Georgians Newsletter

Table of Contents

Did you know?

Wesleyan College in Macon was the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women.

In 1823, Georgia became the first state to require birth registration.

Fall is in the air and Georgia offers many great festivals and events to enjoy outdoors! We appreciate your comments, and article ideas. And please visit us at Together, we can accomplish amazing things!

Atlanta Metro


Join the party and enjoy all the great food, fun, and festivities at the Olde Town Conyers “Block Party and A Taste of Conyers” on Saturday, September 24th from 10:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m

Enjoy the sights and sounds of live music and entertainment, artist market, wellness activities, Home Health and vision screening, children’s play area, face painting, clowns, balloons, children’s inflatables, fire truck, ambulance, a Bear Clinic, political dunking booth, and basket raffle.

Captain Froggy’s Circus will present live puppet shows at 11:00 a.m., Noon, 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at the Center Street Arts. And be sure to sample food from some of the best restaurants in Conyers! You won’t want to miss the Pet Parade beginning at the Olde Town Pavilion at 10:30 a.m.

While you’re there enjoy the beautiful Olde Town section of the City of Conyers. Stroll down the streets of this historic district, with its specialty stores, charming restaurants, and antique shops.

For more information contact the Rockdale Medical Center Foundation at 770-918-3863. Article submitted by Harriett Gattis.

Georgia Coast


Come and Celebrate the 45th Annual Georgia Sweet Potato Festival October 27th thru 29th in Ocilla, Georgia. So, what do you know about the Sweet Potato?

Did you know that Georgia was the number one state in sweet potato production for 100 years (1836 – 1936)? And did you know that the sweet potato as a food plant has few peers? In fact, the USDA Handbook Number 8 lists fourteen nutrients and the sweet potato has significant amounts of every one! Popular varieties grown in Georgia are the Red Jewel, Regular Jewel and the Georgia Jet.

The festival begins on Friday and includes the Riverbend Bluegrass Festival and the 21st Annual Motorcycle Rally that begins on October 27th and continues throughout the festival. Over 17,000 people are expected to attend this year.

The Riverbend Bluegrass Festival will include music from Marty Raybon, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, Nothin Fancy, Tim Graves & Cherokee, Southern Lite, Fontana Sunset, Riverbend Bluegrass Band and more.

The 21st Annual Motorcycle Rally has over 2,000 bikers attending each year from all over the United States. Prizes will be awarded for the farthest traveled, most unusual bike, best costume, and much more. This family oriented rally is to benefit the Charity Fund. For more information about the Motorcycle Rally call (229) 794-3075 or visit www.sweetpotatorallycom.

On Saturday there is a cooking contest (entries must be submitted by 8:30 a.m.) a parade at 11:00 a.m. and an Arts and Crafts venue with over 130 vendors. And live music plays throughout the day!

For more information, please contact the Ocilla/Irwin County Chamber of Commerce at (229) 468-9114. Article provided by Lisa Cook.

Historic South


Join us in downtown Watkinsville for the 32nd Annual Oconee Chamber Fall Festival. It will be a great day of family entertainment with over 200 arts & craft exhibitors and food vendors on hand.

The celebration will be held on October 15, 2005 from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm.

The kids can enjoy the petting zoo and the inflatable slide and the moonwalk. Older kids race to climb the rock wall. Musical entertainment is provided throughout the day with seating to enjoy your meal or just come and relax.

The Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) will open their 1902 OCAF Center. Here they will display the current art exhibition as well as the thirteen commissioned oil paintings done by a local artist.

These paintings were commissioned by the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce and each depicts a different scene in the county. One painting for each of the last thirteen years will be on display. Additionally, Paula Hansford will be available to sign prints of her current painting of the old Bogart High School, which is this year’s selection.

For those that enjoy a good 5K race or 1 mile “fun run”, the “Scarecrow 5K Road Race” is held earlier in the day. A local potter has created special prizes for race winners.

Offsite parking is provided with antique tractors shutteling guest to and from the downtown area. Watch for signs as you come into town for the parking locations.

Artist and vendor applications are still being accepted. Please check our website, to download an application for either the festival or the road race or call the Chamber at 706 769-7947. Article submitted by Janet Rowland.

Georgia Mountains


The leaf change never had it so good! In the fall, the banks of the Chattahoochee River come alive with the Ompah music and Bavarian bier from the Oktoberfest in Helen, Georgia.

Helen is a re-creation of an alpine village complete with cobblestone alleys and old-world towers. Every year since 1970, Georgia's most famous Oktoberfest transforms the tranquil city of Helen into the ultimate north Georgia party town.

Enjoy the Polka dancers in native costume, eat Bavarian food, and enjoy the festival into the wee hours of the morning. Relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery while you listen to the many bands like the Walburg Boys, Roland Kurz, and Heimatland Musikanten just to name a few that are scheduled to perform throughout Oktoberfest.

Helen boasts a wide array of attractions. With more than 200 specialty and import shops that offer everything from candle making to cuckoo clocks and restaurant options that range from a German meal of schnitzel, sauerbraten, rouladen or wurst with an imported beer or wine to a traditional southern country meal of grits, country ham, and home made biscuits and gravy; you’re sure to find something for everyone to enjoy.

Don’t miss the Oktoberfest Parade on Saturday September 17, 2005 at noon. Helen's Oktoberfest begins Thursday, September 15, 2005 and ends Saturday November 5, 2005. The cost is Monday-Friday $7.00, Saturdays $9.00, and Sundays in October are FREE. For more information please visit Article provided by Kay Mathena.

Georgia Southern Rivers


Fall is a great time to visit Westville Georgia’s 1850 Working Town, a living history museum which reflects an 1850 west Georgia village. Harvest Festival 1850 begins October 29th and goes through November 13th.

History comes alive in this circa 1850 community. Westville has over thirty authentically furnished pre-Civil War buildings: homes, stores, workshops, churches, school and a courthouse. And be sure to visit with the townspeople who are in 1850s dress and ask them questions about life in the middle of the nineteenth century.

Westville takes visitors back to harvest time, during the pre-industrial South. Enjoy the special musical performances and craft demonstrations such as pottery making, candle dipping, woodworking, weaving, quilting and hearth-side cooking.

See where the antebellum townspeople worshipped, voted, and went to school. Special highlights include: the grinding of sugar cane for syrup, available for purchase, and the viewing of Westville's animal powered cotton gin at scheduled times. It’s a great way to learn more about our Georgia history and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.

If you are a teacher, Westville offers several programs for you and your students. For more information about the educational programs for your classroom, please call 1-800-SEE-1850.

Westville is open Tuesday - Saturday (except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas) from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Admission is $10.00 for adults and $4.00 for students K-12. For more information please visit Article written by Pamela Clark.

Georgia Charity Profile


Ranked one of the top pediatric hospitals in the nation by Child magazine and U.S. News & World Report, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is dedicated to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. As a not-for-profit organization, Children’s benefits from the generous philanthropic and volunteer support of our community and state.

Interestingly, the colorful boy and girl you see in the Children’s logo have names—Hope and Will. Joined hand in hand, Hope and Will are named for the two elements critical to helping sick and injured children. They are 6 years old, born after the successful merger of Egleston and Scottish Rite hospitals to form Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Thanks to community support and collaboration with Emory University School of Medicine, Children’s has since built three nationally recognized centers of excellence in cancer and blood disorders, cardiac care, and transplantation. Children’s participates in more than 400 research studies each year, along with helping train tomorrow’s medical leaders through residencies and fellowships.

Today, Children’s sees more than 460,000 annual patient visits—from children all over Georgia. The state’s largest Medicaid provider, Children’s provides an estimated $60 million in unreimbursed care to families in need annually. Children’s is truly a safety net for Georgia’s children.

Children’s also reaches out into the community with wellness and prevention programs aimed at keeping children out of the hospital. The Children’s Board prioritizes advocacy programs like the child safety seat program, asthma education, and obesity and Type 2 diabetes prevention.

While staying at the forefront of pediatric medicine is always a challenge, Children’s must also keep an eye on another source of mounting pressure. Atlanta has one of the fastest growing pediatric populations in the country, which means one thing to Children’s. The organization must act now to grow its hospital facilities and expand its programs and services in order to meet this swelling demand.

Today, Children’s stands at a critical crossroads and must turn to the community once again to meet this challenge. As a result, Children’s will launch the largest fundraising campaign in its history in 2005 to fund the future.

Clearly, there is no greater cause than protecting the health of our children. For Children’s, success means giving more children a better chance at healthier futures. Success means offering our children hope and will.

For more information on Children’s, visit To learn how to share your support, please visit or call 404-785-GIVE.

Article provided by Laura Prediletto.

Making a Difference


In April of 2003, Phyllis Brooks began feeling poorly and went to her local doctor for a check-up. After several tests and a consultation with a specialist, Phyllis was told that both of her kidneys were not filtering her blood properly.

Thirty days later, her kidneys stopped filtering completely. Phyllis was put on dialysis for four hours, three times a week and she joined the transplant list in search of a donor. Day after day went by as she wondered what would happen next.

Phyllis prayed to God for answers, for a light at the end of the tunnel, but there seemed to be none. And then an amazing thing happened. Family members and friends started offering to give her a kidney. The whole situation seemed surreal. Phyllis wondered, why would anyone want to give up a kidney, especially to someone they were not even related to?

One by one the calls and visits came with people saying, “I want to be tested and if we match, you can have one of my kidneys.” Phyllis had a total of 17 people come forward. Truly a miracle in itself!

On her birthday, April 6, 2004, Phyllis received a call from Karen Hardy, one of her potential donors, saying that Emory University Hospital had confirmed that Karen and Phyllis were a good match and could take the next steps toward scheduling a kidney transplant operation. Phyllis could not believe it.

Finally, she began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. God answered prayer after prayer during that challenging time. And on June 17th, 2004 Karen made the greatest sacrifice a human being can make for another person. She unselfishly gave Phyllis one of her kidneys. She not only saved Phyllis’ life but also gave her a new quality of life.

Phyllis just celebrated a year with her transplanted kidney! She feels blessed to live in the rural town of Elberton, Georgia and continues to be in awe of the community’s response in her time of need.

One ironic part of this story is that her kidney donor, Karen, is married to Bob Hardy who was Phyllis’ high school prom date many years earlier. Phyllis says she remembers telling Bob before the transplant surgery, that she had not known why he brought Karen to Georgia many years back. But she knows now! God had a plan and Karen was the angel he would use in that plan. Phyllis truly believes in angels and feels that she has met one of them.

There are 85,000 people waiting on a transplant list. Many will die waiting. Phyllis would like to urge you to please consider being an organ donor. You too might be an angel for someone in need.

And Phyllis Brooks has a special message to her kidney donor Karen Hardy. “Thank You Karen, God has a special reward for you I am sure. I will always love you for making the ultimate sacrifice.” Article submitted by Phyllis Brooks. Photo: From left, Karen and Phyllis.