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LARSON: No shortage here of long-range vision

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

With my mill hunk upbringing where the only goal we grew up with was to work in the same factory that our grandparents worked in when they got off the boat, I’ve always had a fascination with people who have vision; I love interviewing them and sharing their inspiring stories.

One lady I recall is Bobbi Pack, whose vision is creating the House of Joy for homeless women in Norcross. Pack has so much faith in this vision that in 2008 when she spotted Jeff Foxworthy at a gas station, she asked him to do a benefit. Foxworthy graciously accepted.

Although her ultimate dream is yet to come true, Pack is not discouraged. She currently fulfills her mission by conducting workshops and empowerment seminars for homeless and at-risk women, complete with a nutritious lunch and goody bag at the Goodwill Career Center on Pleasant Hill Road. (more info at www.houseofjoynorcross.org )

Another lady with vision is Laura Moore, whose dream goes back to toddlerhood.

“At age 3, all my dolls and stuffed animals were homeless and needed to come home and live with me,” Moore said.

While working as a pediatric nurse and seeing medically fragile children living for years in a hospital because their families had abandoned them, Moore woke up one morning with an actual dream that divinely inspired her to create the Dream House for Medically Fragile Children, where children are provided a opportunity to live in a loving environment. Dream House also educates families and caregivers in working with these children and works to increase public awareness of their situation.

Their annual fundraiser, the Boot Scootin’ Barn Raiser is coming up on Oct. 19 at the Gwinnett Fairgrounds. Hosted by Moby of the “Moby in the Morning” radio show, entertainment will include Cindy Lou Harrington and Wishing Heart with special guests Stacy and Bill Halstead, who as readers know have experience with their medically fragile son, Tripp. (more info at www.dreamhouseforkids.org )

Even before Johns Creek became a city or even had a name, J. Wayne Baughman, who has been on the Atlanta music scene for over 40 years, envisioned more for this community than new “city limit” signs.

“I was struck with the idea that this growing community could support a part-time professional orchestra at some point in the future,” Baughman said, after conducting a performance there in 1997.

After extensive research, Baughman was convinced that this area, no matter what it was called, could be a cornerstone of culture, and only four months after Johns Creek was established as a city, the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra was born.

On Oct. 17, JCSO is calling all kids to “Meet the Orchestra” and see them build an orchestra right on stage at Shakerag Elementary School. Then on October 24, at St. Benedict Church, Baughman will perform his final public recital, “My Favorite Songs.” But this doesn’t mean his musical career is over. I’m sure he has even grander visions for the future. (more info at www.johnscreeksymphony.org )

Susan Larson is a writer from Lilburn. Email her at susanlarson79@gmail.com.