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GWINNETT GAB: Haiti donations qualify for tax relief

Haiti donations qualify for tax relief

ATLANTA — People who give to charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti can claim the donations on their 2009 tax return they are completing this season.

Taxpayers who itemize deductions on their 2009 return qualify for this special tax relief provision, enacted Jan. 22, according to the IRS. Only cash contributions made to these charities after Jan. 11 and before March 1 are eligible. This includes contributions made by text message, check, credit card or debit card.

Contributions can either be deducted on the 2009 or 2010 tax return, but not both.

To get a tax benefit, taxpayers must itemize their deductions on Schedule A. Those who claim the standard deduction, including all short-form filers, are not eligible. Federal law requires that taxpayers keep a record of any deductible donations they make.

Taxpayers should be sure their contributions go to qualified charities. Most organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible donations are listed in a searchable online database available on www.irs.gov under "Search for Charities." Some organizations, such as churches or governments, may be qualified even though they are not listed in the database.

Gwinnett participates in Applebee's Coaches Week

LAWRENCEVILLE — Starting in February, Applebee's in greater Atlanta will thank nearly 900 high school athletic coaches for their devotion to the area's youth through a mix of activities, while also giving school supporters a way to raise funds for the coaches' teams.

The initiative, titled "Applebee's Celebrates Coaches," kicks off during "Coaches Week," which Gov. Sonny Perdue has proclaimed as Monday through Feb. 7 throughout the state of Georgia. Last year was the state's inaugural "Coaches Week."

Applebee's invited all public high schools in the greater Atlanta counties it serves to join in the celebration. Three Gwinnett schools — Berkmar, Mountain View and Peachtree Ridge — were among the 26 high schools in 12 counties that signed up.

Each coach from participating high schools will be recognized with a coupon for one free entree at Applebee's to use during "Celebrate Coaches Week," a certificate of appreciation, and an "Applebee's Celebrates Coaches" discount card (which provides the coach with a year-round 10 percent discount on food purchases).

Berkmar is one of four schools hosting a fundraiser. The school received invitations from Applebee's to distribute to students, parents and school supporters, and when recipients bring those invitations to the restaurant, 15 percent of their check will be donated to the school. Berkmar's fundraiser will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Applebee's at 2095 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth.

Brunch proceeds to benefit scholarship

LAWRENCEVILLE — I Am B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. invites families to the I Am Loved brunch at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Rhodes Jordan Community Center in Lawrenceville.

The catered brunch will feature live entertainment and a keynote address from Dell Inc. consultant and minister Felicia Richardson.

Admission is $10 for the general public, and proceeds benefit the Edna Allen Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Register online at www.iambeautiful.org or call 404-545-9051.

Special-needs school plans spaghetti dinner

LAWRENCEVILLE — Special Needs School of Gwinnett has announced March 19 as the date of its annual Spaghetti Dinner.

Hosted by Christ the Lord Lutheran Church, the Spaghetti Dinner is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will be accompanied by a silent auction and raffle.

Dine in and to-go plates are available. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 678-442-6262 or visit www.specialneedsschools.org.

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.