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Summer Outdoor Fun Guide



Everclear Band

Save the gas and enjoy the local concerts and events

Peachtree Corners residents can save gas and avoid escalating airfare prices by enjoying the many summer activities right at home. From the various trails and parks nearby, to a flurry of regular activities at the Peachtree Corners Town Green (and soon to be regular events at The Forum), fun for all ages abounds.

It’s a significant year for Peachtree Corners as it celebrates its 10th anniversary as a city. Now that the pandemic is largely a thing of the past, residents can count on a regular schedule of activities, all of which can be found on the city’s calendar at tinyurl.com/PTC-Calendar.

According to Diana Wheeler, Peachtree Corners Community Development Director, “We are trying to help the community become accustomed to consistent timing of events at the Town Green.”

She noted that residents can enjoy a meal or snack at any of the more than 15 eateries located in the Town Green before or during an event. Most restaurants will even deliver food to the Town Green during a local concert. “Dinner and a movie or a show… Hopefully, people will come out and enjoy themselves,” added Wheeler.

Free music events at Town Green

The second Saturday of each month is dedicated to local bands in the Night Music Series. Residents might even spot a neighbor on stage from time to time. Larger, touring bands can be found on the last Saturday night of the month in the Summer Concert Series. All invited musical groups promise a family-friendly performance.

Blair Crimmins and the Hookers joins the summer Night Music fun at 7 p.m. on June 11. According to the city, Blair Crimmins began his music career in Atlanta with a determination to bring Ragtime and 1920s style Dixieland Jazz to new audiences. “His debut 2010 release ‘The Musical Stylings Of’ became a college radio sensation on WRAS Atlanta making him the most requested band on the air.”

Next in the summer series is Brotherhood (Doobie Brothers Tribute band) with Guardians of the Jukebox (80s cover band) at 7 p.m. June 25. These Summer Concert Series bands will have everyone up on their feet singing and dancing. Brotherhood honors the original Doobie Brothers’ sound with two drummers and a percussionist, two guitars, bass and keyboards, and “all the vocal harmonies that made the Doobies incredible sound.”            Guardians of the Jukebox will be bringing the hair, clothing and music you remember and love from the 80s. They promise “The definitive tribute to MTV’s Pop, Rock, New Wave and New Romantic Era.”

Rhythm and Blues fans should mark their calendars now for the original Drifters on opening night of the Peachtree Corners Festival at 7:30 p.m. on July 1 at the Town Green. “We are bringing the legendary R&B group The Drifters to Peachtree Corners! This is not a tribute band but is the real thing,” said Dave Huffman, Peachtree Corners Festival President.

“Think of hits like ‘Under the Boardwalk,’ ‘Save the Last Dance for Me,’ and ‘This Magic Moment’ and then come on out to the Town Green to hear them live. It will be a special evening celebrating the festival and the tenth anniversary of our great city.”

Sailing to Denver with Trappers Cabin joins the Night Music series at 7 p.m. on July 9. Sailing to Denver describes themselves as a unique Americana / Roots-Rock band that has been recording since 2011. They can regularly be seen around town at many different venues, city concerts, and corporate events and have been known to feature amazing special guest musicians from all over the southeast.

Georgia’s Joel Nettesheim’s musical project, Trappers Cabin, is said to be a blend of art-rock, freak-folk, psychedelia and space rock — with plenty of surprises thrown in.

Everclear with Hushmoney helps wrap up the month at 7 p.m. on July 30. Considered a 90s Alt-Rock Band, Everclear continues to tour extensively. Fans may remember, and certainly will enjoy, Everclear’s rendition of ‘Santa Monica’ and ‘Father of Mine.’ The local band Hushmoney starts off the evening. The Hard-Southern Rock band is known for playing covers of lesser-known deep cuts.

Fun for children and pets

Peachtree Corners will host a Kids Festival 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 at Town Green. “We’ll have lots of inflatables, slides and family-focused vendors,” said Wheeler. “King of Pops is coming, and the Bubble Lady and we’ll have a DJ.”

Children are welcome on the expanded playground and can enjoy the splash pad on hot summer afternoons. The playground is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and the splash pad is operational 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the summer months.

Kids (or just adults) are welcome at the Town Green, along with their furry friends 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 16 for Bark in the Park. The event will include vendors, special doggie treats, and fun activities only a canine can enjoy. Turns out the pups enjoy bubbles too.

Fitness fun

Photo by Anna Niziol – Town Green

Not just for the summer months, the city offers year-round physical activities for all fitness levels.

Tuesday mornings at 8 a.m. are dedicated to Yoga on the Green. Everyone from beginners to experienced yogis are welcome to join this free class taught by David Penn from Sun Dragon Yoga. Yoga is known to help improve flexibility, increase blood flow, correct posture and helps improve mental focus. “Yoga is an ancient practice that brings together the human mind and body,” according to Penn’s website. “It’s a practice that incorporates meditation, breathing exercises, and poses that are designed to reduce stress and encourage relaxation.”

On Thursdays, exercise fans can try free CrossFit at the Green with TJ Fox of CrossFit PPG. The classes are offered 10 to 11 a.m. through September. According to their website, “CrossFit is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. It involves constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.”

Beginning in June, North American Properties, the new owner of The Forum, is launching a Forum Fit program 6 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday through October. Kicking off the program is Club Pilates Peachtree Corners, who will be leading classes outdoors under the clock tower at The Forum.

Mat sessions of Pilates might remind first-time participants of yoga with a strong emphasis on core strength and alignment. This low-impact workout improves flexibility, balance and posture.

Look for a loyalty rewards program built into the Forum Fit offering. With every five classes attended, guests will receive exclusive prizes. For future events at The Forum. visit theforumonpeachtree.com/events/.

Play ball (or cornhole)

Sporting events can be found on the big screen at Peachtree Corners Town Green, including the Atlanta Braves versus the Los Angeles Angels at 7:20 p.m. on July 23. Additional special viewing events are announced closer to sporting dates.

At 6:30 p.m., Wednesday nights at the Town Green, residents can bring their chairs or grab an outdoor table to cheer on their favorite cornhole team. CornholeATL, Georgia’s largest and fastest growing cornhole league, will showcase four different divisions of play. The fun continues for 7 weeks beginning in June.

Hike, fish, play or grill

If all of the above is not enough, families can check out Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation’s four Peachtree Corners parks for a wide variety of outdoor fun. All county parks are open sunrise to sunset. Additional information and everything to know about renting Gwinnett County Park facilities is at GwinnettParks.com. Here’s a glimpse at the options.

Holcomb Bridge Park, 4300 Holcomb Bridge Road, includes a pavilion with picnic tables, grill, playground, restrooms, amphitheater, a quarter-mile unpaved trail and fishing from a river overlook.

Jones Bridge Park, 4901 East Jones Bridge Road is a 30-acre park along the Chattahoochee River that offers pavilions, grill, playground, sand volleyball court, three soccer fields, a Good Age Building rental room, restrooms, a lovely meadow and river overlook areas for fishing.

Simpsonwood Park, 4511 Jones Bridge Circle, the 223-acre park, features a chapel, pavilion, grills, a 3.1-mile non-paved trail, sand volleyball court, group camping, meadow and restrooms.

Pinckneyville Park has its park entrance at 4785 South Old Peachtree Road. Families with children playing baseball or soccer are probably already familiar with the 93-acre park which includes a seven-field baseball / softball complex, the 5,000-square foot Medlock Corporate Pavilion with catering kitchen and the Danny Cochran Pavilion. This beautiful park also boasts a dog park, roller hockey rink, free-skate area, playground, grill, fishing pond, meadow, 1.53 paved trail and restrooms.

From a separate entrance to the park, at 4707 South Old Peachtree Road, the community can access the five-field soccer complex with pavilion, grill, playground, restrooms, pond, 1.47 miles of paved trail and access to 6.6 miles of the Western Gwinnett Pathway.

A third entrance to this park, technically in Berkeley Lake at 4650 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, leads to a Community Recreation Center with catering kitchen, pottery / art studio, hidden courtyard, rental rooms and .21 miles of paved trail that connect to the soccer complex.

The county offers a variety of summer camps at the Pinckneyville Park Community Recreation Center. Ages 5 to 6 and 7 to 13 are eligible for week-long Adventure Camps beginning June 6 through July 29. Ages 8 to 16 may also want to consider the Draw, Paint and Sculpt Camp that runs June 6-10 or the Drama Camp, July 11-15. Information and registration is available at GwinnettCommunityServices.com.

Karen Huppertz is a freelance journalist, content writer and passionate volunteer with the International Dyslexia Association. She has worked with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for the past 10 years primarily covering city and county government action. Her endlessly inquisitive nature about a wide range of topics, desire to understand the big picture and an impassioned aspiration to provide accurate facts shape her work. Originally from South Carolina, Karen has lived in Gwinnett for nearly 30 years. She is happily married and mother to two great young adults. Her professional career includes a marketing and advertising background while her volunteer career has focused on dyslexia, a learning difference making it challenging for about 10-20% of the population to learn to read. She is proud to have played a small part in Georgia’s recent legislation calling for teacher training in how to recognize and help dyslexic students. When not posting images from her nearby garden on social media or writing to meet a deadline, she can be found advocating to make literacy available to everyone.

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Rooted Interiors Unveils Largest Transformation Project Yet for a Family in Need



Grandfather's bedroom before and after // photos courtesy of Rooted Interiors

Rooted Interiors, a new non-profit organization dedicated to transforming lives through design, has announced the completion of its largest transformation project to date.

With a commitment to providing complete interiors to individuals and families emerging from homelessness, Rooted Interiors continues to make a profound impact on communities, one home at a time.

The latest project marks a significant milestone for Rooted Interiors as it demonstrates the organization’s unwavering dedication to creating havens where families can plant roots and thrive.

Through meticulous planning, collaboration and the support of generous donors and volunteers, Rooted Interiors has successfully transformed a once hopeless space into a warm and welcoming home for a deserving family.

At the heart of this project is a single mother, accompanied by her two children and her father, who found themselves in dire circumstances after the mother fled from an abusive partner, forcing them to seek refuge at the Family Promise shelter in Athens, Ga.

Upon securing a new home, however, their relief was short-lived as they found themselves in a space devoid of warmth and lacking the essentials of a home.

With no furniture besides a dining room table, no washer and dryer and a malfunctioning fridge, their daily struggles persisted for three long months.

But Rooted Interiors didn’t just redesign the family’s space, they filled it with love and hope.

Through this project, the organization transformed the family’s house into a sanctuary, addressing not only their physical needs but also their emotional well-being. From carefully selected furniture to thoughtful décor choices, every detail was curated to create a space that felt like home.

“We are thrilled to unveil our latest project, which represents our continued commitment to serving those in need,” said Kristina McCalla, Founder and Executive Director of Rooted Interiors.

“Our Rooted in Renewal Program not only revitalizes physical spaces but also renews hope and stability for the family who calls this house their home,” she added.

Rooted Interiors offers a lifeline to families in need, empowering them to thrive and succeed in their journey towards independence.

“This journey is not just about creating aesthetically pleasing interiors; it’s about using the language of design to uplift and restore,” said Kristina McCalla, also Lead Interior Designer at Rooted Interiors.

“Rooted in faith and love, each project is a testament to the belief that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, deserves a place that reflects their humanity and worth. By providing a thoughtfully designed and fully furnished home, we aim to empower families to thrive and succeed in their journey towards independence,” she explained.

As Rooted Interiors continues its mission to fully furnish homes for those emerging from homelessness, this project serves as a testament to the organization’s impact and the generosity of its supporters.

Through ongoing partnerships and community engagement, the organization remains committed to building brighter futures for individuals and families in need. For more information about Rooted Interiors and how you can support their mission, visit rootedinteriors.org.

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BRACK: Peachtree Corners to lose Peterbrooke Chocolatier



Scottt Gottuso and Geoffrey Wilson.
Scottt Gottuso and Geoffrey Wilson. Photo provided.

Peachtree Corners will soon lose one of its most iconic, popular and tasty businesses.

Peterbrooke Chocolatier, run by Geoffrey Wilson and Scott Gottuso, has been told by Peachtree Forum landlords, North American Properties and Nuveen Real Estate, that its lease will not be renewed. The last day of business will be July 25.

Meanwhile, Peachtree Forum is getting several new stores. They include Kendra Scott, Sucre, and The NOW Massage. Previously announced were Alloy Personal Training, Cookie Fix, Gallery Anderson Smith, Giulia, Lovesac, Nando’s Peri-Peri and Stretchlab. Wilson adds: “We are not in their big picture.”

Wilson has operated Peterbrooke at the Peachtree Forum for 14 years and Gottuso has been there nine years. They have made the chocolatier profitable and doubled sales. Wilson says: “We turned it around through community involvement and made relationships. We worked with the schools, gave donations, did a lot in the community, and made a difference. We produce most everything we sell in the shop, so it’s labor intensive. We make European-style chocolate treats from scratch from the very best ingredients, package it, make gift baskets, and also sell a lot of gelato.”

Key items include truffles, hand-made caramels, cherry cordials, chocolate-covered cookies and pretzels and strawberries hand-dipped in their own blend of chocolates. (They are all good!) One of Wilson’s and Gottuso’s most iconic products is chocolate popcorn. Once you try it, regular popcorn is tasteless. “We sell a lot of it.” Wilson adds: “Gelato sales have carried us in the summertime, since there are not many chocolate holidays in the summer.”

Peterbrooke now has five employees, and would like to have 10, but it is difficult to hire people with the skills in chocolatiering. A key part of its business is corporate companies, such as Delta Air Lines and Capital Insight. The Peachtree Corners’ Peterbrooke has corporate customers as far away as Cleveland, Ohio.

The operators were surprised when the Forum owners did not renew its five year lease. “The big decisions were made in Charlotte or Cincinnati, not locally,” Wilson feels. “We were no longer in their big picture. They want new and glitzy, shiny, fancy and trendy.”

The operators plan to start their own chocolate company, to be called “Scoffrey,” and initially sell online, plus have pop-up locations during holidays, and possibly have a booth in other merchants’ stores on occasions.

“Whatever we do would look different. We might rent a space somewhere close by so that people can still have the good chocolate experience with us, but we won’t have a regular audience walking by.”

Another element: the price of chocolate futures has spiked this year, with a bad crop production year. Wilson says: “That is key to our business and a huge cost increase. That doesn’t help.”

Wilson adds that the forced closing of the Peterbrooke location “is something like the death of a friend. But you go to the funeral and to the wake, and in six months or a year, It won’t be so bad.”

Have a comment?  Send to: elliott@elliottbrack

Written by Elliott Brack

This material is presented with permission from Elliott Brack’s GwinnettForum, an online site published Tuesdays and Fridays. To become better informed about Gwinnett, subscribe (at no cost) at GwinnettForum

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The Transformative Trail: Dr. Sunit Singhal’s Journey to Wellness



The highest peak in Tanzania also known as the “roof of Africa" // Photos courtesy of Dr. Sunit Singhal

For more than two decades, Dr. Sunit Singhal has been a member of the Peachtree Corners community. In February 2001, he opened Suburban Medical Center, making a significant contribution to community healthcare. Under his leadership, the medical center has expanded, notably by introducing Suburban Med Spa next door.

A 1988 graduate of the University College of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India, Dr. Singhal furthered his expertise in the United States, completing his residency in Internal Medicine at Harlem Hospital Center in New York.

An awakening at the Grand Canyon

A few years ago, the 60-year-old physician had an eye-opening moment about his own health. Most of his life was spent being overweight, which he accepted and managed the best he could.

“It’s not a secret that I was overweight. Anyone could see it; it’s how I was my whole life,” said Dr. Singhal.

The pivotal moment for Dr. Singhal was his attempt to join friends on a hike at the Grand Canyon a few years back. Despite his determination, Dr. Singhal was unprepared for the hike’s demands.

“I thought, okay, I will meet my friends one-third of the way down the canyon from the opposite end. That way, I can keep up with them towards the end of the hike,” he shared.

The trek up Mount Kilimanjaro

Even starting much later, Dr. Singhal struggled greatly with the hike. He experienced knee pain, breathlessness, and exhaustion. His struggle not only slowed him down but also his friends, who had been hiking for an additional 12 hours before he joined them.

The ordeal ended in the middle of a cold night, leading to a physically taxing recovery period that left Dr. Singhal sore for days.

Despite the arduous experience at the Grand Canyon, Dr. Singhal didn’t retire his hiking boots. Feeling motivated to conquer the obstacle, he began walking long miles with friends to get into shape.

A few months later, the call of the canyon echoed again, and friends proposed a new challenge: hiking from the South Rim to the river and back. While less daunting than their previous endeavor, the task was intimidating.

“This time, I was able to make the hike without holding anyone back,” he shared. Dr. Singhal already saw the difference his efforts were making.

His triumphs over physical and mental barriers were clear and exciting. Dr. Singhal’s return to the canyon increased his resilience and personal growth.

Conquering Kilimanjaro: a test of determination

Following a series of hikes through the Grand Canyon as his health improved, Dr. Singhal and his hiking group set their sights on Mount Kilimanjaro. They regularly engaged in 10-mile hikes each week to prepare for the trek.

(left to right) Singhal, Kashish, Vani and Mahender Gupta.

“It was never on our minds to simply skip or cut the hike short because we didn’t feel like it that day,” Dr. Singhal said. Even family members occasionally joined, keeping pace with the senior group with varying success.

When the time arrived for their Kilimanjaro quest, they needed to identify the number of days their group would need to complete it.

“There are different levels you can choose for hikes. If you are very athletic, the 5-day hike is for you. It goes all the way up to 9 days if you need to go slowly,” Dr. Singhal explained.

The friends chose the six-day option. It seemed like a good balance of their confidence in their fitness coupled with a conservative approach. Yet, they completed the ascent in five days.

“We couldn’t believe we finished at such a quick pace. We weren’t straining ourselves to do it. It was the natural pace we wanted to go, and we finished with the group we viewed as the most fit and athletic.”

Mount Everest on the horizon

The hiking group isn’t resting on their laurels, though. The crew continues to meet and train for their next goal, climbing Mount Everest.

“There’s a lottery to be accepted to climb. We entered and are hoping to be selected for a hike this fall,” Dr. Singhal shared. When asked if he felt intimidated about this potential hike, he confidently replied, “No, not really.”

The team of friends will hear this summer if they are selected to climb.

Health and hope

Dr. Singhal’s health journey is the perfect example of the potential for change at any stage of life. It also highlights the importance of self-care, perseverance and pursuing one’s goals, regardless of the starting point.

His patients can rest easily. He isn’t walking away from his practice for the mountains full-time. Dr. Singhal is committed to his practice and patients. He firmly believes and displays that personal improvement and professional dedication can coexist harmoniously.

“I want my patients to know that I am equally dedicated to being here for them and their own health journeys.” When he’s not hitting the trails, Dr. Singhal can be found spending time with his family in Duluth or at his practice in Peachtree Corners.

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