VFW post honors Gwinnett residents with awards

LAWRENCEVILLE - Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5255 on Jan. 14 honored 11 Gwinnett County residents at its 2008 Community Service and Youth Awards Banquet.

Each recipient received a $500 check from the VFW post and its Ladies Auxiliary.

The honorees were as follows:

· Firefighter of the Year - Gwinnett County firefighter Scott Davis

· Emergency Medical Technician of the Year - Gwinnett County EMT James J. King

· Law Enforcement Officer of the Year - Gwinnett County Sheriff's Deputy Barbara Sharpton

· Elementary School Educator of the Year - Norton Elementary's Joleen Padget

· Middle School Educator of the Year - Trickum Middle's Joan Martin

· High School Educator of the Year - Buford High's Charlee Yancey

· Health Care Volunteer of the Year - Donna Ambrose

· Patriots Pen Award - Creekland Middle student Mary Katie Wirl

· Voice of Democracy Award - Brookwood High student Rachel Lowe

· Civil Air Patrol Cadet Officer - Maj. Robert Lyday

· Civil Air Patrol Cadet Noncommissioned Officer - Master Sgt. Michael Karsten

Chateau Elan Tour donates $128K to children's shelter

BRASELTON - Volunteers from the "It's a Wonderful House" Tour of Homes on Jan. 28 presented a $128,000 check to the Gwinnett Children's Shelter.

The check represents the net proceeds of the 2008 tour, which took place in November and featured several homes within the Chateau Elan community.

The Tour of Homes is a community fundraiser that includes more than 80 local sponsors and advertisers and 400 volunteers. All proceeds benefit the Gwinnett Children's Shelter, a private organization addressing the urgent needs of abused and abandoned children.

The 2009 Tour of Homes will be held Nov. 20-22. For more information about volunteering or to learn more about the tour and the Shelter, visit www.itsawonderfulhouse.org.

Attorney named president of defense lawyers association

LAWRENCEVILLE - Lawrenceville attorney Christine A. Koehler recently became president of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Since graduating from Georgia State University College of Law in 1995, Koehler has devoted her law practice to juvenile and criminal defense throughout the metro Atlanta area. She is a partner at Koehler & Riddick LLC, named Best of Gwinnett Law Firms by Gwinnett Magazine in 2003, 2004 and 2005. She was also recognized as a 2004, 2005 and 2006 Georgia Superior Lawyer by her peers in Atlanta Magazine and as one of Georgia Trend Magazine's Legal Elite in 2004 and 2005.

Koehler was previously named the Best Overall Advocate at the Cathy Bennett Trial Advocacy Program in Houston. She is a founding member of Georgia Innocence Project and a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Koehler is a faculty member at the National Criminal Defense College and has been an instructor with the Bill Daniel Trial Advocacy Program since 2000.

Gwinnett Federal taking scholarship applications

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett Federal Credit Union is accepting Career Advancement and Student Scholarship applications.

The credit union will award 12 $1,750 Career Advancement Scholarships in May to eligible credit union members enrolled in an accredited program of study at a college, university or technical institute with the goal of career advancement.

Nine $2,250 student scholarships will be given to high school seniors who will be attending college to pursue a degree in education and plan to return to Georgia to teach.

Applications are available at any Gwinnett Federal location or at www.gwinnettfcu.org. All applications and supporting documents must be received by the credit union by March 27.

Gwinnett Gab appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post. To submit an item to Gwinnett Gab, e-mail gab@gwinnettdailypost.com.