GWINNETT GAB: AidWEST returns from first medical mission

AidWEST returns from first medical mission

DULUTH -- AidWEST, a recently formed nonprofit medical support and humanitarian organization founded by a Duluth businessman, recently celebrated the return of its first medical mission team from Haiti.

The team of six volunteers served for a week in February in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, performing a range of medical, communications and infrastructure projects to aid victims of the devastating January earthquake.

AidWEST was founded by John Elliott, an advertising creative director with little prior medical experience who sought ways to directly help some of the millions of victims of the January Haitian earthquake. Just 36 hours after the disaster, he departed for a week of cleaning and dressing patient wounds in three hospitals on the Haiti/Dominican Republic border. He subsequently returned to Georgia to quickly assembly a group of volunteers prepared to address the ongoing medical needs of victims.

The medical support mission group was composed of Duluth resident Stephanie Consie, Suwanee resident Rick Hodder, Lawrenceville resident Ellen Jones, Lawrenceville resident Jamie Smith and Duluth resident Milinda Bell. Elliott was the team leader.

A subsequent team worked in March in a new medical clinic in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Other projects include building a library of French and Creole books and continued physical and emotional therapy.

For more information, visit www.aidwest.org.

Peachtree Ridge Dance Company set to perform

SUWANEE -- The Peachtree Ridge Dance Company will perform "Abstract Perception," a dance concert with tap, jazz, contemporary, modern and hip hop pieces, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the high school's fine arts theater.

One of the modern pieces, choreographed by Brandon Chitwood, features eight 4-D seats that work within the dance piece to allow the audience members to experience the dance through sight, sound and touch.

The Ridge Dance Company consists of 150 dancers, and several alumni have returned to set pieces, including A.K. Hada, Nicole George and Deana Toma. Alumni Sanju Rai and Ralph Reed have come back to help with the elaborate set that moves throughout the show, the 4-D seats and the moving lights.

Tickets are $8, or $15 for 4-D seats.

Organization plans Walk-a-thon

NORCROSS -- I Am B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. is hosting the 2010 Walk It Out! Walk-a-thon on April 17 in Pinckneyville Park in Norcross.

The event supports the GIRLS (Gaining Insight and Real Life Skills) Leadership Program, an eight-month prevention program designed to increase self-esteem in girls ages 10 to 19.

Registration costs $10 and includes a T-shirt, snacks and more. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, and the walk begins at 10:30 a.m.

For more information or to register, visit www.iambeautiful.org.

Hair studio celebrates 18th anniversary

BUFORD -- Shenanigans Hair Studio & Spa will celebrate its 18th year of service in Gwinnett County with a Spring Fling Birthday Bash from noon 4 p.m. Saturday.

The event will feature food, entertainment, prizes and more.

The hair salon is located at 3276 Buford Drive, Suite 107, in Buford. For more information, call 770-497-8727 or visit www.shenaniganshair.net.

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