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Norcross Youth Baseball and Softball Association Suspends their Spring Season Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic



Pinckneyville Park youth baseball
Two Pinckneyville Park Baseball teams congratulate each other on a good game.

To many kids enrolled in Pinckneyville Park Baseball, the program is not merely a sport but a way of life. They come home from school, throw on their team gear, grab their gym bag and hop in the car to go practice or play a game.

But all that activity slid to a halt on March 17 when the Norcross Youth Baseball and Softball Association (NYBSA) suspended all games and practices at Pinckneyville Park and Collins Field to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Gwinnett County followed suit on March 22, closing its parks except for trails and open areas provided visitors adopt social distancing. The NYBSA has scheduled a meeting of its board of directors on April 5 to determine next steps regarding this year’s season schedule. In the meantime, practicing on any of the seven baseball and softball fields is prohibited.

Prior to the season suspension, Pinckneyville Park Baseball had already held its draft, celebrated its opening day for Spring 2020 and played into its second week. Reactions to the interruption appear mixed. Gwinnett County City Manager and Pinckneyville Park Baseball Coach Brian Johnson noticed a wide range of emotions from parents, fellow coaches and players involved in the program.

“There were a few parents, maybe the day of (the season) being postponed or the day after, that felt that maybe it was a bit early. In baseball you’re not as close, versus a sport like basketball where you are all up into an opponent’s space and touching them a lot. But as things have progressed, I don’t think any parent doesn’t think it was a wise decision,” said Johnson.

Though health and safety prove the major concern, player morale has certainly been affected.

“I know a ton of kids, my son included, who were extremely upset when we told them the season would be suspended indefinitely. Lots of the boys shed some tears because they love the camaraderie, they love the challenge, they love the sport,” said Johnson.

Participants and supporters of Pinckneyville Park Baseball are part of a unique approach to recreational sports that may help foster a greater sense of community. The non-profit NYBSA works in partnership with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation to provide organized sports.

“NYBSA was established in the early 1960s to provide a recreational baseball and softball program and travel baseball program for the youth of our community. The program strives to promote the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical development of all program participants through supervised competitive sports,” said NYBSA President Jason Pressman

The county owns and operates Pinckneyville Park, while NYBSA manages the everyday baseball and softball operations. Additionally, NYBSA owns & operates Collins Field at Dan Watts in Norcross.

“(The partnership) also contributes, because it is non-profit, to parental and personal involvement because I think more of the parents of kids on the teams invest their time as they see ‘We’re a part of the process, We get an opportunity to weigh in and influence things,’” said Johnson.

Currently about 600 participants make up the over 50 teams in the NYBSA baseball and softball programs. The age ranges and skill levels involved start at U-6 (under six) tee-ball and progress gradually in challenge level until Pony Level, with a maximum age of 14 years old. There are also an impressive number of all-star and traveling teams that play in tournaments locally and nationally.

Regarding how the Peachtree Corners community can support the NYBSA and Pinckneyville Park Baseball, Pressman urged residents to follow Coronavirus quarantine guidelines as outlined by county, state and national officials. In an abundance of caution, the NYBSA website discourages impromptu get-togethers of players and parents at any of the fields it uses.

Pressman expressed gratitude for the patience and understanding of the coaches, players, volunteers and fans, as well as the entire NYBSA board for their leadership and guidance during these challenging times.

The NYBSA will continue to monitor county, state and national recommendations and act accordingly. Pressman and the other NYBSA board members prepare to meet via teleconference on April 5. 

Note: Since this story originally went to press the association has canceled the 2020 Recreational Baseball and Softball season.

Kelsey Asher is a proud graduate of the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor’s in Communications. She has held a variety of marketing leadership roles for several small, startup companies in a variety of industries including publishing, construction and technology.

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City Releases Special Memorial Day Tribute Video



Peachtree Corners Veterans Monument

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the City of Peachtree Corners and the Peachtree Corners Veterans Monument Association will commemorate America’s fallen soldiers this Memorial Day with a special video tribute.

The special video features comments by Mayor Mike Mason and Retired Army Col. Bob Ballagh, a wreath laying by Councilmember Alex Wright, volunteers installing 48 new pavers and concludes with the traditional raising of the flags to full staff at noon.

Please use this link (or see the embedded video below) to view the city’s video tribute as we remember the men and women who died while serving our country.  

The PCVMA would like to thank all who were involved in the making of this year’s video:

  • Mayor Mike Mason, a veteran of the U.S. Navy
  • PCVMA Master of Ceremonies, Retired Army Col. Bob Ballagh
  • Councilmember Alex Wright, a veteran of the U.S. Navy
  • PCVMA Vice President, Retired Army Reserves Col. Doug Heckman
  • PCVMA Committee Member and Retired Navy Commander Tiffany Grave de Peralta
  • Assisting with flag raising PCVMA volunteer David “Doc” Hammer
  • Simpsonwood United Methodist Church Rev. John Purington
  • Bugler, Wesleyan Band Director Jeff Foster
  • Videographer Howell Upchurch, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force
  • Professional Photographer Jason Getz, a Peachtree Corners resident
  • And the volunteers who installed the 48 new brick pavers

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Gwinnett Accepting Cares Act Grants Applications For Covid-19 Programs For The Needy



Cares Act for Non-Profits

Gwinnett County is accepting applications from nonprofit and faith-based partners for round one of its federal CARES Act grant funding to serve Gwinnett residents most in need because of COVID-19.

All applications must be submitted electronically to the Community Development Program by June 4 for consideration.

Funding allocations will be made to qualifying nonprofit agencies providing eligible services in Gwinnett County. Applicants must be registered to conduct business in the state of Georgia and be designated as a 501(c)(3) organization.

The Gwinnett County Community Development Program will be hosting a Gwinnett COVID-19 Funding Webinar Friday at 11 a.m. The meeting can be accessed by computer, tablet or smartphone at global.gotomeeting.com/join/994133205 or by phone at 571.317.3112. The access code is 994-133-205.

CARES Act grant funds are reimbursable, so applicants must have the capacity and cash-flow to cover eligible costs. The County encourages collaborative submissions – especially those that use a strategic approach to address critical needs, such as emergency food assistance, housing and emergency shelter, childcare, transportation, and healthcare services.

Applicants will need to fill out the COVID-19 Statement of Need application at www.GwinnettCounty.com. The application can be found under Top Stories from the home page as well as under COVID-19 Resources for Nonprofits on the Department of Financial Services’ Grants webpage.

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act passed in March is intended to provide direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses, and to preserve jobs for industries. Gwinnett County manages CARES Act funding locally.

For more information, call the Community Development Program at 678-518-6008 or email gchcd@gwinnettcounty.com.

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Gwinnett Public Library Joins County Summer Meals Program For Kids



Gwinnett County Summer Meals Program

Gwinnett County and Gwinnett County Public Library are collaborating to provide summer meals at two library branches for youngsters needing food as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We appreciate the library system partnering with us to help children in need during this difficult time,” said Gwinnett Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash. “The library system’s participation allows us to reach more families and hopefully ease their burden a little bit.”

With the library branches, Gwinnett now has 20 locations countywide where children 18 years old and younger can pick up free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches. Parents can pick up nutritious meals for their children at the locations to take home or the children can pick up their own meals. The meals, which consist of things like sandwiches and wraps, meet USDA guidelines.

“Libraries are more than just places for books now,” said Charles Pace, executive director for the Gwinnett County Public Library. “With educational programs, job training seminars, lectures and now summer feeding programs that we offer, Gwinnett County Public Library strives to be an essential partner with the people we serve.”

Locations were selected based on school clusters with 50 percent free-and-reduced-lunch student populations. Participating library branches are the Lawrenceville Branch and Snellville Branch of the Gwinnett Public Library starting Wednesday, May 27.

The County program, part of the Summer Food Service Program offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is being sponsored by the nonprofit Georgia Nutritional Services Inc., which will provide the vendor for the meals. Funding for the program comes from the USDA.

Registration is not required. Meals can be picked up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. while supplies last at:

The County’s Summer Meals program complements a summertime meals program for students offered by Gwinnett County Public Schools. Meals are also available for adults with disabilities. The school district will ramp up its Seamless Summer feeding program for children June 8 through June 26, and will provide school locations once they are finalized.

For more information, visit www.GwinnettSummerMeals.com or call 770-822-8840.

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