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Orthodontist's program raises money for area charities

Are you aware of an event or project that benefits our community? Contact Anna Ferguson at 770-963-9205, ext. 1308, or anna.ferguson@gwinnettdailypost.com.

They're words no parent wants to hear: "Um ... I lost my retainer."

From this simple sentence stems frustration, annoyance and maybe even a little anger. But Dr. Robert Pickron is working to turn those frowns upside down. He has taken the negative experience of a lost or broken retainer and switched it to a positive one with Project Smile.

Founded by local orthodontist Pickron, of Pickron Orthodontic Care, Project Smile is a charitable giving program that makes a lost or broken retainer a fruitful experience. Instead of paying Pickron Orthodontic Care for the cost of repairing or replacing a retainer, the patient writes a check to support one of five local charitable organizations, including VolleyFest and Rainbow Village. In turn, Pickron matches all contributions and replaces the patient's retainer.

Since its creation three years ago, Project Smile has raised more than $100,000 for area charities and nonprofit organizations.

For more information, visit www.pickron.com, www.volleyfest.org or www.rainbowvillage.org.

Daily Post makes headline of its own

The Gwinnett Daily Post recently raised almost $2,000 for local children. From a silent auction held Nov. 30 and through employee support, the Daily Post raised $1,951, of which $750 will be used to purchased holiday gifts for children "adopted" through the Division of Family and Children Services Gwinnett office. The remaining funds will be donated to the Gwinnett Children's Shelter.

"This year's auction collected a record amount of donations," said Janet McCray, major accounts advertising manager and a coordinator for the auction, adding that this year's net proceeds were up 25 percent over previous years. "In a time when money is a bit tighter, we need to make sure that those in need in our own community are taken care of. That is the main reason we have the auction every year."

Candle lighting will honor children

The Gwinnett chapter of The Compassionate Friends will hold a local vigil as part of The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting, an annual event that honors children who have died at any age from any cause. The vigil will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. today at Rhodes Jordan Park, 100 E. Crogan St., Lawrenceville.

The Compassionate Friends is a worldwide organization that provides grief support to parents, siblings and grandparents who have experienced the loss of a child. Visit www.tcfatlanta.org.

Kiwanis to host annual holiday party

The Lawrenceville Kiwanis Club will host a Christmas party for more than 300 foster children from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Gwinnett Technical College. The children attending the party range in age from newborns to teenagers, and the gifts are provided by area businesses. The club has hosted the annual party for more than 25 years. For more information, call 770-963-0359, ext. 323.

Bonefish Grill nets big funds in gala

Bonefish Grill raised $10,000 for Family Promise of Gwinnett County during a pre-opening celebration held Nov. 10 at the newly established Buford location, 3420 Buford Drive, near the Mall of Georgia. Funds were raised through menu-tasting ticket sales, a raffle and a silent auction.

"We believe in and support the efforts of Family Promise and their commitment to helping families in need," said Luke Capps, managing partner of Bonefish Grill, in a press release. "We couldn't have selected a better partner than Family Promise to make our venture into Buford such a huge success."

Family Promise is a nonprofit, interfaith organization for families in transition, and works with communities and congregations to end homelessness.

For more information, visit www.bonefishgrill.com or www.familypromise.org.

Murphy's raises $2,000 for Project Open Hand

During its recent Empty Bowls luncheon, Murphy's restaurant sold 100 clay bowls and raised $2,000 for Project Open Hand, an organization that supports hunger-related charities in the Atlanta area. Since September, community leaders and residents stopped by Wired and Fired pottery studio in Atlanta to create bowls, which were then sold at the Nov. 15 luncheon, held at Murphy's, 997 Virginia Ave. NE, Atlanta. The empty bowls act as a visual reminder of the millions of people throughout the world who go hungry every day. For more information, visit www.projectopenhand.org.

Jackson EMC gets smART for students

The Gwinnett Council for the Arts was recently awarded a $7,500 grant from the Jackson EMC Foundation. The grant will be used to purchase art supplies for smART Honors Program students. SmART works to put at-risk students who excel in the arts back on track, with two-hour advanced art instruction classes held Saturdays throughout the school year at the Hudgens Center for the Arts. For more information, visit www.jacksonemc.com.

Local resident, group raise funds for boys home

Twenty-five local, homeless boys living at the Positive Growth Boys Home will now be able to eat together thanks to a $60,000 donation given to the Clarkston home for kitchen expansion and growth. The funds were donated by the Women Helping Others Foundation and Dacula resident Mary Youngblood. The check was presented to the home Nov. 17 at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center.

Housing group helps kids

RE/MAX Around Atlanta - Duluth recently raised $25,000 for the Children's Miracle Network. The funds were raised through the "Evening of the Stars" celebration and silent auction, held Oct. 24 at the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville.