It's almost time to get ready to Relay for Life in Gwinnett

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.

This year's Relay for Life Gwinnett kick-off is just around the corner. The event will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at Berkmar High School. The kick-off will feature fast-steppers, cheerleaders, a parade and a marching band as the American Cancer Society's Gwinnett chapter honors the top 50 local teams and three national teams. The top teams will offer advice on how any team can be a winner.

The chapter invites anyone to come learn how to form a neighborhood, work, church or family team to raise money to fight cancer.

•Plans are also under way for the second annual Lilburn Relay Rally. The event is scheduled to run from 5 to 11 p.m. April 28. The relay rally is modeled after Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society's biggest annual fundraiser. Teams of five to 10 people walk to honor cancer survivors and raise money for cancer research.

Last year, the Lilburn Woman's Club, the Lilburn Business Association and the City of Lilburn helped raise more than $23,000 in support of the Relay for Life of Gwinnett, held annually at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds.

Teams are forming now, and you can organize a team of your own by visiting www.LilburnRelayRally.org or picking up a team packet at the City of Lilburn Police Station, 76 Main St., any time of day.

Cooking class

benefits food bank

The Kroger School of Cooking in Alpharetta will host a Valentine's Day cooking class to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank. The Simple Abundance cooking class will feature chef Zeb Stevenson of Dick and Harry's. It will tackle recipes sure to impress your special someone - carpaccio of artichoke hearts with arugula salad, sweet potato ravioli with sauteed spinach and passion fruit mousse.

The class will run from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 7 at the cooking school, 12460 Crabapple Road in Alpharetta. All proceeds benefit Atlanta's Table, a project of the Atlanta Food Bank. To register, visit www.acfb.org or call 404-892-FEED, ext. 1444.

Hornsby highlights

benefit concert

Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta will host a "Nurturing the Gift" benefit concert Feb. 11. The concert will feature Grammy-winning percussionist Sonny Emory with special appearances by fellow musicians Bruce Hornsby and Francine Reed. Proceeds will go toward Emory's fundraising efforts for new drumline equipment for Frederick Douglass High School, his alma mater, as well as the music and arts programs of other public high schools in Atlanta.

The concert is part of a series of fundraising and educational activities to raise awareness for keeping music in the schools. The Atlanta cafe has agreed to support the "Nurturing the Gift" cause for five years. The restaurant will donate proceeds from a limited-edition "Nurturing the Gift" pin to Frederick Douglass High School's Marching Astros Drumline and other Atlanta public schools.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8:30 at Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta, 215 Peachtree St. in Atlanta. Admission is $70 or $125 for VIP meet-and-greet tickets. For tickets, visit www.ticketalternative.com.