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Children get an up-close look at a police helicopter with helicopter pilot Trooper 1st Class Ryan Holloway.

MOMS Club of Gainesville recently took a field trip to the Georgia State Patrol on Cleveland Highway. Cpl. Curtis Bradshaw arranged to have a helicopter flown in from Athens and a couple of motorcycles brought in from Atlanta. The kids were also able to see and sit in one of the new patrol cars. More than 75 attended the event.

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church recently presented a Tom Thumb Wedding at Fair Street Neighborhood Center in Gainesville. Characters included the father of the bride, the best man, the maid of honor, a bride's attendant, flower girl, ring bearers and ushers. The couple exchanged friendship vows and cut a cake, with a reception following the event. The bride was played by Danielle Riley and the groom was played by Marc Seay. This is the third year the church has held the event, and the first year it's been held at Fair Street Neighborhood Center. Bethel A.M.E. Church is located at 900 Mill St. in Gainesville.

Members of the Georgia Afterschool Investment Council recently participated in the Afterschool for All Challenge in Washington, D.C., and met with Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Sen. Johnny Isakson and Rep. Nathan Deal to advocate for increased after-school funding.

Nui Jiang of Flowery Branch, a graduate of Flowery Branch High School, has been awarded a 2008 Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship. Jiang is the daughter of Jian Wu Jiang and Bi Lan Chen. This scholarship, funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation, supports academically outstanding students who are the first in their families to attend college. The award provides $5,000 per year to recipients who demonstrate financial need in addition to the HOPE Scholarship. The scholarship is renewable for an additional three years of undergraduate study if certain academic standards are maintained.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Hall County have received a $6,500 grant from the Jackson EMC Foundation for a pilot reading program designed to increase the reading levels of club members in grades second-fifth. During the 2005-2006 school year, 23 percent of Gainesville city schools' and 27 percent of Hall County schools' fifth-graders did not meet the CRCT reading test performance level. Using Merit Reading Comprehensive Booster software and the Book Adventure online reading comprehensive program, children in the Boys and Girls Clubs program will attend hour-long sessions five days a week that increase the amount of time they spend reading. Grant funds will be used to purchase software, computers, books and educational supplies. The grant is funded through Operation Round Up. Any individual or charitable organization in the 10 counties served by Jackson EMC -Clarke, Banks, Barrow, Franklin, Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison and Oglethorpe - may apply for Foundation funding by completing a grant application, available online at or at local Jackson EMC offices. Applicants need not be a member of Jackson EMC.

The Northeast Georgia School of Music and Dance awarded four one-year scholarships to essay contest winners on May 17 at their Spring Dance Concert. The winners were Miranda Rountree in the ages 3-5 category; Morgan Lomax in the ages 6-8 category; Jessica Berliner in the ages 9-11 category; and Lauren House in the 12 and older category.

The Gainesville Evening Optimist Club and the Cleveland-White County Optimist Club have awarded scholarships to Rachel Glazer, a rising ninth-grader at North Hall High School, to attend Learn to Live Together, an honors leadership academy at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton. Participants attend classes in science, engineering, technology, language and world religions. The program was held July 6-11. Glazer, 13, was the 2008 winner of the Optimist International District (State) Essay Contest.

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