GWINNETT GAB: Jackson EMC Foundation hits $5 million in grants awarded

Jackson EMC Foundation hits $5 million in grants awarded

JEFFERSON -- The Jackson EMC Foundation, a charity funded by the members of Jackson Electric Membership Corporation through their contributions to the Operation Round Up program, has reached $5,001,173 in grants awarded to area organizations and individuals since the first grants were awarded in October 2005.

In just five years, the Foundation has awarded 476 grants to organizations and 175 grants individuals, helping to make possible everything from the purchase of medical equipment to serve the working poor to a set of dentures.

"I am tremendously proud of the generosity of our members, who have participated in this program in unprecedented numbers even in difficult economic times," said Jackson EMC President Randall Pugh. "When we laid the groundwork for the foundation, we had no idea the level of support it would gain from our members. They have truly made it their own and used it to improve the lives of others and the quality of life in the communities around them."

Through Operation Round Up, participating Jackson EMC members have their monthly electric bills rounded up to the next dollar amount, averaging about $6 per year per participant. That "spare change" goes to the Jackson EMC Foundation, where a volunteer citizen board reviews applications for assistance and determines how the funds will be distributed. About 89 percent of the cooperative's members participate in Operation Round Up, generating around $85,000 a month for charitable purposes.

For more information about Operation Round Up and the Jackson EMC Foundation, visit www.jacksonemc.com/roundup.

Magic in the Park scheduled for Saturday

SUWANEE -- Driving Magic's seventh annual Magic in the Park event will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at George Pierce Park in Suwanee.

Driving Magic is a nonprofit organization providing therapeutic and recreational equine-assisted activities for children and adults with developmental or physical disabilities. All proceeds from the event will support Driving Magic's individual carriage driving lessons, group workshops and the outdoor classroom, a program for special education students in Gwinnett and Jackson county schools.

Along with traditional carriage rides, carnival games and bouncy houses, silent auction, live entertainment and Southern barbecue, the event will feature a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will arrive at 12:30 p.m. by horsedrawn carriage. They will visit with guests and be available for photographs with professional photographer Christine Sveredy.

New this year is a Classic Car & Hot Rod Cruise-In and a Children's Holiday Marketplace, where children can make or buy holiday gifts for their family and friends with the help of some of Santa's elves.

Reservations cost $20 and include entry to all activities, a full meal of Southern barbecue, five carnival tickets and one raffle ticket to win a private carriage ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

To register, click on the Magic in the Park icon online at www.drivingmagicinc.org or call 404-358-4129.

Gwinnett's vets eat free on Veterans Day

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Once again, the 40 Applebee's restaurants in metro Atlanta are thanking the veterans and active duty military in the neighborhoods they serve with free meals on Veterans Day.

Last year, Applebee's served more than 26,000 meals to military men and women in greater Atlanta and expects that number to be even higher in 2010. The company's effort in 2009 was the largest of its kind, with more than 1 million meals served across the country.

Applebee's new Veterans Day menu on Thursday will include seven popular entrees: 7 oz. House Sirloin, Bacon Cheeseburger, Three Cheese Chicken Penne, Chicken Tenders Platter, Oriental Chicken Salad, Fiesta Lime Chicken or Double Crunch Shrimp.

Veterans and active duty military will need to provide proof of service, which includes U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement, Veterans Organization Card, photograph in uniform or wearing uniform, DD214, Citation or Commendation.

The offer is valid for dine-in only.

Airport shuttle company launches

SNELLVILLE -- The Greater Atlanta Airport Shuttle is celebrating its grand opening Nov. 15.

The company will offer a shuttle service to the airport from Fountain Square on U.S. Highway 78 from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays.

The cost is $39 one way or $75 round trip, if booked in advance. For seniors, the price is $35 one way or $65 round trip, if booked in advance. Children ages 3 to 10 cost $20, and those under 3 years old travel free.

Passengers can bring one bag each for free or pay a $5 charge for each additional piece of luggage, up to a maximum of three per person.

The shuttle has a 15-person limit and is not handicap accessible.

For more information, e-mail info@lapalshipping.com.

Lawrenceville resident places third in contest

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Lawrenceville resident Piera Jolly won $1,500 and a year's supply of avocados after her recipe placed third in an online contest.

The Avocado League, a recipe contest hosted by the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association, recognizes recipes featuring avocados that best embody the spirit, passion and flavor of the creator's hometown.

Jolly's recipe, Peachy Avocado Delight, received the third-most online votes in the contest.

For more information, visit www.theamazingavocado.com.

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.