Charity week includes benefit for homeless program, Heart Ball

Are you aware of an event or project that benefits our community? Contact Shelley Mann at 770-963-9205 ext. 1305 or shelley.mann@gwinnettdailypost.com.

When I said the fundraising season was getting busy, I wasn't kidding. Just check out the long list of ways you can give back to the community this week.

A relative newcomer to the nonprofit scene, Family Promise of Gwinnett, will celebrate its one-year anniversary on Tuesday with a gala and auction. The dinner and auction will raise money for Family Promise of Gwinnett, which helps local homeless families. The group is actually a network of 19 churches that provide short-term housing in the church for four families at a time. The families can spend a week at each church, during which time they'll work with a case manager and take financial and life skills classes.

"Our goal is in 90 days, families will be able to achieve independence," said director Brent Bohanan.

During its first year, the Gwinnett branch of the national organization helped 12 families, he said.

The gala event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Atlanta Marriott Gwinnett Place, located on Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth. For more information, call 678-376-8950. For information about Family Promise, visit www.familypromisegwinnett.org.

Heart Ball will be at the Gwinnett Center

One of the county's not-to-be-missed social events, the Heart Ball, is Friday at the Gwinnett Center ballroom. The 2006 Gwinnett/North Fulton Heart Ball, benefiting the American Heart Association, will start with a 6 p.m. cocktail reception with dinner following at 7 p.m. The evening includes entertainment, dining, a silent auction and dancing. The Gwinnett Center is located at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth. For tickets, call the American Heart Association at 678-385-2071.

Walk to raise

money for

Collins Hill student

Strides for Strength will host its fourth annual Strides for Strength Benefit 5K Walk/Run on Friday. The race will raise money to pay for medical expenses for Jarrett Boston, a junior at Collins Hill High School who is fighting a recurrence of a rare malignant melanoma. The student and athlete is one of only about 500 people nationwide who have been diagnosed with the disease. The cost is $25 ahead of time or $30 on race day.

The Strides for Strength Organization is a nonprofit group established by Collins Hill High School student Rob Montepare. It has also raised money for recipients Keason White, Gip Gayle, Brittany Harrington and Anne Russell. Register online at www.active.com or at www.stridesforstrength.org.

Stone Mountain walk helps provide wheelchairs

The sixth annual FODAC Walk 'n' Roll and Silent Auction, benefiting Friends of Disabled Adults and Children, will start at 9 a.m. Saturday at Stone Mountain Park. The Stone Mountain-based Friends of Disabled Adults and Children provides medical equipment to disabled people in the metro Atlanta area who could not otherwise afford it. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. The event will include games, clowns, music, celebrities and food. For more information, visit www.fodac.org.

Yard sale will

benefit food pantry

Bread of Life Food Ministry will hold a car wash and yard sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The event, organized by the Mill Creek High School peer leadership program, will raise money for the Dacula-based food pantry, which also operates a Lawrenceville thrift store.

Activities will include face painting, games, bubbles, balloon animals and barbecue. The car wash and yard sale will be held at the Bread of Life thrift store, located at 100 Hurricane Shoals Road, Suite N, in Lawrenceville. The store sits on the back side of the building.

Walk will raise money for assault victims

The third annual Walk A Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser, benefiting Victims Into Survivors Through Advocacy, is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Saturday at the City of Winder Pavilion. VISTA is a nonprofit hospital that offers exams for victims of sexual assault. They also provide follow-up services to victims of sexual assault and violence. The group serves Banks, Barrow and Jackson counties.

The walk invites men in the community to don women's shoes to walk a mile through downtown to raise awareness and show support for victims. For more information, call Susan Cash at 770-586-5423.

Dinner will benefit cancer group

The Designing Grandmothers Club of Snellville will host a CURE Childhood Cancer charity dinner on Thursday at the Summit Chase Country Club in Snellville. The gala event will feature a live auction, door prizes, entertainment from the Stone Mountain Brass Band and a gourmet meal. An auction preview starts at 6 p.m., and dinner starts at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public, and tickets are $35. Call 770-972-9481 or 770-979-5526 for reservations.

Local Relay for Life fundraisers scheduled

This year's Rumblin for Relay motorcycle ride, sponsored by Scientific-Atlanta, will kick off at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Scientific-Atlanta's Lawrenceville campus, 5030 Sugarloaf Parkway. The fundraiser will benefit the Gwinnett County American Cancer Society Relay for Life. The cost is $25 for riders and $15 for passengers. For more information, call Mary Gershwin at 770-236-2532.

Another Relay fundraiser, the Grayson High School Annual Relay for Life Auction, will take place on Tuesday. Auctioned items will include sports and music memorabilia, gift certificates and more. Last year, the students raised more than $9,000 for Relay for Life. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Grayson High School, 50 Hope Hollow Road in Loganville. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance. Tickets to the auction alone can be purchased for $5 at the door. For more information, e-mail Ryan Lesniak at Ryan_Lesniak@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

Fundraiser will help pug rescue group

The Precious Pets Foundation will host a fundraiser for Southeast Pug Rescue & Adoption on Saturday. The fundraiser will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Precious Pets boutique at 9 S. Peachtree St. in Norcross. Twenty percent of all sales for the day will benefit the pug rescue group, and items with SEPRA's name and logo will also be available for sale. SEPRA is a nonprofit group that rescues, fosters and adopts out pugs and pug mixes. For more information, call 770-416-7387 or visit www.preciouspetsga.com or www.rescuepug.com.

Arts festival

benefits adults

with disabilities

"Arts for Independence," a spring artist market benefiting the Zimmerman-Horowitz Independent Living Program, will return for its fifth year Sunday at The Marcus Institute, 1920 Briarcliff Road near Emory University. Ticket proceeds and a percentage of all sales go to the Jewish Family & Career Services program, which helps adults with disabilities learn the skills they need to be independent. The festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature the work of more than 70 artists. Tickets are $10 each, $13 for two and people under 18 years old are admitted free. For more information, call 770-677-9303 or visit www.artsforindependence.org.