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contents nov / dec 2015


Holiday Gift Guide

Local businesses offer specials, discounts and services to make your holiday shopping easier


Holiday Traditions

Cali Maxwell (4) doing her best “elf on the shelf� impression during our cover shoot


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Readers share their families' holiday traditions, memories and photos


Rico’s World Kitchen


PHOTOS BY: Karl Lamb

Buford bistro serves international comfort food with a twist


French Touch Boutique

Unleashed Creations Pet Spa


Groups That Are Giving Back 5

contents nov / dec 2015

thrive 36 Jennifer L. McCoy, DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry

38 Ask Henry

Q&A with Henry the Golden Retriever at Sugar Hill Animal Hospital

39 Taking Back

70 empower 14 SBA News

A legacy of giving

15 Investment Strategies

Aileron Investment Advisors talk long-term investment trends

22 Marketing Tips

Veugeler Design Group shares marketing tips for 2016

the Holidays

Tips for bonding as a family from GROW Counseling

savor 49 Restaurant Guide

Best area dining options


52 The Grapevine: Thanksgiving Wine Picks Karl from Beverage

SuperStore shares his family�s favorite holiday wines

54 What’s Brewing: Winter Beers Cold weather beers to

warm you up

learn 60 Poetry Palooza Bringing a poem to life at

North Gwinnett High School

citybuzz 64 The Buzz 70 People & Places 78 Calendar


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Are there long-term trends that may affect international investing?


a note from our managing editor

Rachel Pillow

Managing Editor

he holiday issue is always one of my favorites because it reminds me that the BEST holiday is almost here: "Thanksistmas!" I married into a big, extended family where Thanksgiving is the one time of year that everyone gets together. We call it “Thanksistmas” as we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in one, crazy, fun, jam-packed, awesome weekend filled with games, scavenger hunts, great food, a gift exchange and adventures around town! We literally start planning and anticipating the festivities in June!

On our cover:

Shannon and Alyson Maxwell, with daughters Dorian (8) and Cali (4) photographed on October 15th at Suwanee Magazine HQ by KARL LAMB.

Visit for some great web only articles and frequent updates.


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Everyone has unique holiday traditions and it was fun to see the submissions we received this year. Here at the office we have several holiday traditions - one is sponsoring a local family in need through the “Fish Christmas Wish” program. Another tradition is our annual “Dirty Santa” gift exchange where we spend time around the Christmas tree opening, “stealing” and unwrapping presents from one another. This year we will be missing our Advertising Director, Laura Carter, who is moving to Italy! Her husband is in the Army and is being transferred. We are going to miss her enthusiasm, spunk and work ethic. Laura has been a valued staff member for three years. We will miss Laura greatly and are looking forward to hearing about her adventures- and hoping we get to visit! This is also a time of year when we tend to do a lot of self-reflection. I feel incredibly grateful for the life I have been blessed with and the holiday season is a reminder to give thanks and bless others around me. I am thankful for living in a like-minded community that truly

A behind the scences look inside our cover shoot: The Maxwell family had fun getting in the holiday spirit for this issue. The girls were adding "cell phones and puppies" to their Christmas list... much to their parents' surprise.

cares about one another. There are so many wonderful nonprofits in our area and the “Giving Thanks for Groups that Give Back” section in this issue is a small sampling of that, featuring three amazing, local organizations: Annandale Village, Cooper’s Crew and Rainbow Village. Each of those organizations have affected us at Suwanee Magazine in different ways. For me, specifically, Cooper’s Crew has impacted me greatly. Two years ago I sat down with the O’Brien family to write the story “Cooper’s Fight.” Little did I know at the time, just how much Cooper O’Brien would teach me, shape my perspective, and touch so many others in the process. Today, Cooper’s Crew is carrying that torch in honor and memory of him, and I really believe this is just the beginning of a powerful movement I’m proud to be part of. I hope that as you flip through these pages, you too will feel a sense of gratitude for our amazing community. Readers, THANK YOU for your continued support of Suwanee Magazine. We hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year!


comments about the sept / oct ‘15 issue


Thanks for doing the recent story about Tammy and Amy – we are so proud of them and just can’t express PIGSKIN PREVIEW enough how much it meant to us that you thought of them. We love having you as part of the Suwanee team!! SUWANEE’S PINK WARRIORS Community. Culture. Lifestyle.










SEPT / 0CT 2015



Assistant City Manager, Economic & Community Development

Amy and Tammy are such fine examples of true warriors! Cancer is a dreaded disease, but with early detection it is beatable. Listen and be aware of your body and have yearly medical check-ups. Way to go ladies – so proud of you, your determination to fight, and having the courage to tell your stories. You might save some lives by being proactive. NANCY KNIGHT I look forward to picking up the latest edition of Suwanee Magazine out in the community. I enjoy the community news and photos, especially this months edition with “back to school” when I found a photo of my grandson! The local restaurant listings are great when looking for a new place to eat. Can’t wait for the next edition. RITA PINCUMBE Congratulations to Patti who won a premium Fresh Market gift basket from our Suwanee Fest email contest! Send your feedback about this issue to to be entered into a drawing for tickets to an Atlanta Gladiators hockey game. And follow us on Facebook for other fun contests and news! HOW TO REACH US: Email: Fax: 678-730-0691. Or join the conversation on facebook and twitter. Letters and e-mails should include full contact information. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and brevity. All submissions become the property of Veugeler Design Group and will not be returned. Submission constitutes permission to use photos and stories in all media.


ANGELA VEUGELER President / Editor-in-Chief RANDALL VEUGELER Vice President and Publisher RACHEL PILLOW Managing Editor / LAURA CARTER Advertising Director /



PUBLISHED BY VEUGELER DESIGN GROUP 554 W. Main Street, Suite 200, Buford, GA 30518 For SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRES or BACK ISSUE ORDERS, call 678-482-2270. For ADVERTISING INQUIRES, call 678-482-2270, or email Suwanee Magazine is published bi-monthly 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. ©2015 Veugeler Design Group. The editors welcome unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Please email submissions to Rachel Pillow at


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suwanee business community news & info.






J adore Paris! Suwanee’s French Touch Boutique offers a parisian shopping experience you’ll love ( BY: RACHEL PILLOW ) PAGE 16


Suwanee Business Alliance News

A Legacy of Giving

SBA celebrates “Christmas Spirit” year-round by donating to a host of local causes

ne thing I’m very grateful for is that I’ve

gotten to know, and get deeply involved in our community – and more specifically – the SBA. If you haven’t experienced an SBA gathering you’ve missed the spirit of giving and sharing that lasts a whole 12 months a year – not just at Christmas time! We share warm friendships, use each other’s goods and services for our own needs, share new information about each other’s businesses with our friends and neighbors here in town and around Atlanta. But it doesn’t stop there. We share our mutual good fortune with those around us – all year round. Our membership dues ($60 per year) and the proceeds from our annual Golf Tournament go to helping our neighbors – on a lot of different levels. We are a non-profit – and as such, our objectives include helping those around us right here in our own backyard – sharing our gifts wherever we can. Our annual donations span a wide variety of local causes – such as:

■ The Cooper O'Brien Scholarship Fund at North Gwinnett High School

■ Quinn House ■ Annandale Village ■ Suwanee Arts ■ Veteran’s Sentinels ■ Rainbow Village ■ Suwanee SPCA ■ Suwanee Youth Leaders ■ Suwanee Orchard ■ Toys for Tots ■ Kingdom Kids ■ Wounded Warriors ■ Live Like You’re Living These are just a few of the many ways we show our thanks for living, working, and smiling so much as Suwanee residents. We don’t solicit donations for anything at our meetings – all of the funds we distribute throughout the year come from our dues and golf tournament – so nobody passes the hat or feels pressured to donate – ever. However, it’s not unusual to find that one or more of our members

14 I JULY NOV//AUG DEC 15 15 I Suwanee Magazine I

Santa visits with Julie Perdue of Suwanee Magazine and Main Street Photography and Lynne DeWilde of City of Suwanee at a December SBA Meeting quietly add to the donation pot when they see what we are doing as a group, and the good that comes from what we do for our neighbors. It’s heartwarming to see this group of folks so dedicated, not only to fostering business in and around our local community, but so willing to share the “Christmas Spirit” every month of the year. If you need a smile, something to be thankful for, or a place to experience some warmth, come visit us. You’re invited – and you’ll want to stay – trust me! We’ve got a lot to give – to all of you! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at the SBA! ■

- ED

Annual SBA golf outing

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 visit




Are there long-term trends that may affect international investing? Yes, there are several. For example, countries

with a higher level of economic freedom usually experience a higher level of economic activity. China is a prime example. Once free-market policies were introduced, China’s economy exploded. Another long-term trend that some investors fail to take into account is demographics. The average age of a country’s population, and disproportionate groups within that population, such as America’s baby boomers, can have a tremendous effect on a country’s economic activity. Spending patterns are predictable. What families purchase when they are raising children is significantly different than those who are empty nesters, or retired. For example, as more and more baby boomers retire, companies whose products cater to that age segment (entertainment, recreation, medical and travel, etc.) should benefit. However, there is another major consideration involving age that will affect a country’s overall economic health, the ability of a country’s social retirement system to absorb masses of new retirees and the remaining number of workers who can provide the taxes to pay for it. Many countries have a looming age problem. The median age by the year 2050 for this problem group is as follows: South Korea - 55, Japan - 55, Germany - 49, and China - 49. In contrast, by 2050 the median age of well positioned countries is significantly younger and thus better: U.S. - 39, India - 37, Saudi Arabia - 37, and South Africa - 33. These younger countries will not suffer the same massive wave of retirees or be left with a much reduced base of workers to tax in order to pay for the massive retirement benefits. As a long-term investor, knowing that there are demographic problems up the road in some countries may help you choose international investment directions today. Ask your trusted advisor how this may affect your portfolio. All the information in this letter is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information is strictly at your own risk.



Business Spotlight:


Our goal is to introduce French culture to the people of Suwanee...

“Everything is an experience meant to be enjoyed,” said Isabelle Terriot, Owner of the newly opened French Touch Boutique in Suwanee. “And this store has been created on that idea,” she continued, in her beautiful, French accent. Such is the French way of life: slowing down to enjoy leisurely shopping, dining, walking and conversing with neighbors. When Isabelle and her family moved to the Atlanta area from France in July of 2013, they deliberately searched for a city that reminded them of home – which is how they ended up in Suwanee. Suwanee Town Center (directly adjacent to the boutique) is “not your typical American style” explained Isabelle’s husband, Sebastien Terriot. Instead, everybody is walking around, taking their time and enjoying the shops, park, restaurants and each other’s company. French people tend to live very intentionally: noticing life’s daily pleasures and finding joy in the details. “We take pleasure in dressing well, we take pleasure in meeting people. The same experience should be with shopping – we want you to take pleasure in it and take your time,” Sebastien said. With the addition of a “kids area” that includes a television, small couches, books and games – they have already made the shopping experience more enjoyable for moms who are toting young ones around.

“It's so hard to not spend my whole paycheck back in the store,” laughed Nicole Harrington, French Touch employee.

Isabelle personally visits all of her suppliers to hand-select clothing, shoes and accessories for the store.


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“We designed and renovated this space from nothing, with our own hands,” said Isabelle and Sebastien Terriot.

Isabelle carefully hand-selects the beautiful clothes, shoes, jewelry, purses, lingerie, swimwear and accessories you will find in French Touch Boutique. But, customers also delight in their “gifts with purchase” and the uniquely French touches sprinkled throughout the shop. Delicate, handmade soaps, delicious jams, and the most amazing chocolate truffles on this side of the Atlantic, are among the specialty items you might find imported from France. “Our goal is to introduce French culture to the people of Suwanee - to share the experience, our lifestyle,” said Isabelle. The Terriots recalled their surprise upon first visiting the US and noticing women in sweatpants or even printed pajama pants at the supermarket. French people grow up learning that the way you present yourself affects your attitude and affects how others tend to approach you, they explained. But, their approach to fashion and beauty is done so with enviable effortlessness. There is an understated elegance and feminism that seems almost innate in French women, and Isabelle is no exception.



It’s all in the details. Things like

lacy boot socks that peek over tall boots can add just a little extra pep in your step.

Less is more.

Sometimes a delicate gold necklace and soft, plain tee are all you need to look and feel your best.

Take your time.

Do not rush your shopping experience. Enjoy browsing, ask questions, try on as many items as you’d like.

Notice quality.

Feel the fabric and notice how well it was made.

Complete the package.

Have fun putting an entire outfit together from head to toe.

Eat chocolate truffles.

“These are the best chocolates in the world,” said Nicole, a French Touch employee.

From jewelry to lingerie, French Touch Boutique has everything needed to create a complete outfit.


“The store is part of the family, it's our second home,” said Sebastien Terriot, pictured here with his wife, Isabelle and five-year-old son, Nathan.

France is well known as a worldwide fashion icon – with Fashion Week in Paris as the icing on the cake each year. And, yes, Isabelle has been - many times. “Fashion has always been a passion of mine,” she said. “A passion, borderline obsession,” her husband affectionately joked. Joking aside, Sebastien moved the family across the globe for his career, but is now incredibly thankful and supportive of the opportunity it brought his wife as well. “The store, our employees and customers are part of our family now,” he said, “and I’m so happy that my wife is doing something she loves.” ■


425 Buford Highway • Suwanee, Ga 30024 678-546-6200


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Business Spotlight:


BY: Rachel Pillow PHOTOS BY: Karl Lamb

hen Karina Miller, Owner of Unleashed Creations Pet Spa, moved here from Ecuador fifteen years ago she barely spoke a word of English, did not know anyone and basically had to reinvent her life from scratch. “There, I was a gogetter with a very big circle of friends; moving here was really hard, especially with the language barrier,” she admitted, in accented yet excellent English. Now, she is living what many would call the “American dream” – having built her own business from the ground up. Unleashed Creations Pet Spa recently moved to a large, new facility on Buford Hwy in Suwanee, but has been caring for furry friends in the area for over four years. Along with the relocation came an exciting, new expansion of services: doggy day care and overnight boarding. Originally only a grooming facility, Miller kept receiving boarding requests Karina's daughters love to from customers and decided to come in the shop after school build them a fun, healthy to play with the dogs and help environment where dogs can take care of them. play and feel safe.


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The new facility features “resort-style” boarding with luxury pet beds and large, private doggy suites – each with their own themed décor such as Egypt, Paris or the beach! Boarders and daycare pups alike enjoy supervised playtime with furry friends of their own size in large, clean, indoor and outdoor play yards. Grooming is still a core service and one of Miller’s longtime passions. Her career began, like many other groomers, at PetSmart, where she received formal training and certification. She started fourteen years ago with no experience except a love of owning and caring for dogs – and quickly and naturally became one of their most sought-after groomers. Within a short time, customers were asking for her specifically while coworkers and other groomers watched her techniques, asking for advice. After several years, Miller realized she had reached her full potential as a groomer with the corporation and set out to fulfill her dreams


Karina Miller says she has a special bond with all of the dogs she grooms. The new facility features “resortstyle” boarding with luxury pet beds and large, private doggy suites – each with their own themed décor such as Egypt, Paris or the beach! But, if your dog is more comfortable at home, Unleashed Creations also offers "in-home" services. with other Master Groomers in the area. It was there that she honed in on her technique, speed and skillset – even going on to win prestigious awards in the industry. The Atlanta Pet Fair is the largest pet grooming competition in North America, and Miller has won four times. She specializes in grooming some of the most difficult dog breeds: Standard Poodles and Bichons, but is equally trained to care for all types. “All of us here truly love dogs and care for them as if they are our own,” she said. Miller treasures the memories she creates with dogs and their owners. “I love helping raise them since the time they were puppies,” she said. The older the dog gets the harder her job becomes, but her commitment is diehard. “Grooming is not easy,” she admits. “It requires patience and building a connection with the dog,” she said, “But I consider myself very lucky and am one of the few people that really can say I love what I do!” Miller has worked hard to achieve her own version of "The American Dream," and credits much of her success to the support of her mother who has instilled a hard work ethic in her and has always been supportive of her following her dream. ■

UNLEASHED CREATIONS PET SPA 1495 Buford Hwy, Ste 140 Suwanee, GA 30024 404 -806 -1860




Creating your

2016 MARKETING BY: Priscilla Salmasi Digital Marketing Manager, Veugeler Design Group

The new year not only brings resolutions on a personal level, but for local businesses it can mean a fresh start, new initiatives and a brand spanking new budget. One essential part of that budget is the marketing portion. Is it time for you to bump up your marketing expenditure for 2016 or should you be looking at areas to trim your spend? Set your business up for success before the New Year begins with our six tips for your 2016 marketing budget.

› Evaluate last years’ budget What did your marketing budget look like for 2015? If you can’t answer this question, it’s important that you look at the books to assess what needs to be done in 2016. If you’re a new business owner or starting a new venture, there are a couple of ways to come up with how much you should allocate on marketing and advertising. You can base your budget on a percentage of your projected sales revenue or on a percentage of your total budget.

› Determine what worked the previous year One essential part of

marketing is measuring ROI, so try to be thorough with the performance of your marketing efforts. One way to do so is by consistently asking how your customers found you. Ask when a new customer calls or when an inquiry comes through your website. If you know you had success with a specific tactic last year, allocate a good portion of your budget to that effort. Don’t be afraid to try something new and if you’re not getting the results you hoped for, tweak your approach.


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› Schedule around seasonal trends Are you busier at certain times of the year

verses others? If so, your marketing budget should follow the trends in your business. Remember, your business’ seasonal trends do not always fall in line with holidays – so take note of your busy times and slow times if you aren’t sure. Many businesses make the mistake of scaling back their marketing efforts during slow seasons - if anything, that is the time to increase or broaden your marketing initiatives in order to drive new customers to your business.

› Decide where to allocate your spend Don’t be afraid

to use integrated marketing. Have you always done direct mail and want to break into digital marketing, or are you


PLAN ready to finally get that billboard on prime highway real estate? You don’t have to ditch one effort that works for your business altogether, but combine three, or four (or more!) methods. Integrated marketing uses different promotional methods to reinforce each other. Connect with a larger group of your target audience by combining any efforts with print, direct mail, email marketing, online banner ads, social media, SEO and pay-per-click. This is especially a good idea if you’re trying to build brand recognition.

› Get plugged in socially Where is your target audience active socially? On Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn? Most social platforms are a free source for conversation, but there are always options to engage in social paid advertising. “I don’t have time for social media” is no longer an excuse with all the tools to help you become successful. Spend a few hours a month to get the conversation going with your potential and current customers. Once you are set up and actively posting socially, consider allocating some of your marketing budget in advertisements on that particular social platform.

› Update marketing materials Did you change your address or are you in need of a new website? Take stock of the marketing materials you have to support your business when you meet or talk with customers. The new year is a great time to address these goals. Don’t get caught having to write your name and number down on a cocktail napkin. There are many affordable options for small businesses to cover all the bases, from digital to print materials.

Remember, marketing is an on-going effort and nothing happens over night. It’s better to stick to your marketing plan, adhere to your budget and you will start to see the return on investment. Even a little effort goes a long way and some advertising and marketing is better than doing nothing. Get creative and make 2016 your best business year yet. ■

PUT YOUR BUSINESS IN THE LEAD Internet marketing solutions designed to help you win

SEO · Web Design Blogging · Pay-Per-Click Social Media

VDGatl .com




ur community is full of nonprofits that do wonderful things and really make a difference at a local, state and even national level and beyond. We have included stories of standout nonprofit organizations based in our community, that serve and support noteworthy causes such as childhood cancer, adults with developmental disabilities or traumatic brain injuries and the homeless. As you are thinking of who and what to be thankful for, or considering how you can give to someone in need, consider one of these organizations. They are all in need of volunteers, funds or supplies, and it takes the people of our community coming together to keep them going and able to serve. We encourage you to stay in touch by following them on their websites or through social media, and give thanks for the help they are providing and all of the people that work to make what they do possible!


Photo courtesy Angie Barrett Photography

Cooper’s Crew is dedicated to finding a cure for Sarcoma, making wishes come true for children with cancer and granting scholarships for North Gwinnett High School students who have overcome unique adversities or hardships.

BY: RACHEL PILLOW t age 13, in May of 2013, Cooper O’Brien was diagnosed with Clear Cell Sarcoma Cancer. As you can imagine, his parents Kevin and Donna and younger brother Parker, were completely blindsided. Rarely seen in children, there was little to no research, funding or treatment options for his type of cancer. In fact, throughout Cooper’s journey, heartbreaking truths about childhood cancer as a whole were uncovered. Did you know that only 4% of U.S. federal funding is allocated to any type of childhood cancer research? It seems unfair, because it is! But, Cooper O’Brien stirred a fire in the souls of so many people who knew him, even those who never had the chance to meet him: a fire that we are not letting burn out.  Cooper tragically passed away on July 5th, 2015, leaving a hole in the heart of our community. It’s hard not to be angry at times… and impossible to understand “why.” But, that isn’t what Cooper would have wanted. Throughout his fight, Cooper faced each day with a strong and positive attitude that inspired everyone around him. He never let cancer get in the way of spending time with family, playing basketball and laughing with his friends. In 2013, Cooper’s Crew was formed as a support group and to ensure that Cooper was living every final moment of his life to the fullest! In the final months of his life, the community banded together to organize the inaugural Cooper O’Brien golf tournament at River Club in order to raise much-needed funds for the family. Cooper was smiling and enjoying every moment of that day!


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Now, Cooper’s Crew is dedicated to giving other kids, just like Cooper, the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest too: by bridging the childhood cancer funding gap, finding a cure for Sarcoma, making wishes come true for children with cancer and granting scholarships for North Gwinnett High School students who have overcome unique adversities or hardships.

At the Cooper O’Brien Memorial Golf Tournament on November 10th at The River Club Suwanee, the life of this

giving back

At the Cooper O’Brien Memorial Golf Tournament on November 10th at The River Club Suwanee, the life of this courageous, inspirational, young man will continue to be honored. “We really do want this to be a community event and a celebration of Cooper's life,” explained Kevin and Donna O’Brien. With a kid’s golf contest and family-friendly dinner, awards ceremony and silent auction immediately following the tournament, it truly will be a fun event that even non-golfers can enjoy! All golfers receive admission to the dinner event, as well as a custom gift bag, shirt, lunch and beverages on the course. Businesses and individuals have been donating wonderful items for the tournament and auction, once again banding together to create an awesome, community event. Advance registration is required at for both golfers and dinner guests. Cooper O’Brien’s light shines on in our community as we advocate together for a cure and hope for other children. ■

Cooper O’Brien Memorial Golf Tournament

• 9am Check-in • 11am Start • 6:30pm Dinner & Auction

The River Club

Golf and dinner registration at


An award-winning continuum of care:



The state of Georgia may be best known for its juicy peaches, bulldog fans and world renowned brands such as Coca-Cola, Home Depot and Delta Air Lines. Yet, for parents and siblings of individuals with intellectual disabilities and those who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, Georgia may be better known for being home to one of the premier nonprofit organizations in the United States. ucked away on a beautifully serene 55-acre campus in the City of Suwanee lies Annandale Village. It’s a special place where men and women with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other intellectual/ developmental disabilities (I/DD) live lives that reflect quality, value, self-worth and achievement with the utmost care and compassion. It all began as one family’s quest to create a better life for their loved one. In 1969, Annandale Village was a dream that became a reality for Dr. and Mrs. Maxwell Berry, a dedicated father and mother

Suwanee Magazine


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who wanted their intellectually disabled daughter, Libba, to have an opportunity to lead a life of purpose and meaning among peers. The Berrys had traveled the world in search of options for families like theirs... options that were not always available or even considered realistic for adults with developmental disabilities. In their travels, they discovered Canfield Villages in Europe was closest to their ideal vision.

It’s a special place where men and women with autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome and other intellectual/ developmental disabilities live lives that reflect quality, value, self-worth, and achievement with the utmost care and compassion.

Annandale’s residential options range from cottage homes, to independent on-campus apartments, as well as, transitional care/ assisted living centers and a skilled nursing center

By building on the village concept and adding their personal criteria, the Berry's purchased 170 acres of rural land in the City of Suwanee. Soon thereafter, Libba and other adults with various types of intellectual disabilities came to call Annandale Village “home.” Today, Annandale is an award-winning, nationally recognized leader among nonprofit organizations and is the only nonprofit in the state of Georgia to offer men and women with developmental disabilities a life-long continuum of service and care. Thanks to continuous growth in each of Annandale’s first four decades, the organization has experienced

significant milestones in serving individuals with special needs. Through the generous support of the philanthropic community, the services of Annandale Village have grown exponentially, allowing the organization to provide a comprehensive range of programs designed to improve the quality of life of each individual served, according to his or her own unique needs and abilities. Annandale offers both residential and non-residential programs and services that provide a balance of structure, freedom, encouragement, instruction and fulfillment. Annandale’s focus on individual development and personal care includes: residential services, assisted living, a skilled nursing center, on-campus health services, counseling services, occupational therapy, educational programming, vocational training and job placement and a comprehensive array of recreation and leisure activities aimed to provide life-long learning and skills development for its clients. “At Annandale we strive to provide well-rounded life experience for those we serve – a way to learn, a way to succeed and a way to inspire,” said Annandale’s Chief Development Officer, Keith Fenton. “Individual success is achieved by providing our clients the opportunity and environment to reach their maximum potential and grow in all areas of life – independence,


productivity, inclusion, and self-determination in the community.” The organization’s ability to provide exceptional care to meet the unique needs of people with developmental disabilities is a primary reason why families from across the country choose Annandale Village to care for their loved one. areas of life – independence, productivity, inclusion and self-determination in the community.” The organization’s ability to provide exceptional care to meet the unique needs of people with developmental disabilities is a primary reason why families from across the country choose Annandale Village to care for their loved one. Annandale’s residential options range from cottage homes, to independent on-campus apartments, as well as transitional care/assisted living centers and a skilled nursing center. All on-campus residential settings are designed to allow residents the ability to live as independently as possible, while providing support

Meet some of the Villagers

Daniel is an accomplished marimba player,

as evidenced by being a recipient of the Itzhak Perlman Award and traveling the world as a VSA Young Soloist. Daniel continues to practice his marimba daily and entertains at Village talent shows, as well as in the community at special events. Although he can play the classics, Daniel prefers songs by his favorite artist: Elvis! Resident for eight years.


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when necessary to create an environment that is comfortable, attractive, familiar and secure. Each residential setting has its own personality and routines, where men and women share in daily life. Residential Service Providers support residents through a mentoring and coaching approach, giving each person the opportunity to do things for themselves as well as supporting one another. Annandale’s Amy Somers Center for Continued Care and the D. Scott Hudgens Center for Skilled Nursing provide residents with an opportunity to age in peace, as well as receive nationally recognized care, services often not found for adults with intellectual disabilities. “Annandale is proud of how far we have come. Yet, the courage to dream big and the need to do more for those we currently serve and for those who will soon seek our assistance has made this an exciting time in the life of our organization. Throughout the Southeast, the number of individuals diagnosed with an intellectual disability continues to grow at an alarming rate. However, for many families, accessing appropriate services is an ongoing challenge due to an array of disparities seen in the health, rehabilitation and social service arenas,” says Annandale Village’s Chief Executive Officer, Adam Pomeranz. In response, Annandale Village boldly planned for a new decade of specialized services and programming to meet the growing demand of families in search for quality programs and services. Annandale Village recently completed an aggressive $4.8 million capital campaign to expand its capacity to serve

Hope is a creative

artist, and can be found on most days painting her masterpieces with acrylics on canvas or wooden objects. She has expressed that her art is very therapeutic for her, and she enjoys sharing it with others. With the Annandale family for 33 years.

giving back

Gregg Nunn, the brother of Nancy, a resident of Annandale Village, says “Annandale is unique, special, and has no equal. Period.” In his own words, Greg describes the impact that Annandale Village has had on his sister and why the continuum of care provided at Annandale is a comfort to many families. Read Gregg's full testimonial at

Annandale Village's D. Scott Hudgens Center for Skilled Nursing

In recognition of its standard for excellence, Annandale’s D. Scott Hudgens Center for Skilled Nursing was recently named one of the Best Nursing Homes in the country by U.S. News & World Report. the ever-growing disability population. “Within the past three Of more than 16,000 nursing homes in the United years, Annandale has had the good fortune to be able to double States, the Center ranked highest among all nursing the size of our D. Scott Hudgens Center for Skilled Nursing and homes in the state of Georgia, and is ranked among construct the Amy Somers Center for Continued Care, to meet the top 1% of all nursing homes in the United States. the needs of individuals experiencing a decrease in independent Despite the large number of nursing homes in the living skills due to aging and/or characteristics of their disability. state of Georgia, The D. Scott Hudgens Center for Furthermore, this holiday season we will welcome 18 new Skilled Nursing is the only skilled nursing facility in residents to Annandale as we open our newest on-campus facility, Georgia dedicated solely to the unique needs of, or the Keith Keadle Center for Continued Care.” All parents want has the specialized resources to adequately care for, their children to lead active, productive, well-balanced, happy lives. Will he or she have the opportunity for education, joining in aging adults with intellectual disabilities. peer groups, enjoying and benefiting from leisure activities? Will Upon receiving the honor, Annandale Village’s my child continue to discover and develop interests and talents, Chief Executive Officer, Adam Pomeranz, says, “It is take pride in accomplishments, gain purpose and direction? What an outstanding achievement for Annandale Village will happen to my child or sibling when they age into adulthood? to receive top honors, assuring that our residents Who will take care of their health and social needs when I am no are receiving the highest level of care. The five star longer able to care for them myself? rating speaks not only to the quality of Transitions from one life setting to another are challenging, clinical care we provide, but to the complicated events for most people. Moving from adolescence compassion and commitment into adulthood, changing a living situation, or experiencing the of our dedicated staff. Our death of a parent or caregiver are difficult experiences for Annandale Village's anyone. But when an individual has an intellectual disability, staff members across D. Scott Hudgens exploring options and making lifetime decisions have our campus embrace Center For Skilled proven to be much more difficult. a culture of service Nursing recently named For many families faced with these challenging and care that starts questions, Annandale Village may be the dynamic one of the Best Nursing the moment someone environment they are looking for. For more information or Homes in the walks through our to schedule your personal tour of Annandale Village, call Country By U.S. News doors, and throughout (770) 945-8381 or visit ■ & World Report. a resident’s individual continuum of care.”

Danielle enjoys her

job at McDonald’s and being a member of the Pink Cougars club at Annandale. She is glad to lend a helping hand at volunteer events and any activity that involves dancing! Resident for three years.

Mandy likes the

independent setting of her apartment on grounds and attends programs regularly. She enjoys outings that include her boyfriend, Mihai, and can often be found tapping away on her favorite games on her iPad. Resident for eight years.

John will be glad to

tell you about his history of being a part of his family’s business and he carries on that tradition by completing many tasks in the Annandale workshop for local companies. “I like to stay busy, and I’m not afraid of hard work” he tells us. Resident for seven months.


Building Strong Communities:

BY: NATALIE STUBBS ore than 10 million families live below the poverty line; more than 40% of homeless people actually possess jobs and higher education; and just 9 years old serves as the average age of a homeless person in the local community. Rainbow Village dedicates their time and services to spreading awareness and providing assistance to families who make up these statistics. The organization has already made a significant impact by helping more than 300 families with over 750 children gain the confidence and ability to move forward independently. The objective of Rainbow Village is to exist as a national model for providing families the opportunity to escape lifestyles of poverty, homelessness and domestic violence. They aim to break these patterns by supplying housing for 18 single parents and 40 children in the North Metro Atlanta area. Rainbow Village offers these families the room and resources to transform and transition into a self-sustaining life. With 18 apartments, Rainbow Village hopes to upgrade to 30 units by the end of 2016. This will allow for 12 more families to reside on campus for up to two years, with access to the resources for as long as needed. The organization also works interactively to lead enrichment programs particularly designed for both the parents and children.


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Providing families the opportunity to escape lifestyles of poverty, homelessness and domestic violence. As November is Homelessness Awareness month, Rainbow Village invites the community to help make a difference. Financial sponsorships are available to assist in additional room and building expenditures. Family sponsorships offer the opportunity for the adopted Rainbow Village family to have support in case of need. Volunteers are welcomed and encouraged to donate their time to the after school program and newly established early childhood development center. With the December holidays quickly approaching, Rainbow Village has additional chances for the community to help make the season more special for their families. They will be accepting gift card donations to help make it possible for parents to give their children Christmas presents. The children will also have the opportunity to go shopping and buy their parents Christmas gifts, in which people can also volunteer their assistance. Beginning in January 2016, Rainbow Village will be hosting a monthly fundraiser and awareness event with the goal of raising money and educating the community. Tours of the community center are also available by appointment. For more information, contact Trena Gologan, Community Relations Director, by phone at 770-497-1888 ext. 27 or by email at â–



happiness. wellness.



Brushing & flossing everyday will not keep the doctor away! Sitting down with Jennifer L. McCoy, DDS at her beautiful, new Cosmetic & Family Dentistry office in Suwanee Town Center Park felt natural – like easing into a conversation with an old friend... BY:



Dr. McCoy understands that “natural and easy” is not how everyone feels when they visit the dentist– just one of the reasons why she invested in ultra-comfortable, massaging dental chairs.




any people think that caring

for their own teeth at home is all they need, but a conversation with Dr. Jennifer McCoy, DDS, proved us otherwise. Dentists have the ability to see microscopic issues before they even become a toothache – which is often an indicator of a larger concern. Your mouth and saliva are part of your blood flow, so an oral infection can become systemic – affecting a number of vital organs and tissues. But, embarrassment of not having been for a while, fear and anxiety, financial concern, or a simple lack of understanding – are some of the main reasons people put off visiting the dentist. Dr. McCoy and her team pride themselves on offering the latest and best solutions for oral health with the most high tech dental equipment on the market. Ultimately, it is about the patient’s comfort and “having the tools that help explain and validate their treatment plans,” she said. They help patients find the


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The waiting room in Dr. McCoy's office provides a calming, relaxed environment most affordable options while also explaining which treatment plans are vital to their immediate health and which could potentially wait or would be considered cosmetic. “We accept and file all insurance and will even call and ask your provider for you,” she said - adding that they are often pleasantly surprised that the price difference for in-network vs. out-of-network is minimal. “Patient relationships really are the most important thing,” Dr. McCoy said. “You want to have a relationship with your dentist and have that trust,” she continued. In the same regard, she is candidly aware that while she might have an instantaneous connection with many patients,


others might establish that bond with fellow dentists in her field. “I just want to make sure they are as comfortable and as healthy as possible,” she explained. Dr. McCoy opened her own practice in Suwanee Town Center just one year ago, but has been serving the surrounding community for over eight years. In 2007, she began her dental career in the offices of Dr. C. S. Graham & Associates, a 30-year standing, reputable practice in downtown Lawrenceville. Over the years, Dr. McCoy’s commitment to good dentistry, the fundamental relationships she built with her patients, and her passion for ongoing education – made the decision an easy one when it came time for Dr. Graham to retire. In May of 2014, Dr. Graham handed the keys over to Dr. McCoy – knowing that a lifetime of hard work would live on in her wellequipped and caring hands. Many of her patients have been visiting her since she started in 2007 or were with Dr. Graham from the beginning – bringing their entire families into the practice for 30 years! Dr. Katie Copeland recently joined the practice and is excited to begin her dental career alongside Dr. McCoy. “I knew right away Dr. Copeland was a perfect fit,“ said Dr. McCoy. And now with Suwanee and Lawrenceville offices they are able to serve even more people in the area – wherever is most convenient for them. With a passion for cosmetic and restorative dentistry, the addition of Invisalign, Juvederm and and Botox certification, proved to be a natural extension of Dr. McCoy’s core services. Dentists

Dr. Jennifer McCoy and Dr. Katie Copeland with their experienced dental staff are actually the most qualified people to do Botox and Juvederm, she explained. They give numbing injections everyday and are artistically trained on facial anatomy. Dr. McCoy understands and knows her patients oral health history, unique circumstances, jaw structure and facial alignment – and by offering a complete package of dental services and cosmetic fillers - is able to give people their healthiest, happiest and most beautiful smiles possible! ■


ASK HENRY Q: Henry, My Yorkshire Terrier “Humphrey” drags his bottom on the carpet. Does he have worms?

-Janet W., Suwanee

A: When a dog drags his hind quarters

along the ground, he usually is trying to empty his anal glands. Dogs are in the same Canidae family as skunks and have similar glands that can get impacted. The old wives tale of having worms is rarely true in dogs dragging their bottom. Please see your veterinarian about having your dog’s glands expressed or, in chronic cases, surgically removed.

Q: Hobie Cat, my 16 year-old cat has started meowing loudly at night and acting senile. Do cats get Alzheimer’s disease?

-Donna A., Buford

A: The most common cause for a

personality change in senior cats is due to hyperthyroidism. Usually, this is caused by a benign growth on the thyroid gland. The excess production of thyroid hormone can lead to increase appetite, weight loss, hyperactivity, and erratic vocalization. Your veterinarian can do a simple blood test to check for this disease that can be treated by diet, medication, surgery, or even routine radiation treatment.

Q: Should my dog be on a grain free diet as recommended by my pet superstore?

-Travis J., Sugar Hill

A: In my opinion, the “grain free” diet is

simply a marketing strategy for pet food companies. If a pet truly has an allergy to a specific grain (as confirmed by a 6 week true food trial,) then of course they should be on a grain free diet. Most pets benefit from a balanced diet of protein and carbohydrates. Be sure to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation for your specific pet.

DR. WEST HAMRYKA Henry’s helper for this issue was West Hamryka DVM. Dr. Hamryka is the owner and medical director of Sugar Hill Animal Hospital. His special interests include geriatrics and orthopedics.


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Taking Back the Holidays:

Here are four ways to take back the holidays:

Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before you know it! If you’re a parent, you’re probably already noticing that your kids are counting down the days to their holiday break. School breaks are meant to be times when families take a break from their hectic schedules and find ways to unwind together.

2. Turn chores into bonding opportunities. Getting the house ready

Tips for Bonding as a Family


Laura Lebovitz


Laura Lebovitz is a licensed therapist at GROW Counseling located in Suwanee. She specializes in working with anxiety, depression, life transitions, autism, sensory processing disorders, and families.

1. Saying no doesn’t mean you’re a Grinch! Many families get caught

up in the season and say yes to every invitation and activity that comes their way. This can lead to schedules that are more packed and overwhelming than the average school day. Having too many scheduled activities can take the fun and relaxation out of the holidays. Sit down and prioritize all invitations and activities to find the ones most important to the family. Politely say no to the rest! You will be so surprised to see how much more enjoyable the season is without having to rush from one activity to the next.

and making sure everyone is fed during the holidays can be overwhelming as well. Get the whole family involved and find ways to make the typical chores fun. Divide the chores and give the children age appropriate tasks to do. This is a great time for older children and teens to begin to learn the ins and outs of doing laundry. Make chores fun by introducing prizes or rewards to the person who gets his or her task done the fastest. Never underestimate the motivating potential of a candy cane!

3. Create new family recipes. Some of the best holiday memories involve food. Create memories by involving your children in every aspect of the cooking process: plan the menu, find the recipes, and design the table decorations. Have your children decide what they want to prepare and allow them to help in the kitchen. Let go of the need to have perfect meals and accept your children’s best efforts. A crowded kitchen gives families the time to catch up with and learn more about each other. Take pictures and videos to archive the experience of cooking together. Who knows, you may even create a new family tradition! 4. Relax! Remember what the holidays are all about. Find time just to sit with your family and talk about all the wonderful blessings you have. Go around the table and have each person say what they are thankful for. You can even have each person say one thing they appreciate about someone else in the family. Reminisce about the past year and talk about your favorite memories from previous years. Sit, relax, and enjoy a moment of celebration with your family! 39 37


amily F e t t e n r Bu The


iving ge Thanksg ome, u h a d a h s e alway r at our h e’s house o at a relativ our sons live so far at but now th ed our traditions. g n a h c e to be with v a away we h fly to Riverside, CA ook and I c Jimmy and t son. Rather than Thanksgiving es ld o fu r er u ond l toric hotel g Jim, o e enjoy a w on Inn which is a his initial stages of bein e Mission w e m o h t a s f th si it o is eat g in M n e ti is e Ligh e hotel th her at th th et d ght! We g g en in to tt iv a st a e u fe ectac lar si Thanksg two days later w sp t st A o e. m d a si is in River r Christmas and orks. This fo e Nine tastic Firew n fa y b decorated ttended th ich is ed a w s o y ll a fo lw a is Inn which h to be thankful for! as season our family Memorial UMC wh nd c m n ely a have so mu ration for the Christ hip service at Glen ice is so lov rv se is rs a o h p T w re . p In d Carols ecember Lessons an e first weekend of D anee th ice at Suw are in n rv o se . e y v jo E s d always e a n e Christm whether w ith peace a fills you w y always attended th tinue this tradition is Our famil dist Church. We con t son, Bryan, and h nges etho United M rida where our you s in to be with us. lo F fl , le m . Ji ie , Semino in Suwanee coming to Suwanee r o e v li y e b l d famil il en w tt eryone e will a This year evm’s fiancee, Katie! W worship Ji to g e e Servic includin ristmas Ev of Jesus. SUMC Ch rejoice in the birth d r together an time to get ready fo e th to Then it is g in it by listen Darcy (6) Santa’s vis s the Night Before ies and Sean poem, Twa and putting out cook arrots (4) leaving Christmas, anta and of course c ut to rS re p cookies and milk fo eer. Tired children a dance n d a c in s re and mik for r Plum for the ns of Suga ing that they are io is v Santa and so bed ds know Christ carrots for his in their hea ed in the love of the . p y wrap reindeer their famil Child and

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Every year we open our “number ones” (matching pajamas) on Christmas Eve. Last year we did super heroes! -Katie Reynolds

O ne of my particula dreaded rly favo rite Chr attic gif istmas t t. After daughter raditions years of s to rec is the ur la ging our im but woul all the four gro d not ta treasure wn k s e t t h annual r o their r ey could aids in t espective not part heir chil homes, I with through dhood ro started the trea o m s making su and the res and them.  O attic.  I carefully n Christ troll wrap a mas Eve of laugh gift for the gift ter and each of s are op t e a sing and ened am homes. I idst a lo taken to t has he t their new lped cle all enjo a r our attic y the re , and w appearan uniforms, e ce of ch student eerleadin council c g school p ampaigns, ictures a old nd all o mileston f the ot es of our her family.  

- L in d a C u r t is

S m it h

Years ago, on December 23, I decided to call some neighbors at the last minute and have a “come as you are” afternoon party, figuring that most were done with shopping, decorating and cooking and might like a break. It was delightful! About 10 people came over to the house and we all spent a couple of relaxing hours together, sharing food, spirits and the joy of Christmas. The tradition continued and transformed into what we now call “The Eve of the Eve”, a GIRL’S ONLY (sorry, fellas) gathering at my house with only ONE condition: come in your pajamas, bring a bottle of champagne or OJ, and we will cook the brunch! The group grows every year with friends and friends-of-friends, family, and my daughters. For me, it is the start of what Christmas is all about with celebration of life, friends and immeasurable LOVE. We have even been known to burn stuff from the past year in the fire pit outside, looking forward to the new year ahead! I hope that we can continue this tradition always!

The Woodens

Two items that Walt Wooden has kept from Grandma Comfort’s “grab bag.”

We have a tradition started by our adopted grandmother (Mrs. Comfort born in Atlanta in 1900) who used to be our next door neighbor. After her husband died we had her over for Christmas. The next year we moved and she still visited every Christmas for a week. She would travel all over the world and buy small trinkets that she collected throughout the year. She would wrap them individually and put them in a bag. She called it the "Grab Bag." It would be passed around to each person and we would take a present out and pass it along until the bag was empty, then open each one and show them off. They would be anything from a jar of jelly from France to a polished rock from Switzerland. I still have many items I got when I was a child almost 50 years ago. Although she has passed away we still carry on the tradition. 41

ur traditions are very simple but all about family! The tradition involve my sister Ho s lly Tickle's family, my brother Chuck Scott's family and my family. We have all lived in Suwanee for over twenty year s! My parents also joi n us from Austell. Fo Thanksgiving, each r family is assigned a side dish or dessert an gather at Holly's hous d we all e to enjoy dinner and conversation. We do Christmas gift exchan a "cousin ge” which involves ni ne cousins that have up together. After ou all grown r Thanksgiving meal, they each draw a cous name and are allowed in’s to spend the amount that we decided on for year. This year it is that $20.15. They have a blast finding the perfe for each other! We ga ct gifts ther again the day aft er Christmas and th exchange gifts and th e cousins e adults have a white elephant gift exchange donate money towar and ds Haiti Child Spon so rsh ip - a school in Haiti my parents started! that Our family tradition is all about being tog and reconnecting as eth er we disconnect!!


Maxwell Family

Two years ago we started a tradition of adopting a local family for Christmas. We spend time together selecting decorations and gifts for a family in need. My husband and I love to see the excitement on our girls' faces as they search for the “perfect" gift for a child, like themselves, whose family might not be able to buy them gifts this year. The girls are learning to put themselves in another's shoes and to have compassion for another person in a different, often more difficult, situation. And for them to see that same excitement on a child’s face Dorian when they give them their gift, and Maxwell (8) the warm fuzzy feeling they get - this photographed by Karl Lamb is the Joy of Giving. To think of and give of oneself for others, that is the deeper meaning of Christmas. 42

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local food. craft beer. wine trends.



R I C O 'S W O R L D K I T C H E N :

World Comfort Cuisine Chefs Rico Cunnington and Jorge Gonzalez pull from their Filipino and Mexican backgrounds to unlock a world of international flavors in downtown historic Buford


45 53

Restaurant Spotlight

Rico‘s World Kitchen 306 W Main St Buford, GA 30518


ico Cunnington, Owner and Chef at Rico’s World Kitchen, opened his restaurant over eight years ago. A small space tucked inside a strip mall, across from the Gwinnett County Tag Office, with room for only four tables. “It was really just an opportunity that fell into our laps,” Rico explained when asked how he made the decision to first open the doors. “We were able to get in there and get our feet wet.” Growing up, his years of experience working alongside his mother, Nett, lovingly referred to as “Ma,” in their catering business quickly paid off. Within three years, Rico’s World Kitchen had outgrown their space and moved into a larger location in downtown historic Buford. Rico’s World Kitchen has now become a wellknown staple on the Atlanta culinary radar. Inside of this gas-stationturned-restaurant, Rico is still putting his creative spin on “world comfort cuisine” and serving what many arguably consider some of the best dishes in Metro Atlanta. With combinations such as the fried green tomato


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salad with smoked applewood bacon and homemade celery seed dressing, or the smoked mojo pork with guava BBQ, it is evident why Rico’s World Kitchen has amassed such a large following. “The thing we center our cuisine around is international comfort food. There are certain dishes that have traditional elements and we stay true to those things. Outside of that, it is wide open. We look at what makes this dish a comfort food and how can we spin it.” explained Rico. Rico and his culinary counterpart, classically trained chef, Jorge Gonzalez, enjoy


Rico's Wold Kitchen is located in a converted gas station in historic Buford

experimenting with bold flavors in the kitchen. Pulling from their Filipino and Mexican backgrounds to unlock a world of international flavors. “We do like to learn traditional techniques so we can expand on them. We handbatter everything from the

beginning. All of the dressing and sauces are made in house; we even grind our own meat. It starts with quality. We take pride in that and it makes a difference,” Rico shared. Meanwhile, Rico’s wife, Katie, and his mother, Nett, are responsible for baking some

of the most delicious sweet treats in and outside of the perimeter. Crowd pleasers, like the key lime avocado cake and the chocolate pecan “Wild Turkey” pie, are guaranteed to delight even the pickiest palate. “We have three kids, and at least one picky eater. They are all three, food critics at this point,” Katie laughed. A lasting local favorite, Rico’s World Kitchen shows no sign of slowing down in their success. While their goal is to provide an environment that feels more like a kitchen than a restaurant by dishing out inventive comfort foods, they still manage to keep their customers on their toes by changing their special menu daily. Fans of their Facebook page point out favorites such as the She-crab soup and the firecracker alligator tail tossed in sriracha aioli as “must haves.” Additionally, within the next few years Rico hopes to open a new

With combinations such as the fried green tomato salad with smoked applewood bacon and homemade celery seed dressing, or the smoked mojo pork with guava BBQ, it is evident why Rico’s World Kitchen has amassed such a large following.


Authentic Louisiana Po Boys location in Dacula called “The Brunch Apothecary,” where he plans to serve “all brunch, all day.” To all this achievement, Rico credits his mother who still works with him side by side in the kitchen. “It was her lumpias (Filipino-style eggrolls) that started it all.” Rico recalled, “When other kids had to clean their rooms and do chores like that, I had to roll egg rolls. If I don’t have to roll another ever again, that’s okay!” Rico loves to quote Brillat- Savari, the famous gastronome: “To invite a person into your house is to take charge of his happiness for as long as he is under your roof.” And that, at the heart of the business, is what Rico’s World Kitchen is; a neighborhood establishment serving up plates certain to make you happy. ■


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restrt GUIDE BEST AREA DINING OPTIONS FROM FINE DINING TO FUN FAMILY FARE Dollar signs indicate the typical cost per person for meal, includes one non-alcoholic drink, tax and tip. $ UNDER $10 $$ $11 - $30 $$$ $31 - $50 $$$$ MORE THAN $50


3131 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd. • Suwanee 678-541-5201 I $ Caffebene’s first Georgia location has opened in Suwanee! From quality coffee made from skilled baristas, to decadent sweet treats and deliciously savor sandwiches, our menu full of flavor is guaranteed to make your day better. Modeled after the traditional European coffee houses, Caffebene is a destination of rest and relaxation amid the hectic scene of city living.

The Curry Pot Authentic Indian Restaurant

3370 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd Suwanee 470-266-1520 $$ The Curry Pot offers the best of traditional Indian vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. They aim to give you a glimpse of India and its rich cultures through the food. All of their food is freshly prepared and cooked to order; there is always something to suit everyone. They offer vegetarian, lamb, chicken, and seafood dishes at the spice level of your choosing: mild, medium or spicy. Take advantage of their current offers: Buy 1 entrée & 2 drinks, get 1 entrée half off; $5 off any purchase of $30; $10 off any purchase of $50; and $2 off any lunch (offers expire 12/30/15).

Suwanee Park Tavern 340 Town Center Ave. • Suwanee 470-266-1516 I $$

Suwanee Park Tavern is a family-friendly restaurant and tavern located in the heart of Suwanee. At Suwanee Park Tavern, the focus is on excellent cuisine with the warmth and charm of Southern hospitality.


525 Peachtree Industrial Blvd • Suwanee • 770-614-1335 I $$

Tanners can provide all the holiday food necessary for you, your organization or business. We have the turkey, honey glazed ham, homemade mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread stuffing, and all the trimmings to complete your meal. Let us do all the cooking and slaving over the oven so you can sit back, relax and enjoy time with your family and friends. Take advantage of their current offers: 10% off entire lunch or dinner bill or $5 off total food purchase of $30 or more & 2 drinks. Offers expire 12/31/15, not valid with other offers, one per table/per group.


Rico’s World Kitchen

306 W. Main Street • Buford • 678-765-7518 I $$

Rico’s World Kitchen’s creative passion for food and timeless approach to hospitality makes for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. With a unique style of food and a menu full of possibilities, our hand crafted culinary experience will surely satisfy the hungriest of souls. Come by Tuesday through Sunday for a celebration of regional and world comfort cuisine!




1500 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Suite 100 Suwanee 678-541-0645 $$

Cinco is authentic, Latin-infused Mexican Cuisine served in a family-friendly setting. With a unique menu, Cinco offers an upscale variety of Mexican dishes that are carefully prepared from scratch. Weekly specials include: Kids eat free Monday & Tuesday, daily drink specials, Sunday brunch and an adjoining After Five lounge that offers live music, fresh tapas and over 60 specialty martinis!

Mi Chi Sushi & Pho Central 1300 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Suwanee I 678-541-5222 I $$

Mi Chi brings over 25 years of experience to the sushi and pho business. Combining their traditional and modern skills, they are dedicated to providing a dining experience our Suwanee neighbors will love. Specializing in pho, they are proud to have gradually perfected the popular soup dish by adding their own personal touch to a family recipe. Visit their website to view the full menu and take advantage of their coupons and specials throughout each week!

3433 Lawrenceville Suwanee Rd • Suwanee 678-541-6675 I I $$


Suwanee Pizza Tavern

1500 Peachtree Industrial Blvd • Suwanee 678-546-0823 I I $$ Twisted Taco is an American Mexican Cantina that fuses new American and bold Mexican flavors to form a one of a kind “Twist” on Mexican cuisine. At Twisted Taco they use only the freshest and best quality ingredients inspiring their California style burritos, sizzling fajitas, homemade salsas and of course, their famous “twisted tacos.” They cater any event! Come enjoy one of their 15 signature margaritas and soak in the summer sun at their Suwanee location’s full-service rooftop patio!

Suwanee Pizza Tavern is known for their made-from-scratch wood-fired Pizza, Garlic Knots, Wings, Sandwiches, Pastas, and friendly atmosphere. The open pizza pit showcases their wood-fired oven where you can watch their pizza chef create your pizza. The dining area is perfect for a family outing, or you can head over to their signature bar with your friends to watch your favorite sports on the flat screen TV's. Visit Suwanee Pizza Tavern, your local upscale pizza tavern!



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350 Town Center Ave • Suwanee 678-985-4377 I I $$

Specializing in pizza, pasta and other authentic Italian dishes. Ippolito’s candleit, romantic restaurant provides a fine-dining environment. The menu features antipasto, Chicken Francese, Shrimp Scampi, Salmon Gabriella & more.


Twisted Taco



I NOV / DEC 15

Tannery Row Ale House

554 West Main Street • Buford 678-765-8979 I $$

Tannery Row Ale House is the home of the best barbeque, pizza, sandwiches and libations on this side of the tracks! Located in the Historic Tannery Row building, their menu features modern comfort food inspired by the history and culture of our surroundings. They also host a variety of events like trivia night, live performances and nighttime entertainment- so grab your friends and head over for a good time!

Friends American Grill

3890 Lawrenceville Suwanee Rd • Suwanee 678-765-6477 I $$

Friends is a neighborhood grill and bar featuring a wide variety of American food items, as well as liquor, beer and wine. They are a great place for families as well as to just get a couple of drinks. They were voted "Best of Gwinnett" as well as a "Readers Choice Winner" in the Gwinnett Daily Post.


Karl Furem

hanksgiving is almost here. Time for family and friends to gather, watch football, drink and of course eat! But now comes the question: what wines to serve with the feast? My family has made me responsible for selecting our Thanksgiving wine for the last 15 years or so. I have had some success (and some failures) over the years, so I would like to share my insight and our family favorites! Duckhorn Vineyards Decoy Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent choice. This full-bodied white opens with apple and melon flavors on the nose, with a hint of grapefruit. There is a slight touch of minerality layered in with peach, pineapple, grapefruit, and melon. The finish is long, crisp and velvety. At $16.99 a bottle it’s a great wine to accompany your turkey. My grandmother’s favorite is without a doubt, the Conundrum White Blend. What’s in it? Well, the I recommend winery will never tell us exactly - but I do know it is delicious! having a bit The blend changes each year, but of variety according to the winemaker’s notes, to please consistently includes: “Chardonnay every palate for its weight and complexity, by serving a couple chilled Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for crisp acidity, Muscat Canelli for whites and some “not-too- floral qualities and Viognier for unctuousness.” It pairs incredibly heavy” reds well with turkey, ham, cranberries, and stuffing. Lots of tropical flavors, just slightly sweet, and very easy drinking. Only $19.99 a bottle, you can’t go wrong.

Now, on to some reds!

Yes red wine can go with poultry. Most wine aficionados will recommend Beaujolais, or Beaujolais Nouveau, which


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photograph by Walt Wooden


are light and fruity reds. They are a nice choice and can be served chilled or room temperature. But I have found that Pinot Noir is also an excellent Thanksgiving addition. One of my favorite Pinot Noir’s is the Willamette Valley Whole Cluster. It has a big, fruit taste with nice complexity, flavors of blackberry, cherry, vanilla, and a nice earthiness. With a soft finish and just a hint of acidity, it won’t overpower your food. At $19.99 it’s a steal to accompany any holiday meal! A few years ago we decided to deep-fry the turkey. Welcome to the South! This made my wine pairing homework a bit more challenging, as I had never paired wine with fried turkey. I brought several different bottles for us to try, but the best performer was the Hahn GSM. GSM stands for the Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre grapes used in the blend. It opens with big fruit flavor of raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, cherry and a nice bit of pepper on the finish. It was outstanding with the fried turkey! At only $12.99 a bottle, you won’t be disappointed. The friends and family at your Thanksgiving table will typically all have different wine tastes and preferences. I recommend having a bit of variety to please every palate by serving a couple chilled whites and Conundrum - the white some “not-too-heavy” reds, wine blend is a secret such as the varieties that my recipe: they won’t share family loves. Truly, there is exactly what makes the wine up, but they no right or wrong answer to do confirm that it’s a what you like or don’t, but blend of five grapes: I hope my suggestions will Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, serve as a guide and give you Viognier and Sémillon. the opportunity to explore new wines. ■












Shorter days and cooler temperatures mean it’s time to bring on the... BY:



rews hitting the shelves and taps around this time of year include stouts, barleywines, and winter warmers. Cold-weather styles also mean higher alcohol by volume (ABV), so sip with care...

➼ Stouts are jet black, roasty, malty, and

usually have a pronounced roasted character. You would not be alone if you thought a porter and a stout share many similarities; the histories of these styles are heavily intertwined and modern brewers differ on what defines each style. To add to the debate, the stout’s original name was stout porter, so named because it was a stronger, fuller-bodied version of a porter. Over time, folks shortened the name to stout. Regardless of the murky history, you’d be better served tasting the beer than focusing on what the beer “really” is. It’s pretty easy to get your hands on Sierra Nevada’s American Stout or a pint of Jekyll Brewing’s Major Horton Export Stout. Each of these will be full-bodied, boldly flavorful and exhibit notes of dark chocolate and black coffee. Pushing further into the stout category are the Imperial Stouts. Russian Imperial Stouts have a heavily roasted flavor and a dry finish. Although hop bitterness varies, the alcohol content is typically high, and you might pick up notes of dark fruits in the beers on the higher end of the style’s ABV range. The Russian Imperial Stout inspired American brewers and we added our own flair: bourbon!


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American breweries sometimes experiment with aging Imperial Stouts in bourbon barrels to compliment the beer’s flavor profile. When not barrel-aged, American breweries might include other flavors such as espresso, chocolate and oatmeal. If you’re looking for fine examples, set your sights on New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout or Terrapin’s W-n-B Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout.

➼ Barleywine

Around Thanksgiving, try grabbing a barleywine from your cellar. Despite its name, it is indeed a beer—and a heavy hitter at that! Locking in an ABV upwards of 10%, you’ll want to share this style. When cellared properly, you can set them aside for years and they typically age like wine. There are two varieties of barleywine: American or English. English barleywines are lively and fruity, leaning towards the malty, sweet end of the flavor scale. They are well-balanced ales and range from 7-12% ABV. If you need to please both the beer drinkers and the wine drinkers at your dinner table, pick up Jekyll’s Off the Grid English Barleywine. American barleywines are quite different from English barleywines, boasting a higher ABV (8-15%) and more pronounced hop bitterness. For an American barleywine, try Stone Brewing’s Old Guardian.


➼ Winter Warmers We

wrap up the year with winter warmers, which offer us a break from the double-digit ABVs common to the season’s other styles. These malty and sweet beers make a statement: bold, full-bodied, sometimes spiced, and low bitterness. Color ranges from rich brown to jet black and everything in between. Anchor Brewing changes their Anchor Christmas Ale recipe every year as a celebration of new beginnings and the New Year. Rely on SweetWater Brewing Company, however, if you want to taste a consistent Sweetwater Festive Ale year after year. ■

Although dark in color, stouts can be lowest in alcohol, lowest in calories and lightest in body

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Our exclusive Holiday Gift Guide will make your holiday shopping a breeze! Whether you are searching for a gift for your parents, friends, teachers, furry friends or yourself there are plenty of unique options you won’t find anywhere but here. Shop on...


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a new puppy or kitten exam! Mention Suwanee Magazine.

Sugar Hill Animal Hospital is an AAHA accredited, full service animal hospital offering in-house diagnostics and medical treatment in our state of the art facility. They pride themselves in their pet resort, VIP suites, doggie daycare and Gwinnett’s only heated saltwater pool. Their professional groomers provide grooming services for all breeds. 5305 GA-20 Sugar Hill, GA



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Town Center Music is Suwanee’s hometown music store, outfitting pros and beginners alike with the best gear and top-notch instruction. They also rent and repair band and orchestra instruments, and carry a full complement of accessories. Want to start playing? There’s no better time to start than now!

4072 Suwanee Dam Road Suwanee, GA


Celtic Christmas Gifts! Give the gift of heritage and elegant classic style to celebrate Christmas! Near Suwanee town center, find the kilt, tartan, or Celtic accessory to make the perfect gift! Reasons to wear a kilt: golf, weddings, cruises, proms, football games, Celtic events, memorials, holidays, celebrations, just for fun or at work! 1275 Buford Highway, Ste 105 Suwanee, GA

877-411-KILT (5458)

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Gifts for gamers

Holiday gifts for your furry friends

Founded in 1999, Video Game Trader is your Retro Game Headquarters. They sell it all, from classic Atari & NES to Wii U and everything in between. Now selling POP! Vinyl Figures and video game themed board games. Paying cash for your old games & consoles!


For your favorite pooches, check out the wide selection of holiday goodies at Pooch ‘N Paws including personalized doggie ornaments, toys, treats, apparel, collars, leashes and more!


Get to Panache for a designer handbag


$10 off any $50 regular priced purchase.

Check out their large selection of: formalwear, trendy jewelry, infinity scarves, designer handbags and jeans (ask about layaway).

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Gifts for the green thumb on your list


purchase of $10 or more Mention Suwanee Magazine. Through 12/31/15, excluding balloons.

Get your dollar store items here at your locally owned and operated Dollar Smart. They have great stocking stuffers! Prices range from just $1 to $5! Large selection of balloons, party items, greeting cards & gift bags, school & craft supplies, costume jewelry, make-up, cleaning supplies, housewares, toys, and pet items and holiday decor.

Northside is a family owned and operated full-service garden center and feed store. They supply all your lawn, landscape and garden needs. They also carry horse and farm animal feed, livestock supplies, and pet food. Open year round. Delivery services available.

DOLLAR $MART 1000 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Ste 12 Suwanee, GA McGinnis Crossing Shopping Center


950 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Sugar Hill, GA

770-932-1244 / Facebook: Northside Garden Inc   Twitter: @NSGardenInc

Unleashed Creations offers state of the art grooming as well as doggy daycare and kennel free boarding. Specializing in customized care for each individual pet, services are provided in elegant surroundings by highly qualified professional staff. Grooming available for all pets; daycare and boarding available for all dog breeds. 1495 Buford Hwy., Ste 140 Suwanee, GA


Purchase a $100 Gift Certificate get a FREE $20 Gift Card

4320 Suwanee Dam Rd., Ste 800 Suwanee, GA



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Everyone deserves a spa day!


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most accessories including plate setters, pizza stones, charcoal, spices, rubs & sauces Mention Suwanee Magazine.

The Big Grill Shop is your local Big Green Egg Dealer in Suwanee, and Johns Creek, Georgia. They strive to have the largest selection of Big Green Egg products in the Atlanta area, selling everything from the Big Green Egg as well as all the accessories that are available for Big Green Egg. They also carry a variety of rubs and spices from local vendors.



1039 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite #A-110, Suwanee, GA


The holidays can be an especially stressful and busy time! Local businesses are helping make your life easier with these special savings and services: After a long, tiring day of shopping the last thing you want to think about is “what to get for dinner.” Let us handle it! Maybe you have guests in town but don’t want to eat at a restaurant or cook every night? Call them or go online to check out a wide variety of menu options from local restaurants – and they will deliver right to your door!


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Inside Kroger at the corner of Peachtree Industrial Blvd. and Suwanee Dam Rd., you can find Postal Plus! Jeff and Cristina Oliver, husband and wife team, want to thank you for supporting them for the past 20 years and offer you savings for the holidays.


news from the suwanee schools universe

Poetry Palooza!

Vision of two North Gwinnett High School teachers comes to fruition as a poem comes to life

BY: Debi

West, Ed.S, NBCT

North Gwinnett High School - Visual Art Department Chair/NAHS Co-Sponsor

o celebrate National Arts in Education Week, Debi West, a visual art teacher and Natalie Powell, a language art teacher collaborated on bringing their students together for a day of learning in a fun and different environment. Earlier in the week they taught their students about T.S. Eliot's poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, and had them consider the images that worked within the poem.  After a bit of research, students then spent their class periods in the outdoor classroom creating a large scale chalk drawing of stanzas from the poem, enhanced through visual

elements. Over 300 students worked throughout the day and after school, the National Art Honor Society students and the National English Honor Society students took over and worked to bring the vision to its perfected closure! The day was filled with joyful, collaborative learning and was enhanced when the microphone and speakers came out and the poetry slam began.  Not only were students working hard on creating a beautiful rendition of this poem, they read the poem out loud to bring life to the art, while art brought life to the text of the poem.  At 1:30 the jukebox arrived from TouchTunes and the place really started hopping!  By 4:00, the chalk dust settled, the music ended, the pizza boxes were empty and two tired teachers highfived one another realizing they had brought together students to create a day that would not soon be forgotten!  The images remain

but will slowly fade, but the day will remain in the hearts and souls of the students involved on the day they brought a poem to life! ■

Debi West, North Gwinnett High School Art Teacher and a few of her 7th period students working on the outdoor "Poetry Palooza" chalk mural that depicts lines from a poem they are studying.


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‘15 Suwanee Fest Pics


news and events

from in and around suwanee.


PHOTO BY: Karl Lamb

Monday Night Brewing wins “Flavors of Fall” Brew Battle at 2015 Gwinnett Beer Fest Monday Night Brewing faced 10 other local breweries in the "Flavors of Fall” Brew Battle at the inaugural Gwinnett Beer Fest at Coolray Field on September 26th. With strong contenders such as Sweetwater Brewing’s popular Hash Brown Ale and other delicious, seasonal beers, such as Cherry Street Brewing’s Pumpkin Pie Porter and Eventide’s Red Headed Haley, the competition was stiff. But, Monday Night Brewing won by a landslide in this competition powered by DRAFTSERV Technologies. The live leaderboard tracking showed Monday Night’s blood orange-infused Blind Pirate IPA at the top of the list throughout the entire day. In fact, they were the only brewery to blow through a keg and open a second. Event organizers presented Monday Night Brewing with the trophy at Taco Mac Mall of Georgia where customers were able to enjoy the just-released-to-the-public winning brew! If you stop by Monday Night Brewing’s tap room and brewery in Atlanta, be sure to look for the “Flavors of Fall” golden cup, proudly displayed in their trophy case.


Suwanee Magazine’s Rachel Pillow and Angela Veugeler celebrate Monday Night Brewing’s victory with Co-Founder, Jonathan Baker 63 53

Suwanee Kiwanis Club awards Amy Doherty with the Walter

Zeller Service Award

change franchise name

The Zeller Award is given to a community leader who exemplifies service to the community and children. When the Suwanee Kiwanis Club began reflecting on how much support they receive from the City of Suwanee each year, one name stood out in the forefront of everyone’s minds, Amy Doherty. Amy Doherty has been with the City of Suwanee for over ten years, and has been an integral part in the execution and planning of over 500 events within the community. She has been recognized as a great supporter of the Kiwanis Club. The Walter Zeller Service award signifies her outstanding commitment and service to the city and the Suwanee Kiwanis Club. The Kiwanis Club is thankful and appreciative of her many years of dedication to making Suwanee the premier family destination as it is known today, and for her support of the community and Suwanee Kiwanis Club.

The Gwinnett Gladiators officially changed their franchise name to the Atlanta Gladiators, just in time for the 2015-2016 season. "We are very excited to announce that our name will transform to the Atlanta Gladiators with the 2015-2016 season,” said Joe Gelderman, Atlanta Gladiators General Manager and Vice President of Business Operations. “We already consider ourselves to be part of the Atlanta sports landscape and want to make sure people understand that we are not just Gwinnett’s hockey team...we are the professional hockey team for the entire metro Atlanta community,” he explained in a statement released earlier this year. By incorporating ’Atlanta’ into their name, they hope that it will allow more fans to identify with the team, and will inspire people from all over the metro area to support the team. The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nation’s premier "AA" hockey league. All home games are played at the 11,355-seat Arena at Infinite Energy Center in Duluth. For ticket information, visit the official team website at or call the main office line at 770-497-5100.

Known as the face of Suwanee Events, Amy, pictured here with her husband, Dan and daughter, Hannah, is often recognized for her positivity and “can-do” attitude. A master at planning, quick thinking and creativity, she is the true exemplification of a pillar within the community.

Gwinnett Gladiators

O’Brien Family receives proclamation from Governor Deal Kevin and Donna O’Brien of Suwanee received one of three signed proclamations from Governor Nathan Deal, officially stating September as Childhood Cancer Month in the State of Georgia. The O’Brien’s tragically lost their oldest son, Cooper O’Brien, to Clear Cell Sarcoma Cancer last year and were instrumental in advocating for ‘Senate Resolution 492’ - a resolution recognizing September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The Resolution’s stated objective is: “To put a spotlight on the types of cancer that largely affect children and survivorship issues and to help raise funds for research and family support because a diagnosis of childhood cancer turns the lives of the entire family upside down.” To learn more how you can assist the O’Brien's in their efforts to make a difference in the lives of other families fighting against cancer, please visit

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Third annual 2015 Suwanee Classic Car Show returns to Suwanee Town Center Park The North Gwinnett Arts Association is gearing up for its 3rd annual Suwanee Classic Car Show which will be held in Suwanee Town Center Park on Sunday, November 8, from 10am-5pm. The event will showcase many types of classic cars being judged by Bill Buckley and includes a presentation for our veterans, race cars on exhibit (Jeff Gordon & Dale Earnhardt), a race car simulator, Paint-A-Wreck, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, music by Uptown Entertainment and lots more with an anticipated crowd of 3000+ and approximately 150 classic cars! There will be soldiers from the Georgia Defense Force and cadets from the North Gwinnett High School Junior ROTC volunteering at our event. It starts with an Opening Ceremony with the NGHS Junior ROTC Color Guard. The Veterans' Spotlight will be at 2pm. Admission is free to the public. This beautiful event is a fundraiser for the North Gwinnett Arts Association in Suwanee, Georgia. The NGAA is a non-profit, 501(c) art organization formed in 2010 which will use monies raised to promote and support art initiatives set forth by the organization. Go to to register your classic car or to learn more about the event.

Students write letters of gratitude to soldiers Greater Atlanta Christian School

partnered with The Bert Show in a letterwriting campaign October 26-30 for U.S. soldiers stationed abroad. GAC students wrote letters of gratitude so soldiers will be flooded with letters from home during Thanksgiving holidays. Letters were delivered to The Bert Show on October 30. This event is sponsored by GAC's Office of Diversity and led by Laura Fazekas (12th) and Tinsley Martin (8th).

“Spread the Words” 5K/Fun Run benefits Animal Rescue and Autism Programs The Jonny & Xena's Spread the Words Foundation, Inc. held its inaugural “Spread the Words” 5K/Fun Run on Saturday, October 24th, in Suwanee Town Center Park. The event benefited animal rescue and autism programs in the metro Atlanta area. The event was a way for the Foundation to give back to the community that has supported their efforts and embraced the story of Jonny and Xena. Jonny is a young boy with autism that prior to owning Xena, had led an extremely quiet life with little outside interaction. Jonny’s parents, ardent animal lovers, adopted Xena, a severely battered and abused dog, who as she was being nursed to health, opened a door for Jonny that they didn’t know was possible. Their story has reached millions of people in over 114 countries through social media and a viral YouTube video. Xena the Warrior Puppy has become a sensation in her own right. She was the ASPCA Dog of the Year 2013, the American Humane Association's Emerging Hero Dog of the Year 2014, the American Kennel Club’s ACE Exemplary Companion, and was awarded the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice Excellence In Service for her dedication to Georgia’s at risk youth. She is using her fame and her love of Jonny to “spread the words,” help support animals in need and to shine a light on autism. To learn more about the organization and their story, visit


The Gwinnett Beer Fest donates to The Chris

Singleton Foundation

September 26th marked the first Annual

Gwinnett Beer Fest at Coolray Field, and also created an opportunity for the event organizers to “give back.” The event, staffed largely by volunteers, donated a portion of proceeds from the first year event to a local nonprofit organization, The Chris Singleton Foundation. Former Major League Baseball player, Chris Singleton, founded the organization with the mission to provide financial support to organizations that are making a critical impact in areas such as at-risk youth, ending childhood slavery, or providing clean water access. The portion of the proceeds donated by the festival will directly benefit the program Essential2Life; a program designed to create life-changes for urban youth through mentoring and educational/career opportunity programs in the Greater Atlanta community. The Chris Singleton Foundation participates in events and fundraisers in support of Essential2Life and continues to partner with the organization to raise money for the additional resources this growing organization needs. By donating over $2,000 this year, the organizers of the Gwinnett Beer Fest are proud to make a donation to support needs within the local community. To learn more and for ways to help, visit or

Complexions Contemporary Ballet debuts inaugural Gwinnett Performance season


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The Gwinnett Infinite Energy Theater is no stranger to top-notch artists from around the world who come to grace its stage. This December, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, a world-renowned contemporary ballet company, celebrates the kick off of the company's 21st season with the announcement that they have expanded their offices from New York City to the Atlanta metro area. The show is the first stop for the company’s 2015/2016-performance season. The company, famous for its unique form of multicultural inspired contemporary ballet, will perform a number of new works such as, STRUM, a world premiere set to the famous songs of Metallica. Additionally this season, the company pays tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou in a new work, IMPRINT/MAYA, featuring a solo performance by Complexions’ own Desmond Richardson. For more information go to

the buzz

‘Frank the Chair’ honors local author’s mother

An exciting new children’s book, Frank the Chair Visits Kansas, was released on October 1st and promises to be a wonderful treat for both young and old. The book was released by the creative author team of Aaron and Jessica Freeman of Lawrenceville and illustrated by the talented Lindsay Ryden. While Frank the Chair has been going on adventures since 2004, this new children’s book was written and created in honor of the late Rita Shogren. Rita, mother to Jessica Freeman, was a grade school librarian in southwest Kansas, and tragically killed in a car accident in December 2014. One of Rita’s loves was introducing her students to new books and reading, and this book serves as a reflection of that passion. Readers can follow the adventures of Frank the Chair, the endearing main character, as he serves children across many generations and teaches them about life, love, joy, and sadness. The book is available for purchase on Amazon, releasing at the perfect time for holiday gift-giving. Visit for more information.

VDG wins 2015 American Graphic Design and International Davey Award Veugeler Design Group (VDG)

is a Buford-based graphic design firm that was recently presented with two new awards. The design firm won a 2015 American Graphic Design Award and an international 2015 silver Davey Award for a poster series they designed for Jekyll Brewing. Both design competitions are highly renowned in the industry, and VDG is proud to be considered among the list of top national and international creative agencies. To view the awardwinning work, visit their website at or see the poster series in-person at Jekyll Brewing’s Tap Room in Alpharetta.

We will miss you, Lynne! The City of Suwanee, we at Suwanee Magazine, and everyone who knows her is going to miss Lynne DeWilde, Public Information Officer for the city. Lynne has been the voice of Suwanee for the last 15 years and has been a pleasure to know and work with. Lynne has moved on to a new adventure in the Washington DC area, we wish her the best!


people&places on the scene...

Suwanee Fest

Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 19 & 20th TOWN CENTER PARK PHOTOS:



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Jubilee Fall Festival Saturday, October 17th




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people & places


Saturday, September 26th COOLRAY FIELD PHOTOS: KARL LAMB


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people & places


Taste of Suwanee Saturday, October 10th TOWN CENTER PARK PHOTOS:



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people & places

Peach State Chili Cookoff

Saturday, October 3rd TOWN CENTER PARK PHOTOS:


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upcoming suwanee area events

November Events:





Aladdin Fall Musical November 5-7th, 7pm North Gwinnett Middle School Extra Mile Run/ Walk 5k November 7th, 8am Benefiting Annandale Village Town Center Park

Register @


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3rd Annual Suwanee Wine Fest November 7th, 1-5pm Town Center Park n November 7th, crowds will once again descend upon Suwanee Town Center Park for the 3rd Annual Suwanee Wine Fest presented by The Fresh Market. The event boasts unlimited tastings of wines from around the world, as well as a selection of craft beer – available in the “beer and college football” tent. The band Pullin’ Strings will provide live entertainment as festival attendees eat delicious food samples, explore local vendors, and drink samples of over 100 premium wines. Tickets are very limited and on sale now at


Suwanee Classic Car Show November 8th, 10am-5pm Town Center Park



Lanier Islands Seasonal Job Fair November 10th, 4-7pm Summer House @ Lanier Islands


Cooper O’Brien Memorial Golf Tournament November 10th

Free open gym time for children 18 months to 6 yrs old.


Golf and dinner registration at

Tomorrow’s Hope Montessori Open House November 14th


• 9am Check-in • 11am Start • 6:30pm Dinner & Auction

The River Club

Little Starz Gymnastics Grand Opening November 14th, 10:30am-12pm

Gwinnett Chamber Pinnacle Small Business Summit November 18th, 9:00am-5:00pm Gwinnett Center 




Gwinnett Public Schools Thanksgiving Break November 23rd – 27th





Thanksgiving Night Hockey Game: Atlanta Gladiators vs. Manchester Monarchs November 26th, 7:05pm The Arena at Gwinnett Center

Black Friday Hockey Game: Atlanta Gladiators vs. Orlando Solar Bears November 27th, 6:05pm The Arena at Gwinnett Center

December Events: 4

Jolly Holly-Day December 4th, 6:30pm Town Center Park


Sugar Hill Animal Hospital Open House and free photos with Santa December 6th, 12-3pm



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Prancer’s Pancake 5K December 12th, 8am Town Center Park



Gwinnett Public Schools Winter Break


Christmas Day




Atlanta Gladiators vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits December 26th, 7:05pm The Arena at Gwinnett Center

Atlanta Gladiators vs. Norfolk Admirals December 29th, 7:05pm The Arena at Gwinnett Center

New Year’s Eve Bash! December 31st Tannery Row Ale House

Details coming soon at

Suwanee Magazine Nov-Dec 2015  

Suwanee Magazine is a family magazine for Suwanee Georgia and surrounding cities in Georgia.

Suwanee Magazine Nov-Dec 2015  

Suwanee Magazine is a family magazine for Suwanee Georgia and surrounding cities in Georgia.