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The Gainesville City School System will not hold in-person classes on Thursday, Oct. 29, as Hall County prepares strong winds and heavy rain expected from Hurricane Zeta. Class is still in session but will be hosted virtually, the school system says.
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Sounds for the soul
Berry to perform at benefit for Challenged Child & Friends
John Berry will perform Dec. 6 in the annual benefit concert for Challenged Child & Friends.

John Berry Christmas Concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6

Where: Pearce Auditorium, Brenau University, 500 Washington St., Gainesville

How much: $25, $30

More info: Pearce Auditorium box office, 678-717-3624;,

For a third year, Milton Martin Honda in Gainesville will present the John Berry Christmas Concert, a benefit for the nonprofit organization Challenged Child & Friends.

The concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at Pearce Auditorium on the Brenau University campus in Gainesville.

Robyn Shoaf, volunteer and marketing coordinator for Challenged Child & Friends, said the organization is thrilled to have the support of the community.

"It's been a tough year economically for people, and it's wonderful to know that folks are still doing what they can," she said. "It's great to have something like this that we can count on to help raise funds."

Proceeds from the concert go back to the nonprofit, which is designed to help kids ages 6 months to 6 years with special needs, as well as helping typically developing children, Shoaf said.

"Our program is unique in that we try and focus on the individual needs of each child. Kids are given individual goals, and we help them work to achieve them," she said.

Shoaf encouraged people in the community to come out and enjoy the concert.

"Not only are you helping the kids, but you're in for some wonderful music. John Berry is amazing," she said.

Butch Miller, vice president and general manager of Milton Martin Honda, said that everyone at the dealership is excited to be involved in this special tradition.

Miller said that the dealership has been involved with Challenged Child & Friends for several years, doing smaller benefit events for the organization.

After attending a Berry concert, Miller said the idea of sponsoring a benefit took hold. As it turns out, Miller said an associate at the dealership happened to be a friend of Berry's, and the singer was eager to help out.

"It's really great how everyone is so willing to get involved. My wife and I, and my partner, Jim Foote, and his wife wanted to do something to benefit the community, and something the community could enjoy," Miller said. "The whole dealership, down to the associates, gets involved."

"It's a great event for families, for seniors, couples and young people. John Berry is just legendary in his singing, and he really embodies the Christmas spirit."

Tickets are $25 and $30, and are expected to sell out quickly. They are sold at the Pearce Auditorium box office at 678-717-3624 and online at and

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