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GWINNETT GAB: Lawrenceville resident named Helping Hero

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Lawrenceville resident named Helping Hero

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Lawrenceville resident Calvin Jones was recently named the winner of Holtkamp Heating & Air Conditioning's annual Helping Heroes program.

Helping Heroes is a Buford-based community effort Holtkamp started to recognize and celebrate local residents who have proven their dedication to their community, family or church.

Holtkamp has awarded Jones a fully installed Trane High Efficiency Furnace and Aprilaire Whole House Filtration System designed specifically for his home.

Five months ago, Jones' wife, Brenda, had a negative reaction to anesthesia, and she has since been on a ventilator in the hospital battling numerous infections. The furnace and filtration system will help Jones prepare for his wife's homecoming.

Jones works full time at Icon Software in Suwanee. Through the years, Jones and his wife sponsored several foster children. They adopted their daughter, who is now in middle school.

Jones also volunteers at his church, McKendree United Methodist, most notably serving as the disaster recovery coordinator on the Missions Committee. He has participated in more than 20 mission trips in the United States and abroad, including North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Mexico and Costa Rica. He has also served as head cook for the annual chicken barbecue that raises money for missions work.

Additionally, Jones has dedicated hundreds of hours toward food drives for the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry, the biannual Great Days of Service helping Gwinnett County senior citizens, Habitat for Humanity builds in Gwinnett and Cumming, and a cottage rebuild for the Methodist Children's Home.

Jones was nominated for the award by a fellow parishioner at his church.

Lloyd Group to host VA benefit workshop

WATKINSVILLE -- Retired veterans and their families are invited to attend an educational seminar titled, "VA Benefits: What You Need to Know," hosted by The Lloyd Group, a retirement planning and asset preservation firm based in Suwanee.

The seminar will be offered at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Monday at the Watkinsville Community Center, 191 VFW Drive, Watkinsville.

The event will be presented by Mark Lloyd, president and founder of The Lloyd Group and host of "Focus on Your Retirement," a weekly radio program devoted to helping retirees in the greater Atlanta area protect their assets.

During the presentation, Lloyd will educate attendees on what is happening now with aging veterans getting the benefits they deserve and provide helpful information regarding additional VA benefits that are available specifically for veterans who may require in care assisted living facilities. He will also advise veterans and their families on how to determine eligibility for the Aid and Attendance benefit and discuss specific directives about how to obtain it.

The seminar is complimentary, but seating is limited. Reservations are required and can be made toll-free by calling 800-596-5580.

G-Braves head chef participates in food program

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Blake Stembridge, the Gwinnett Braves head chef, recently passed ProChef II, the second level of three continuing education programs offered at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

Completion of the course gives two certifications, ProChef II certification through the CIA and Chef de Cuisine certification through the American Culinary Federation.

This process involved studying and preparing for 10 weeks before Stembridge went to the CIA. There were seven written tests and four practical tests that included baking, Mediterranean cuisine, nutritional cooking and garde manger over a four-day period.

Power Soccer regional tourney scheduled

NORCROSS -- Cheer on soccer athletes at a power wheelchair sports competition from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 12 to 14 at Lucky Shoals Park.

Royalty Power Soccer and Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation will co-host the United States Power Soccer Association's 2010 Division II Eastern Regional Tournament. The USPSA is the governing body of the sport of power soccer. The event is the qualifying tournament for the top three teams to attend the National Competition held in June.

Tournament games begin every hour and are free for the public to attend. To find out more about the event and power soccer, visit www.royaltypowersoccer.com.

Lucky Shoals Park is located at 4651 Britt Road in Norcross.

Brookwood student named Coca-Cola Scholar finalist

SNELLVILLE -- Snellville resident Shivani Goel has been named a Coca-Cola Scholars finalist.

The senior at Brookwood High School will join 252 other finalists from throughout the country on March 25 to compete for 53 four-year college scholarships of $20,000 and 200 four-year scholarships of $10,000.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation chose the finalists from a field of more than 2,200 semifinalists. The students were chosen based on academic excellence, school involvement and community leadership.

Over the four-day period, the finalists will interview with a national selection committee, meet with former Coca-Cola Scholars and participate in a range of activities, including a community service project.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation was created in 1986 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Coca-Cola and to establish a legacy for the education of tomorrow's leaders through college scholarships. This year, the foundation marks its 22nd consecutive year of scholarship awards.

Jazzerthon raises $190,000 for Komen Atlanta

ATLANTA -- The annual Jazzerthon for the Cure recently raised $190,00 for Komen Atlanta, an affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The eighth annual Jazzerthon for the Cure was held on Valentine's Day at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead and included three consecutive high-energy group fitness classes featuring Jazzercise instructors and customers from throughout the state.

Sugar Hill instructor Amie Bryans and her customers participated, raising $3,500.

"This event is always so much fun," Bryans said. "What makes it really special is the fact that so many of us have had our lives impacted by breast cancer, and this event gives us the opportunity to make a difference."

Of the funds raised during the event, 75 percent will be earmarked to fund education, screening and treatment programs supported by Komen Atlanta in its 10-county service area, and 25 percent of the funds will be allocated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Award and Research Grant programs supporting educational, research and scientific programs around the world.

Gwinnett resident sings at National Archives event

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett resident Lorenzo Best was selected to sing at an award ceremony Feb. 20 for Martin Luther King III during a black family history event at the National Archives.

The event was the closing ceremony for the National Archives at Atlanta's "Documented Rights" exhibit.

Best, a 19-year resident of Gwinnett, started singing in a gospel group at the age of 8. He has been a member of the Sugar Hill Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for four years.

"It is an honor beyond measure to have this opportunity," Best said of being invited to sing at the event. "I am humbled and blessed."

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.