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

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 .

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 

WFHS Studio West Productions Presents “Chaplin the Musical”

Studio West Productions Presents the Hit Broadway Musical “Chaplin the Musical”

Featuring a Live Orchestra, West Forsyth High School’s Award Winning Studio West Productions is excited to present the Hit Broadway Musical, “Chaplin.” Based on the life of Charlie Chaplin, this entertaining and emotional production will take you back to a time in our country’s rich history and show audiences of today what a cultural, cinematic and historical force Charlie Chaplin was.
Charlie Chaplin came to America an unknown. He left amidst scandals and controversy. In between, Charlie Chaplin became one of the best-loved and most famous entertainers in the world. From the gritty streets and smoky music halls of London to movie screens across the world, Chaplin goes behind the camera to show how a comic genius found soaring success and later fell from grace. Chaplin provides a captivating close-up on the man who changed motion pictures forever.

Studio West’s Director, Eric Gray says, “It is very exciting to be given this rare opportunity to premiere CHAPLIN the Musical as we also did for the award winning Nice Work if You Can Get it, In both cases, I felt we had the perfect cast for the show. To bring such a wonderful and very moving story to the West Forsyth Stage is such an honor. With an emotional musical score, great dance numbers, lots of special effects with lavish costumes and a live orchestra, the evening should prove to be very memorable event. I hope our audience will come out and support the show.”

“Chaplin the Musical” will run Friday March 17 – 18 7:30pm and March 19 at 3:00 and March 24-25 at 7:30pm. Tickets can be purchased at or at the door. Adult tickets are $15.00 and Student and Senior (65+) Tickets are $12.00. To ask about group rates for 20 or more, please e-mail All performances will be held at the West Forsyth High School Auditorium at 4155 Drew Road, Cumming, GA 30040. For more information about West Forsyth High School’s Studio West Productions, or to learn how you can contribute, go to or visit or Facebook Page at

Additional Information about “Chaplin the Musical”
Director: Eric Gray
Choreographer: James Landreau

Show times are as follows:

  • Friday, March 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm
  • Friday, March 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Chaplin the Musical
Music and Lyrics by Christopher Curtis
Book by Christopher Curtis and Thomas Meehan
Produced by special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials supplied by

Toastmasters Completion Celebration March 15, 2017 – Post Road Library


Local Students Complete Public Speaking And Leadership Training

Surrounded by library staff, volunteers, and cheering parents, twelve Forsyth County students will complete the Youth Leadership Program in public speaking hosted by Toastmasters International at the Post Road Library on March 15 at 6:30 pm.

The following students will be honored for completing the Youth Leadership Program at 6:30 pm on March 15: Anvitha Mandli, Dharshan Rajan, Hari Rajan, Lucas Chidambaram, Manny Batlle, Michael George, Mitali Bidkar, Raqeeb Rahman, Tucker Lesperance, Victor DaSilva, Vihaan Kesharwani, Raymond Qin

This is the second year that Toastmasters International members have volunteered their time to host the Youth Leadership Program. Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization that helps people develop communication and leadership skills.

The Youth Leadership Program provides a supportive and positive experience for students in elementary, middle, and high school to overcome the nervousness they feel when asked to speak before an audience. Distinguished Toastmaster Lana McFarlane of the Healthy Voice Toastmasters Club in Alpharetta led the program this year.

“It’s an honor and a delight working with these students, seeing their progressive growth and development both individually and as a group,” says McFarlane. “We’ve seen each one of the students make a tremendous leap in confidence and growth from where they started in the program.”

Throughout the Youth Leadership Program, students learn to organize their ideas logically and practice presenting those ideas convincingly. They also learn to listen carefully to ideas presented by others.

“Each student comes to the program with a different level of comfort in speaking publicly. Their skill sets varied from those who spoke confidently with less use of notes to those who were overcome by nervousness and mumbled through reading their notes. But they all supported one another with valuable feedback during the program,” explains McFarlane.

The results of the Program and the students’ practice will be evident at the completion ceremony, adds McFarlane.

“Even the ones that were nervous and shy at the beginning eagerly volunteered to speak before the audience at the last session.”

For more information on local Toastmasters organizations and public speaking training for adults, please visit For more information on library programs and resources for students and adults, please visit

{Photo source: Toastmasters International volunteer Barbara Wallace listens as Vihaan Kesharwani delivers a practice presentation at the Post Road Library last week.}

Tickets For Disney On Ice Presents Worlds Of Enchantment On Sale Now

Tickets For Disney On Ice Presents Worlds Of Enchantment On Sale Now

Playing at Duluth’s Infinite Energy Arena from April 20 – 23

ATLANTA (February 28, 2017) Rev up for non-stop fun with four of your favorite Disney stories when Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment comes to your home town!  This one-of-a-kind production will be the only Disney On Ice show visiting Atlanta in 2017 when it plays the Infinite Energy Arena from Thursday, April 20, to Sunday, April 23. Tickets are on sale now, and are available online or by calling 770.626.2464.

Get ready to enter a dazzling world of Disney magic, live on ice where Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Disney●Pixar’s Cars perform high-speed stunts and race across the ice like you’ve never seen before!  Be amazed and join Ariel as she dives into the underwater kingdom of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.  Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and other favorites from the Toy Story gang as they try and escape from Sunnyside Daycare in one of their most daring adventure ever from DisneyPixar’s Toy Story 3 – proving that the toys are back in town! Plus, enter the wintery world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa from the BAFTA and Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen. Join Anna as she embarks on an epic journey with the hilarious snowman Olaf and rugged mountain-man Kristoff to find her sister, the magical Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter.

From wheels to waves, icy wonderlands to infinity and beyond, see some of your family’s favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment.

Date and Time of Performances at Infinite Energy Arena:

  • Thursday, April 20 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 21 – 10:40 a.m.
  • Friday, April 21 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 22 – 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 22 – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 23 – 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 23 – 5 p.m.

 Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment start at $15. All seats are reserved, and tickets are available by calling online or by calling 770.626.2464.  For group rates and information, please call 770.578.5125. To learn more about Disney On Ice, produced by Feld Entertainment, visit us online or on Facebook and YouTube.

About Feld Entertainment

Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 70 countries on six continents and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Feld Motor Sports, Disney On Ice and Disney Live.

Lambert DECA “Thankful for Challenge” Changes Local Community’s Perspectives

From February 16-18, Lambert DECA is traveling to Atlanta for State Competition. This year, Ari Vlajk and Laura Hancher are competing in the Community Service Project to raise both money and awareness for the American Cancer Society.

Throughout their efforts, one of their goals was to help the Forsyth community embrace a more positive outlook on their lives. They accomplished this with the “Thankful for Challenge” in which administrators, teachers, and students from LHS were invited to write something that they are grateful for on a small, hand-held whiteboard. The answers ranged from physical belongings, such as avocados and coffee, to intangible concepts, like friendship and faith. Then after writing their answer, they wrote who the nominated to complete the challenge next. The girls then would snap a picture of them and begin to track down the next person.

This project has made a larger impact on our community than previously expected, for they have now completed over 100 challenges, creating a chain-reaction of positivity at Lambert.

Attorney Craig Long Achieves Victory for Elderly Client in Forsyth County

Craig Long, a local attorney in Cumming, Georgia, won a substantial victory in the Superior Court of Forsyth County, for his 88-year-old client in January of 2017. Mr. Long’s client (plaintiff), owns several acres of prime real estate in Forsyth County, Georgia on Post Road. In 2014, the plaintiff and three other neighboring property owners agreed to assemble their tracts of land, totaling a little over 16 acres, to sell to a developer. The four owners entered into a contract with an entrepreneur to sell their properties. Said entrepreneur successfully obtained a rezoning of the assembled parcels, yet, was not successful in finding a buyer for the properties before the contracts expired. Shortly after the entrepreneur’s contract with the plaintiff expired, the defendant requested the plaintiff sign an “extension” that was purported to give him the right to buy her specific property “until the property sells.” On December 18, 2015, the entrepreneur filed an affidavit in the deed records of Forsyth County, Georgia clouding the plaintiffs title, causing future and present legal problems as it relates to title to the property.

The plaintiff brought suit against the entrepreneur in March, 2016 to quiet title to the property and have cancelled of record the affidavit filed on December 18, 2015. A 3-day bench trial was brought before the Honorable Jeffrey S. Bagley, chief judge of the Superior Court of Forsyth County, Georgia. The defendant in the case counterclaimed for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, quantum meruit, and expenses of litigation. Under each principal count, the counterclaimant-defendant sought damages in the amount of $261,000.00. Craig Long prevailed on the count of quiet title and won against all counter claims of the defendant except quantum meruit, where the judge awarded the defendant $5,000.00 for his efforts in rezoning the plaintiff’s property.

Mr. Long was assisted in the case, by his associate attorney, Doyle Johnson. His firm, Craig Long, LLC, is located in Cumming, GA and he practices law throughout North Georgia in the areas of Real Estate, Corporate Law and Civil Litigation.

Local Experts Discuss Global Politics At Cumming Library

Local Experts Discuss Global Politics At Cumming Library

Professors from the University of North Georgia (UNG) will lead a series of eight discussions on complex global issues at the Cumming Library. The series is part of Great Decisions 2017, a national program presented by the Foreign Policy Association to help local communities better understand global politics, government, and foreign issues that affect the United States.

Each session will be held on Thursday evenings in February and March (no meeting March 16) at 7:00 p.m. at the Cumming Library, 585 Dahlonega Street. Admission is free, but advance registration is requested at, or by calling 770-781-9840.

The first event of the Great Decisions series will focus on the European Union (EU) and the impact of the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the EU. Dr. Craig Greathouse, Associate Department Head and Professor, Department of Political Science & International Affairs at UNG, will address Europe’s refugee crisis, lingering financial recession, and the constant threat of terrorism in “The Future of Europe” on Thursday, February 2.

The U.S. political mood toward trade has gone sour, as evidenced by President Trump’s recent action to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Dr. Michael Gove, Assistant Professor of Economics in the Mike Cottrell College of Business will lead a discussion on the metrics used to gauge economic strength and how the U.S. can develop appropriate policy solutions in “Trade and Politics” on Thursday, February 9.

In “Conflict in the South China Sea,” Dr. Christopher Jespersen, Dean of UNG’s College of Arts & Letters, will dissect the competing territorial claims in the South China Sea, explain China’s increasing naval presence, and outline the careful diplomacy required to keep tensions from boiling over. This discussion will be held on Thursday, February 16.

Many American policymakers say that Saudi Arabia’s promotion of Wahhabism, an extremely conservative version of Islam, creates jihadists. They also point to the country’s lack of democracy, women’s rights, and human rights as a source of instability. Dr. Victoria Hightower, Associate Professor in UNG’s Department of History, Anthropology & Philosophy, will address these topics and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s attempts to shift political power to a younger generation in “Saudi Arabia in Transition,” on Thursday, February 23.

Topics for discussion in March include U.S. Foreign Policy and Petroleum, Latin America’s Political Pendulum, Prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Nuclear Security.

While advance knowledge of these topics is not required to participate in the Great Decisions series, the Foreign Policy Association published a Great Decisions 2017 Briefing Book that can be purchased online or borrowed from the Forsyth County Public Library’s collection. A Great Decisions 2017 DVD is also available online and at the library and includes eight 30-minute documentaries.

For more information, or to register to attend a Great Decisions discussion, please visit


You Bid, Rescued Horses Win!

Save The Horses Is Getting Ready To Run Its First Online Auction Fundraiser

Save the Horses is calling for donations of new and like new items for its first online auction called “You Bid, Rescued Horses Win!” The auction is a fundraiser designed to raise money for feed and medical care of the 130 rescued horses and other animals that they care for. Supporters are encouraged to donate items that they are no longer using that are in good condition and have a value of $25 or more. Donations need to be received by January 31, 2017, just in time for the auction which starts on February 3 at 8AM and ends on February 10 at 10PM.

It’s All About Raising Money For the Horses
“It is important for us to raise the money to buy feed & hay and continue helping horses stay healthy and safe. With the economic instability over the past few years, donations have slowed down but the amount of horses needing help has increased tremendously. We are heartbroken to turn a needy horse down. The more items we have to auction off, the more we can do to provide relief to help an abused, abandoned or neglected horse get back on the road to recovery & adoption.” Says Cheryl Flanagan, the Rescue Director.

How to Donate
Items can be mailed or dropped off at the farm at 1768 Newt Green Road in Cumming, GA 30028 or items can be uploaded directly to the auction site.

“Via the auction site, the donor can upload a picture, add a compelling description and when they receive an email announcing the winning bid, they just need to agree to pay the shipping – to US addresses only.” Says Cella Nelson, the Auction Chair. Donors can upload items by clicking the Donate Items button on the auction site:”

Spread the Word
The Rescue is asking supporters to spread the word about their auction. They can share news of this auction on social media with the hashtag #STHAUCTION.

About Save the Horses
Save the Horses (Horse Rescue Relief and Retirement Fund, Inc.) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1978 and based in Cumming, Georgia. Its mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home horses that are unwanted, neglected, abused, abandoned or at risk of going to slaughter. If the horse can be rehabilitated and adopted, Save the Horses will find a loving home for them. If suitable homes cannot be found, Save the Horses has committed itself to allowing the horse or other animal to live out their lives in a safe, stress-free environment at the rescue or in a foster home.
Save the Horses is also committed to educating the public on the overall care of horses and awareness of the plight of homeless horses. Last year alone they have rescued and re-homed more than 150 horses. Save the Horses is a 100% volunteer-run organization and is home to nearly 130 horses and other animals that reside on their 110-acre farm or in a network of local foster homes that accommodate additional horses that are available for adoption.

Save the Horses (Horse Rescue Relief And Retirement Fund, Inc.)
The Horse Rescue, Relief & Retirement Fund is a 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax deductible.

TAX ID: 58-2479748 1768 Newt Green Road, Cumming, GA 30028 ~ Tel: 770.886.5419

For more information about Save the Horses, visit their website