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Winners of the Miss Hall County/Miss Flowery Branch pageant are, from left, Kelsey Kempner, Preteen Miss Flowery Branch; Leah Stinespring, Young Junior Miss Flowery Branch; Emily Gilliam, Junior Preteen Miss Flowery Branch; and Kaelin Bradley, Little Miss Flowery Branch.

Lynda Holmes, literacy chairwoman for the Col. William Candler chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, recently won the Reading Marathon held at Hall Book Exchange. The event raised money for the Gainesville/Hall County Alliance for Literacy. The grand prize was an open water scuba certification class donated by Joe Kellogg, owner of Underwater Adventure Inc.

The Gainesville Elks 1126 held their veterans recognition service Nov. 15, with nearly 200 in attendance. Local members of the Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America and members of the American Legion Posts 7 and 521 were also in attendance, along with Gainesville City Councilman Bob Hamrick and Hall County Commissioner Deborah Mack, along with Lula Mayor Milton Turner.
Chrystal Lambert, Whitney Cornett, Ara Vargas and Anahi Ruiz, ROTC color guard students from East Hall High School, presented an American flag and a POW-MIA flag. Col. Bill Carr, a retired chaplain who served tours of duty in Vietnam and Iraq, spoke during the ceremony. The Elks presented the families of Pvt. Johnathon Millican and Cpl. Matthew Phillips with medals of valor.

The new representatives for the Miss Hall County/Miss Flowery Branch Scholarship Pageants were recently crowned at the fundraiser held for Fifth Row Center, South Hall's community theater. The age categories ranged from 2 years old to 22 years old, with scholarships of $500 awarded to the winners of the oldest two groups, Miss Hall and Miss Flowery Branch. As part of their duties, the girls will be volunteering for community events, including visiting nursing homes at Christmas, working with Toys For Tots, working at elementary school festivals and riding in the Flowery Branch Christmas Parade on Dec. 6. They are available to help at nonprofit organizations and civic events. For more information, contact Donna Chalmers at 770-965-0534 or

Amanda Erwin, a senior at the University of Georgia, was crowned Miss Lake Lanier 2009 recently at the Georgia Mountains Center in Gainesville. This earned Erwin a trip to the Miss Georgia Pageant to be held in Columbus in June. Briana Jewett, a UGA student, was first runner-up and second runner-up was Veronica Rohrmosser, also a student at UGA. The People's Choice Award went to Cortney Ralston, who also attends UGA. Miss Lake Lanier pageant is an official preliminary pageant for the Miss Georgia Pageant and Miss America Pageant.

Suwanee has won the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. This award recognizes Suwanee's 2009 annual budget, which began July 1, and it is the third consecutive year the city has won the award. Suwanee's finance department also has been recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association for five consecutive years with a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its annual financial report.
In order to obtain the Distinguished Budget designation, a government agency's budget document must function proficiently, as determined by a panel of independent reviewers, in four categories: policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communications device.


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