Hoop 4 Life receives $10,000 grant

WINDER - The Jackson EMC Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to Hoop 4 Life Inc., a Winder nonprofit organization that helps young people embrace excellence in life skills, academic knowledge and physical fitness. The money will help fund mentoring programs.

The MVP (Most Valuable Possession) program for young girls ages 5 to 18 teaches them how to value themselves - body, mind and soul - through education, guidance assistance and nurturing support using printed material, one-on-one mentoring and educational seminars. The BOUNCE (Believing and Obtaining Uprightness that's Necessary for Character Education) program for young boys ages 12 to 18 provides young men with the resources and skills needed to master difficulties as they transition into adulthood, ensuring that they have good self-esteem and positive self-image.

Grants are made possible by Jackson EMC members' contributions to the Operation Round Up program, which rounds up electric bills of participating members to the next dollar amount and uses the spare change to do charitable work. Since its creation in October 2005, the Foundation has awarded nearly $3.5 million through 308 grants to organizations and 132 grants to individuals.

Any individual or charitable organization in the 10 counties served by Jackson EMC - Banks, Barrow, Clarke, Franklin, Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison and Oglethorpe - may apply for Foundation funding by completing a grant application, available online at www.jacksonemc.com/Guidelines-for-Funding.106.0.html or at local Jackson EMC offices. Applicants do not need to be a member of Jackson EMC.

NGHS honors Employee of the Year

GAINESVILLE - Northeast Georgia Health System named Sandra Pinson the 2009 Employee of the Year and recognized other employees for their tenure of service during the organization's annual employee appreciation dinner recently held at the Gainesville Civic Center.

"Sandra is the first person to be named NGHS Employee of the Year twice, which tells you just how special she is and what she means to our organization," said Jim Gardner, NGHS President and CEO. "She possesses the hard-working attitude and spirit of service that NGHS is founded upon."

Pinson has worked for Northeast Georgia Medical Center's Nutritional Services department for 19 years, organizing and managing catered events. She was also NGHS Employee of the Year in 1995.

Another milestone was set during the ceremony as Betty Toney became the first NGHS employee honored for 45 years of service. She began her career doing a little bit of everything at the Medical Center and now works in registration.

An additional 268 employees with 5,430 years of collective service were recognized for their tenures: 138 employees for 10 years of service; 52 employees for 15 years of service; 29 employees for 20 years of service; 25 employees for 25 years of service; 11 employees for 30 years of service; 11 employees for 35 years of service; and one employee, Cathy Minish, for 40 years of service.

The organization recognized another 253 employees for five years of service during a separate banquet.

Registration open for Fire Department's 5K

LAWRENCEVILLE - Registration is now open for the Gwinnett County Fire Department's annual 5K Run/Walk at Tribble Mill Park.

Runners and walkers interested in participating in the July 18 event can sign up by calling Karen Prescott at the Fire Department at 678-518-4817 or visiting www.active.com. Registration on the day of the race begins at 7 a.m. The 5K starts at 8:30 a.m.

The registration fee is $15 for those who sign up before the event and $20 on race day. All proceeds benefit Gwinnett County Fire Department personnel and their families in times of financial hardship due to serious illness, injury, death or other personal emergency.

Student awarded Kappa Kamp Scholarship

LAWRENCEVILLE - Devon Sturgis, an eighth-grader at Sutton Middle School, has been awarded the Lawrenceville-Duluth Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.'s 2009 Kappa Kamp Scholarship.

Devon joined hundreds of young men and women for two weeks of fun, fellowship and leadership development at the Piney Woods School. Since 1986, The Piney Woods School's Summer Enrichment Camp has been providing students with the opportunity to acquire skills through intensive workshops. Students may choose from a number of enrichment camps and classes, as well as attend a variety of cultural and recreational activities, field trips and educational lectures.

Guide Right Director Benjamin Holmes presented the scholarship to Devon and his mom, Stephanie Sturgis, at the Kappa Kamp kickoff reception hosted by the Alpharetta-Smyrna Alumni Chapter.

Brookwood grad joins VSU cheer squad

SNELLVILLE - Jessica Marie Hackney signed with Valdosta State University for the 2009-10 cheer squad.

Hackney is a 2009 honor graduate from Brookwood High school and a three-year competition team, football and basketball program cheerleader. She performed at the Worlds Cheer Competition with co-ed Level 5 JayHawks team from Duluth. The team received 13th place out of 42 teams.

Hackney will enter VSU as a biology major in the pre-veterinary program.

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.