Gwinnett nonprofits recognized by Wachovia

DULUTH - Twenty Gwinnett nonprofit organizations were chosen by Wachovia frontline employees to be honored with $1,000 grants as part of the first Days of Giving community celebration in the East, which took place Monday in Gwinnett County.

In all, 41 groups were recognized with grants at the Gwinnett event. Across the Atlanta area, more than 200 grants were given to 180 nonprofit organizations in five celebrations.

Frontline managers at bank branches and in local business banking offices, in consultation with employees, chose the groups for donations. They made their selections based on which groups they knew were helping out in the community.

The approach is from Wells Fargo, which has used it for several years in its community banking states. The grants are coming from the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation. Wells Fargo and Wachovia merged in December.

The Gwinnett groups honored were Atlanta Outreach Project Inc., Best Thrift Store, BLAZE 4 Life, Lawrenceville Boys & Girls Club, Norcross Boys & Girls Club, City of Hope Child Development Center, Family Promise of Gwinnett County Inc., Gwinnett Children's Shelter, Gwinnett Coalition for Health & Human Services, Gwinnett Council for the Arts, Gwinnett Family YMCA, Lilburn Cooperative Ministry, Rainbow Village, Signs & Wonders Inc., Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry, Spectrum-Autism Support Group, StreetWise Georgia Inc., The Mike Glenn Foundation, The Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Center and The Star Struck Foundation.

St. Pius X helps flooded school

LILBURN - St. Pius X Catholic High School raised $5,000 for St. John Neumann Regional Catholic School to help with costs to replace supplies and textbooks lost in the recent floods.

St. John Neumann, located in Lilburn, was closed for two weeks for renovations and repairs after the flooding in September.

On Oct. 2, the student body and faculty of St. Pius X held an "out of uniform" day in support of St. John Neumann. Each student and faculty member was asked to donate at least $5 toward the costs to replace the many educational supplies lost. By donating the money, students and faculty were allowed to go "out of uniform" for the day.

St. John Neumann, which sits at the arm of the Yellow River, was one of the hardest hit schools during the flooding in September.

To send a donation to the school, send checks payable to St. John Neumann Regional Catholic School to 791 Tom Smith Road, Lilburn, GA 30047.

Senior volunteers craft items for kids in hospital

LAWRENCEVILLE - Members of Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation's eight Senior Recreation Clubs spent more than 1,000 hours to provide handmade comfort for children who are hospital patients.

The seniors made 23 crocheted afghans, 10 blankets, 606 surgical caps, 50 baseball caps, 95 crocheted purse babies, 228 dolls, 100 headbands and 78 knitted caps.

On Oct. 7, volunteers packed up a 45-passenger bus and delivered the items to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in Duluth.

"These items were made with love and we hope the kids at the hospital will enjoy these items," said Coren Wheeler, program supervisor at Prime Timers Point Senior Center at George Pierce Park.

The Senior Recreation Clubs meet monthly for social activities, special events and community service projects such as this. Visit for more information on Senior Recreation Clubs.

Duluth business owners receive Pioneer Award

DULUTH - BrightStar, a full-service health care staffing agency, recently presented Gwinnett residents Scott and Suzanne Morrison, owners of BrightStar of Duluth, with its 2009 Pioneer Award.

The Morrisons were presented with the honor at the company's third annual franchisee convention in Charlotte, N.C.

The BrightStar Pioneer Award recognized owners who have embraced new technology, processes and programs with complete adoption and a team-winning spirit.

BrightStar is a national franchise specializing in both medical and non-medical private duty home care, as well as supplemental health care staffing for corporate clients such as hospitals, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. BrightStar has nearly 150 offices operating across the United States. Company plans call for 400 new franchises to open by the end of 2011.

Lawrenceville resident gets CarMax award

LAWRENCEVILLE - CarMax Inc., the nation's largest retailer of used cars, recently announced that two high school graduates each received a $2,000 CarMax Service Operations Scholarship.

One of the recipients of the scholarships is Donovan Brads, a student at Nashville Auto Diesel College in Nashville, Tenn., originally from Lawrenceville. The other recipient is from Illinois.

The scholarship was established to benefit students interested in pursuing a career in automotive technology or auto collision repair.

The scholarship is open to immediate family members of CarMax associates. Other requirements include status as a high school senior or a high school graduate currently enrolled in an undergraduate course of study at an accredited two-year college, university or vocational-technical school. Scholarships recipients are not obligated to pursue employment with CarMax upon completion of their degree program.

Georgia Parks announces 'Leaf Watch' photo contest

ATLANTA - Georgia State Parks and The Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites have announced a photo contest to win a two-night stay in one of five state park lodges.

The photo contest, open to professional and amateur photographers alike, offers a chance for fans of fall to share their best photos from Georgia's state parks.

Run through the free photo-sharing Web site Flickr, the contest will end Nov. 15. The winner will be announced the following week.

To enter the contest, follow these steps to submit your photo of the fall colors at any one of Georgia's state parks:

1. Visit

2. Log in to Flickr with your existing Yahoo account or create a new account.

3. Upload fall foliage photos from any one of Georgia's state parks. Photos must be from one of Georgia's state parks or historic sites found on to be eligible.

4. Go to the Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites Group and click on Join This Group.

5. Add photos from your account to this group.

6. For each photo you submit, add a tag of "Leaf Watch" to be entered in the contest.

For help in finding the state's best fall foliage, Georgia State Park's Leaf Watch Web site offers weekly updates and tips on where and when to find the best color. By going to, visitors can also get hiking safety tips, learn why leaves change color and make reservations for overnight accommodations.

To keep track of the contest, visit Flickr or follow @ParkMaverick on Twitter ( Park fans can also follow the latest park news on


To submit an item to Gwinnett Gab, e-mail gab@gwinnettdaily