Thursday, October 29, 2009

Coca-Cola Honors 20 Inspiring People as U.S. Torchbearers for Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

Kudos to the following Georgia residents for being selected as torchbearers:

Crystal Hardy, 20 (Dublin, GA): Crystal co-founded Green Teens, a
local recycling program for PET1 bottles that donates the proceeds to
local schools.
Taylor LeBaron, 17 (Ball Ground, GA): Taylor authored a book entitled,
"Cutting Myself in Half," about his personal weight loss journey and
how he reduced his weight from 297 lbs. to 145 lbs., using a
self-developed, teen-oriented fitness program.
Liz Burns, Senior National Sales Executive, Coca-Cola North America
(Atlanta, GA): As incoming president of the board of directors for the
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Georgia Chapter, Liz chairs one of the
largest fundraising events, Chocolate, which has helped raise more
than $500,000 for cystic fibrosis research. She also mentors a local
family through Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
Jed Selkowitz, Director of Entertainment Marketing, Coca-Cola North
America (Atlanta, GA): Jed is dedicated to raising awareness of lupus.
Through his work as a Board Member of the Georgia chapter of the Lupus
Foundation of America, he has helped raise more than $600,000 to
support lupus awareness, advocacy and research.

/PRNewswire/ -- Coca-Cola has chosen 20 inspiring people to be Torchbearers for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. The U.S. Torchbearers were selected because they each use their passion for positive living to affect meaningful, enduring changes in local and global communities.

The Torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame through Calgary, Canada, on January 18-19, 2010 as it makes its way to Vancouver and the Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games on February 12, 2010. The Olympic Torch Relay, presented in part by Coca-Cola, will last for 106 days, cover more than 27,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) and link together more than 1,000 communities and places of interest throughout Canada.

Torchbearers were selected because of their commitments to sustainably promoting three aspects of positive living, including:

Balanced Living - staying active and physically fit while having fun with family and friends

Community - working to make good things happen for people throughout the community

Recycling - helping the planet by recycling or donating time to a recycling program in the community or school

Among those chosen to carry the Flame are 10 teens, five leaders from national health organizations, three Coca-Cola North America employees and Olympic gold medalists Shawn Johnson and Steven Lopez, who are part of the Coca-Cola "Six Pack" of Olympic athletes and competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. People can view the Torchbearers' route and learn more about their personal stories by visiting

"These inspirational people have shown remarkable dedication in encouraging others and making a positive difference in so many lives, traits that Coca-Cola has long embraced. Coca-Cola is saluting these champions of positive living by recognizing them with the special opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame," said Celeste Bottorff, Vice President of Living Well, Coca-Cola North America.

"I'm so impressed by the positive and diverse influence my fellow Torchbearers have had in communities across America," said Steven Lopez. "It is going to be an honor to pass the Flame to one of these inspirational individuals and celebrate the importance of wellbeing, community, unity and the Olympic Spirit."

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Off and Running: Registration Under Way for 2010 Berry Half-Marathon

The calendar may say October, but Dr. John Azar-Dickens and other runners and walkers in the area are already looking ahead to third edition of the Berry Half-Marathon, scheduled for March 6, 2010.

“In any endurance event such as a half-marathon or marathon, it is important to begin preparing early,” said Dr. Azar-Dickens, a Berry College faculty member and avid runner who recently completed his first Ironman Triathlon. “Proper training allows for a slow progression in mileage each week, prepares the body efficiently for the exertion level and reduces the risk of injury.”

For the second consecutive year, Dr. Azar-Dickens is overseeing the training regime for Team Berry, a support group for Berry students, faculty and staff members who are planning to compete in third-annual event.

“Team Berry begins training in mid October and continues weekly until the race in March,” Dr. Azar-Dickens explained. “Last year, there were roughly 40 people who trained together and finished the race successfully.

“We focus on gently increasing our mileage each week as we approach the 13-mile goal,” he continued. “This helps ensure that participants are well prepared and less vulnerable to injuries. Careful and well planned preparation/training also increases the chances of a more enjoyable race, not just physically but psychologically as well.”

Registration for the half-marathon is under way and will continue through the winter months. More than 1,500 competitors flocked to the world’s largest college campus for the 2009 event, and organizers expect an even greater turnout in 2010. Once again, participants will have their choice of three different races: the signature half-marathon, the Viking Classic 10K and a 5K. There is also a one-mile fun run for children.

All three races feature electronic timing on courses that are certified by USA Track & Field. Both the half-marathon and the 10K are official qualifiers for Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race. Walkers are welcome in all races.

Registration for the half-marathon is $55 through Dec. 1, $65 from Dec. 2 to Feb. 15, and $75 through March 4 (no race-day registration available). Registration for the 10K and 5K is $20 through Feb. 1, $25 from Feb. 2 to March 4, $35 at the pre-race pasta dinner on March 5, and $40 on race day. Registration for the one-mile fun run is $5 (either mail-in or on race day).

Half-marathon finishers will receive technical shirts and finishing medals. Participants in the other races will receive t-shirts. Go to to register online. Proceeds will benefit Berry College Elementary and Middle School. Call 706-346-6223 or e-mail for more details.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Braelinn Run for the Stars 5K, 1 mile, and Tot Trot

Saturday, November 14;
Race starts at 8:30 a.m.;
Courses begin and end at Braelinn Elementary School, 975 Robinson Road, Peachtree City;
(770) 631-5410
Preregistration: starts at $15, day of race $20;
Proceeds benefit Braelinn Elementary School;

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thrashers to Host Girls’ & Women’s Hockey Weekend on Saturday, Oct. 24

Annual Event Surrounding Game against the San Jose Sharks at Philips Arena to Recognize Female Participation in Hockey in the Southeast

The Atlanta Thrashers, along with USA Hockey, are hosting Girls’ & Women’s Hockey Weekend on Saturday, Oct. 24, surrounding their game against the San Jose Sharks at Philips Arena at 7 p.m.

The annual showcase, which includes several events and activities throughout the day, is dedicated to recognizing female participation in hockey throughout the Southeast. This year’s event will feature two-time member of the United States women’s Olympic hockey team and Harvard graduate Julie Chu.

Chu will participate in several events, including an on-ice clinic for girls and women, along with members of the Thrashers Hockey Development Team, at Philips Arena from 1-3 p.m. She will also address participants in the showcase from 6-6:45 p.m. to discuss her experiences in the sport and will hold a meet-and-greet with members of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Go Girl Go program.

Also planned for the event are special pre-game introductions of 12 local girls hockey players (ages 6-16), who will skate onto the ice along with their counterparts from the Thrashers and Sharks starting line-ups prior to the national anthem. Girls and women hockey players will also be featured on-ice during both intermissions in a scrimmage and shootout, respectively.

Atlanta Thrashers Season Tickets for the 2009-10 regular season start as low as $10 per game and are available by visiting or calling (866) 715-1500. Individual tickets for all Thrashers games at Philips Arena can be purchased by visiting, calling (800) 326-4000, or by visiting the Philips Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster Ticket Outlet.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thirteen Special Olympics Teams in Metro Atlanta Play Softball in McDonough Saturday

/PRNewswire/ -- Special Olympics athletes from metro Atlanta areas will play softball Saturday, Oct. 24 at Heritage Park in McDonough, hosted by Henry County Parks and Recreation Department.

Competition begins at 9 a.m. and teams will play double eliminations. Tournament plaques will be given out to first through fourth place finishes. Teams are from the following counties: Cherokee, Cobb, Dekalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Peach and Rockdale counties. Scores will be used as qualifiers to compete in State Games.

SOGA partners with 86 parks and recreation departments to put on competitions for local athletes. These departments host competitions, provide staff to help run the event and offer programs through its therapeutic recreation division for people with intellectual disabilities. SOGA provides sports equipment, arranges for free medical screenings for athletes and helps publicize the new sports offerings.

Interested Parks and Recreation departments should call 1-800-866-4400 ext. 104 for more information.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Dental students host 5K Run/Walk Oct. 24

Dental students at the Medical College of Georgia will host a 5K Run/Walk Oct. 24 to raise money for Give a Smile, a student-run foundation created to assist dental patients who need help paying at least a portion of their bill.

The organization was founded by 2007 graduate Dr. Nathan Dallas after treating a patient who lost her four front teeth due to domestic abuse and couldn’t afford dental work.

Dental students present patient cases, including the desired treatment plan and how much the patient can pay, to a board of students. Board members meet monthly to determine which cases to take and how much they can contribute. Give a Smile funds, bolstered by an anonymous donation last year of $10,000, are allocated through the School of Dentistry business office.

"The money we raise for Give a Smile goes directly to underprivileged patients, which is especially significant in today's economy," says senior dental student and race director Leigh Ann Trotter. "Last year's event was very successful, and we're hoping this year's will be too."

The event will begin at the School of Dentistry on Laney-Walker Boulevard at 9 a.m. The registration fee is $25. For registration and more information, visit

Amy Connell

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Golf Returns to the Olympic Games

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The sport of golf will be part of the programme when the Olympic Games come to Rio de Janeiro in 2016 thanks in part to the consulting support of Helios Partners. Last played in the St. Louis Games of 1904, the return of Olympic golf competition is expected to draw the world’s best men’s and women’s golfers to the competition.

“We are extremely pleased and excited about the inclusion of golf in the Olympic Games,” said Ty Votaw, Executive Director of the International Golf Federation. “Helios fulfilled a critical function as part of our team, helping get our message across effectively and make a powerful case for the return of golf to the Olympic Programme.”

Helios Partners provided consulting services over the past year, playing an active role in the positioning of the sport, the development of IGF policies that align with the goals and objectives of the Olympic Movement, and the creation of bid materials and presentations. “This is a great win for us, but more so for the sport of golf,” said Chris Welton, CEO of Helios. “We have been privileged to be a part of this effort and look forward to the continued worldwide growth and positive impact of this great sport.”

Emphasizing the shared values with the Olympic Movement, the sport’s success in fostering greater participation among the youth of the world, and the importance of speaking with one voice, golf’s bid had the strong backing of 123 IGF member national federations, 20 professional golf organizations and many of the world’s greatest male and female golfers.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Clayton State Cross Country/Track Car Wash Fundraiser Set for October 16

Clayton State University’s cross country and track & field teams will be conducting their seventh car wash fundraiser on Friday, Oct. 16 at Rocky’s CafĂ© & Pizza, located at 2262 Lake Harbin Rd., in Morrow. The car wash will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Team members are selling booklets for $10 each that contain coupons for five car washes on Oct. 16 and special meal deals at Rocky’s that are good until Oct. 31. Booklets are also available from head coach Mike Mead. Call (678) 466-4679 or e-mail Drive-up car washes will also be available at Rocky’s on Oct. 16.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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