Advance Voting for November 8 Special Elections

Advance Voting for the November 8, 2011 Special Election will begin Monday, October 31, and will continue through Friday, November 4.

Forsyth County registered voters may take advantage of Advance Voting at five locations throughout the county.

The following locations will be open during Advance Voting:

Downtown Cumming
Forsyth County Administration Building
110 E. Main Street
October 31 – November 4
Voting Hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday
8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Downtown Cumming
Cumming City Hall
100 Main Street
October 31 – November 4
Voting Hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday
8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

North Forsyth Area
Hampton Park Library
5345 Settingdown Road
October 31 – November 4
Voting Hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday
8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

West Forsyth Area
Midway Park Community Building
5100 Post Road
October 31 – November 4
Voting Hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday
8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

South Forsyth Area
Sharon Springs Park Community Building
1950 Sharon Road
October 31 – November 4
Voting Hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday
8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For all in-person voting, voters should remember to bring one of the six acceptable forms of photo identification. For details and to view your Sample Ballot, visit the Elections Page of the Forsyth County Web site at

Remember, there is no Absentee, Early or Advance Voting on Monday, November 7. If you are unable to take advantage of Early or Advance Voting you will need to go to your designated polling location on Tuesday, November 8. Polls will be open on November 8 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Several precincts have changed. Please verify your Election Day precinct prior to voting by checking the Forsyth County Web site at

Act Together Ministries helping Forsyth County Family

From left, Act Together volunteers Dan McWhorter and Matt Cooper build a sidewalk for J.P. Medelovitz, a terminally ill child confined to a wheelchair. Not pictured: Brandon Cromer.

Act Together Ministries volunteers build sidewalk for Suwanee (Forsyth County) child in wheelchair

Three volunteers with North Fulton-based Act Together Ministries built a sidewalk 12 J.P. Mendelovitz, a terminally ill child confined to a wheelchair, near his home. J.P.’s mother Sonia Lear used to carry J.P. to their house since his wheelchair could not be pushed through the unpaved area. Dan McWhorter (Norcross), Matt Cooper (Sugar Hill), and Brandon Cromer (Duluth) spent all day Saturday, October 17, constructing the sidewalk.

Act Together is seeking Christmas sponsors for J.P. and hundreds of other children in need in the North Atlanta area. Sponsors will provide between four and six gifts to a child; partial sponsorships are also available. To sign up, go to or email Heather Clark at

Act Together is a charity dedicated to improving the lives of children in distress, strengthening families, and inspiring the next generation to serve.

Liberty Middle Band Wants Your Vote!

Liberty Middle School in Cumming has entered the Glee Give A Note Competition and they need everyone’s help in winning!!

They have a chance to win $50,000.00 for the music program!  Fifty THOUSAND!

Public voting is open until November 7th and you can vote every day, once a day.

So, why not start today & help the Liberty Middle School Band!  Click here to vote.

Book Signings by Local 17-Year Old Author

By: Amberle Cianne

Amberle Cianne, a 17-year-old published author from Cumming is a popular guest for Halloween events and book signings because of the subject and title of her first book – Nightmare in Niceville.  The suspense/thriller takes place in a quiet Florida town where Lily Strykes, her mother, and  younger sister have created a comfortable, pleasant life … until their dark past catches up with them.

At the age of 14, Amberle discovered that she wanted to be a writer because it allows her to express herself and create something real and tangible from her imagination.  Her first book, Nightmare in Niceville, started off as a playful school activity until Amberle’s imagination took over and story took on a life of its own.

Now that the book has been published by BQB Publishing and is available through, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and can be ordered by book stores around the country … and Halloween is around the corner … Amberle is being besieged with requests for appearances and book signings.

She will be appearing at the following events between now and Halloween:

Vickery Creek Elementary Fall Fesitval in Cumming on October 28th from 5:00 – 7:00pm

Barnes & Noble Local Children’s Author Event at The Avenue in Cumming on October 29th from 11:30am – 1:00pm

Stars & Strikes Haunted House in Cumming on October 29th from 7:30 – 10:30pm

Menchie’s Fall Festival at the Marketplace in Cumming on October 30th from 2:00 – 6:00pm.

More about Amberle:

Amberle is a senior at Forsyth Central High School with ambitions to become a full-time writer.

Diverse in her writing abilities, Amberle is currently working with BQB Publishing to release her first children’s book.

Learn more at

Early Voting for November 8 Special Elections

Early Voting for November 8 Special Election Starts Monday

Early Voting for the November 8 Special Election will begin Monday, October 17, and will run through Friday, October 28. Forsyth County registered voters may cast their ballot during Early Voting at the Forsyth County Administration Building, located at 110 E. Main Street in Cumming.

Early Voting will be open to all Forsyth County registered voters from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please note there is no Absentee, Early or Advance Voting the Monday prior to any election. To receive additional election information, visit or call 770.781.2118.

Gala for Hope & Healing

Gala to Honor Three October 22

Gainesville, Ga. (October 10, 2011) On Saturday, October 22, the Children’s Center for Hope & Healing will host its fourth annual Gala for Hope & Healing. The event, presented by Avita Community Partners, will honor three women who have played a vital role in the twenty-seven year history of the organization:  Lyn Orr, Evanda Moore, and Madge Burch.

Evanda Moore was one of the organization’s founding board members when the organization, then known as The Family Relations Program, formally incorporated in January of 1987.  She worked with greater dedication than any employee would have and was instrumental in helping the organization to raise some of the first funds that helped it get started.

Lyn Orr and Madge Burch also served on the board of directors—Lyn Orr serving as President—more recently in the organization’s history.  Both Lyn and Madge’s terms ended in 2002.  In the late 1990s, the organization held monthly meetings in people’s homes where they would gather children and their families, feed them dinner, have activities, and conduct therapeutic sessions.  Both Madge Burch and Lyn Orr repeatedly opened their homes and their hearts to the agency’s children.

During the 1980s and 1990s, these three women championed the cause, ensuring that children who had been sexually abused received the help they needed at a time when people did not discuss sexual abuse.  As a result of their efforts, thousands of children have come through the doors of The Children’s Center for Hope and Healing.  The October 22nd gala will honor the courage, vision, leadership, generosity, hard work, and determination selflessly contributed over many years by these three women.

The gala will also feature savory tastings from Scott’s on the Square of Gainesville as well as the exciting live musical entertainment of award-winning Daddy-O-Strut, a high-energy six piece dance band based in Atlanta that is hailed as “Atlanta’s Finest Rockin’ Funkin’ Swingin’ Groovin’ Strutin’ Party Band!”

A silent auction that evening will present guests with the opportunity to purchase a variety of interesting items, including the work of several local artists, jewelry, a one-week vacation on St. Simon’s Island, a weekend getaway to Las Vegas, or a weekend getaway at a lake-side cabin in the North Georgia mountains.

The funds raised at the event will help the hundreds of abused children the agency serves each year.  Since 1984, the agency has provided free therapeutic services for children who are the survivors of sexual abuse.  Without treatment, children who have been sexually abused are at higher risk for alcohol or drug problems, teen pregnancy, academic failure, eating disorders, depression, health problems, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or suicide.  Because so few people in society talk about sexual abuse, most do not realize how common it is: 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.  In the U.S., it is estimated that there are 39 million adult survivors of sexual abuse.

The Children’s Center’s fourth annual gala will be held at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St., NW in Gainesville, beginning at 7:00 p.m.  For tickets, call 770-532-6530 or email for more information. Tickets can also be purchased online at

The agency collaborates in many ways with its presenting sponsor, Avita Community Partners.

“We are honored to sponsor this year’s gala,” said Cindy McLaughlin, Avita Community Partners’ CEO. “We refer clients to the Children’s Center for Hope & Healing, as oftentimes adults with mental illness or addictive diseases also have suffered child sexual abuse.”

About the Children’s Center for Hope & Healing

The Children’s Center for Hope & Healing is a non-profit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of child sexual abuse and exploitation.  The agency offers no-cost therapeutic services to children ages 4 to 17 who are the victims of sexual abuse as well as adult women who are the survivors of child sexual abuse.  In addition, the agency offers Project Pathfinder, a program dedicated to treating children and youth with sexual behavior problems.  In 2010, the center offered treatment for almost 1,200 people from 22 counties of Northeast Georgia.

About Avita Community Partners

Avita Community Partners was formed by the 1993 Georgia State Legislature to serve persons experiencing the disabling effects of mental illness, developmental disabilities, and addictive diseases. Avita serves individuals from 13 counties in North Georgia, including Banks, Dawson, Forsyth, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union and White Counties. Originally founded as Georgia Mountains Community Services (GMCS), Avita Community Partners’ mission is to improve the quality of life for persons with behavioral health and developmental disabilities.  For more information, please visit

More Information:

Hope & Healing Online

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