Goody Bags Bring Smiles to Local Schools

Recycling Awareness Theme Prominent

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga —  Over 1300 “Welcome Back to School” goody bags were delivered to Forsyth County’s elementary schools, Cornerstone School, Kings Ridge Christian Academy, Pinecrest Academy and McGinnis Woods in September.  The bags containing environmental education resources and a recycling theme were sponsored by Olde Atlanta Recycling and Sanitation Solutions through Reaping Nature Educational Outreach Foundation, a local non-profit organization.

(L-R) Yvonne Zalewski, Jennifer Smith, Anna Doll, Joan Meador and Principal, Pam Pajerski, Cumming Elementary School.

The sponsorship of Olde Atlanta Recycling and Sanitation Solutions’ enables Reaping Nature to provide 10 Title I schools with a free program in North Fulton, Forsyth and Dawson.  One school excited about receiving such a program is Keep Forsyth County Beautiful’s Gold School of the Year, Cumming Elementary.

“I have heard lots of great things about Reaping Nature’s recycling program, and had hoped we could afford it sometime in the future,” said Anna Doll, Teacher of Exceptional Children and BeCumming Green Team Sponsor, as well as this year’s recipient of Educator of the Year from KFCB.  “Denise Carleton and her company have done so much to promote recycling in Forsyth County and are a great resource for our schools.”

Cumming Elementary boasts 34 raised flowering and vegetable beds on its grounds, a comprehensive school-wide recycling initiative, and a student “BeCumming” Green Team comprised 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students who are committed to making our world a better place to live through environmental service.   The group meets two Mondays a month for Junior Master Gardener and environmental awareness classes.  The students are also working toward their certification as Jr. Master Gardeners and Forsyth County Master Gardeners facilitate their hands-on bi-monthly programs.

Getting bags ready

“I’m amazed and impressed by the ingenuity and efforts put forth by Ms. Doll and her Green Team to shape young minds and create habits in children that will have a long-term effect on the environment through recycling and waste diversion,” said Andrew Black, owner of Olde Atlanta Recycling and KFCB Board President.  “I look forward to growing environmental education programs in our schools and community in hope of creating a more sustainable environment for us all to live and work in.”

Reaping Nature Productions, LLC & Reaping Nature Educational Outreach Foundation, Inc.

On-site environmental education programs for schools, clubs, organizations & special events.

America Recycles Day Contest for Kids

Entries to promote healthy choices for kids and the planet

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga —  Reaping Nature Educational Outreach Foundation, a Forsyth County non-profit organization, has launched its America Recycles Day contest for kids.  This fall’s contest theme is Healthy Choices = Healthy You & Planet.

“We want kids to think about the healthy choices that impact our everyday lives,” said Denise Carleton, Reaping Nature’s Executive Director.  “By making healthy food choices, recycling, not littering or exercising, for example, individuals show how they are taking care of themselves and the planet.”

Entries need to include Reaping Nature’s original characters, Petunia Garner™ or Echo the Squirrel™, or a combination of both characters, in a written, drawn or photographed format.  Winners will be selected based on originality and content in first, second and third place in two different age categories:  8 and under and 9 to 12.  Prize packages with prizes donated by Premier Surplus, Stars & Strikes, Harry’s Farmers Market, Melissa and Doug and Gorilla Sacks, will be awarded to first, second and third place winners.

Winners will be announced at Reaping Nature’s Community Paint and Paper Recycling Event at Harry’s Farmers Market, 1180 Upper Hembree Road, Roswell, on Sunday, November 13, 2011.  All contest entries must be received by Friday, November 4, 2011.  Contest entries must be accompanied by an Official Entry Form.  Winners not need to be present to win.

For Entry Form, Contest Details and Official Rules, visit or email

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Celebrate National Pizza Month with Mia’s

mia's pizza in cumming

Mia’s Pizza and Eats Hosts Family Events, Giveaways, and Specials in October

CUMMING, GA, September 28, 2011 – Mia’s will host various events throughout the month of October the family is sure to enjoy.   October is National Pizza Month, so in honor of this special occasion, Mia’s will give away gift certificates, sponsor a food drive and art contest, and host a family fun night.  There will also be weekly pizza specials and a great “treat” for Halloween.

Week one promises to be a fun and rewarding time.  On Saturday, October 1st, the first thirty customers will receive a gift certificate for a free slice of pizza on their next visit.  During the first week, October 1-8, Mia’s will sponsor a food drive to promote a local charity, Food for Thought.  Customers who bring in two non-perishable food items for the collection bin will receive 10% off their dine-in bill.  To find out more about how to support Food for Thought, go to

“Food for Thought is one of those organizations that makes it easy to give back to the community,” says co-owner, Clori Rose-Geiger, “During these hard economic times, we feel it’s especially important to do something meaningful to support those in need.  Since we’re in the business of food, we felt it the logical step to sponsor a charity focused on feeding the hungry.  We also love the Food for Thought concept, and we think everyone should join their cause.”

The month will close with a Pizza Box Art Contest, a Family Night, and Halloween festivities.   Pizza Box Art Contest entries are due October 24th by 4pm; winners will be announced October 30.  The contest has two age categories, and prizes include a pizza party for the elementary winner and a pizza a month for a year for the middle/high winner.  To print a flyer with rules, go to Also, on October 24th from 5pm to 8pm, Mia’s hosts a Family Night Out Event sponsored by Cumming Local (see for more details).  Those who sign up through Cumming Local will be allowed to order from a discounted menu, kids will have access to pizza/pasta-related crafts, and Cumming Local will create gift bags for participants filled with coupons and certificates to local businesses.    Finally, on Halloween night, the first 40 kids under twelve dressed in their costumes who say “Trick or Pizza” will receive a free kid’s cheese slice.

Each week will showcase a pizza special that is not on the menu.

  • Week 1 – The Queen.  Mia’s version of the margherita with organic, locally grown tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil
  • Week 2 – BBQ Chicken Pizza.  Mia’s begins with a locally made BBQ sauce, adds layers mozzarella, freshly baked and shredded chicken breast, organic red onions, and mozzarella for a classic California-style pizza.
  • Week 3 – Panzanella Pizza.  Mia’s version of a panzanella salad.  Pizza baked with pesto sauce and goat cheese, topped with a spinach salad tossed in the house vinaigrette.
  • Week 4 – Loaded Baked Potato Pizza.  Homemade buttery mashed potatoes, bacon, broccoli, red onions, and cheddar cheese.  Finished with a crema drizzle.

Mia’s Pizza and Eats is a family owned and operated pizzeria that prides itself on the freshest ingredients, friendly service, and reasonable prices.  Dough is made fresh every day.  Mia’s also boasts house made lasagna, breads and bread products, meatballs, and desserts.  Salads are fresh cut, no bagged or pre-made products are used.  The restaurant offers something for every member of the family:  video games, free wifi, patio dining, big screen TV’s, gluten-free dough, catering, and delivery.

Connect with Mia’s Pizza & Eats

911 Market Place Blvd, Cumming GA 30041
Mia’s Pizza & Eats OnlineMia’s Pizza & Eats on Facebook

Boosterthon Fun Run at Local Forsyth County Schools

Courtesy of Boosterthon - Photographer: Lindsay Cope

Boosterthon Fun Run Invites Students on an EPIC Adventure at Coal Mountain & Sawnee Elementary in Cumming, GA

Boosterthon Team Members Promote Fitness, Leadership and Character While Boosting School Funding

Cumming, GA—Sept. 2011—Coal Mountain Elementary in Cumming will host the Boosterthon Fun Run event on Sept. 29. The Boosterthon Fun Run is a 9-day fitness and leadership program designed to help schools raise needed funds for education while inspiring students to live character-filled lives. Boosterthon’s new character theme, Epic Adventure, will show 430,000 students this school year how to work together in teams through the adventure actions Encourage, Play, Invite and Celebrate.

“Every day, our team members see students across the country get excited about character and leadership,” said Chris Carneal, Boosterthon founder and president. “Schools exceed their financial goals, and we challenge students to live out the daily character action in school and at home.”

Courtesy of Boosterthon - Photographer: Lindsay Cope

As part of the 2011-2012 program, schools nationwide will join Boosterthon in Operation Playground, an initiative that will build playgrounds for underprivileged schools in Guatemala. Students will see firsthand their efforts not only benefiting their school but also giving students in other parts of the world the opportunity to “play.”

Leading up to the Boosterthon Fun Run event at their school, students are invited to gather pledges for each lap they run. Along the way, Boosterthon provides fitness rewards such as the PlayDisc, a hand-woven Fair Trade disc made by local Guatemalans.

Boosterthon has a proven track record of helping schools boost funding by more than 75 percent over other traditional methods and executes all aspects of the program from start to finish, taking the workload off parent organizations.

Founded in 2001 at a time when the fundraising landscape relied primarily on product and catalog sales, Boosterthon set out to completely redefine the industry. Today, students are not selling products door-to-door; instead they benefit from a fun, interactive program that impacts schools and develops leaders.

But the Boosterthon Fun Run is more than a fundraiser. The program offers an extensive character curriculum that combines live character presentations, a children’s book, upbeat music, and a read-along mini-movie that includes live action and animation.

Coutesy of Boosterthon - Photographer: Lindsay Cope

“We know that by investing in students, everyone wins,” said Carneal. “We wanted Epic Adventure to be more than just motivational posters on a wall. We worked hard to bring our theme to life on different platforms to create an unforgettable experience for students.”

Boosterthon’s unparalleled commitment to excellence internally enables team members to have a huge impact on the students and schools they serve, changing the world one student and one leader at a time.

About Booster:

Boosterthon Fun Run is an Atlanta-based fundraising company that serves hundreds of elementary schools around the U.S. each year through the promotion of fitness, leadership and character. Booster is located at 1000 Mansell Exchange West, Suite 350, Alpharetta, GA 30022. For more information, visit

‘Stars and Strikes’ to go HALLO FUN!!

stars & strikes in cumming ga

Festivities to benefit a local charity!

What: Stars and Strikes’ in Cumming, Dallas and Gwinnett will host “Hallo Fun” Every weekend in October starting September 30th.  Festivities include a Haunted House where proceeds will benefit a local non-profit which varies by location.  The haunted house will feature a series of hallways of which will be toned down for the younger kids during the day and stepped up in the evening to give older kids of all ages a fun scare! In addition, with ticket price – customers will have access to a variety of $2 specials and a $5.00 game card.

Participating locations will also have a pumpkin patch, craft vendors, indoor scavenger hunt, and Haunted Lazer Tag! Stars and Strike is also offering $25 off all Birthday Party packages* during the month of October. Also in the month of October, the Gwinnett location on Hwy 316 will have a 5K  Pumpkin Pacer Race on October 8 (,  Wee-Cycle Upscale Children’s Consignment Sale October (  and Family Fun Day Festival on October 29!

When: September 30 – October 31, 2011

Where: Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center

Cost: $7.00 Haunted House ticket

Why: To celebrate the Halloween in a family friendly fun capacity!

Event Background: With four locations across metro-Atlanta, Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Centers offer affordable family fun and entertainment for all ages.  Each center features twilight and boutique bowling (24-40 lanes per location); futuristic lazer tag; arcade game room, bumper cars and a full-service Coaches Corner Sports Bar, with a variety of menu items.  For information, log onto or call 678-965-5707. For Vendor sign up information call 678-965-5707.

Contact:   678.965.5707 or email:

Pizza Box Art Contest

Mia’s Pizza and Eats Sponsors a Pizza Box Art Contest

Mia's Pizza Box Art Contest
Mia's Pizza Box Art Contest

Mia’s Pizza and Eats of Cumming, Georgia is sponsoring a Pizza Box Art Contest.  Entries are due by 4pm on October 24.

October is National Pizza Month, and Mia’s wants to start the festivities by sponsoring a Pizza Box Art Contest.

There are two age groups: Elementary, 6-11; Middle/High, 12-17.  The elementary winner will receive a pizza party consisting of four pizzas and two, 2-litter sodas. The middle/high winner will receive a free large pizza of choice each month for a year. Winners will be announced October 30.

Entries must recycle a used pizza box by turning the top into a canvas for the artwork.  All mediums are accepted.  Sides should be painted black, and no logos should show through the art.  Any pizza box can be used.  Entries become the property of Mia’s Pizza and Eats.  The entries will be displayed in a gallery at the restaurant.

More Information: or email at

Mia’s Pizza on FacebookMia’s Pizza on Twitter

State Championship Barbeque Cook-Off


National BBQ Cookoff in Cumming GA

The National BBQ Cup Announces a State Championship Barbeque Cook-off Benefitting Local Cumming and Forsyth County Charities

Cumming, GA, September 14, 2011 – The National BBQ Cup, Inc. officially announces its State Championship Barbeque Cook-off set for November 18-19, 2011, at the City of Cumming Fairgrounds. Proceeds from the event will benefit local Cumming and Forsyth County charities including Bald Ridge Lodge, Jesse’s House and Forsyth County Community Connection.

This competition is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and will have 85 professional BBQ teams along with 50 amateur cooks. Teams will come from as far as California and Puerto Rico for the competition, and the local community is invited to attend and join in the festivities.

“The City of Cumming Fairgrounds is a world-class facility for a barbeque cook-off. We are excited to bring this event to our community and showcase it to the Barbeque Circuit,” said Randall Bowman, Chairman of The National BBQ Cup. “We anticipate a very successful event and look forward to supporting our local charities as a result.”

This family-friendly event is open to the public with gates opening Friday, November 18 from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free for children under 12. There will also be a Peoples’ Choice contest for guests to taste and judge their favorite barbeque. In addition to the professional and amateur cook-offs, and Peoples’ Choice contest, there will be a variety of food and craft vendors, raffles, product demonstrations, live entertainment, and a fun Kids’ Zone.

For additional information about The National BBQ Cup, contact Randall Bowman or visit

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Local Children’s Charity Offers Incentives for Good Grades

children's charity in forsyth countyIncentives for Good Grades

Alpharetta-based children’s charity Act Together Ministries kicked off I CAN, a new initiative offering incentives to elementary school students for earning good grades. The program, which launched on July 31 at Act Together’s Tools for School event and is funded by Kroger and Roswell Rotary, already has 125 participants who will be rewarded with movie tickets, toys, and more for their scholastic success. Students can earn prizes for straight A’s, making the Honor Roll, Improvement, and Perfect Attendance.

How does it work?

Children can register for the program and redeem their prize by bringing their report cards to an Act Together event.

For more information, contact:

I CAN Registration Page
Heather Clark
Phone:  678-200-9125  |

More About Act Together

Act Together is a 501(c) 3 children’s charity located in South Forsyth.  Programs and services are offered to foster children, children in low income families, and other groups of distressed children throughout the North Metro Atlanta area.  Programs include educational incentives for school achievement, mentoring, sports and enrichment scholarships, Christmas and birthday sponsorships & more.

Mellow Mushroom at The Avenue

Mellow Mushroom is coming to The Avenue in Forsyth County!

Here are some dates to make note of:

Thursday, September 8th from 4pm to 8pm – Hiring Event at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Cumming
Monday, October 3, 2011 – Soft Opening
Saturday, October 8, 2011 – Grand Opening

Mellow Mushroom is excited to have two great artists commissioned to produce two large murals for their store. One is Gabriel Shaffer, a multi-media folk artist from Asheville, NC and John Stommel, a muralist and painter from Ohio.

Gabriel is completeing a very aggressive project for the interior and will be 6’x37′ long! Feel as if you’re at an outdoor venue, taking in a show and eating delicious Mellow Mushroom pizza, calzones, and sandwiches!

John is completing an exterior mural that will be the first of its kind in a Cousins development. His concept really captures the excitement and fun atmosphere!  Check out the mural here!

“It is all very “Mellow”!”

More Information:

Mellow Mushroom Cumming on Facebook
Mellow Mushroom Cumming online

10th Annual Day of Caring


August 23, 2011

United Way of Forsyth County

2011 Day of Caring & Campaign Kick-Off Breakfast

Join us, fellow volunteers and donors for United Way’s Day of Caring & Campaign Kick-off on Friday, September 9, 2011!  The day will begin with hundreds of United Way supporters gathering at the Forsyth Conference Center to celebrate the start of the 2012 Campaign.  Breakfast will be served followed by an exciting event and Team Photos and then volunteers are off to participate in the 10th Annual Day of Caring!

The Day of Caring event provides volunteers from local businesses, schools, civic organizations and churches the opportunity to lend a helping hand to nonprofit organizations throughout Forsyth County.  In 2010, almost 500 volunteers participated in Day of Caring projects at 37 different locations throughout Forsyth County.  Volunteers spent time doing yard work, painting, sorting food donations, reading to children and many other activities.  This day is a collective effort by a variety of people to make a difference in the community.

For more event information, visit, call 770.781.4110 or email

United Way of Forsyth County works to advance the common good by focusing on education, income and health.  These are the building blocks for a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement and good health.  It takes everyone working together.  Because underneath everything we are, underneath everything we do, we are all connected, interdependent, united.  And when we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all.  We all win when a child succeeds in school, when a family becomes financially stable, when people have good health.  We all LIVE UNITED.