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POSTED: March 15, 2009 1:00 a.m.
/For The Times

Allen Earls, right, stands with "Law & Order" star Richard Belzer and "Atlanta Investigations" TV show director Hattie Lemon.

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Allen Earls, CEO of Sons & Daughters Unlimited, LLC, and the son of the late James and Eva Earls of Dahlonega, has a role in the new movie "Madea Goes to Jail."

Earls is a graduate of North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega and, after graduating from Harvard Business School's Executive Program, went to Hollywood to work in the entertainment business.

"Madea," which also stars Tyler Perry, Derek Luke, Ion Overman and Keisha Knight Pulliam, has ranked at the top of box office receipts since its opening three weeks ago. Earls plays the role of the pastor conducting a wedding ceremony in a pivotal scene in the movie.

He also has a number of television and other major motion picture credits under his belt, including a role in a weekly dramatic series produced by Dish Network , and he was a part of the cast of one of the most successful Bible on tape projects: "The Bible Experience - The Complete Bible." The project also starred Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Blair Underwood and Samuel L. Jackson.

Frances Miller Mathis, retired teacher and longtime volunteer, received the 2009 Gainesville Woman of Distinction Award on Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Gainesville.

The award was presented by Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia to a Gainesville woman who embodies all that it means to be a community leader.

Mathis has served the local community for more than 50 years in roles such as Cub Scout den mother, grade mother and elementary school teacher. She has served on state committees and boards and has worked to develop national programs for the preservation of national forests.

Mathis is married to James Earl Mathis Sr., founder of Commercial Bank. They have three sons, all Eagle Scouts.

Past recipients of the Woman of Distinction award include Jane Eve Wilheit, 1999; Dorothy Rucker, 2000; Lessie B. Smithgall, 2001; Frances Meadows, 2002; Nell Wiegand, 2003; Katherine Williams, 2004; Myrtle Figueras, 2005; LeTrell Simpson, 2006; Juanita Adams, 2007; Emily "Sissy" Lawson, 2008.

Members of three local garden clubs participated in the eighth Garden Club of Georgia State Standard Flower Show, held in February at Pebble Hill Plantation in Thomasville.

More that 1,200 entries were in the show. Margaret Carter Jones was chairwoman of classification for horticulture entries for northern Georgia, Laurel District. Kathy Haynes was state chairwoman for awards. Malvina Moffett, Pam Kuchler and Jean Sawyer assisted with entries, placement and awards. Caroline Silcox won a blue ribbon for her mass floral design.

Crabapple Garden Club members who won blue ribbons include: Margaret Jones, Pam Kuchler, Caroline Silcox, Jan Smith, Cheryl Hinderscheid, Doris Gambrell, Malvina Moffett and Kathy Haynes.

Fleur-de-Lis Garden Club members who won blue ribbons include: Kathy Hawthorne, Sandy Herndon and Lois Williams.

Gainesville-Gateway Garden Club members who won blue ribbons include: Jean Sawyer, Carol Roslak, Mary Gray, Patsy Joyner and Jo Rigdon.


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