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We’re honored to serve you It’s an honor to be recognized as the nation’s leading hospital for maternity and newborn care. Look a little closer and you’ll discover that Northside performs more surgeries and diagnoses and treats more breast and gynecologic cancer than any other hospital in Georgia. While people choose Northside for our expertise, they also know us for our exceptional compassionate care. Visit us online at

A Note From Our Editor


Executive Editor Angela Veugeler

Managing Editor Darcy Seyller

Features Editor

Tana Suggs or

Creative Director

May and June is such an exciting time of the year! One of my favorite things is the smell of the honey suckle as I jog on the greenway. With school getting out in mid-May it’s hard to contain the excitement. For me, it brings back wonderful memories of summertime growing up. The longer days, warm evenings, hiking, biking, boating, the pool, the beach, barbecues and more! Our cover this issue is a great place to start if you’re looking for something to do this summer! Treetop Quest, an exhibit at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, is an awesome adventure for families or group outings. Read all about it on page 26. The Adventure Guide gives some other great adventurous ideas that are an easy drive from Suwanee. I am so proud of our Get Fit Suwanee Contestants! It has been fun getting to know each of them and seeing them work so hard. They are doing great! It is a long journey, but they are on the right track. We have a full update on their progress on page 9. Please follow their blogs on to keep up with their progress on a regular basis. We also want to thank all of the area businesses that have been and continue to be supportive of the contestants in their challenge. Be sure to check out the article on Twisted Taco, opening soon on Lawrenceville Suwanee Rd. next to Taco Mac. And, don’t miss Arts in the Park, coming up on May 19! As we move into summer I hope you enjoy the parks, the Greenway, the great events going on and all that we have to do in and around Suwanee.

Cover: Alex Sewell of First Baptist Church Gainesville photographed at Treetop Quest on April 21st, 2012 by Karl Lamb

Angela Veugeler 2

I Suwanee Magazine I MAY / JUNE 12

Executive Editor

Randall Veugeler

Art Director

Erica Abrams

Graphic Design Laura Payne April Futey Shay Taylor Jon Rodgers

Photographers Mary-Kate Laird Karl Lamb Julie Perdue

Web Editor Walt Wooden


Amanda Lindsay 404-438-7421 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Angela Veugeler


Randall Veugeler

Corporate Office 554 W. Main Street Suite 400 Buford, GA 30518 Phone: 678-482-2270 Fax: 678-730-0691 Suwanee Magazine is published bimonthly by Veugeler Design Group. Opinions expressed by the contributing writers and editors are not necessarily those of the publisher, editor or Suwanee Magazine. The publisher will not accept responsibility for submitted materials that are lost or stolen. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication. However, the publisher cannot assume responsibility for errors or ommissions. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. ©2012 Veugeler Design Group. The editors welcome unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Please visit us online at for submission guidelines, or email us at

In this issue: 4 Suwanee Business Alliance 5 Investment Strategies 6 Business Spotlight Suwanee Get Fit 9 2012 Challenge Update Suwanee VS. Chicago

With Bill & Cindi Porter Swim Atlanta

See how your favorite contestant is doing

13 Home 16 Restaurant Spotlight 19 Community Garden Summer DĂŠcor Twisted Taco

Fostering a Sense of Community

21 Farmer's Market 22 Annadale Village 23 Summer Adventures Back in Season


A Culture of Caring

Where to go/What to do this Summer

26 Treetop Quest

Adventure Right in Your Backyard

28 Arts

Plein Air Awards, Art on a Limb, Arts in the Park, SculpTour

32 City Buzz

Suwanee Happenings

38 Schools 40 People & Places 46 Events Calendar

News from the clusters


On the scene in Suwanee Upcoming Must Attend Events


Suwanee Business Community News & Information

business ness

Suwanee! Chicago! By: Ed Szczesniak President, Suwanee Business Alliance


s the late, great Frank Sinatra sang so well “This is my kind of town, Suwanee is!” Sorry Old Blue Eyes…but those of us who live, work and play here would love to go toe to toe with you on the virtues of Suwanee versus Chicago. Here’s the Suwanee Business Alliance take on it…

Avg. Snowfall Avg. January Temp Traffic Violent Crimes Best Pizza Best Grits # of Imprisoned Officials



38.6” 8-31 degrees Really Bad Really, really bad OK I guess Huh? Lots and Lots

Real 1” Flocking 3” About 72 degrees this year Only at free concerts Not so much Awesome Oh Yeah!!! We don’t even have a jail!



And most importantly:

Number of SBA Members

Yes…from butchers to bakers to candlestick makers and beyond. (Actually we do not have any butchers or candlestick makers, but you get the point.) Many of the most successful, wellknown, and friendly business people in and around our town are members of the SBA. And now, the organization is expanding its reach. With the completion (well almost) of McGinnis Ferry Road, the SBA will hold a joint meeting with the John’s Creek Business Association in June at St. Marlo Country Club. As our Suwanee-based businesses grow, we want to reach out and entice those John’s Creek folks to “cross the border” and see what makes our kind of town so darn great and that Old Blue Eyes might have changed the words to his hit a bit if he were still with us! By the way you or your business does not have to be based in Suwanee. The organization includes members from Lawrenceville, Duluth, Sugar Hill, Buford, Auburn, Loganville, Braselton, Norcross, Alpharetta, Marietta, Dunwoody, Hoschton, Atlanta, Oakwood and Winder.


I Suwanee Magazine I MAY / JUNE 12

So if you live or work on either side of the border and would like to learn more about living, working, or playing in “our town,” join us as a guest at an upcoming event. Networking events are held the second Wednesday of every month from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at various locations around Suwanee. There is very little “meeting” and lots of fun, food, refreshments, and friendly networking. Just bring plenty of business cards and a smile. And should you choose to join, SBA is still the best bargain in the business world at $60 a year. That’s it! Nothing more to donate, pay, etc. Are you starting to get the picture of why we’re so successful? For more information and a schedule of our upcoming activities please look us up at The SBA meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at different business locations in town. For more info:

Business with Aileron Investment Advisors

Q: “alternative” I continually read about



What does that mean and should I have some in my portfolio

By: Bill and Cindi Porter Aileron Investment Advisors


The media is usually referring to assets that are not stocks, bonds or mutual funds, such as collectibles (art, coins or stamps), commodities, derivatives and other alternatives such as energy infrastructure programs. These assets are considered to have a low correlation to the stock market. In the past 12 years, the U.S. stock market (i.e. the Dow Jones and S&P 500) has plummeted nearly 50 percent – twice! That is a lot more excitement than many people like. Diversifying into multiple assets classes may reduce volatility. For example, the energy industry offers investors an opportunity to invest in firms that own and operate the infrastructure of our oil and gas delivery system – not the oil or gas itself. Across America, pipelines and storage facilities are leased to oil companies such as Exxon and Mobil. Most leases are long-term contracts and many have built-in lease increases. While the price of gas may fluctuate significantly, the leases on the delivery system do not. In many cases, investing in this type of an alternative has been profitable and provided investors with a more balanced portfolio. This type of investment also typically pays a high level of consistent dividend income, which is especially nice for those living on a fixed income. Investing for a high level of steady income over an extended period of time is now becoming a popular alternative to investing for “growth.” Because these assets may be more illiquid (not readily converted to cash) than stocks, bonds or mutual funds, they normally comprise a smaller portion of a portfolio. As with any investment there are risks that the investor should be aware of before investing. Like a tool box, a portfolio is typically made up of several tools or assets classes. This tool may or may not be appropriate for you, but a Send us your competent financial advisor can help investment you make that decision. questions to answer: info@ The views expressed in this article are not suwanee necessarily that of Suwanee Magazine.



e h t o t n i t Ge I


n September 1977, Chris Davis and Jim Fraser started SwimAtlanta; realizing a dream since their days of swimming together in high school, become a reality. The co-founders recruited primarily from the local summer league teams prior to that first September, hoping to build their own pool from the onset. They were unable to raise the funds to pay for the cost of a pool, so they started their first season with about 50 swimmers and had to rent an outdoor, heated subdivision pool some 20 miles from where they had done the majority of their recruiting. Davis and Fraser were fully committed to making the club successful, regardless of the many challenges they would face, and they didn’t give up.  Davis recalled that first winter as the coldest recorded in Atlanta’s history, subjecting the athletes to some pretty frigid conditions dwindling the number of summers from 50 to about 30.  “The water was actually a warm 82 degrees, but getting in and out of the water was the challenging part, not to mention how cold Jim and I were coaching outside,” Davis said as he described that time period. “It was absolutely miserable, but I think it prepared us physically and mentally for our meets.” The first season the coaches' schedule was grueling, waking up at 3:30 a.m. to transport the swimmers to practice. After the morning workout, they would stop home for breakfast and then both went to their full-time jobs – Davis in real estate management and Fraser at the County Seat warehouse. Later they returned to the pool for afternoon and evening practices which usually finished up around 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. 


I Suwanee Magazine I MAY / JUNE 12

Fraser said every night, as they were driving home from practice, they would stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for their $1.99 special of soup, donut and a drink. “It was about all we could afford at the time,” he said. The two survived that first year and raised enough funds for their first pool, allowing them to create SwimAtlanta’s first permanent location, the “East Pool” in Decatur. Hans Dersch, (1982 Olympic – Relay Gold Medalist) who was 15 at the time, described the pool as a “cinderblock cave with plastic tarps, spray on ceiling insulation that would plop into your lane (as they used to call it ‘pool cheese’) and a weight room that used workout equipment that Chris got a hold of somewhere.” By the end of the first year things began to pick up and membership grew to 60 swimmers. Davis and Fraser knew that in order to improve and to grow they needed to expand and open a second location, so they sold most of their possessions including their homes.   “We put all ourselves, our money and our families’ time into building the club,” Davis said. During only their second year of business a Swim School program was added addressing the growing need of swim instruction for non-swimmers, intermediate swimmers and created a better foundation for future swim team swimmers. When they were not coaching the team, working their full-time jobs or attending to the business side of SwimAtlanta, Davis and Fraser were in the pool teaching lessons. And this side of the business has continued to grow and is a natural complement to the swim team. Through Davis’ unwavering efforts toward the goals he set for the club,



SwimAtlanta continued to grow and excel. In fact, in winter 1985, Davis achieved one of those goals when SwimAtlanta won the Georgia State Championship and broke Dynamo’s six year streak.  Since its start in 1977, in addition to numerous state and national accolades, five SwimAtlanta swimmers have competed in the Olympics, Doug Gjertsen  (Relay Gold Medalist, now a coach at SA-Ga Tech), Hans Dersch (Relay Gold Medalist), Amanda Weir (Relay Silver Medalist), Eric Shanteau and Kathleen Hersey.  

The latest addition to SwimAtlanta has been the five SwimAtlanta Swim Shops. Moving the main offices into the new shops has allowed SwimAtlanta to get close to addressing all a swimmer’s needs – from lessons to apparel. From oldest to newest our current locations are: Roswell (1981), GA Tech (rented since 1993), Cobb (rented since 1996), John's Creek (1997), Sugarloaf (2001), Hamilton Mill (2008) and Cumming (2009).


4050 John's Creek Parkway Suwanee, GA 30024 770-622-1735





BY: Angela Veugeler

t is two months into the “Get Fit Suwanee” competition and contestants are going strong. Having had the pleasure of spending time with all of the contestants, I am very proud of their progress. This is not easy and they are all working very hard. Everyone has their struggles, but the important thing is to keep moving in the right direction, and they are. All of the contestants have met with Dr. Curtis Pierce at Apex Healthcare located next to Gold’s Gym in Suwanee/Sugar Hill for health evaluations. Apex performed physicals on the contestants to be sure the trainers were made aware of any physical limitations and had some of the contestants attend nutritional workshops that they offer for free on Saturdays. Apex and Pierce will be monitoring the contestants' progress and tracking noted changes in overall health as the challenge progresses. Divya Desai, working out with Go Performance and Gold’s Gym, is leading the pack with a total of 33 lbs. lost! Desai along with contestant Michelle McShane meet with Ronnie Collins of GoPerformance on a regular basis. Collins also develops meal plans for them based on the foods they like to eat and took the contestants grocery shopping to show them what to buy and where to find it. In addition, Fresh Market of Suwanee provided all the contestants with $100 gift cards to purchase fresh produce and meats for their meal plans. “The key is to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store,” Collins said. “That is where your fruits, veggies and meats are all located.” The good advice seems to be paying off. Desai and McShane both attend workouts with a GoPerformance trainer twice per week and participate in the GoPerformance group classes as well as the classes Gold’s Gym offers. Desai said her favorites include Gold’s Zumba and Kick classes. Steve Putman of B.L.A.S.T. Fitness Institute is training Get Fit Challenger, Ginny Wurttemberg. With 4 year-old triplets and working nights as a nurse midwife, Wurttemberg’s schedule is challenging, but she still managed to complete a half marathon on April 21. And Wurttemberg said she loves the work outs with Putman, who has a boot camp program and is known for training top athletes. Contestants Erika Beckwith and Bill King are working out with Jake and Levi at Fit Forward Boot Camp where the boot camps focus on core strength and are a great full body workout. Both Beckwith and King said classes are fun and intense…Okay, intense may be an understatement. Be sure to read Erika and Bill’s blogs for a regular update on just how intense they are. We asked each contestant their biggest challenges of the competition and their biggest accomplishments. The following are their answers and where each is at on their journey to "GET FIT"...

A Special Thanks to all our Get Fit Suwanee Partners: go goperformance®



Suwanee Magazine

JUNE 12 I MAYgo/performance




Divya Desai

Biggest Challenge:

“Time…Having two small kids, it's hard to manage their schedule along with mine! I feel if I skip one day on my exercise and GoLean Nutrition plan, then that day just feels less productive.”

CURRENT STATS: Starting Weight:............272 Lbs Current Weight:............ 239 Lbs TOTAL LBS. LOST:...................33 % Lost:.........................12.1%

33 lbs Biggest Accomplishment: “I feel I more energy, I am happier, and I am not scared to LOST! have try something new. The biggest accomplishment is that I can finally look at myself in the mirror and know hard work does pay off.”

Bill King

Biggest Challenge:

23 lbs! LOST


“My biggest challenge Starting Weight:........... 335 Lbs has been food. I am from the South, and here, maybe as Current Weight:............ 312 Lbs it is most places, it is a gesture of hospitality from the host TOTAL LBS. LOST:...................23 and a confirming gesture of trust to eat food that is offered when you are a guest. I almost feel rude if I do not sample % Lost:..........................6.8% something if the host offers it. The challenge is to only have enough to be social and make everyone else comfortable. I am the one on a restricted diet…I cannot make everyone else feel guilty because I cannot eat like I want to. I am constantly tempted with great food.  Birthday parties, business lunches, business dinners, social drinking.  My family is very active and my job requires a lot of external interaction that is often centered around food or drinks.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “Getting up on the days when I have a workout scheduled. Every day that I accomplish

this seemingly minor feat, I feel powerful and in charge of my life. I have two choices….I can make excuses, and they are plentiful, or I can succeed. Once I commit to that effort the rest of the day feels easy. On the days that I have 'slept in,' I felt a sense of loss and failure and my day is tainted. The days I get up, make the conscious decision to go to the gym and get it done, I am reassured that I can do this. I can control my body, my body does NOT control me. Yes I will get hungry and irritable. Yes I am in pain. But I am in charge. I will lose this extra weight, I will get fit!  I will live up to my potential!”

Erika Beckwith

Biggest Challenge: “Not eating enough food.

6 lbs LOST!

I have been good when it comes to eating the 'right' foods but have really been having a difficult time making sure I eat five times a day.  It's those two snacks in between breakfast and lunch that are hard for me, especially when I don't feel hungry.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “Getting on a

CURRENT STATS: Starting Weight:........... 180 Lbs Current Weight:............ 174 Lbs TOTAL LBS. LOST:.....................6 % Lost:..........................3.3%

true workout schedule. I have been able to make it to see Jake and Levi at Fit Forward at least four times a week which is a major accomplishment.”

TRAINER TIPS - Ronnie Collins, Go Performance “One of the biggest obstacles facing individuals wanting to improve their quality of life through fitness and proper nutrition is family! Yes family can be the biggest supporters you will ever have... initially, but as the weeks and months move forward their actions will trend back to old habits, i.e., soda's, fast foods, excuses not to go to the gym, etc.... Heck, resentment even pops into the picture every now and then! There are several ways to tackle this, but the one I've found that has lasting results is to take on the leadership role! Be the force of change... lead by example, if not for yourself, for your kids, parents, spouse and friends! Your results (actions) will speak loudly to everyone!"



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Michelle McShane


Biggest Challenge:

“The battle of Starting Weight:........... 200 Lbs convenience eating,. I've always been one to drive through Current Weight:............ 188 Lbs drive-thru's or to heat something up real quick. I've always TOTAL LBS. LOST:................... 12 got a lot to do and cooking and preparation have never been in the equation. The way I have overcome this is by % Lost:.............................6% cooking my GoLean meals ahead of time. For example, I might cook a whole batch of chicken strips on Sunday, portion them out properly and bag them up and stick them in the freezer. Then I take them out when I'm ready for a meal and bam! Throw the extras with it and I've got lunch in less than five minutes! This has been great because even though it is sstill convenient, I'm not driving through a drive-thru, ordering pizza, or Chinese take-out. It really has been a hard habit to break though. It's the number one habit that I believe has contributed to my 14 year weight battle, but I'm trying and improving every week.”   “Now, the greatest part of this challenge so far has been working with GoPerformance and Gold's Gym, I have received such great guidance and encouragement from the people at GoPerformance. The people are fun and energetic, but at the same time they will keep you accountable and that's what I need! When I've had those 'bad days,' which most everyone has when undergoing a lifestyle change as big as this, Ronnie and my personal trainer Dustin always leave me feeling encouraged instead of feeling like a scorned puppy. The encouragement has kept me motivated to give it that little extra push to pick it up and reach my goals. Also, the people at Gold's have been extremely helpful. Another encouraging thing about this gym is that there are people of all ages and all fitness levels. It's not intimidating at all. In fact, I just sat down with Jauxniece for a little while the other day to discuss my goals, how to achieve them and we discussed plans to get the family active too! As an aside, the one thing that makes me smile every time I walk into the gym is the sign right by the front door which reads, ‘Showing up is half the battle.’ Reading the sign makes me feel that I've already done something great before I've even walked in the door.”

12 lbs LOST!

Biggest Accomplishment:

Ginny Wurttemberg


Biggest Challenge:

“I’ve been so frustrated with the scale knowing I’m eating right. That has been tough. However my clothes and the inches I've lost are very encouraging.”

6 lbs LOST!

Biggest Accomplishment:

Starting Weight:........... 215 Lbs Current Weight:............ 209 Lbs TOTAL LBS. LOST:.....................6 % Lost:..........................2.7%

“The thing I am most proud of is finishing my (Zooma Women’s) half marathon. The second thing is, I have not given up. I have to remind myself that things I want to happen may not come easy, but with perseverance, I will succeed!”


- Steve Putman, B.L.A.S.T. Fitness Institute

“When you want something you have never had you must be willing to do something you’ve never done. Believe in the power of positivity! Believe in perseverance! Believe in passion! Live without regret! Strive!” The contestants are blogging about their triumphs and struggles on a regular basis on Big Peach Running Company in Suwanee Town Center is the official weigh in center. Contestants will be weighing in twice a month with the results posted in the store.

Editor's Note: Get Fit Challenge contestant Lacey Hester withdrew from the competition.


Design Tips From Suwanee Decorating Professionals

home Hot trends this season include bold splashes of yellow, green and orange mixed with minimalistic, sleek furniture design



BY: Robin Burns, owner of The Perfect Piece


he flowers of spring have bloomed and summer is on its way! While many people have completed their “spring cleaning” efforts by now, the rest of us took time to smell the spring flowers, and are perhaps, just getting started. Fortunately, summer is still a great time to start those cleaning efforts in order to make room and get inspired for new décor in your home. Hot trends this season include bold splashes of yellow, green and orange mixed with minimalistic, sleek furniture design that will carry into the future. Fashion design trends follow suit with the continued 2011 color blocking combined with geometric patterns, floral prints and a twist on animal prints. Oftentimes, keeping up with new trends each season is nearly impossible, especially in a shaky economy. However, there is a way to add a few trendy items to update your

décor without breaking the bank AND allowing you to make money at the same time. Welcome to the world of consignment shopping! Once upon a time, consignment stores were thought of as old, musty junk stores, but now that notion is a thing of the past. Today’s consignment shops are beautifully decorated boutiques offering top name brand fashion as well as high-end furniture and accessories for 50-75 percent off retail. And who wouldn’t love those savings? For those who are not familiar with the consignment concept, clients bring in clothing, furniture or home accessories to be sold by a consignment store. The client becomes a consignor, and when a consigned piece is sold, the consignor receives a percentage of the sale and the store receives a percentage. In today’s tough economic times, more and more people are downsizing and eliminating excess, which means many consigned items have barely been worn or used. So

update your décor without breaking the bank




whether you love keeping up with the latest trends, you want a little fashion update or you just want to make some money, it’s a win-win scenario. You can consign furniture, home accessories, clothing, shoes and purses for guilt-free money to put toward those new splurges! If you are interested in consigning, each consignment store has its own set of rules for accepting consignment items as well as different clientele markets, so don’t be offended if a store can’t accept some of your items. You may want to call ahead to see which items are being accepted as well as if an appointment is necessary. To see a partial list of consignment stores in the Atlanta area, go to So even though spring has sprung its final blooms, and you haven’t done your “spring cleaning,” have no fear. You can get excited about the money you will make and your new splurges once you finish that “summer cleaning.”


The Best Culinary Experiences Suwanee Has To Offer

food Twisted Taco

Suwanee gets



BY: Tana Christian Suggs

o get ready as the ultimate Tex Mex restaurant with a twist plans to open its Suwanee location on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road at the end of May. Christian George, General Manager of Twisted Taco said the decision to open the Suwanee restaurant was easy. “We know Suwanee is a great community and it’s growing,” George said. “We wanted to bring the best Tex Mex cuisine to Suwanee.” And with about 18 different types of tacos, George said the restaurant lives up to its name with menu choices ranging from fish tacos to Greek tacos to The Wild Alaskan tacos filled with crab cakes, tomatoes, red onions, shredded lettuce and topped with a spicy remoulade sauce. George said a couple of his personal favorite menu items include the Carne Asada with grilled steak, onions, salsa Verde, cilantro and fresh lime, and the Alamo with a choice of blackened or fried tilapia, jalapeño mayo and southwestern slaw.

But if tacos aren’t what you’re hungry for, the menu also includes a variety of soups and salads, twisted burgers and more. The restaurant also offers a full-service bar with about 16 different margaritas. George said they are looking forward to opening in Suwanee. “It (Twisted Taco) fits in great with Suwanee,” he said. “It’s a family oriented restaurant that offers lots of food for a good price.” When ordering, don’t be afraid to order the item “twisted.” According to George, that means they add an extra scoop of something special…whether it’s a scoop of queso or salsa. So eat, drink and get twisted!

For more information or to check out the full menu, visit the website at

Twisted Taco

3433 Lawrenceville Suwanee Rd

678-541-6675 16

Suwanee Magazine



Suwanee's Harvest Farm:

a Sense of


BY: Tana Christian Suggs esidents of Suwanee have a lot of reasons to get out and see friends and neighbors whether it’s at Suwanee Town Center Park for a festival, a meeting at City Hall or playing in the dirt at Suwanee’s Community Garden. The community garden opened in spring 2010. Now beginning the third season, it’s the place to go to grow plants or a garden as it fosters a sense of community. Suwanee’s Community Garden sits on nearly seven acres of farm property on White Street that was purchased by the city in 2003 with proceeds from the approved open-space bond. The garden includes 75 plots with about 85 families tending to those garden plots. Jessica Roth with the City of Suwanee and Manager of the Community Garden project said there are several who are master gardeners and they’re a great asset. The day-today operations of the garden are overseen by a nine-member managing board that Roth is also a member of. “We’re proud to have been at 100% capacity for our first three seasons, with a small waiting list,” Roth said. “I think this shows that we have an attractive and well-maintained garden

and that we offer activities that appeal to our diverse group of gardeners. The majority of our gardeners return from year to year and we have a large number of them who have been with us since the garden first opened in 2010.” Roth added that community gardens are one of the hottest trends for cities to undertake right now. “In just the past six months, I have consulted with about six different cities within a 20-mile radius who are planning community gardens,” she said. “We’re proud to be a leader in this trend and to share the lessons and experiences that we have had.” While the garden produces food, beautiful plants, foliage and fosters community, Roth said education is one of the biggest benefits. All classes are open to the community, regardless of whether you have a plot. “We’re in the process of developing a website now that will enhance our communications with gardeners and the community and allow us to provide online educational resources,” Roth said.


food The Community Garden held the first-ever seedling sale groups – canned goods for the local food bank, coats/blankets in winter, clothing and toiletries for last spring’s tornado victims in April 21, an event to raise funds for the garden. Roth explained north GA.” that a lot of the garden's long-term plans are dependent on Harvest Farm is so much more than a garden receiving donations, so they’re really more of to the Suwanee community. According to Roth, a wish list that includes an outdoor kitchen, a the community has engaged over 3,000 hours children’s tree house, a greenhouse, etc. in the garden, building it from the ground up, Roth said one of the more immediate participating in monthly volunteer work days, projects is the launch of a demonstration attending classes and social events in the plot that will be tended by volunteers garden and more. and used to teach gardeners different Roth said it has become a popular place for techniques, introduce them to plants they scout troops to tour, work on environmental may not be familiar with, etc. Roth said badges, or even hold Scout ceremonies in they would love to receive donations for the amphitheater that the Public Works the construction of an outdoor kitchen to Department built. teach in-garden cooking classes to inspire In addition, several area schools have gardeners to try new recipes and techniques Fox 5 News features been involved, including North Gwinnett HS, Suwanee’s Community Garden with their harvest on its morning news Peachtree Ridge HS and Legacy Academy, who And Roth said one thing that makes segment. For more pictures, have had plots for projects. them proud is that the community garden go to page 45. “It’s a place where the community can truly helps to support the surrounding community. interact and get to know each other on a “We have one plot that is planted and neighbor-to-neighbor basis, which isn’t something that would maintained by volunteers and all the produce from that plot is traditionally always happen in some of the other parks,” Roth said. donated to the Quinn House in Lawrenceville, along with any “It’s as much about gardening, as it is about engaging with the produce gardeners want to donate from their own plots,” she community.” said. “In 2011, we donated 276 pounds of fresh produce to the For more information, go to Quinn House. We also collect other items to donate to other


Suwanee Magazine



Shop Local! Suwanee Farmers Market Returns


BY: Tana Christian Suggs f you’ve been missing your fresh produce, eggs, local honey and more, get ready because the Suwanee Farmers Market is back at Suwanee Town Center on Saturday mornings and Tuesday afternoons for its ninth year! Local residents and others that drive long distances, come to shop the Suwanee Farmers Market for local, home-grown fare. This year shoppers can expect to find local honey (which is good for allergies), locally raised and processed meats including beef, pork and poultry, eggs, baked goods and produce. In total there will be about 25 vendors on Saturday and about 20 vendors each Tuesday afternoon. New for this year’s farmers market, in late May shoppers will find organic peaches added to the mix, and the Gwinnett Extension Office will be onsite from time to time to talk about canning, preserving and what to do with seasonal products. But you can still find your all-time favorites including It Began with a Seed from Lula, Okie Dokie Farms from Suwanee, Serenity Gardens from Buford, My Daily Bread from Hall County, B&B Enterprises from Flowery Branch, and Mountain Earth Farms. Amy Doherty, Events Coordinator for the City of Suwanee, said the success of the Suwanee Farmers Market comes from the great farmers who produce and grow the items they sell. “They (the farmers) build relationships with the people they sell food to and then those folks come back for more,” she said. “The quality and taste is so much better and when you know the hands that plant and harvest what you eat, it just builds a relationship.” Suwanee Farmers Market hours of operation: Tuesdays May 1 –August 7 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays May 5 - Oct. 6 from 8 a.m. to noon. There will be no market on September 15 (Suwanee Day).


Organizations & Individuals Who Are Giving Back To Suwanee


Annandale Village:


ll parents want their children to lead active, recognized leader among nonprofit organizations, and is the productive, well-balanced happy lives. Will he only nonprofit in the state of Georgia to offer men and women or she have the opportunity for education, with developmental disabilities a continuum of service and care. join a peer group, enjoy and benefit from Characteristically, individuals served at Annandale Village are 18 leisure activities? Will your child continue to years of age or older with a primary diagnosis of an intellectual discover and develop interests disability, down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, other and talents, take pride in accomplishments, gain developmental disability, or have experienced a purpose and direction and lead a more adult, traumatic brain injury. Annandale Village responsible life? All young adults and their Annandale Village offers residential and with its 54-acre families are faced with these decisions non-residential programs and services that campus, has become about life after high school. But when a provide a balance of structure, freedom, an award-winning, young adult has a developmental disability, encouragement, instruction and fulfillment nationally recognized exploring options and making decisions can designed to improve the quality of life of each leader among be more difficult. individual served, according to his or her own nonprofit Annandale Village has options that caring unique needs and abilities. Annandale’s focus organizations parents want for their children, options that are on individual development and personal care not always available or even considered realistic, for includes: residential living services, assisted living, a many adults with developmental disabilities. skilled nursing center, on-campus health services, counseling It all began in 1969 as a dream for Dr. and Mrs. Maxwell services, occupational therapy, vocational training and Berry, a dedicated father and mother, who wanted their job placement, and a vast array of community inclusion developmentally disabled daughter to have an opportunity activities. Most importantly, each person served is given to lead a life that reflected quality, value, self worth, the opportunity to acquire new skills, resulting in a sense of independence, and achievement. accomplishment and pride that many feel for the first time. The Berrys traveled the world to discover the program “Being a nationally recognized leader among nonprofit design of the Canfield Villages in Europe was closest to their organizations requires vision, outstanding professional talent, ideal vision. Annandale Village became a reality when Berry volunteers, and leaders, and we are very fortunate to have purchased 100 acres of land, in what was then, rural Gwinnett all these resources in place,” said Adam Pomeranz, Chief County. Soon thereafter, adults with development disabilities Executive Officer of Annandale Village. “Annandale staff came to call Annandale Village home, one of them being the members embrace a culture of caring that starts the moment Berry’s daughter, Libba. someone walks through our doors, and throughout a resident’s Since its beginning in 1969, Annandale Village with its individual continuum of care. " 54-acre campus, has become an award-winning, nationally For more information, go to


Suwanee Magazine



ummer is almost upon us! There is so much to see and do in the Atlanta area. Our Summer Adventure Guide highlights some hot spots you won’t want to miss. From a tour of the city by helicopter to a Wild Animal Safari to a trail ride in the beautiful North Georgia mountains, these adventures are sure to make memories that last a lifetime. So, load up the whole family and make a day of it, or spend some quality time for a few hours. All of these adventures can be done in one day or less!


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Adventure Trail Rides 706-258-BARN (2276)

We are on Facebook - Adventure Trail Rides, Blue Ridge, GA and on the web Adventure Trail Rides offers horseback riding adventures for first time riders through experienced wranglers. They can accomodate children that are seven years-old or older. Their trails offer beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and countryside. Located in the beautiful Cashes Valley the guides will lead you to mountain views of Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina all in one spot! Ask about the romantic Sunset rides and private rides. They also offer the most unique horseback ride in Georgia: The Fairy Cross ride is a horseback ride and treasure hunt of sorts all combined into one adventure!

Gwinnett Braves Game 678-277-0300

Sky Zone

Fun for the family, corporate outings and more, going to see a Gwinnett Braves game makes for a great summer adventure! Better yet, get season tickets! Check out the website for promotional nights.

678-745-9900 560 Old Peachtree Rd. NW •Suwanee, GA 30024 Fun for all ages, Sky Zone indoor trampoline park is a great spot to get a workout while having fun! Enjoy open jump, 3-D Dodgeball or SkyRobics.

Movie Tavern


2855 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road Suwanee, GA 30024

Enjoy dinner, drinks and a movie at Movie Tavern, recently open in Suwanee! The venue includes nine screens and a full bar.

North Atlanta Executive Air 404-580-6798

Want to create a memory that lasts a lifetime? A private helicopter tour is the perfect answer. North Atlanta Executive Air has a wide variety of helicopter services from custom helicopter tours to commercial services for the discriminating customer. They strive to meet all of your air transportation needs. If you dream it, thay can fly it - from a breathtaking tour of beautiful Lake Lanier, flights to Chateau Elan for wine tasting or a jaw-dropping tour of Atlanta. All flights are in a luxurious 4 passenger, turbine engine Bell Long Ranger. Give them a fly!


Suwanee Magazine


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Southeastern Railroad Museum 770-476-2013

Summer Camp 2012 Railroads ‘Round the World' Discover the excitement of railroading at the 2012 Southeastern Railway Museum Summer Camp! Your child will learn about different railroads from all around the world while exploring more than 50 historic trains. Each day campers learn about rail lines running through different countries, make a railroad craft, and do related railroad activities. They will even ride in a real caboose! $165 per child- includes a snack each day. An early bird discount of $20 per child applies to registrations received before May 18, 2012. Daily activities include: Crafts • Activities • Learning time Music • Story time • Snack During the week, your child will explore trains from the past and present, from every part of the world:

Monday: Japan MagLev & Bullet Trains

Tuesday :United States Transcontinental Railroad

Wednesday: Europe & Asia Orient Express & Trans-Siberian Railway

Southern Cross Guest Ranch 706-342-8027

1670 Bethany Church Road Madison, GA 30650 (Just an hour’s drive from Atlanta) The Southern Cross Guest Ranch is a premier guest ranch and horse farm nestled in historic Madison, Georgia that is home to more than 200 horses. The ranch is known for its exceptional hands-on horseback riding program (day riders welcome!), unguided riding opportunities, and a peaceful, comfortable setting. Enjoy the delightful accommodations, exceptional cuisine, and southern hospitality. The All-Inclusive Plan includes horseback riding (twice daily), all meals, lodging, unlimited nonalcoholic beverages, unlimited snacks and desserts, use of mountain bikes, pool, hot tub, and game room privileges. Read through their excellent reviews at

Thursday : Africa

Blue Train and Pride of Africa

Friday : Modern Europe Eurostar & TGV

Wild Animal Safari 706-663-8744

1300 Oak Grove Road • Pine Mountain, GA 31822 Wild Animal Safari is the perfect family destination, where you get to see exotic, wild animals from your vehicle or on our guided bus tour, led by an experienced tour guide. There is also have a walk through section where you can take a stroll and hand feed a variety of friendly animals. Wild Animal Safari is home to 65 different animal species - that adds up to more than 650 animals for you to experience up close and personal! Check out their website for information on prices and group tours! It’s a great time to have a safari!


Treetop Quest offers adventure right in your backyard! Treetop Quest 770-670-9908

2020 Clean Water Drive Buford, GA 30519 No tiptoeing in these treetops! Soar, zip, climb, crawl, and swing through the most unique and exhilarating ecoadventure course of its kind in Georgia. Treetop Quest is an exhibit at the Gwinnett Environmental Heritage Center, located just a stone's throw from Suwanee in nearby Buford. At Treetop Quest guests as young as four and older can navigate the courses that include about 15 obstacles including monkey bridges, Tarzan jumps, swings, zip lines and more while integrating educational and environmental facts along the way. Treetop Quest opened in the Gwinnett Environmental Heritage Center Sept. 2011 adding a physical activity aspect to the overall experience at the center, and since then, many have taken the two and a half hour self-guided expedition that allows kids and adults to go at their own pace. Cloe Amara, Park Manager for Treetop Quest, said they have received positive responses from the exhibit. “No one has left unhappy,” she said. And she added that people are amazed they have a place where they can zip line in their own backyard. With a central pavilion, Treetop Quest can also accommodate special groups such as birthday parties for all ages, corporate employees for teambuilding exercises, and more. Photos courtesy Karl Lamb


Suwanee Magazine


Nick Masino, Suwanee resident and former Mayor of Suwanee took his family during Spring Break in April and said this about the adventure, “We had an amazing day at Treetop Quest in Gwinnett County. Local friends, you have to check it out - such a wonderful experience for us all!” For directions, hours of operation, prices and more, visit their website Carey Sartain, age 16.

d r a y � k c a b � � � in� � �your PLANNING� � � FOR� � A� BIRTHDAY� TREETOP� OBSTACLE� � COURSE

The best birthday celebration is with Treetop Quest

Just 2 minutes from the Mall of Georgia

Stay Active. Have Fun. AllYear. with After School My Sport After School is the ideal environment for

active kids. Each day starts with time for homework and a snack and is followed by a variety of sports and PE games. The program has access to its own After School activity room, playground and 100,000 square foot gym!

Summer CampS

My Sport Summer Camp at Suwanee Sports Academy gives kids an opportunity to experience a variety of sports and activities in a fun and safe environment with nearly 100,000 square feet of indoor recreational space.

Find out more: or call (770) 614-6686

The Latest From The Suwanee Art World


Plein Air Event Draws Awards


1st Place:

Vickie Johnson “Sims Lake Condo” he North Gwinnett Arts Association, Inc. held the 3rd Biannual Plein Air Event March 31 and April 1 under clear blue skies and spring temperatures where 18 artists participated in the juried event. Participants scattered throughout the sites and woodsy trails of Suwanee to artistically interpret the surroundings of Suwanee. Artists drew inspiration from George Pierce Park, Sims Lake, Town Center, Historic Main Street and even a chicken farm, as they painted, penciled or photographed their subjects Saturday and Sunday “En Plein Air” (out in the open air). The event culminated in an awards reception held at Ippolito’s. The awards were as follows:

2nd Place:

Richard Gayle “George Pierce Swamp”

3rd Place:

David Phillip “Spring Tree Fest”

Artist's Choice

Jill Schultz-McGannon “Porch & Steeples”

People's Choice Nancy Nowak “Harvest Farm”

All artwork will be on display and for sale in the atrium of Suwanee City Hall for the next two months.

Art on a Limb Blossoms in May


t’s a bud? It’s a mug? It’s Art on a Limb! And it has become tradition in Suwanee, art will be blossoming along the Suwanee Creek Greenway and other trails around the city during the month of May. Through its Art on a Limb program, the City of Suwanee “hides” two pieces of original art daily along trails throughout the city; those who find the artwork get to keep it. This annual “finders keepers” program is designed to promote an appreciation for art and nature. This year’s Art on a Limb pieces are stoneware mugs created by Daculabased artist Sandra Nissen. They include impressions of leaves picked up on Nissen’s walks along the Suwanee Creek Greenway. Nissen's work will also be featured at this year’s Arts in the Park festival on May 19. Please notify the city if you’re fortunate enough to find a piece of Art on a Limb.


Suwanee Magazine






eruse through the artists' tents, watch their demonstrations and be entertained by performing artists at the annual Arts in the Park festival set for May 19 at Town Center Park. Last year about 54 vendors took part in the festival and an estimated 2000 people attended. This year more vendors and an even bigger crowd are expected at the event. While there will be artists from all around the state of Georgia, the focus will be on the local artists. Vickie Johnson, a co-founder of the North Gwinnett Arts Association and President of the group said there are five categories of vendors this year – painters, potters, jewelers, photographers and elements that consist of wood, glass and metals. As far as performing arts, Zephyr Instrumental, The Peach State Opera and The Imperial OPA Circus will take part in the festival. Alan Zarter, co-founder of the organization, said this year’s festival is all about the artist and making them successful. “It’s all going to take place around the artists' tents,” he said. “It’s really about the arts and the artists.” For those attending who are feeling artistic, sidewalk chalk will be available for both the serious artists, and for the novice artists and kids. The art festival is held by the North Gwinnett Arts Association in conjunction with the City of Suwanee, and during the event will be the announcement and unveiling of the Suwanee’s 2012 SculpTour. The North Gwinnett Arts Association recently celebrated its two year anniversary and has more than 50 members. Johnson and Zarter agree that the organization has grown faster than either had expected. “To me it says a lot about the fact that this area is so full of people who are creative people and they just need a networking opportunity,” Johnson said. The organization took Honorable Mention for the Community Arts Program at the recent Artworks! Gwinnett Awards. Johnson was also recognized for Dec. 1, 2010 to Dec. 1, 2011 as the visual artist winner, Community Impact Awards. Judges for this year’s Arts in the Park Festival include Pat Fiorella and Claire Fratello. Fiorella is an oil and watercolor painter whose work has been featured in over 70-juried shows, over a dozen "one woman" exhibits, including being the featured artist at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and Callaway Gardens, and is in numerous private collections across the country. Pat has served as President of the Georgia Watercolor Society and Chairman of the Atlanta Artists Center. Claire Fratello is a native of New York. She grew up in Northport, Long Island amidst a family of artists who nurtured her interest in the figurative arts. Her work continues to be commissioned and collected in the U. S. and abroad, as well as sold at auctions and fund raising raffles for charitable causes. The festival on May 19 is at Town Center Park from noon to 6 p.m.




SculpTour Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit Artists & Pieces Announced


hat stands 4-foot to 10-foot tall, weighs more than 4,600 pounds cumulatively, and is made mostly of steel, but also aluminum, wood, and bronze? It's the 15 public art pieces that comprise the 2012 Suwanee SculpTour. Presented this year by QuikTrip, SculpTour is Suwanee's walkable outdoor exhibit of original sculptures. Displayed nearly year-round in and around downtown Suwanee, SculpTour is designed to be a public art encounter that serves as a quality of life enhancer, economic development tool, and community identifier. Administered by Suwanee's Public Arts Commission, the inaugural Suwanee SculpTour exhibit was installed last year. The 2012 exhibit, which features 15 sculptures created by 11 artists, representing Georgia and five other states, will be installed in time for the May 19 Arts in the Park festival.


2012 SculpTour pieces include: ♦ Pilgrim

BY: Charlie Brouwer of Willis, VA

♦ Audubon Watcher

BY: Jim Collins of Signal Mountain, TN

♦ Intersection

Audubon Watcher

Audio tour/ podcast of SculpTour will be available via iTunes in July.

BY: Robert Coon of Vero Beach, FL

♦ U Circle 58

BY: Al Garnto of Blairsville, GA

♦ Weathervane

BY: Al Garnto of Blairsville, GA

♦ Winged Glory

BY: Jack Howard-Potts of NYC

♦ Wallwalker

BY: Jack Howard-Potts of NYC

♦ Oracle

BY: Aaron P. Hussey of Baton Rouge, LA


Suwanee Magazine




Winged Glory ♦ Header

BY: Gregory Johnson of Cumming, GA

(the only repeat artist from 2011)

♦ Gyres

BY: Cynthia Knapp of Atlanta, GA

♦ Swept

BY: Marc Moulton of Statesboro, GA

♦ Smoke

BY: Marc Moulton of Statesboro, GA

♦ Wrapped Around You

BY: Davis A. Whitfield IV of Mountain City, TN

♦ Sun Drop

BY: Davis A. Whitfield IV of Mountain City, TN

♦ Reaching

BY: Justin Wilson of Riverdale, GA

2011 People’s Choice Winner Revealed

Mother & Child by New Jersey artist Elusia Altman

The Suwanee Public Arts Commission announced the "People's Choice" Award: Mother & Child by New Jersey artist Elusia Altman. Among the 15 pieces included in the 2011 SculpTour, Mother & Child received the most online and paper ballot votes and has been purchased for $15,000 by the Public Arts Commission as a permanent piece in Suwanee's public art collection. The minimally detailed sculpture is being recast in bronze and will be displayed in front of City Hall. No public funds are used for the lease or purchase of SculpTour pieces.


2012 Suwanee Beer Fest draws Thousands to Town Center Park Local Boy Scout Troop visits Suwanee Magazine

Troop 538 came out to the Suwanee Magazine office on March 22 to learn about how the magazine is created and published. Their visit was part of earning a Merit badge.


Suwanee Magazine

The weather was beautiful for the second annual 2012 Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest on March 31st. Beer tents lined the sidewalk around Town Center park and tap trailers serving beer lined the street in front of City Hall. The event featured over 300 beers available to taste from 100 breweries, Kroger chefs cooking with beer and sharing recipes, a home brew contest and more. Mellow Mushroom, The Beer Growler and other vendors added to the fun with a variety of games, awesome food and prizes. The VIP area was a huge hit with food catered by Cinco and a large selection of casks (some made just for the Suwanee Beer Fest). Live music by 3 bands played throughout the day. The Beer Fest plans to have more restrooms at multiple locations in 2013. A portion of the festival proceeds, the Home Brew contest entry fees and Silent Auction proceeds went to benefit Kingdom Kids and Suwanee Sculpt Tour. For more on Kingdom Kids, visit For more pictures from 2012 Suwanee Beer Fest, go to page 42.


Kingdom Kids founders Justin Hutchinson, and Kevin Ford accept a check from the proceeds of Suwanee Beer Fest from Suwanee Magazine's Angela and Randall Veugeler.

city buzz

Mickey steps off the ice to visit the Suwanee Library On March 29, the Suwanee Branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library was filled with children, anticipating the appearance of Mickey Mouse and a guest, fresh off the ice from Disney on Ice show at Gwinnett Arena. During his visit, the perhaps most popular mouse in the Magic Kingdom, took part in a meet and greet with his young Suwanee fans. The event also included a book reading. For more information about events at your local library branch, visit

Planet Smoothie celebrates two years in Suwanee Town Center Planet Smoothie in Suwanee has served up smoothies and healthy fruity drinks to area residents in Suwanee Town Center for two years now and is celebrating its anniversary in May. Planet Smoothie owners, Kristin Scott and Karen Strickling, have made it a point to be involved and support the local community by holding events such as school spirit nights and helping area residents celebrate birthdays at the smoothie shop. Scott and Strickling said they both love being a part of the community in Suwanee. “Suwanee is such an amazing place to work and live,” they said. “We love all the wonderful people who make our job fun and a success. Thank you, Suwanee, for two fantastic years of business. We look forward to many more!" Planet Smoothie is committed to “changing the way the planet eats” and “dedicated to make healthy living fun and enjoyable” with menu offerings that include smoothies that promote weight loss, protein, wellness, energy, cool blended fruit smoothies and even smoothies specifically for children ages 10 and younger. For more information, visit Planet Smoothie online at or find Planet Smoothie Suwanee on Facebook.


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city buzz

Atlanta's Greatest Hits Birthday Bash Rocks Suwanee Town Center

Atlanta's Greatest Hits radio station 106.7 celebrated its birthday in Town Center Park April 14. Festivities began at noon and included a free listener appreciation concert performance by the self-proclaimed, "#1 Yacht Rock Band in the Universe." Yacht Rock Revue, named "Best Cover Band" in Creative Loafing's 2010 Best of Atlanta competition, paid tribute to the smooth hits of the 1970s and '80s playing the music of Boz Scaggs, Jackson Browne, Kenny Loggins, the Bee Gees, Rupert Holmes, the Doobie Brothers and Hall and Oates, among many others. Special opening guest performer was Yacht Rock Schooner, a "fast, light, backwards version of...Yacht Rock Revue." The event started at noon, with Atlanta's Greatest Hits music, festival food, vendor booths, giveaways, and an area especially for children with inflatable bouncy houses, games, prizes, and more. Admission was free.

Suwanee Plans 2013 Budget

As the City of Department % of Budget  FY 2012 Suwanee begins to consider its fiscal year 2013 budget, the city invited residents to send comments and suggestions to budget@ by April 23. The budget for fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1, is expected to be adopted at the June 26 City Council meeting. Suwanee’s fiscal year 2012 budget is approximately $11.8 million with a millage rate of 5.65. FY2012 general operating budget funds were allocated as follows (see attached pie chart): Police – 35%, Parks and Public Works – 15%, Bond Payments – 14%, Council and Chief Executive and Financial Services – 6% each, Administrative Services, Economic Development, Planning, and NonDepartmental (e.g., legal, technology, and buildings) – 5% each, Capital Contributions – 4%. More information about Suwanee’s 2012 budget can be found at Click on the Docs and Downloads link at the top of the page and then click on the Financial Documents link. From this page, residents can access the Fiscal Year 2012 Citizens Operating Budget, a 24-page document that offers an overview of revenues and expenditures, as well as the 400+ page Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Document, which provides much more detailed information. Council & Chief Executive 6%

Capital Contributions 4%

Administrative Services 5%

(Ex. Human Resources & Court)

Bond Payments 14%

Economic Development 5% (Ex. Events &  Downtown Development)

Non‐Departmental 5%

Financial Services 6%

(Ex. Legal, IT & Buildings)

Planning 5%

(Ex. Building, Inspections & Code  Enforcement)

Parks & Public Works 15%

Snap Suwanee Photo Winners Announced

Thirteen winning photographs in the 2012 Snap Suwanee photo competition are on display at Suwanee City Hall through the remainder of the year beginning March 1. The winning photos represent a variety of Suwanee locales, including a variety of parks and the historic district. In all, the city received 129 entries from 43 photographers in the annual photo competition. The photos will be on exhibit along the lower-level back foyer at City Hall, located at 330 Town Center Avenue. A gallery of winning photos is available at

Police 35%

Fan Dance by Dave Gillett 35

city buzz

20/20 Vision Strategic Plan Draft Unveiled

The City of Suwanee unveiled its vision for tomorrow at an event that’s a throwback to tradition at an oldfashioned Southern potluck picnic, April 29, where the draft of its communitydriven 20/20 Vision strategic plan was released. The communitywide picnic/ celebration was held at the Suwanee Music Barn, located on Blue Grass Trail, off Stonecypher Road in historic Old Town. The City of Suwanee and community members have collaborated the past 10 months to craft a vision for the kind of community Suwanee should be in the next decade. Some 435 people participated in 10 different activities at the strategic plan open house last July; six community focus groups were formed; and through the fall and winter 100 conversations were held by 25 roundtable groups. During the picnic, a mini open house captured feedback. Entertainment was provided by one of the Suwanee Music Barn’s house bluegrass bands.

Annandale Village Breaks Ground on New Amy Somers Center for Continued Care Annandale Village broke ground on a new chapter in its rich history of providing programs and services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The ceremony that took place March For more pictures from 2 commemorated the addition of ground breaking a new 10,000 square-foot facility ceremony, go to designed to meet the needs of page 40. Adam Pomeranz, Chief Executive Officer individuals experiencing a decrease Annadale Village in independent living skills due to aging and/or characteristics of their developmental disability. When complete, The Amy Somers Center for Continued Care will expand Annandale's capacity to serve the growing disability population, effectively doubling the number of individuals served at the nationally recognized Laura Grier Center for Special Care and the D. Scott Hudgens Center for Skilled Nursing. Annandale Village is the only nonprofit organization in the state of Georgia to provide a continuum of service and care for people with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries. This significant milestone has a regional and statewide impact for families affected by developmental disabilities.

Local Man runs 100 miles to raise funds in memory of his brother

Johan Desmet ran 100 miles in the Athens to Atlanta Publix 100 Charity Run in memory of his brother Dan Desmet who died from leukemia last December and in support of Dan’s wife Linda, currently battling multiple myeloma. Runners raised more than $7,500 for the American Cancer Society. The runners started in Athens on March 17, running 74 miles to Atlanta and continued to run in the Publix marathon on the morning of March 18. Several runners joined them for portions of the run. (From left to right): Johan Desmet from Suwanee, Sean Blanton from Atlanta, Errol Josephs from Lawrenceville, Eric Loffland from Athens.


Suwanee Magazine


Happenings In The Suwanee School Clusters


North Gwinnett Packs Meals to Feed Starving Children More than 145 North Gwinnett Football players, coaches, trainers and cheerleaders donned hairnets to pack thousands of meals to feed starving children around the world. The event which took place March 23 at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, was held in conjunction with "Feed My Starving Children" and Sugarloaf United Methodist Church.

Lanier High School Event Raises $9,000 for Kidney Transplant The fundraiser for the Lanier Middle School teacher Paul Murphy who has a genetic kidney disease was a success. According to organizers, the event raised about $9,000 where three local bands and the former Lanier Middle School Guitar Club rocked the Lanier High School Theater making music for a cause. All proceeds go to benefit a matching grant fund for Paul Murphy at the Georgia Transplant Foundation.

Paul with King Daddy Polecats Paul with 40 Weight ›


Suwanee Magazine



Parsons Elementary Student, a National Finalist for Song Emma Sophia Oleksinski, 6, is a national finalist for the Reflections art contest for her submission, an original song entitled, "We're All Different." The song won at the local school level (Parsons ES), county level and state level and Emma accepted her award at the end of March in a program at the Woodruff Arts Center. According to her mother, Emma is one of Suwanee's biggest "little" fans “We visit the Town Center often for dining, shows, entertainment, and shopping,” Wendy Olekinsinski said. “We are very proud of her!”

Peachtree Ridge High’s Dr. Scruggs Receives GA Music Educator Honor A Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) teacher, who has shared her love for music with students for close to three decades, was recently honored by a group of Georgia music educators. Dr. Bernadette Scruggs, a Peachtree Ridge High Orchestra teacher, was named the 2012 Georgia American String Teacher Association Educator of the Year.

Jack of Hearts

To make a donation to Paul, visit .gatransplant. org/client/ pcmurphy 39

people&places Suwanee Business Alliance MARCH 14th, 2012


Karen Krotz, Councilman Dan Foster and Ted Krotz

Moondance Owner Chris Alestra & SBA President Ed Szczesniak

Annandale Amy Somers Center for Continued Care Ground Breaking MARCH 2nd, 2012


Mayor Jimmy Burnette and Councilmember Jace Brooks


Suwanee Magazine


people&&places places people Shamrock 5K

Benefiting Suwanee Kiwanis MARCH 17th, 2012



Suwanee Get Fit contestant Ginny Wurttemberg and crew at Big Peach Tuesday Night Run

Suwanee Get Fit contestant Divya Desai and Suwanee Magazine's April Futey complete their first 5K!

Run For The Rescues

Benefiting Georgia SPCA MARCH 24th, 2012



people & places

MARCH 31st, 2012 I TOWN CENTER PARK Photos courtesy of Walt Wooden Photography,, Gwinnett Daily Post and Terry Ott.

For more pictures and exclusive vide an o of the 2012 Suw anee Beer Fest, go to suwanee

Gwinnett Braves Girls & Chopper

Bob Carlton of Brew Depot and Rick Coscia Kevin Ford and Lauren Hutchinson from Kingdom Kids

Doug Diamond from Asphalt Eyes


Suwanee Magazine


Kristen Thaxton from Samuel Adams

people & places Dr. Rufus

Chicago's own Ful Kinetic

MK Laird, Randall Veugeler, Rick Coscia, Ryan Hutchens, April Futey and Angela Veugeler

The Georgia Force Girls

Home Brew Contest Best of Show Winner Josh Rachel, Bob Carlton and Mayor Jimmy Burnette

Home Brew Contest judging at Suwanee Beer Fest

Curtis and Brent Stockwell from The Beer Growler


people & places Community Garden on Good Day Atlanta Broadcast

North Gwinnett Golf Classic

Presented by Reeves Contracting Company, benefiting NGHS Football and Georgia Canines for Independence

APRIL 16th, 2012




Fox 5's Paul Milliken

Sara Kleinfield and Paul

Winning Foursome: Team McElroy Specialty Interiors: Marty Shonkwiler, Jay Scott, Eddie Higginbotham, Greg Voyles

North Gwinnett Studio Program Students

Paint the Town Purple Benefiting Relay for Life APRIL 26th, 2012


Longest Drive: Will Morstad, Closest to the Pin: Greg Voyles

North Gwinnett Seniors Evan Gholson, Scotty Hosch, Chad Scott, DJ Forrester, Tyler Nemec, and Chris Bolden

Sandra, Aubrey and Holly from Mellow Mushroom

Heidi and Blake Freudland at Town Center Park

The Amazing Mongooses

The team from the Medicus Firm at Gwinnett Braves' Opening Night


Upcoming Suwanee Area Events


May 2012 1

Farmers Market Tuesdays @ 4pm - 7pm (Through August 7th)

Saturdays @ 8am - Noon (Through October 6th)

Art on a Limb Daily thr o u g h S t

he mon uwanee C Sims Lak reek Greenway a th of May e Park an nd trails a d White Street P t ark


Town Center Park


Masterworks Concert Tuesday, May 15th @ 7:30pm Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra & Chorus Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center

Game on the Green

For more info and tickets, visit

Saturday, May 5th @ 6pm Town Center Park


Arts in the Park

Come watch this live broadcast of the Atlanta Braves @ Colorado Rockies game on the big screen!


Suwanee Night of Jazz

Saturday, May 19th @ 11am Town Center Park

Friday, May 11th Town Center Park

Join area school bands for a night of jazz on stage at Town Center Park.


Star 94's Woofstock Saturday, May 12th @ Noon Town Center Park

For more information, visit

24 Toast at Town Center Thursday, May 24th @ 6pm Town Center Park

Daily 25 Gwinnett Post Memorial Day Concert

For more info, visit

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Suwanee Magazine

Mother's Day

Friday, May 25th @ 7pm Town Center Park


Memorial Day


June 2012 9

B at the Movies Sunday, June 9th @ 7pm Town Center Park


Gwinnett Fire Employees' Benevolent Fund 5-Alarm 5K Saturday, June 16th @ 8am Town Center Park For more info, visit or


Father's Day

20 1st Day of Summer 23 Shemoves Suwanee 5K Saturday, June 23rd @ 7:30am Town Center Park

at Town 28 Toast Center Thursday, May 28th @ 6pm Town Center Park American 30 Great Campout Saturday, June 30th @ 7pm Sims Lake Park

Reservations required.


G N I T A T O R 0 4 taps R E E B T F A R C OF & CIDER

4140 Moore Road Suwanee, GA 30024


1/2 & 1/4 gallon fresh beer s of the brewerfrom your homye to

The Beer Growler Suwanee

buzz is about

see what

all the

Experience... A wonderfully romantic date night

Celebrate... life’s special occasions

Enjoy... A much needed night out with friends

Connect... & Network with other professionals

Kick Back... In our bar with $5 drinks and $5 appetizers starting at 5pm

Moondance Restaurant & Lounge features:

• Upscale dining • A full-service bar • Dancing and Dance classes • Live entertainment showcasing local and national talent Visit our Entertainment & Promotions calendar at for the schedule of your favorite blues, jazz and dance bands, as well as the hottest local and national artists. Find out when to dress up for our next 70s and 80s party or attend one of our popular Mix & Mingle social events.

Enjoy a 3-course meal for only $19.99 per person*

Kids 12 & Under

*Offers not combinable and not available when other promotions are being showcased. Valid Tuesday – Thursday nights only through June 30, 2012.

Remember Again


300 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Suite 300 in Suwanee, GA • 770.831.9700 Open Tuesday – Saturday evenings starting at 5pm • Sunday Live Jazz Brunch 11am – 3pm.

Find it in Suwanee! Gobs of free concerts, festivals, and other events! Plus, kickin’ parks, public art, and eats.

Suwanee Magazine May-June 2012  

A Magazine for Suwanee Georgia and surrounding areas.

Suwanee Magazine May-June 2012  

A Magazine for Suwanee Georgia and surrounding areas.