville celebrates the 38th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and 6th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade. We invite you to join us at the lighted Christmas parade which will kick off the festivities for the event. The parade will start at Wisteria Plaza at 5:30 p.m. and end by the Towne Green. Thousands of people will line the streets to watch the many lighted floats, tractors, and trucks that will pass by, so plan to get there early for good viewing. And of course, Santa will be found at the end of the parade riding up in a horse drawn carriage. Keep your eyes open for STAT the CAT, the Snellville Tourism and Trade mascot, as you never know which float he will be riding on. That cat is full of surprises!

Plan to celebrate the holiday tradition with an evening full of family fun activities for the entire family. • Cookie Decorating by Bill Rhodes Bakery • Roasted S’mores by Tom Wages Funeral Services • Build-It Activity by Home Depot • Ornament Decorating by Snellville Tourism and Trade • Horse Drawn Carriage Rides • Caroling Hay Rides • Snow Pit Take pictures and play on the Big Red Radio Flyer Wagon. All activities will charge a nominal fee. As always, you may bring

non-perishable foods to trade in for your tickets. All food donations will be donated to the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op to “Give Hunger the Boot”.

Two Cans (non-perishable) = One Ticket = One Dollar. For more information and ticket pricing visit

Thank you to our Sponsors: Keystone Sponsor: Eastside Medical Center, Walton Gas and E.R. Snell Contractors, Inc. Bronze Sponsor: The Gwinnett Citizen and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Friends Sponsor: Tom Wages Funeral Services, Bill Rhodes Bakery, Home Depot, Summit Chase Country Club and State Farm Insurance ( Paola Cuartas Agent-Scenic Hwy.) Hotels: Hampton Inn & Suites , LaQuinta Inn & Suites and InTown Suites

The Grove at Towne Center Meet the Team Bringing The Grove to Snellville Following the recent announcement of the highly anticipated town center project, it’s time to introduce you to the team that will bring you The Grove at Towne Center – an 18-acre walkable mixed-use destination that will feature luxury apartments, inviting restaurants, entertainment and retail spaces, as well as a direct connection to the Snellville Greenway. Continue reading to get better acquainted with the team – Eric with the City of Snellville, Shannon with CASTO and Kirk with MidCity Partners. Snellville With roots that date back centuries and a prime location near major interstates, right outside Atlanta and not too far from Athens, Snellville is perfectly positioned to continue thriving for years to come. Meet Eric G. Van Otteren, Economic Development Manager for the City of Snellville When Eric was hired in 2010, he was tasked with moving economic development forward. A key part of accomplishing this was facilitating a town center. Over the years, he has worked with the Downtown Development Authority, Urban Redevelopment Agency and Mayor and Council to clarify the vision for a town center. As plans have progressed, Eric continues to work to clarify visions and unite everyone’s ideas on what The Grove at Towne Center should look like. He is also the individual to initiate the greenway plan that is now an integral part of The Grove’s planning. A proud Ohio State Buckeye, Eric is known for engaging in friendly office sports rivalries, especially with the city’s Planning Director, an avid Florida Gators fan. Outside the office, Eric enjoys spending time with his wife, three sons and daughter. Hiking, backpacking, beekeeping and craft brewing are activities Eric enjoys outside of work. When asked what excites him most about this project and why he believes The Grove is important to Snellville’s continued success, Eric explained that he appreciates the community aspect that town centers make possible because they’re a place where all ages can come together and find common ground. It also helps that town centers are “cool again.” In addition to the communal aspect, Eric believes in meeting the demand for a more sophisticated urban living experience and believes in investing in the sustainability that The Grove will provide. CASTO CASTO, a privately held real-estate services firm, is excited to partner with MidCity Partners, the City of Snellville and Gwinnett County to develop The Grove at Towne Center. 10

Meet Shannon, Dixon, Executive Vice President CASTO Southeast Realty Services Shannon will work with the CASTO team to focus, mainly, on the multifamily, retail and office components, as well as the market center (which will be known as the Mercantile) to create a strong, integrated development where the community can gather, eat, live, work or be entertained. Professionally, Shannon is known for being passionate about building lasting relationships with CASTO’s development and tenant partners. As part of the CASTO organization, she feels the company is fortunate to have so many incredible long-time partners that they have done business with for decades. When she’s not in the office, Shannon can be found spending time with family, hiking with her two dogs, and cheering on Virginia Tech football – Go Hokies! Shannon’s excitement for the project stems from the success CASTO found with Park West Village, a 100-acre mixed-use center in Morrisville, N.C. – featuring a diverse retail lineup, urban apartments, and a town center district community gathering space. When asked what excited her most about The Grove, Shannon said, “we love the enthusiasm the City of Snellville has for this Towne Center and their community, and we’re excited and honored to help their vision come to life.” MidCity Atlanta based, privately-owned and mission-driven, MidCity Real Estate Partners is looking forward to partnering with CASTO and the City of Snellville to develop The Grove at Towne Center and also working with Gwinnett County to develop the new library, which will adjoin the center. Meet Kirk Demetrops, President of MidCity Real Estate Partners Kirk’s specific role in the project is to contribute to the overall deal structure with the City, oversee functional design of the master plan, and finalize certain components for office users and/or additional residential uses. Kirk’s partners know him as a professional who enjoys envisioning the layout of the projects he works on, as well as working side-by-side with architects and planners to get every detail correct. When he’s not working, you can find Kirk staying active with his wife and four kids. Hockey and biking are two of Kirk’s favorite ways to spend time with family and stay in shape. Snellville, Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody



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Service of Hope Sunday, December 1, 7 p.m., Chapel

Advent by Candlelight for Women Sunday, December 8 2 - 4 p.m. Family Center, RSVP Only

Journey to Bethlehem Saturday, December 7 Sunday, December 8 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Indoor/Outdoor; Journey’s depart throughout the evening. FREE Family Event!

Advent Penance Service Tuesday, December 3, – 7 p.m. Christmas Mass Schedule Christmas Eve Tuesday, December 24th

Christmas Music Sunday “And Heav’n and Nature Sing: Christmas Around the World” Sunday, December 15, 11 a.m.

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Christmas is Beautiful

Hanging of the Greens Potluck Dinner and Program November 24, 4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

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Mount Zion Christmas Celebration Saturday December 14, 6 p.m. Sunday December 15, 6 p.m. Free Admission and Free Family Christmas Portraits MZ Kid’s Jingle Jam Family Experience Sunday December 8, 9:30 a.m.

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>>> The Pink Hotel - City and Snellville Tourism and Trade officials welcomed the newest business to the city - The Pink Hotel, located at 1580 Tree Lane. Owner Tiffany Young has created a house with rooms filled with crafts and games for young and old alike. You’ll have to visit the website to get a full understanding of this unique business - www.

>>> Kids in Motion

City, Snellville Tourism and Trade and Greater Eastside Chamber of Commerce officials took part in a ribboncutting ceremony at Kids in Motion Academy, located at 2161 Scenic Highway, Nov. 1. This is the third location for the business. For more information visit


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Snellville City Council News The ordinance states occupancy is limited to two occupants per bedroom plus two additional residents. Aside from those occupants, six additional visitors are allowed. Sufficient parking for renters must be provided on paved parking spaces within the property, not on right-of-ways. Owners must have security cameras recording all entry ways to the dwelling and driveways. Punishment for violating these conditions is a warning, followed by fines and eventual license revocation.

City establishes new regulations on short-term rentals Regulations on short-term rentals in the city, like those used through companies like Airbnb, were adopted by Mayor and Council recently. While not an issue currently in Snellville, city officials were concerned with reports of illicit activity at short-term rental properties and decided to create regulations locally “to provide for the continued availability of quality transient lodging within the city and proper maintenance of short-term rentals,” according to the new ordinance. Short-term rentals are defined as dwellings rented out for 30 consecutive nights or less. There is “evidence that there can be unsafe short-term rentals, that minimum life safety codes are not enforced and that unregulated commercial use of these structures can become havens for criminal activity affecting the quality of life in the surrounding communities,” the ordinance reads. Under the new ordinance, a separate business license is required for each short-term rental unit, except where an owner owns multiple short-term rentals in a residential community or multiple residential communities and applies for a single business license for a single business license for such units. Applications for a short-term rental business license must be filed with the city’s Planning Department by the owner prior to use of the property as a short-term rental. All applications for a short-term rental business license must contain, among other requirements, the square footage and maximum occupant information, verification of code and safety requirements, parking space information, a hotel/motel occupancy tax registration certificate and an application fee payment.

Moratorium placed on vape shops opening in Snellville; vaping curbed Spurred by reports of people getting sick or dying from vaping products, the Mayor and Council unanimously decided to place a 12-month moratorium on the opening of new vape shops in the city last month. “This will give us time to see what, if anything, is going to be done perhaps by the state legislature or by the federal government,” said Councilwoman Gretchen Schulz. “After 12 months we can determine where we go at that point.” A vape shop is defined as a store which has total retail sales of more than 25 percent designated to vaping products or 25 percent of the floor area designated for the sale or advertising of vaping products, city officials said. On Nov. 11, The Mayor and Council adopted an amendment to an ordinance last night that prohibits vaping on all city property where smoking is already prohibited. Smoking and vaping is now prohibited in and on all publicly owned places including enclosed facilities, buildings and vehicles owned or operated by the city. 19

SHOP LOCAL LOCAL FOR SHOP By Kelly McAloon, STAT Executive Director


Shopping local makes our city a better place to live, building a rich character and a thriving economy. You can save time and money by shopping right here in town. Be a part of strengthening the ties that brings stability to our community, by shopping local. Within a three-mile radius in Snellville, you can find a wide selection of clothing, boots, shoes, gift ware, jewelry, baby products






R THE THE HOLIDAYS! HOLIDAYS! and much much more. Oh... and don’t forget about our furry friends during the holidays. You can find toys and treats galore lined up on the shelves in many stores. Gift cards to retail stores and restaurants are always a holiday favorite too.



“Together we can strengthen relationships that improve our quality of life one sale at a time” R YOUR PE TS FO TS GIF

City of Snellville Proclamation Small Business Saturday November 30




Economic Development

Micromanufacturing seen as a perfect fit for The Grove at Towne Center City looking for retailers to move unique products from basement to storefront By Eric Van Otteren, Economic Development Director

what they do, because it’s something you just don’t see every day: They make things.

Snellville is looking for a new breed of manufacturers. Many entrepreneurs think now is a great time to be a manufacturer. Before you jumped to the conclusion that manufacturing doesn’t fit in Snellville, consider folks like Torey Rose, owner of FAM USA, and those people out there that make, maybe in their basements, what they sell. You may be familiar with Etsy and the homespun manufacturers there selling there labors of love.

Now back to The Grove and the Mercantile and city leadership. A portion of the Mercantile will be available to local micromanufacturers. There may also be a space above the new Elizabeth Williams Library that will offer space for your business to take the next step.

Let me introduce you to a new kind of manufacturing: micromanufacturing. What is it? Micromanufacturing is the manufacturing of products in small quantities, often custom, using small manufacturing facilities. One writer, Dmitry Slepov for TechCrunch, stated, “I always thought those large manufacturing facilities dotting the landscape of China and other industrialized nations were like computer mainframes of yesteryear. In today’s market everyone wants custom, unique, and personal that comes with a story.” Now, why micromanufacturing and why in Snellville? Here comes The Grove. The Mercantile, the city’s future city market will open in about 24 months. Your city leadership is committed to creating a space for micromanufacturers to sell their labors of love to a willing and seeking public. If you visited FAM USA you would be amazed by what is right here in Snellville. I think there are many more of you, a new breed of manufacturers, making what you sell. If you could visit their basements and unused bedrooms you would find micromanufacturers laboring away. You might be fascinated by

Our country’s new breed of savvy micromanufacturers specializes in custom products, small quantities, and fast turnaround. They cannot and do not attempt to compete with highvolume low-cost manufacturers. They acknowledge that some jobs are too large and some price points too low. Instead, they focus on “high touch” opportunities that are too small and specialized for large factories. These are the businesses the city leadership is seeking for the Mercantile. If you see yourself as a micromanufacturer, I would like to meet and work with you, and potentially help you be ready to be part of the offerings at the Mercantile. Once you bought a car, you were much less likely to take a bus. As soon as you had a laser printer in your office, you were almost entirely gone as the print shop’s customer. Once you purchase your micromanufacturing equipment... I leave finishing this thought to you.

>>> Have a Burgeoning Business?

Do you have an idea of something you’d like to see in the City Market in The Grove at Towne Center? Are you an entrepreneur ready to take the next step in your business? Snellville Economic Development Director Eric Van Otteren would like to hear your ideas. Drop him a line at

<<< Space Available

Snellville City Hall is home to new classroom and office space available for use by the public. The new renovations feature two classrooms that can accommodate 25 people, and with a retractable door open, it can accommodate 50 people. There are also two offices and a conference room for meetings. There is ‘hot desk’ space in the middle of the facility which has a kitchen for meet-ups. If you are interested, contact Economic Development Director Eric Van Otteren for pricing and availability at


Snellville, Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody




Plus: M Z





SUNDAY, DEC. 8 at 9:30am


SATURDAY, DEC. 14 at 6:00


& SUNDAY, DEC. 16 at 6:00

TUESDAY, DEC. 24 at 6:00pm


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At Hill Top Pawn and Gun we want everyone to know we are “Large Enough to Handle your Needs and Small Enough to Care.”

Hill Top Pawn Inc. 1882 Athens Highway Snellville, GA 30078 770-978-7079


With over 50 years of combined experience in the Gold buying industry, we are confident that we can offer top dollar for your Gold and Silver.

Firearm Sales

In our Firearm department we have a wide variety of new and used firearms with a staff that is friendly knowledgeable and willing to help.

$Cash Loans$

At Hill Top Pawn we specialize in loaning out cash! We loan money on just about anything with amounts up to


Gold, Guns, Electronics, Tools, Instruments, Sporting Goods, Cars, Trailers, Boats, Motorcycles and more. (All loans are collateral based)

Community Garden @ Snellville

>>> More on the Garden

Talk About Sweet Potatoes!

In addition to its primary purpose of providing space for families to grow flowers, food for their own consumption and to donate to local charities, the Community Garden @ Snellville also adds a new dimension to Snellville’s sense of community.

Students in Karla Kosar’s Food Science class at South Gwinnett High School now have a better understanding of how sweet potatoes are grown. Community Garden @ Snellville master gardeners Wes Nettleton and Ileen Meggison worked with the students last spring to plant sweet potato plants in two 4-foot-by-8-foot raised beds on the school campus.

The Garden, is located in T. W. Briscoe Park, on the corner of Marigold Road and Sawyer Parkway. Currently the garden includes 48 raised beds, a pavilion, beehives, a greenhouse, tool shed and a large perennial garden.

Earlier this fall they harvested about two bushels of potatoes, which were allowed to cure for a while in the back of their classroom before being used in their culinary lab. - Gretchen Schulz, Councilwoman, Garden organizer

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For more information visit the garden’s website at

Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Merry Christmas from Your Friends at ...

MAIN STREET RESTAURANT Pizza • Homemade Soups • Salads • Sandwiches


Chicken and Waffles $7.99



Ask About Our





1142 Athens HWY (HWY 78) • Suite 115 • Grayson


Seen in Snellville <<< Run the Reagan - The Run the Reagan Committee

presented the Mayor and Council with a plaque thanking them for their continued support recently. A Snellville staple, Run the Reagan is an annual road race on Ronald Reagan Parkway which draws thousands.In 2020, the event takes place Feb. 29. From left: Run the Reagan Committee members Warren Auld and Ron Weber, Mayor Barbara Bender, committee member Amanda Soesbe, Mayor Pro Tem Dave Emanuel and Councilman Tod Warner. This year’s designated recipients are The Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry, The Lilburn Cooperative Ministry, and The Brookwood Schools Foundation. For more information visit

<<< Kudos - Resident Bobby Kenton was honored

at a recent council meeting for helping an elderly person who wandered away from a care facility recently. After he saw a post on a Snellville Neighborhood Alert Program Facebook page, Kenton encountered the elderly person who appeared to be lost and stopped to help. He soon realized he had found the person mentioned in the advisory. Through the actions of Kenton and SNAP the person who might otherwise have suffered life-threatening injury or sickness was safely returned to his care facility.

<<< Big Thank You! -

City Hall’s Regina Hart, collected 115 thank you letters to our troops which will be delivered to them on Thanksgiving as part of Bert’s Big Thank You effort.

Lending a Generous Hand

^^^ Thanks So Much - A huge thank you to Carolyn and Andrew Wheeler, owners of Carolyn’s Communications, a 38-year-old answering service company in Snellville for bidding $20,000 on a scarecrow in the silent auction this year. All the money will benefit the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op to Give Hunger the Boot. Carolyn’s Communications won the Association of Teleservices International (ATSI) award for the eighth consecutive year bringing only quality of service and overall ability to meet the needs of those they serve. Many thanks to the Wheelers for their generosity and kindness they show to our community. (Above) From left, Snellville Tourism and Trade Board Member Kyle Emerson, STAT President Don Britt, Carolyn Wheeler, of Carolyn’s Communications, Mayor Pro Tem Dave Emanuel, Southeast Gwinnett Co-op Director Laura Drake, STAT Secretary Kathy Emanuel, Board Member Kurt Schulz and STAT Executive Director Kelly McAloon. (Right) Wheeler and Drake.

Direct Marketing a blue skies direct marketing company




Serving our community by providing Quality Printing and Effective Direct Mail services since 2001 Discover the Difference! It really is easy at ABC! CHRIS CAWTHON

404.379.6878 134 Stanley Court, Suite B Lawrenceville, GA 30046


Snellville Farmers’ Market

Market’s ‘extended season’ is bigger and better than ever!

The once-a-month market, held October 2019 through May 2020, has attracted about twice as many vendors as compared to last year. More than 20 vendors participate each month and offer a nice variety of products, including seasonal produce, baked goods, jams and jellies, honey, eggs, meats, kettle corn and made-to-order pizza. A list of participating vendors can be found on our website - The market is held on the first Saturday of each month, 9 a.m. to noon, in the City Hall parking lot. A special “holiday market” is planned for Dec. 7. - Gretchen Schulz, Councilwoman, Market organizer

>>> More on the Market

The Snellville Farmers’ Market is administered by a group of very dedicated local residents who volunteer their time and talents to bring the market to the city. The volunteers operate the market without any funding from the city. The city does, however, allow the market to operate on the Towne Green, a prime location in front of City Hall where the market has outstanding exposure to traffic on US 78. The mission of the Snellville Farmers’ Market is to “Nourish Our Community” by providing fresh, local and seasonal produce and encouraging community pride. Volunteers are always needed. Visit for more information.


Snellville, Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Visit or call 770-427-4328.


Senior Care with Love

Social in your life.

Put more

Our Day Center offers fun activities, delicious meals, weekly outings, and companionship. We have licensed nursing staff who ensure your loved one receives the health related care they need. At McKinley Community Care, we provide exceptional senior care with love. McKinley Community Care provides Music & Memory and Rehab Therapy. Funding and transportation available. HOURS: Monday through Friday 7am – 6pm To schedule a visit, call


1567 Janmar Road Suite 200 Snellville, GA 30078

•Free Hot Breakfast •Suites and Jacuzzi Rooms •100% Non-Smoking

•Heated Indoor Pool •Fitness Center •Meeting Room

What’s Going On? Snellville Senior Center Snellville Parks and Recreation

Snellville Senior Center 2350 Oak Road Snellville, Georgia 30078 770 985-3580 Aerobics are free with membership and take place Mondays and Thursdays at 9:15 and 10:15 a.m. Pilates are also available for $3 per class at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The Senior Center offers other classes in conjunction with our regular ongoing scheduled classes.

Briscoe Park is open daily 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 770-985-3535

Please stop by our center or visit our website at to view our bimonthly newsletter located under Parks and Recreation for additional classes and events.

Oak Road Park 1925 Oak Road (Passive neighborhood park)

Membership 2019 Senior Center Annual Memberships: Snellville City Limit Residents $15, Gwinnett County Residents $25; Out-of-County $30. If you join after July 1, the cost for the remainder of the year is $9 for City Residents; $15 for County Residents; and $18 for Out-ofcounty Residents. Additional persons from the same household receive a $5 discount.

A group of crafters meets Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. for crocheting and knitting. The meeting is free with membership.

There are card-making classes, piano, sewing and quilting classes as well. Beginning computer, smartphone and tablet classes coming soon. Call center for dates. Billiards, Bingo and an exercise and weight room are also available and free to members. Self-defense classes are forming. Call the center for dates or go online and look for dates in our newsletter

Please “like” our Facebook page for more information on our upcoming events and happenings: Briscoe Park will offer spring soccer leagues for kids ages 4-19. Visit for dates and registration information!

Painting classes are offered Thursdays and a group of four classes is $28. The classes run from 1 to 3 p.m.

Spanish classes are offered for beginners, intermediate and advanced speakers throughout the week. Call the Senior Center at 770-985-3580 for class times.

Park office is open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on registration and classes, check out the Parks & Recreation Department on Snellville’s website at parks-recreation

Events and Trips The Senior Center offers day and overnight trips as well as special events. Information is updated bimonthly in our Spotlight Newsletter which includes a current calendar of events. Newsletters can be picked up at the center, found on our website at www. or mailed to your home once you join. Contact the Senior Center at 770-985-3580 to register and for additional information.

Outdoor tennis and basketball courts are available on a first-come-first-served basis without lights daily from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Tennis courts can be rented from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with lights at a cost of $10 per hour and daylight hours at $5 per hour. To reserve, call the office at 770-985-3535. Park Rentals Facilities at the park can be rented with 14 days notice. There are outdoor pavilion rentals, large rooms for rent and the pool can be rented. For room/ pavilion rentals call the park office at 770-985-3535 For field rentals, call Meghan Purvis at 770-9853532. For a list of property for rental visit


NEW BUSINESS We Need Your Help By Brian Arrington, Public Information Officer

If you’re like most people living in the Snellville area, you or your children have probably never been forced to miss a meal because you had no food and no money. You may not even know of anyone who faces hunger on a regular basis.

Yet, many local families are in that unfortunate situation. Hunger the Boot is currently focusing on kicking hunger out of Snellville by assisting the Southeast Gwinnett Food Co-Op. The 64,400-square-foot building will be located in Park Place,

A five-story, 102-room Hampton Inn & Suites will be built in the city following a unanimous vote by the Mayor and Council earlier Give this year.

a development located at the corner ofFood Pharrs Road andmission Scenic is to The Southeast Gwinnett Co-Op’s There are many opportunities to donate. Highway which recently saw the grand opening of Cracker Barrel, help people by serving as a bridge over a financial gap, theHilton locations accepting donations include: Freddie’s, Zaxby’s and Aspen Dental. Inn &Some Suitesofby within the city. food Finally, Hampton Inn & not to build a dependency lifestyle. According to Laura Snellville City Hall Suites, under the Hilton (Hotels) umbrella, has a reputation for being director the Co-Op, need forissues donations Snellville ThereDrake, had been concernsofthe hotel wouldthe cause traffic at the isa high-quality brand and product thatPublic wouldWorks be an asset to the city critical. Unfortunately, many people have to deal with United Community Bank Snellville busy intersection, but, according to the developers, daily trips would for many years to come.” Gwinnett Animal Hospital (McGee Road) and hunger on atwo 24/7/365 be reduced by nearly thirds ofbasis. what was previously approved for Fast Signs (HighwayAnd 124). a 12,000-square-foot restaurant. just this month, paperwork was filed Financial donations may be made at the above locations and at: “There is a need in the city for a quality limited-service hotel bring an Outback Legacy Beverage Center (Hwyto78, Loganville) in the Scenic Highway Commercial Corridor as there are very Steakhouse to Park Snellville City Hall few options for travelers to utilize while staying in the area,” said Place. Main Street Restaurant and Planning and Development Director Jason Thompson. “Eastside Mellow Mushroom Snellville Medical Center, adjacent restaurants, retail businesses and neighboring residents could all benefit from having a nice Hampton

Local Children are Hungry

Come help us Give Hunger the Boot!

■ Affordable nightly, weekly and monthly rates ■ Average suite features over 300 square feet of comfortable living area ■ Each room includes a separate living area, ample work space with desk, remote control cable tv with HBO or Showtime, iron and ironing board, and in-room hi-speed Internet access ■ Apartment size kitchen with refrigerator, two-burner stovetop, full size microwave, in-room coffee maker, in-room toaster, dishes, cookware & utensils, and a well-lit kitchen table/work area ■ Interior corridors with key card access for added security and always clean & friendly service

Crestwood Suites

■ Clean, well-lit property with beautiful grounds and plenty of free parking

■ Exclusivebehind in-lobby coffee bar across from of Snellville Located off Scenic Highway Target

Eastside Medical Center




1784 Presidential Circle 30078 n ■ Snellville, own Georgia uITeS


770-982-5250 770.982.5250 1785 Circle • Snellville, Georgia 30078 www.Presidential CrestwoodSuites .com

Fourth Annual Snellville Festival of Trees On display at Snellville City Hall from November 25th through December 20th.

The Christmas Tree Lighting will kick off the Fourth Annual Festival of Trees contest. We invite you to stop by during the Snellville Christmas Tree Lighting on Nov. 30 between 5 – 8 p.m. or anytime City Hall is open (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m.) through Dec. 21 and vote for your favorite tree. Each non-perishable food item or toy placed under the tree of your choice will register as a vote for your favorite tree. To make a monetary donation, go to from Nov. 25 through Dec. 20 and vote for your favorite tree. Each dollar donated will count as one vote. The tree with the most donated items and monetary donations will be awarded the BEST CHRISTMAS TREE at the 4th Annual Festival of Trees. All monetary donations and non-perishable food items will be donated to the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op to “Give Hunger the Boot” and all toys will be donated to the Toys for Tots program. Please help us embrace the true meaning of the Christmas season and make a difference in the lives of others by voting for your favorite tree with non-perishable food items and/or monetary donations.

Let’s see if we can beat last year’s numbers!

For more information please visit Thanks to the Franklin Family for delivering food collected at City Hall to the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op.

The Franklins collecting cans for the needy.

St. Olivers’ winning tree.

Economic Development City kicks off new Badge Program The city’s Digital Badge Program recently kicked off with a meeting between city officials and area educators. A digital badge is an indicator of accomplishment or skill that can be displayed, accessed and verified online. The badges are earned by completing certain tasks outlined online in subjects such as financial management, and can be used by students, job seekers or employees looking to advance their education or career. A digital badge is a digital version of a traditionally paper certificate used to designate course completion or competency. Now the city is looking to partner with area schools to offer the free program to students using, an online resource “powered by” Southern New Hampshire University. “We can use this for elementary school, middle school and high school students,” said Mayor Pro Tem Dave Emanuel who helped organize the

>>> More on Badge

Mayor Pro Tem Dave Emanuel kicks off the city’s Digital Badge Program. program he said will “improve skill sets” of those who participate. “The applications are almost endless.” - Brian Arrington, Public Information Officer

For more information on the Snellville Badge Program visit or contact Economic Development Director Eric Van Otteren at

Seventh Annual Scarecrow Contest and Winners The Scarecrow contest was another big success, raising $20,430 for the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op. A huge thank you to Carolyn and Andrew Wheeler who own Carolyn’s Communications for their most generous bid of $20,000 to benefit the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op to Give Hunger the Boot. Despite the Fall Festival rain-out, the scarecrow and selfie contest was a great success.

1st Place Improved Landscape, LLC “Landscape Crow”

2nd Place Hampton Inn and Suites “Mr. Minion”

Titlemax (Scenic Hwy.) “The Business Crow”

Sobella LLC “ Bella the SNATCHED Crow”

Carolyn’s Communications “Dorothy the Care Crow”

Charles Minter Karate “Jack”

Titlemax (Hwy. 78) “Tiki Max”

Texas Roadhouse “Roadie”

Church of Christ “Re Bourne”

Snellville Clean and Proud “Mr. Clean and Proud”

Captivating Smiles Family Dentistry “CAVY”

3rd Place Kids in Motion Academy (Scenic Hwy.) “Chicka Chicka Scare Boo”

Body of Health and Life, LLC “Frankie Baby”

Snellville Performing Arts “The Mercrow”

Gray Orthodontics Gwinnett County Public School Transportation “Teryn the Tooth Fairy and Lacey the Tooth Beary” “Bussy D. Ryder”

Thank you to everyone who participated in making this community activity so successful.

Making Memories ... Taste of Snellville

Billy Joel Tribute Concert

Many thanks to Team Snellville Volunteers,

... on the Snellville Towne Green Halloween Business After House - Summit Chase Country Club

Chili Cook Off

Veterans Day Celebration

Snellville Police Department and Public Works

Our Favorite Winter Recipes

Cristy’s Comfort Food - Lasagna Makes 8-12 servings Cook time: 1 hour Prep time: 2-4 hours Pan Size: deep 9x13 Calories: You don’t want to know Ingredients 1 pound of sweet Italian sausage 1 pound of extra lean ground beef (or substitute bison meat) 1 large sweet onion 5 (or more, if desired) garlic cloves – crushed 4 cups of crushed tomatoes 2 cups of tomato paste ½ to 1 cup of chicken broth 2 cups of diced tomatoes 1/8 cup of white sugar 1 cup fresh chopped basil – divided into two ½ cups ½ cup fresh chopped parsley –divided into two ¼ cups 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 2 tablespoons oregano 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground black paper - Councilwoman and 1 box (pound) of lasagna noodles South Gwinnett High School 30 to 42 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese Social Studies Teacher 1 large egg Cristy Lenski 1-2 pounds of deli sliced mozzarella cheese 2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese 16 ounces shredded mozzarella and / or Italian blend cheese Mix sausage & ground beef and brown over medium heat. Drain grease and wash pan. Cook onion and garlic, add meat. Stir in ½ cup fresh basil, ¼ fresh parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, fennel. Pour in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir in sugar and chicken broth. Reduce to low heat and simmer 1-4 hours. Cook lasagna noodles for HALF the time suggested on the package. Rinse noodles with cold water to reduce sticking. In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, remaining parsley & basil, ½ of parmesan cheese. To assemble: spread ½ cup to a cup of meat sauce at bottom of pan. Top with noodles, then spread ricotta cheese mixture over noodles. Top with slices of mozzarella cheese. Top cheese with meat sauce mixture, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Repeat layers two more times. Top with noodles, meat sauce to cover pasta, and then sprinkle with shredded cheese. Cover with aluminum foil, bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes to brown cheese slightly.


Stephanie’s Venison Bock Choy Stew Ingredients 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 ¼ tsp ginger 1/2 tsp salt 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 lb venison stew meat 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder 3 cups beef broth 2 tbsp coconut aminos 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (1 inch chunks) 12 oz baby bok choy, roughly chopped green onions, chopped (topping) In a large bowl, combine salt, ginger, and garlic. Add the meat to the bowl, stir and rub with mixture. Set instant pot to sauté mode, add the oil and heat it up. Add the meat and brown on all sides. Deglaze the instant pot by scraping the bottom to remove brown bits. Add fivespice powder, broth, coconut aminos, and sweet potato to instant pot with meat. Stir well. Set the instant pot to cook HIGH pressure for 25 minutes. Once timer goes off, Quick Release pressure and add bok choy. Cook on HIGH pressure for 1 minute. Once timer goes off, Quick Release pressure. Serve hot. Top with green onions.

- Stephanie Arrington, Darling wife of Public Information Officer Brian Arrington

Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Thanks to our 2019 Sponsors and to our Snellville Spirit Advertisers Eastside Medical Center Walton Gas E.R.Snell Contractors Inc. The Gwinnett Citizen Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta State Farm Insurance - Ronnie Cail Summit Chase Country Club First Baptist Church Snellville Country Financial - Jamey Toney Main Street Restaurant Snell’s Pharmancy Mt. Zion Baptist Church Hampton Inn & Suites LaQuinta Inn & Suites InTown Suites Kona Ice

STA Apparel and Screen Printing Bill Rhodes Bakery Office Depot - Snellville Tom Wages Funeral Services Fratelli’s NY Style Pizza and Restaurant Snellville United Methodist Church Hill Top Pawn McKinley Community Care Right at Home In Home Care and Assistance Media Maker Group ABC Direct Marketing Group Urban Air Berens Frozen Custard Bloom with Jenna - Florist Home Depot

Snellville Tourism and Trade would like to say thanks to all of our event sponsors for making 2019 a great year. Their support, whether financially or through in-kind contributions, makes it possible for STAT to put on so many quality events for our community. Many thanks to the Snellville Public Works Department for all they do to prepare the city for events throughout the year and to the Snellville Police Department which continues to protect and serve at our events and in our community throughout the year. We could not have such successful events without all of our wonderful volunteers.





Snellville Tourism & Trade P.O. Box 669 Snellville, GA 30078

Snellville, Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody.

Your Heart Care Destination SNELLVILLE OFFICE: 1700 Tree Lane, Suite 190

David Casey, MD

Demir Baykal, MD

Marc Unterman, MD

Marcus Sims, MD

Michael Lipsitt, MD

Experienced, Quality Care… Close to Home The experienced cardiologists at Eastside Heart & Vascular are top leaders in cardiac care in Gwinnett County and throughout Metro Atlanta. The practice offers the latest advancements in cardiology, electrophysiology and cardiovascular surgery.

With 7 offices throughout Gwinnett and Walton Counties, the practice offers the highest level of cardiac care with access to the latest technology, close to home. Patients benefit from an experienced, compassionate, connected team approach for all of their heart care needs.

For more information, please call 770-736-6300 or visit SNELLVILLE • LAWRENCEVILLE • LOGANVILLE • MONROE • ATHENS • DULUTH • SUGAR HILL/BUFORD