3rd Annual Rise and Drive Family Festival

rise and drive family festival

Stepping Stone Montessori School supports Access Life America & Atlanta Children’s Shelter with Family Festival

Hosted with support from the City of Sugar Hill on The Plaza

Date: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Where: 5039 West Broad Street, Sugar Hill, GA
Time: 12:00 – 3:00 pm

Stepping Stone Montessori School (SSMS), which provides a Montessori education for children ages birth – 6 yrs in both Sugar Hill and Cumming, today announces its 3rd Annual RISE & DRIVE Family Festival.

The Family Festival, with the City of Sugar Hill acting as Venue Sponsor by hosting the event on the City’s Town Green, marks the third year that SSMS has organized this fundraising event, in support of Access Life America and Atlanta Children’s Shelter. We will be closing off the streets for this occasion and all are welcome to join. Here are some of the highlights to expect this year:

  • A variety of Vendors
  • Larger Venue – the beautiful Sugar Hill Town Plaza
  • Local talent along with local children’s performance’s
  • Activities for both adults and children (inflatables, craft booths, games, musical performances by local artists)
  • Food vendors
  • Huge raffle with items for the entire family (theater tickets, dinners, jewelry & more!)

For more information, please call SSMS at 770-205-0317 (Cumming) or 770-614-4310 (Sugar Hill).

About Stepping Stone Montessori School

Stepping Stone Montessori School offers programs of early childhood education, from birth through age six, in partnership with a thriving community of families. From its founding in 2014 SSMS faculty and parents have worked together for the benefit of the child. SSMS offers high quality, authentic Montessori programs and adheres to Montessori standards and curriculum – the organization founded by Dr. Maria Montessori. The founders of SSMS hold childhood cancer research dear to their hearts, having lost a sibling to cancer. For more information about SSMS and the Montessori philosophy, history, and pedagogy, please visit www.steppingstonemontessori.com

Easter Eggs for Charity

Easter Eggs for Charity

Music Authority, a retail shop and music school in Cumming, Georgia, spent the last week filling plastic eggs with candy.

The activity, part of Music Authority’s Easter Egg Challenge, is the brainchild of parent Rachele Lahr. The stuffed eggs will be delivered to Meals by Grace on Saturday for their Easter food delivery. Rachele estimates each of the children in the program will receive 25 Easter eggs.
Seven of Music Authority’s musical groups took part in the challenge. The six bands and adult choir filled over 4,000 eggs. As part of the challenge, they posted photos of their efforts on social media with a shout out to Meal by Grace.

Meals by Grace is a non-profit ministry with a goal of helping children and families provide food for themselves while they work to better their situation. You can learn more about Meals by Grace at their website, www.mealsbygrace.org.

“One of the best parts of watching my son in a band is seeing him be part of something bigger than himself. It’s watching this group of teens and middle schoolers come together not only to play music but also to give back to the community. Watching them sit around my kitchen table, laughing and stuffing eggs for others in need, brought a smile to my face as a parent,” says Mary Ellen Strandquist, mother of Eclipse drummer, Christian Strandquist.

Giving back to the community is an important part of the learning experience at Music Authority. Bands, musical groups, and private students are encouraged to participate in a variety of charitable activities throughout the year.

For more information on Music Authority, visit their website at www.musicauthorityinc.com, or call 770-886-9066.

You can also find Music Authority’s popular Rock Summer Camps on our Summer Camps for Kids in Forsyth County.

Sawnee Ballet Announces New Artistic Director After 25 Years

Sawnee Ballet Theatre (SBT) is proud to announce Courtney Bromwich, owner and director of Sawnee School of Ballet, will join the company as its second Artistic Director.

The announcement comes just 3 months after the 25th anniversary of the company’s annual Nutcracker production. Joan Kall Stewart, the Theatre’s current Artistic Director, will officially end her tenure May 1, but will continue to work with Bromwich and the Board to provide choreography for both the Nutcracker and Spring Concert productions under the title of Director Emeritus.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been invited to be the new artistic director of Sawnee Ballet Theatre,” Bromwich said. “Looking forward, my goal is to continue to build on the rich legacies of classical ballet established by Joan Kall Stewart. I plan to draw on my vast experience and network of choreographers to develop and enhance the company’s unique identity while expanding the presence of the company in Forsyth county and beyond.”

“We are excited to welcome Courtney as the new artistic director,” said John McKinnis, President of the SBT board . “This is a pivotal time for our organization, and we are confident that Courtney can build on the wonderful foundation and reputation Sawnee Ballet Theatre has already established in addition to carving out her own legacy within our organization.”

Courtney began dancing at 4 years old in St. Louis, MO and has been involved in the Atlanta dance community for 30 years. Her strengths in ballet as well as tap, jazz, and modern have earned her several choreography awards, honors, and placements throughout the years. Having already graduated from Kennesaw State University with a B.A. in Business Management, Courtney later returned to KSU to further her dance education. She was the first dance major to graduate from the program in May 2010. In November 2012, she was honored to take over as the new owner and director of Sawnee School of Ballet. Over the last four years, Courtney worked along side Joan Kall Stewart to continue the same spirit and core principals that had been driving the school since its inception. She has also implemented new ideas to educate, energize, and inspire the dancers while growing their passion for dance.

Founded in 1991, Sawnee Ballet Theatre is a non-profit company housed out of Sawnee School of Ballet. The purpose of the company is to provide young people extensive dance experience and the opportunity to perform in a professional setting while simultaneously providing cultural awareness and education to the Forsyth community. Sawnee Ballet Theatre will hold open auditions for the 2017/2018 season on Saturday, May 20, 2017. For information, visit www.sawneeballettheatre.com, follow us on Instagram @sawneeballettheatre, and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SawneeBalletTheatre/

In Home Sports Physicals and Sick Visits

If you have ever tried to get into your doctor’s office for a much needed sick visit or have tried to get your child a sports or camp physical at their pediatrician’s office, then you know how it difficult it can be. The long waits, the lack of available appointments when you need them, the need to leave work to get an appointment during operating hours, and the exposure to sick patients in the waiting room. We have all been there and frankly, with the rest of the healthcare world becoming more convenient; why is it still so difficult to get into the doctors when you need to.

Well-beings, A Home Health Limited Company has worked hard to tackle these problems. We believe in returning health care back to the way it used to be many years ago; convenient, family oriented, and best of all, in the comfort of your home. Although we may not show up at your home on a horse carrying our black medicine bag, we will come to you. . . whether it is at your home or where you work. If you need a physical, a sick visit, a vaccine, or a cholesterol check stat, Well-beings makes this experience quick and easy. With after work hours, weekend hours, and an easy online scheduling system; it is easy to make an appointment when it works for you. If you or your loved ones are sick, there is no need to get out of bed and go anywhere! Best of all, our visits are very affordable.

We do not accept insurance, but not to worry! Our services rarely exceed the cost of a simple co-pay that you would pay at your doctor’s office or an urgent care. Our strep test visits are $30, UTI visits $30, Yeast Infections $25. . . you get the point. At an affordable cost, family centered care, and convenient time and location; there is no need to go through the hassle of making an appointment, driving to your doctors, and enduring the long waits.

You can find out more about Well-Beings at www.well-beingsGA.com

Launch Trampoline Park Opening in Cumming Georgia

Launch Trampoline Park

Launch Franchising, LLC. is pleased to announce a Launch Trampoline Park will be opening in Cumming, Georgia!

Launch Trampoline Park was founded in 2012 by Rhode Island entrepreneur Robert Arnold and retired New England Patriot cornerback and three-time Super Bowl Champion Ty Law. Arnold embarked on the vision for Launch in 2011 after he visited his first trampoline park with his wife and kids. Seeing the combination of family, fun and fitness and using his knack for entrepreneurship, Launch came to life.

All of the Launch Trampoline Park locations provide kids of all ages with endless fun of whether it is bouncing on trampolines, playing dodgeball in mid-air or falling into a massive foam pit. Launch Cumming will be available for birthday parties, fundraisers, fitness classes, toddler time, teen nights, private events and more! The park has a full-redemption arcade, Launch Restaurant and private party rooms. Additionally, Launch Trampoline Park has its own mascot – “Joey,” a 7-foot tall green kangaroo mascot – who is in charge of fun at the park, assisting with birthdays and special events.

“The Launch Cumming franchisees are excited to bring family fun to the area and are ecstatic to be a part of the Launch team. We can’t wait for the community to enjoy all the fun and action that Launch has to offer,” stated Robert Arnold, president and co-owner of Launch Franchising, LLC.

More About Launch Franchising:

Ty Law and Robert Arnold are co-owners of Launch Franchising, LLC, with two corporate locations in Warwick, RI and Hartford, CT, and franchise locations along the East Coast. The company is expanding its franchise nationwide and utilizing the strength of positive branding, turn-key operational systems and proven marketing programs as attractive benefits to potential franchisees.

For additional information, please visit www.launchtrampolinepark.com.

Quiet the Wars: Overwhelming Co-Parenting Battles

Does Any Of The Following Resonate With You, A Friend, Or Family Member?

  • Has your low self-esteem or your confidence has taken a hit
  • Do you feel disconnected or unfulfilled with your relationships or remain in unhealthy ones
  • Are you having parenting issues regarding your children or with co-parenting
  • Are you struggling with negative messages that you keep tell yourself
  • Do you have difficulty with change, making decisions, control, and life transitions

The mission of Lotus Therapies is to be a place of help, hope, and healing. Here at Lotus Therapies you can start becoming a better parent, being a better decision maker, gaining a better relationships, gaining your own voice, feeling more balanced, being mindful or self and choices, feeling in control of things you can control, and loving yourself fully.

Lotus Therapies is presently Offering Group and Individual Therapy and Coaching
for Women, Men, Parents, Couples, Teen Girls in Forsyth and Gwinnett County

Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs anyone ever takes on. Our connection with our children and how we choose to raise them will impact their lives forever. Lotus Therapies offers access to volunteer and mandated parenting and co-parenting classes. These are good for clients needing child rearing skills to be completed for social services, court-ordered parenting classes, probation, or just for personal growth to create and maintain a good, healthy relationship with your child.

Lotus Therapies is currently offering a co-parenting group for parents that are facing special challenges as a parent with his/her ex, within their relationship or during their separation, divorce or when creating a blended family.  The co-parenting group is a beneficial option for individuals because it is cost-effective, helps you relate to others and yourself in healthier ways, give and receive support from fellow group members while finding your voice. This group allows parents an opportunity to talk about the challenges with adjusting to co-parenting, the best interests of their children in a neutral environment, work through issues that are causing conflict in their co-parenting relationship, finding stability for themselves and their children, and parental self-care. If you’re ready to allow your kids to have a loving connection with both parents and to create a healthy co-parenting relationship please click the link for more information. www.lotusctr.net/coparenting


Music Authority Bands Rock Out for a Good Cause

Music Authority Bands Rock Out for a Good Cause

Music Authority, located in Cumming, Georgia, will be watching two of their bands take part in the 500 Songs for Kids fundraiser this year. The fundraiser raises money for Songs for Kids – a non-profit that sends musicians into children’s hospitals in five states to provide music and inspiration for young patients. The fundraiser takes place over twelve nights and features some of the best musicians Atlanta has to offer.
Music Authority’s Eclipse was the first band to be a part of the event. The band, made up of Sashu Machani (Riverwatch Middle), Ryan Lally (Mill Springs Academy), Lauren Isenberg (South Forsyth High School), Kaitlyn Lahr (North Forsyth Middle), and Christian Strandquist (South Forsyth High School), played the song “Hey There, Delilah” on Saturday, April 1 at Venkman’s in Atlanta.

Lauren Isenberg says about the opportunity, “It was an incredible experience with a lot of other great musicians. And what made it even more amazing was that you were playing and raising money for such a great cause.”

Eclipse’s sister band, Music Authority’s Rise, will be playing “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” on Friday, April 21, also at Venkman’s in Atlanta. Rise consists of Caroline Reilly (homeschool), Jake Lanni (Forsyth Central High School), Kyle Hosea (North Forsyth High School), Harrison Block (South Forsyth High School), Blake Bassham (Homeschool), and Brayden Sudduth (South Forsyth High School).

You can find out more information about Songs for Kids at www.songsforkids.org.

Music Authority’s Rise and Eclipse are part of the Music Authority Family of Bands. You can find more information about them online at www.musicauthorityinc.com or on Music Authority’s Facebook page. To learn more about Music Authority’s band programs, call 770-886-9066.

Learn more about Music Authority:

MusicAuthority-LogoMusic Authority is a single location music store and music school in Cumming, Georgia, just north of Atlanta. It sees 500 students each week and contracts with almost twenty instructors.

Aside from private lessons, Music Authority offers two Rock Camps, two Showcase Bands, two large Rock-Style concerts, a String Ensemble, a Jazz Ensemble, an adult Choir, a Teens-Only New Year’s Eve Concert, and monthly Student Jam Nights, Open Mic Nights, and Adult Jams. In August Music Authority will be open its own intimate fifty-seat performance venue.

On any given weekend Music Authority alumni can be seen playing music in small and large venues from Savannah to Los Angeles.
Since 2002 Music Authority has touched the lives of thousands of students, the young and shall we say the young at heart.

You can find the Rock Camps from Music Authority on our 2017 Summer Camp listing. 

Connect with Music Authority online: Facebook | Website


Vickery Village “Lights It Up Blue” for Autism Awareness Month

Vickery Village “Lights It Up Blue” for Autism Awareness Month

Month-Long Campaign Will Raise Funds for Autism Speaks

Vickery Village lit up their shopping center blue in celebration of World Autism Day on April 2nd and kicked off their month-long fundraising and awareness campaign for Autism Awareness Month.

Vickery Village, in partnership with Autism Speaks, joined landmark buildings around the world – including the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, Sydney Opera House and more – and lit up their Vickery Village Courtyard in blue in support of World Autism Awareness Day. The lighting of the Village also kicked off a month-long campaign of special events and fundraising activities to raise money for Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization.

The United Nations sanctioned April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day and April as World Autism Month. Light It Up Blue is a global campaign to increase understanding and acceptance of autism. Autism Speaks is dedicated to funding global research, raising public awareness and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

“As long-time supporters of Autism Speaks, we feel it is important to partner with our business owners and customers, so our whole community can come together to support this important cause.  Autism has affected our family in a very personal way,” says Lori Scaramella, owner of Vickery Village, “My main objective has been collaborating charitable partnerships with our businesses and now we are honored to be bringing that same philosophy to the community of Vickery Village. “We are humbled and appreciative that so many of our business owners have chosen to join us in this very important campaign.”

To commemorate Autism Awareness Month, the following Vickery Village business will be holding special events and fundraising initiatives:

  • Gems in Art Jewelry Design Studio – $50 of each $100 Limited Edition star necklace will be donated to Autism Speaks
  • The Chill Hill – 10% of sales from Blue Raspberry Italian Ice will be donated to Autism Speaks
  • Cherry Street Brewing Cooperative and Rick Tanner’s – $.50 of each Groovy Child Guava Ale sold will be donated to Autism Speaks
  • Nido Cafe – $10 of each bottle of their Bluegray Priorat wine sold will be donated to Autism Speaks
  • Threads of Elegance – 10% of profits during April will be donated to Autism Speaks
  • brits clothiers – 10% of sales of Jack Black products sold in April will be donated to Autism Speaks
  • YMCA – Save $20 on their adaptive swim lessons with code BLUE – register at their front desk
  • Lanier Family Healthcare – the staff will designate a day to dress in blue and will distribute Autism Awareness to their patients
  • Serenity Orthodontics – the staff will designate a day to dress in blue and has created snapchat filters to help raise Autism Awareness
  • Pinspiration – 1st 25 people at their April 15th event will create a free blue ink tile for Autism Awareness
  • For Your Eyes Only – will give away a free eye exam to a child with autism and staff will designate a day to dress in blue

Monetary donations for Autism Speaks will be accepted at the following businesses – a great way for kids to get involved and donate their change:

About Vickery Village:

Vickery Village is a 200,000 square foot mixed use development in Cumming, Georgia. The center has recently signed several new tenants including Happy Belly Kitchen, Pinspiration, Threads of Elegance, The Phase Shop and Nido Café. These new businesses have joined long-tine tenants including Cherry Street Brewing, Rick Tanner’s and Cinco. The center was purchased by new owners in July 2016 and has undergone extensive capital improvements including installation of artificial turf and pavers, improvements in landscaping, drainage and external power as well as other property repairs and upgrades.

For more information on Vickery Village, visit http://www.vickeryvillageshops.com

About Autism Speaks:

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $525 million to its mission, the majority in science and medical research. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 60 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.AutismSpeaks.org .

About Autism:

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. Most are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences, and many are accompanied by media issues such as GI disorders, seizures and sleep disturbances. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in every 68 children is on the autism spectrum.

Award Winning Driving School Opens in Forsyth County

NEVO Driving Academy, an award winning driving school opened its headquarters today in South Forsyth County.

NEVO provides a safe and realistic environment for students of all abilities to develop a high level of driver confidence and automotive awareness through world-class instruction, teamwork and the development of safe driving principles.

NEVO instructors are professionally trained drivers with backgrounds in military, law enforcement, stunt driving, rally driving and racing. While they arrive at NEVO already experts in their field, they take pride in their continuous pursuit of the safest and most reliable techniques and training.

The NEVO Driving Academy Team looks forward to serving its local community. With Spring Break right around the corner, NEVO is offering $50 of their driver’s education programs between today and March 31, 2017. To register with the discounted rate, please call NEVO at 470-281-5832 or stop by the HQ, located at 6845 Shiloh Road East, Ste. D8. during normal business hours.

Nido Cafe Opens at Vickery Village

Nido Cafe Cumming GA

Nido Cafe Opens at Vickery Village

Nido is the latest business to open its doors at Vickery Village, a thriving 200,000 square foot mixed use development in Cumming, Georgia. And the rave reviews say it all….

“This place is ahead of the game. I went in for coffee and breakfast, and was met with excellence in every category. The service was phenomenal.  The shop has only been open for a couple weeks, but one would never know — the place runs like a well-oiled machine, wherein everyone on staff seems to truly enjoy their job. The food was impeccable.”
COO and Vickery resident Kevin Neel describes Nido as an escape to an authentic Spanish cafe where you’ll dine on delicious tapas, an incredible selection of Spanish wines, an extensive chocolate menu and exceptional coffee. The breakfast menu features items such as the strawberry, basil and brie egg sandwich, breakfast tacos with chorizo, avocado toast and the donut trio accompanied by milk, dark and white chocolate for dipping. For lunch and dinner, diners choose from tapas or “small plates” to share such as honey goat cheese stuffed piquillos, lobster stuffed mushroom caps, crab cakes on basil and lamb lollipops on rosemary. Even the kids get their choice of kid-friendly tapas.
Nido Cafe Vickery Village
And then it’s time for dessert.
Nido’s chocolate menu includes customer favorites such as Chocolate Soup, a cup of thick chocolate soup garnished with toasted cinnamon croutons and a ball of vanilla ice cream and chocolate & Churro sticks, dark Spanish chocolate served with cinnamon curio sticks for dipping. We spied a couple enjoying these for breakfast. Peanut butter lovers will come back again and again for the Peanut Butter Chocolate Molten Cake and the Peanut Butter Chocolate Fondue. And, of course, there’s the OMG Chocolate Espresso Cookie and the Chocolate Dipped Bacon. Yes. Two thick slices of applewood smoked bacon dipped into their amazing dark chocolate.
Nido Cafe
The restaurant decor can be described as European chic with white leather bench seating, white washed walls and chandeliers to add to your experience. Nido seats 65 including their heated terrace where you can enjoy live acoustic music on selected evenings. And for those in a hurry, Nido even offers online ordering for easy pick up, click here for more information and to order.
Co-owner Kevin Neel previously owned the popular LaCrema Tapas & Chocolate in Rosemary Beach, Florida before selling it last year. A resident of Vickery Village, Kevin and his long-time buddies, Jac Crawford and Bill Curis, worked out together regularly at the YMCA and then relaxed afterwards at area coffee shops. However, they longed for a restaurant that served the premium coffee, good food, Spanish wine and chocolate that they all enjoyed. So the three amigos decided to combine their talents, taste, and money. Together they created Nido.
“Nido” means nest in Spanish and seemed the perfect name for the restaurant which is perched high above the Vickery Village courtyard. Like a nest, it’s also comfortable, warm and a good place to stay awhile.
 “Nido fits perfectly into our vision for the Village. We are thrilled to welcome them to our community,” says Russ Scaramella, owner of Vickery Village.  “We are excited to create a unique experience for people at Vickery Village – a place where they can live, work and play.”
Vickery Village was purchased by new ownership in July 2016. Since that time, the owners have announced the expansion of Cherry Street Brewing and the Dojo as well as the opening of new tenants Nido, Pinspiration, The Phase Shop and Threads of Elegance. Happy Belly Kitchen will be the next restaurant opening in Vickery Village. The award-winning food truck concept will open its first brick and mortar store at Vickery Village in summer 2017.
Nido Cafe
Restaurant reviews for Nido can be found by clicking here
Connect with Nido Cafe Online: Website | Facebook | Instagram
Address: 5755 Clarion Street in Cumming
Phone: 850-624-4121

Monday 7 am – 5 pm
Tuesday – Thursday 7 am – 9 pm
Friday – Saturday 7 am – 10 pm
Sunday 8 am – 5 pm
Connect with Vickery Village Shops Online: Website | Facebook