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Lawrenceville woman honored as volunteer of the year

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.

Age is nothing but a number for Edith Harvey. At 93 years old, this lively, talkative woman might as well be a youthful 60. Or maybe even a near-infantile 40.

For the past three decades, Harvey, a Lawrenceville resident, has spent her days not under the glare of daytime soap operas and game shows, but out and about in her community. Lovingly referred to as "Miss Edith," she spends three days each week preparing meals at the Gwinnett County Senior Center, where she has logged more than 17,000 volunteer hours.

When she's not helping her fellow seniors, Harvey is lending her time as a volunteer at the Lawrenceville Housing Authority.

As if that weren't enough, she is also an active member of her church choir.

"I just feel like I have to give," Harvey said. "I've been blessed, so I need to give back."

With that attitude, it's no wonder Harvey was recently named the 2007 Georgia Volunteer of the Year by the Hands On Georgia Summit on Volunteerism.

In a surprise presentation Nov. 1, volunteer leaders from across the state paid tribute to Harvey and thanked her for an undying dedication to community service.

"Miss Edith is an inspiration to everyone she meets, and she's an encouragement to the community, especially other seniors," said Gary Galloway, volunteer services coordinator for Gwinnett County Senior Services, who nominated Harvey for the award. "We're blessed to have her. Miss Edith is an inspiration. There are volunteers who are there, and then there are volunteers who are there and are present. Miss Edith is there, in performance and in energy and spirit. She's a very humble person, and I'm not sure she fully realizes the magnitude of her presence."

Harvey herself is less likely to toot her own horn. For her, dosing out her time is a passion, a joy and something she is ready to do more of.

"I'm not done yet," she said. "I'll go until I can't go no more. I love doing all this, and the Lord helps those who help others. I know that for a fact."

Hands On Georgia is a statewide network that supports innovative, volunteer-based approaches to meet critical needs through service and civic action. For more information, visit www.handsongeorgia.org.

Simon malls aim to break toy record

Area Simon malls, including Mall of Georgia, Discover Mills and Gwinnett Place, are partnering with the studios behind the upcoming film "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" to break the world record for a toy drive. Currently, the world record is 12,000 pounds of donated toys. All donations collected will benefit Toys for Tots.

A toy drive will be held from noon to 6 p.m. today, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday at all metro Atlanta Simon malls. Shoppers can drop off new, factory-packaged toys at the guest services stations in the malls.

High-school football rivals Brookwood and Parkview took the collecting to the next level. The two teams challenged each other to a battle of the stuffed bears to see which could collect more toys, and the results were unveiled at Friday's football game.

"Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium," starring Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman, is slated to open Friday nationwide. Visit www.simon.com.

Display of art benefits food bank

CANstruction, an edible art exhibit, will be on display today through Nov. 18 at Underground Atlanta.

Composed of 59,000 pounds of canned food, the exhibit was constructed by teams of Atlanta architects, engineers, contractors and designers, and is a benefit for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Visit www.canstruction.org.

Girls' night out for a good cause

Festivities Girls' Night Out Volume IV will begin at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday at Festivities Boutique, 2353 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. The event is a benefit for Eric R. Beverly Family Foundation, and will feature cosmetics, gourmet pizza, wine and a field trip to Loft of Style for botox, jewelry, cupcakes and champagne. Call 404-841-8051 or 404-848-0110.

Photo exhibit will display efforts of Samaritan House

"New Beginnings: The Story of Homelessness and Lives Transformed" photography exhibition will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday on the 21st floor of Arnall Golden Gregory law firm in the Wachovia Building at Atlantic Station.

The pictorial view of homelessness takes viewers from the streets to success and images of hopefulness. The event is a benefit for the Samaritan House of Atlanta, which helps homeless men and women achieve self-sufficiency. Call 404-523-1239 or visit www.samhouse.org.

Chiropractic clinic collecting food

A Thanksgiving canned food drive will be held through Friday at Align the Spine chiropractic clinic, 670 Indian Trail Road, Lilburn. Patrons dropping off 10 or more cans during regular business hours will receive a complimentary consultation, examination and any needed X-rays from Dr. Dennis Rattiner. All canned goods will be donated to the Atlanta Union Mission. Call 770-925-0088.

Golf classic to aid families

The Brian Jordan Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at St. Ives Country Club, 1 St. Ives Country Club Drive, Duluth. All proceeds will benefit the Brian Jordan Foundation, an organization that builds and supports programs to help underprivileged children and their families. Call 404-588-9983.