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Good News
Kevin Lee, left, was named the winner of the Lakeshore Mall’s "America’s Next Top Dad" contest. - photo by For The Times

To earn the highest award Junior Girl Scouts can achieve, Troop 10828 from Gainesville chose The Next Chapter as their community service project. Each scout completed 16 hours of work dedicated a book drive to help The Next Chapter.

They each desiged a poster that was displayed at Sardis Enrichment School. They also advertised their book drive during morning announcements to encourage participation from other students. Bookmarks were made from recycled Girl Scout Cookie boxes as a fun thing include in their donation. Books were then sorted and delivered to The Next Chapter.

This award teaches the scouts to reach out beyond themselves and connect with their community in a positive manner. Troop 10828 has 12 active scouts and is led by Ellen Nelson and Teresa Henderson. All proceeds from The Next Chapter Bookstore, located in the downtown market, helps to support Randy’s House in Gainesville.

The Catholic Foundation of North Georgia approved 25 grants totaling $100,000 for the spring 2011 cycle. These grants will provide support to a variety of causes throughout the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

The following grants came from the General Grants Program which is funded by the Foundation’s General, Goizueta, Community Services and Nellie Dodd McAdams Endowment Funds:

Habersham Families Helping Families $2,500 to support costs to open a Plaza Comunitaria at the site of the thrift store and food pantry.

John Paul II Training Center $5,000 to help support the operating costs of the center.

St. Helena Mission $2,000 for the Life Teen program including meals for youth and volunteers, Summer Life Teen retreats and staff development.

The following grants were issued from the Parish Enrichment Grants Program funded by the General Fund and approved by the Catholic Foundation’s Pastors Advisory Council:

St. Helena Catholic Mission $1,000 to support of the St. Helena Benevolent Fund which assists the needy in Rabun County and provides basic needs for inmates.

The next deadline for the General and Parish Enrichment granting programs is Sept. 30. To receive the current application, please email the Foundation at or visit the website at

Gainesville native Sam Manzo won the Marietta Soap Box Derby’s top prize June 11. Sam was the best of 16 racers earning him the title of Local Super Stock Division Champion. Sam is the son of Dena and Chris Manzo. Sam and his family will travel to Akron, Ohio, in late July to race and represent our city and state against more than 500 local champions for the title of World Champion.

Lakeshore Mall hosted the first ever "America’s Next Top Dad" photo contest from May 23 through June 18. Participants submitted a photo of their Top Dad to be uploaded at Lakeshore Mall’s Facebook page for fans to "Like" their photo.

The dad with the most "Likes" on Lakeshore Mall’s Facebook page on June 18 was declared the winner of a $150 Lakeshore Mall gift card in honor of Father’s Day. Kevin Lee won the photo contest with over 100 "Likes" and received the $150 Lakeshore Mall gift card as "America’s Next Top Dad."