Gwinnie Awards given at The Hudgens

(May 2013) The Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth recently held its annual Appreciation Evening recently, at which Volunteer of the Year awards were given, as well as ‘Gwinnie Awards,’ in recognition to those who have made outstanding contributions to The Hudgens and the arts community in general over the last year.

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City of Snellville Staff Gloria Crosswell, Gaby Downs, and Candace Pulliam in their gold t-shirts in recognition of Amanda Riley and Childhood Cancer
City of Snellville has Gone Gold for Childhood Cancer & Amanda Riley Day

Snellville Mayor Kelly D. Kautz and the City of Snellville have painted the City or at least City Hall gold in support of childhood cancer and the Amanda Riley Foundation. In Monday's Council meeting Mayor Kautz declared September to be Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and specifically declared September 12 of every year to be Amanda Riley Day in the City of Snellville.

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snellvilleart190Summer Art Exhibit at Snellville City Hall

The City of Snellville, Mayor Kelly D. Kautz and the Snellville Art Jurors are proud to announce artist Raphael Sagage as the next visual artist exhibiting artwork at City Hall as a continuation of the Art on the Wall at City Hall program. The public is invited to view original works of art by Raphael Sagage during the months of June and July in the community room at city hall during normal business hours.

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gamanufacturingexpoThe first Georgia Manufacturing Expo will be held at the Gwinnett Civic Center on June 8. It will be hosted by Networking MFG and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance, a new grassroots movement that seeks to connect Georgia manufacturing brands to the strong demographic of Georgia business and individual consumers who want to support job growth and locally manufactured products with their purchases.

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505 GCPS retirees to begin another chapter in 2013

As 10,556 Gwinnett high school seniors receive their diplomas this week, 506 Gwinnett employees who supported them through their academic career also start a new chapter in their lives. The educators and support staff members are retiring after teaching students in the classroom, driving them to and from school, serving them their meals, guiding and counseling them, and proving support and resources to them.

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Amolo named Media Specialist of the Year

A Gwinnett County educator known for her passion for reading was named the 2013 Gwinnett County Public Schools Library Media Specialist of the Year. The honor was presented to Sharon Amolo of Gwin Oaks Elementary in the Brookwood Cluster.

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Reflections of love at Vecoma
By Beth Volpert

vecoma4-RT220Vera Wang insists that her wedding dresses not only look lovely on the bride, but also lend themselves to dancing. At Vecoma, weddings find a riverside setting befitting a beautiful bride with plenty of space to dance all while reflecting the love in the hearts of a couple starting a new life together. 

With 2013 awards from The Knot Best of Weddings and Wedding Wire Brides’ Choice, Vecoma at the Yellow River is a magical place for a wedding. Nestled among 70 acres of forest, Vecoma offers a beautiful setting for weddings and special events inside and out. Riverside weddings are extremely popular as the natural setting creates a spectacular backdrop with the Yellow River flowing gently behind the wedding party. 

Historically, Vecoma began as a retreat for Venie and Cotton Mather’s family. With a successful furniture business underway, Cotton Mather began building a 6-sided cabin made entirely of wood and stone found on the property which included both sides of the river. The lodge was named Ve Co Ma by using the first two letters of each name. “The foundation and chimney of this family relic still remain next to the new reception hall built in 1996,” says Judith Warren, granddaughter of Venie and Cotton Mather. 

vecoma1-RT190The family retreat and the remains of the original cabin have been repurposed into a beautiful, private deck with the chimney forming one side. The open fireplace has been given new life with a lovely display of candles and a private spot to trade vows, take memorable photos or share a newlywed moment. Even Vecoma’s resident photographer and Mather’s great-granddaughter, Caroline Tucker recently celebrated her own December wedding just in front of the family fireplace. “It was a beautiful day and shows that even in December, Georgia is a wonderful place for an outdoor wedding,” says Caroline. While her own wedding was most special, Caroline says that everyone has a dream when it comes to their wedding day. “Keeping that in mind, we have decided to offer the new option of a simple Ceremony Only wedding.” With this option, couples can enjoy the beauty of Vecoma for exchanging vows privately or with up to 20 guests.

Outdoors is not the only place to hold a wedding at Vecoma. The lodge has been designed to capture the history of Vecoma, yet provide a modern touch with all the conveniences. Soft, buttery walls, twinkle lighting, antiques and interesting little touches throughout create a memorable space to hold a ceremony and reception. The huge covered deck overlooks the wedding area and river just beyond. A setting such as Vecoma provides just the natural touch needed for a lovely and magical wedding. The river itself has seen many a family gathering, baptism and wedding. In those waters and through the lens of her camera, Caroline Tucker captures the reflections of love brought by bride and groom to their own special day. See the Vecoma website for more information at

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta hosted the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Gold Award Ceremony on Sunday, March 10 2013 at the Fox Theatre in the Egyptian Ballroom. 113 Gold Award awardees from the Atlanta area were recognized at the event, 14 from Gwinnett County.

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