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Good News, Feb. 6
Brothers Douglas E. Foster, left, and Ralph L. Foster were back in Gainesville, their hometown, for two reasons: to attend a birthday party for Gene Cobb, who graduated from high school with Douglas, and to see a pillar bearing their names at the Northeast Georgia History Center's American Freedom Garden. The Fosters and their two brothers — the late Roy E. Foster and Jesse Darrell Foster — were career soldiers in the U.S. Army. Roy served in World War II, and the other three served in the Vietnam War. Cobb honored the Fosters by having their names engraved in the Freedom Garden, which recognizes men and women who served in the military. "It's rare that four from the same family would make the military a career," Cobb said, "and I just wanted to do something to recognize them for their service." Douglas Foster now lives near Allentown, Pa., Ralph in Hinesville and Darrell in Tennessee.

Special Olympics athletes and volunteers from surrounding counties danced the night away at the 2011 Snowball Dance hosted by ConnectAbilty in Dahlonega.

The dance was held at the Lumpkin County Parks & Rec facility and was the first event hosted by the newly formed ConnectAbility Special Olympics delegation. Guests enjoyed pizza and snacks donated by Ingles of Dawsonville and J & J Foods of Dahlonega. Many volunteers and community members pitched in to make the event a success.

Students from Lumpkin County High School and North Georgia College & State University danced alongside teachers, parents and friends of children and adults with special needs.

The Snowball Kings and Queens were crowned for each Special Olympics age division.

The winners were: Junior (ages 8 to 15): Tyler (Dawson County) and Marcy Ayers (Lumpkin County); Senior (ages 16 to 21): Austin Ash (Lumpkin County) and Megan Grier (Hall County); Masters (ages 22 and older): Tim McIntyre (White County) and Beth Bradley (Dawson County).

ConnectAbility is a nonprofit organization formed in 2010 whose mission is to provide services for children and adults with disabilities.

Besides being the newly-appointed local delegation for Special Olympics, ConnectAbility also sponsors the Sidekicks Respite program and parent share groups. All events are free to participants and volunteers are always welcome.

For more information, please visit or contact Jacqueline Daniel at 770-616-4599 or


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