City Buzz


Caboose Lighting Suwanee MagazineCaboose Lighting
Santa ushered in the holiday season with music, hot chocolate, and wish lists on Nov. 30 at Suwanee’s annual Caboose Lighting and Holiday Festival. Choral groups from Level Creek, Riverside, Roberts, and Suwanee elementary schools welcomed Santa with performances of holiday carols as Santa arrived aboard his tractor-pulled sleigh. Santa greeted and listened to the wishes of area children at the Burnette-Rogers Pavilion. Hot chocolate, cookies, and s’mores were served, and craft activities were available. The event was free and opened to the public.

Board of Education members sworn inBoard members being sworn in Suwanee Magazine
Re-elected in Nov. 2012, Louise Radloff, Carole Boyce, and Dr. Mary Kay Murphy will serve through Dec. 2016. These members of the Board were sworn in for their new terms as part of the December work session. Congratulations to Dr. Murphy, Louise Radloff and Carole Boyce!

Ed Kisses a Pig Suwanee MagazineAnnandale Village Kiss a Pig Campaign ends with a smooch
Annandale Village in Suwanee kicked off its Kiss a Pig (People Invested in Giving) Campaign in September that ended with a smooch in early November. About 15 candidates participated in the event, and in the end, Ed Szczesniak, president of Suwanee Business Alliance and owner of Georgian Landscape Design, puckered up for the pig after collecting more than $9,700. Overall, the campaign raised more than $50,000 for the award-winning nonprofit organization dedicated to providing progressive life assistance to adults with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries. For more information about the organization, visitChristmas in the Park Suwanee Magazine

Christmas in the Park
Family and friends experienced the reason for the season Dec. 7 and 8 at the 5th Annual Christmas in the Park, where Town Center Park was transformed into a Dickens-like Christmas village filled with children’s activities and a nativity. Visitors were taken back in time to experience the lights, sounds and the true meaning of Christmas. Canned food, coats and blankets were collected for the Caring Hearts Ministry. The event was a gift to the community from Shadowbrook Baptist Church.

NGAA fund raiser Suwanee MagazineNGAA holds first fall fundraiser
The North Gwinnett Arts Association held its first fall fundraiser Nov 17 at Suwanee Town Center. The event, “Pre-Holiday Pamper,” started at the artists’ open studio and ended at Shear Elegances Hair Salon for mini massages, hair consultations, food and wine. Several local businesses participated in the event, and artwork from local artists was displayed and available for purchase at the open studio and the hair salon. Proceeds from the fundraiser went to benefit the Rosemary Benavides-Williams Scholarship Fund. For more information about NGAA, visit the organization’s website at

Gingerbread Festival & Nutcracker Tea PartyGingerbread Festival Suwanee Magazine
Area residents showed their creative side at the Suwanee Performing Arts 8th Annual Gingerbread Festival held Dec. 1 at the Suwanee Academy of the Arts. The contest was open to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and businesses. The theme for the contest was “Songs of the Seasons.” Prizes were awarded for the best use of candy, most creative, most edible, best use of theme, and people’s choice ($100 prize) was determined by popular vote of the public. Suwanee Youth Ballet and Sounds of Suwanee performed during the festival, and the event also included a bake sale with proceeds benefiting the Suwanee Youth Ballet.

Park goers have it ‘made in the shade’
The city installed shade structures at the Sims Lake Park playground and plans to install additional shade sails around the Big Splash fountain area at Town Center Park early this year.The playground at Sims Lake Park, located at 4600 Suwanee Dam Road, was closed recently while the shade structures, which include metal poles and a polytex fabric in sail shapes, were installed. The project took about two weeks. The forest green shade structures erected at Sims Lake Park were purchased from Ocala, Florida-based Shade Systems, Inc., and were installed by 5 Guys Contracting of Lawrenceville. The city budgeted about $44,500 for shade at Sims Lake Park. Deas Construction of Suwanee will provide the shade structures for Town Center Park at an anticipated cost of about $55,500. The shade fabric, in aqua marine blue, will be installed over some of the benches surrounding the interactive fountain.

Autumn Leaves At Sugarloaf Names Executive Director And Community Relations Director
Autumn Leaves of Sugarloaf, an Alzheimer’s and memory care community currently under construction in Suwanee, has named Matt Summerville executive director of the community. Summerville will assume responsibility for charting the company’s entry and growth in a new market, developing brand awareness, supervising community operations, and meeting the needs of seniors and their families. Autumn Leaves of Sugarloaf exclusively serves families living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

In addition, Autumn Leaves of Sugarloaf has also named Divine Taylor community relations director. Taylor will expand her focus as the company develops an additional five or more Alzheimer’s and memory care communities in the Atlanta area. Taylor brings more than 10 years of experience in sales with effective relationship-building skills and a portfolio of success.

Autumn Leaves of Sugarloaf, a planned 26,000 square foot community designed for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents that will provide a compassionate home-like environment with the highest quality memory care available, is currently under construction and scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2013.

For more than 12 years, Autumn Leaves has focused exclusively on caring for families with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Every Autumn Leaves community is designed and constructed with the unique needs of seniors in mind and uses the latest research to shape the care, nutrition and activities to improve the residents’ quality of life. Autumn Leaves of Sugarloaf is the first community in the Atlanta area. For more information about Autumn Leaves of Sugarloaf, please visit the website at

Improvements to I-85 interchange Underway
Work is underway in the city of Suwanee on a street-scaping project around the I-85 interstate interchange and along Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road from the new police substation to Sawmill Road. The project is designed to convey to travelers, visitors, and passersby a positive image of the Suwanee Gateway area – and the larger community.

Eleven plazas, which will include benches and trash cans as well as landscaping, and two smaller seating areas are being created on each side of the interstate ramps and around the Sawmill/Lawrenceville-Suwanee intersection. In addition, the I-85 ramps will be re-landscaped. In all, the project includes 161 elm, maple, crepe myrtle, and magnolia trees; 6,146 holly, juniper, and rose bushes; 4,255 plugs of liriope; and more than an acre of sod.
The Brickman Group, of Lawrenceville, was contracted to do the work at a cost of about $285,000. Funding is provided through the city’s general fund, the 2005 SPLOST, and a $50,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The project, expected to be completed around the first of the year, also will include some re-striping of crosswalks and repair of broken sidewalks in the area.

Suwanee Elementary Veteran's DaySuwanee Elementary Celebrates Veteran’s Day
Major Bonds and ROTC students from North Gwinnett HS visited Suwanee Elementary’s Kindergarten classes on November 9th. They conducted a flag presentation, answered questions about the origin and history of the American flag and sang the national anthem in honor of Veterans Day.


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