5/30: Body donor program at PCOM; Our Bill of Rights; more

GwinnettForum  |  Number 17.17  |  May 30, 2017  

SURPRISE OF BURIED TANKS: When the City of Lawrenceville started its due diligence in purchasing the former Lawrenceville Auto Parts building, it found five underground storage tanks under an extension of the building, which was once a gas station. This, of course, is a violation of today’s building standards. The city dug up the tanks as part of the demolition. One of the tanks had scrawled on it “Std. Oil 5,000 gal.” The tanks were approximately 70 years old. 
TODAY’S FOCUS: Body Donor Program at Ga.-PCOM Is Key Element in Medical Training
EEB PERSPECTIVE: Americans Distinctively Thrive Under Our Bill of Rights
FEEDBACK: Finds She Likes to Live in a Diverse Society in Gwinnett
UPCOMING: Lift Up Atlanta Plans Summer Fun Festival June 17 in Lawrenceville
NOTABLE: Ga-PCOM Confers Degrees on 265 Students in Its Ninth Graduation
RECOMMENDED: Sybil’s Family Restaurant in Jesup
GEORGIA TIDBIT: Here’s a List of Ten Major Civil War Sites in Georgia
TODAY’S QUOTE: We Should Be Thankful That We Misunderstand One Another
MYSTERY PHOTO: Abundance of Clues Should Help Guide You To This Identification
CALENDAR: Seventh Annual Peachtree Corners Festival Coming on June 10-11

Body donor program at Ga.-PCOM is key element in medical training

GA-PCOM’S College’s body donor program director, Jeffrey Seiple, talks with students.

By Alyssa D’Addieco, Suwanee, Ga.  |  The Georgia campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM) recognizes that people who donate their remains to science make a tremendous contribution to the body of knowledge surrounding medical education.

For students in the doctor of osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physician assistant studies programs at GA-PCOM, having an understanding of the human body’s function is vital. Thanks to the body donor program at GA-PCOM, students are able to study firsthand the intricacies of the human body and the relationships between systems.

Each year, to honor the donors and their family members, GA-PCOM holds a donor memorial service, one being most recent.

Attended by the College’s invited guests – the families of the donors –  in addition to students, faculty and staff members, the memorial service featured a breakfast followed by a ceremony led by the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) Student Council and the director of the College’s body donor program, Jeffrey Seiple.

During the service, DO 2020 Class Chair Ronak Patel emphasized the gratitude felt by GA-PCOM students in learning from their silent teachers: “We can study from a wide variety of textbooks and resources, but the courage and kindness of your family member’s donation has given us the opportunity to form this foundation with hands-on learning that would not have been possible otherwise. Nothing can replicate the masterwork of the human body.”

A video that featured students expressing their thanks to the donors was shown at the beginning of the service, just before the cremains of the donors were presented to their family members. Candles were also lit in honor of the donors, and family members were invited to share stories and memories of their loved ones.

Said Ishan Choppa (DO ’20) in the student “thank you” video: “Not a day goes by where I don’t utilize the lessons that I learned during my first semester of med school, thanks to the selfless act made by the donor. Their donation not only allowed me to see the complexity of the human body, but the beauty of it as well, while simultaneously reinforcing my passion as to why I decided to embark on this journey to medical school in the first place.”

Donors are continually needed to support medical education programs. Any Georgia resident 18 years of age or older is eligible to register for the GA-PCOM Body Donation Program based upon the college’s donor criteria.

  • To learn more, visit the College’s website at http://www.pcom.edu/campuses/georgia-campus/body-donor-program/.
  • Have a comment?  Send to:  elliott@brack.net

Americans distinctively thrive under our Bill of Rights

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher |  Most Americans probably don’t realize how unique are their individual rights, compared to people living under other governments.

Our Founding Fathers, in all their inspired wisdom, gave early Americans more rights than previously had any government anywhere in the world.  Those same rights, often multiplied in some ways, remain a cornerstone of living in the United States and go a long way in defining what it is to be an American.

They are easily identified in our Bill of Rights.

Perhaps the most far reaching of our rights is found in the first amendment to the Constitution. Those 46 words of this amendment are mighty in several ways.

First, let the words of the First Amendment ring out themselves:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We need to be aware of those words all the time.

The significant aspect is that these words have benefitted Americans since December 15, 1791, when Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the Bill of Rights, making them the law of the land.

So, Americans for nearly 250 years have enjoyed these freedoms. And I am persuaded that the very adoption of the Bill of Rights, and living under them all these years, has caused Americans to be distinctive from citizens of other nations. The American citizen knows and enjoys the freedoms expressed in these Bill of Rights. And because of these rights, he has thrived, innovated and grown, sometimes even taking on the government, as is his right, when he feels the government is not acting as it should.

Citizens of other nations are no doubt much more timid in their approach to their governments. After all, they are not armed with the rights that Americans have.

The concept of a free press, you note, is in the very first of these Bills of Rights. Look at all it gives our citizens: freedom of religion, and of exercising it; freedom of speech, and of the press, to assemble when they want, and to sue the government if a citizen has a beef with the government.

Wow!  What great freedoms this gives us, that people of other nations do not enjoy.

Sometimes these freedoms produce actions that startle us.  Even today’s much-discussed governmental leaks derive from our freedoms. After all, being free citizens allows people to take a different view sometimes from the way the government is acting. And if these people see something amiss, their backgrounds tell them this is not right, and they seek means to make these hidden actions made public.

Leaks about our government have been around for ages. They protect our citizens by making questionable governmental acts public, exposing shoddy actions, and protecting our citizens.

The most interesting aspect is that these leaks often come from average citizens, who recognize something amiss, and improves our nation by putting these secrets forward for open discussion.

No other nation enjoys the protection like our Constitution give us. These freedoms express themselves in many different ways, as our citizens live under the protection of the Constitution.

It’s something no other nation has, and is part of what makes the United States great.

Enjoy them as you thrive.



The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers.  Today’s sponsor is BrandBank, Gwinnett County’s oldest locally-owned community bank with total assets of $2.4 Billion.  Chartered as The Brand Banking Company in 1905, BrandBank was recently named #1 in Customer Service among all banks its size in the United States as surveyed by CSP, Inc.  The full-service bank is committed to the communities it serves by combining best-in-class personal service with innovative products and services using state of the art mobile technology.  In addition to operating branches in Buford, Duluth, Flowery Branch, Grayson, Lawrenceville, Snellville, and Suwanee, BrandBank has a loan production office in the Buckhead area of Atlanta and in Cobb County.  BrandExpress offices are located in Buckhead, Suwanee, and Winder.  BrandMortgage is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Brand Banking Company and has an extensive menu of innovative lending products in 10 states.


Finds she likes to live in a diverse society in Gwinnett

Editor, the Forum:

Your recent comment about diversity in Gwinnett reminded me of my two weeks in Hawaii where I attended an Elderhostel program.  One of the first things I heard from our leader was this;  “It’s nice to live in a place where everyone is a minority. ”

I’m inclined to agree!  No one to “lord it” over others.

— Dottie Kuhn, Lawrenceville

Send us your thoughts:  We encourage you to send us your letters and thoughts on issues raised in GwinnettForum.  Please limit comments to 300 words.  We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length.  Send feedback and letters to:    elliott@brack.net


Lift Up Atlanta plans Summer Fun Festival June 17 in Lawrenceville

Lift Up Atlanta is getting ready for its biggest festival ever – the 2017 Summer Fun Festival.  The festival will be held on June 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville.  It’s a family oriented event with a petting zoo, magic show, live entertainment, games and activities, vendor shopping, delicious fun food, field day team competition and much more.

This festival supports the work that Lift Up Atlanta does in the community for families in need. Lift Up Atlanta provides clothing, food, shelter, school supplies, computer training classes, job readiness workshops, toys and other basic needs for children and their families.  .  More than 2,500 are expected to attend this event.

Life Up Atlanta is in need of vendors and sponsors for this event. Non-food vendor spaces are $75 and food vendor spaces are $100.  Your company and organization can also support this festival and Lift Up Atlanta as a sponsor.  Sponsorships are as low as $100.

Life Up Atlanta is also accepting silent auction sponsors.  Donate your product or service which will be promoted to thousands of potential customers.

Northeast Georgia Arts Tour on tap weekend of June 9-11

The Northeast Georgia Arts Tour kicks off 2017 with an event filled weekend June 9, 10, and 11. Visitors are invited to enjoy the best of the arts in the Mountains of North Georgia with local artists demonstrating at galleries and studios in Habersham, Rabun, Towns, and White Counties.

The Art Zone Weekend will help guide you to Galleries, Lodging, Restaurants, and Wineries with a driving tour map and signs directing you to venues across scenic countrysides and charming small towns.

The Northeast Georgia Arts Tour Brochure with full color map and member description is available now. Designed for year-round use as a self guided driving tour, the brochure ensures that visitors will be back to enjoy the beauty and talent that we have to offer!

This years’ tour is sponsored by The Habersham Chamber of Commerce, Alpine Helen White County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rabun County Visitors Bureau, Piedmont College, City of Hiawassee, Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine, Smoky Mountain Living Magazine, and The Vacation Guide.


Ga-PCOM confers degrees on 265 students in its 9th graduation

Rear Admiral James Black commissions four PCOM students during the graduation ceremonies. From left are Capt. Wilco Civil, Capt Bryant Giles, Capt Sarah McCullough and Capt. David Thurber.

 To celebrate the hard work, perseverance and achievements of this year’s 265 graduates as they transition from students to alumni, Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Ga-PCOM) held its ninth annual commencement ceremonies on May 26 at the Infinite Energy Center.

A total of 119 candidates were awarded Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degrees. During a second ceremony of the day, 55 students received Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degrees, and 91 earned Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the PCOM School of Pharmacy.

During the morning ceremony, attendees heard from Marcus Engel, an author who provides insight and strategies about excellent patient care. His keynote presentation, “The Other End of the Stethoscope,” has been witnessed by tens of thousands of healthcare professionals. “The two most compassionate words any human being can say to another is ‘I’m here,’” he said. “Simple human presence is the cornerstone of caregiving and the foundation of our humanity.”

The second ceremony featured guest speaker Congressman Doug Collins of Gainesville. In his keynote address, the lawyer and Baptist preacher gave the students several pieces of advice. “Don’t let outside circumstances dictate your day…attitude is everything…bloom where you’re planted…and pour into others.”

In honor of the graduating students, the College hosted a dinner dance the evening of May 23, at the Infinite Energy Center. Other annual pre-commencement activities included honors brunches, a graduation rehearsal and class photographs, followed by a barbecue.

Atlanta authors’ Historic Rural Churches of Georgia wins award

Historic Rural Churches of Georgia co-authors George Hart and Sonny Seals of Atlanta have been recognized for the book’s second award on behalf of Georgia Historical Society.

From left are George Hart, Dr. Todd Groce and Sonny Seals.

With a state-centric focus, Georgia Historical Society (GHS) operates as the independent institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. Named after former GHS President Roger K. Warlick, this award honors the efforts of Affiliate Chapters that excel in the field of public history. The book’s mission hinges on the public history aspect of creating an online community where interested people can communicate and contribute to the local history surrounding these historic church communities.

GHS President and CEO Dr. Todd Groce praises the book, commenting: “GHS is proud to recognize Historic Rural Churches of Georgia for its efforts to teach future generations about Georgia history. Rural churches offer a unique window on the soul of Georgia. Through them we gain insight into the architecture, culture, history, and geography of our state.  This beautifully illustrated and engagingly written book is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in this vanishing part of Georgia’s landscape and a must read for anyone seeking to understand what it means to be a Georgian and an American.”


Sybil’s Family Restaurant in Jesup

If you’re headed for the Georgia coast this summer and going through Jesup, Ga., when it’s time for a meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner, you should try Sybil’s Family Restaurant in Jesup. Open seven days a week, you’ll find a variety of tasty foods on its menu. Known especially for its fried chicken, Sybil’s always offers hot vegetables, salads, sandwiches, wraps and desserts. There’s a daily buffet, or you can order from a menu. In particular, people flock to the Sunday buffet, as well as the Friday Seafood buffet. A recent seafood treat was the fried shrimp, and especially tasty was the beautifully fried ocean trout. There were also crab cakes scallops and a low country boil on the buffet. Sybil’s also offers take-out services. The restaurant is located at 362 North First St. in Jesup, Ga.” — eeb

  • An invitation: what books, restaurants, movies or web sites have you enjoyed recently? Send us your recent selection, along with a short paragraph (100 words) as to why you liked this, plus what you plan to visit or read next. –eeb

Here’s a list of 10 major Civil War sites in Georgia

From the bombing of Fort Pulaski in 1862 to the capture of Confederate president Jefferson Davis in 1865, Georgia played a significant role in the Civil War (1861-65). The fall of Atlanta in 1864 was pivotal in determining the war’s outcome; this important Union victory assured U.S. president Abraham Lincoln’s reelection and ultimately led to Confederate defeat.

The many historic sites located throughout Georgia attest to its rich Civil War history. The following selection of battlefields, forts, prisons, cemeteries, and museums represents some of the best-preserved Civil War monuments and memorabilia in the state and the country. The Georgia Civil War Commission is largely responsible for the planning, preservation, and promotion of many of these sites and structures.

(Click the links below to see each site.)

Andersonville PrisonIn February 1864, during the Civil War (1861-65), a Confederate prisons…

Atlanta History CenterThe Atlanta History Center is a diverse campus for historical education and research..

Battle of Kennesaw MountainOn June 27, 1864, Kennesaw Mountain, located about twenty miles northwest of Atlanta…

Battle of Pickett’s MillThe Battle of Pickett’s Mill was among the more decisive encounters of the Atlanta…

ChickamaugaChickamauga, in Walker County, is historically significant for its important…

Cyclorama“Cyclorama” is the name given to the huge, late-nineteenth-century painting depicting…

Fort McAllisterFort McAllister was a Confederate earthwork fortification near the mouth of the …

Fort PulaskiA massive five-sided edifice, Fort Pulaski was constructed in the 1830s and 1840…

National Civil War Naval Museum at Port ColumbusThe National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus, formerly the Confederate Naval…

Taliaferro CountyTaliaferro County (pronounced “Tolliver”), in east central Georgia, is the state…


Abundance of clues should help guide you to this identification

A big shade tree, children, bicycles, a half-timbered house…..are  just some of the clues to help you identify this edition’s Mystery Photo. But where is it? Send in your thoughts to elliott@brack.net and be sure to include your hometown.

What did not seem like a difficult Mystery Photo from the last edition got only one right answer, from the dependable George Graf of Palmyra, Va.   Jerry Colley of Alpharetta had sent in a photo of the Prisoners of War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA) Memorial at the Museum Of Aviation, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

Graf reports: “David Cowles, is project manager for the POW/MIA Memorial said the memorial is filled with symbolism.  He says: ‘The medallions on all the faces represent all five of our uniformed services and are placed in the sequence that they became actively involved under the United States of America as a service and finishes off with the international symbol of POW/MIA.’ An eagle sits atop a platform at the head of the memorial with a broken chain around its foot to symbolize the freeing of POWs and their return home. The flag is in a granite enclosure and to us that signifies the protection of our freedom, and the unchained eagle is our hope that all POWs and MIAs would be released and returned back home.”

According to Wikipedia, the War Department, in search of a site for an Army Air Corps Depot, selected the sleepy whistle-stop town known as Wellston, Ga., 18 miles south of Macon. Army Colonel Charles Thomas, originally from Atlanta, landed at the Herbert Smart Airport near Camp Wheeler near Macon in October, 1941 to oversee the building of the location which would later become the home to Wellston Air Depot at Robins Field (later to become Robins AFB).”

There are approximately 25,000 military and civilian people employed at the base. According to figures provided by the Robins personnel office, employees come from 78 counties, which is nearly half the state. Workers come from as far as Atlanta, Savannah and counties from the Alabama to South Carolina borders. The Macon Telegraph reports that “The list shows 324 employees from Gwinnett County and 22 each from Clayton and Fulton counties.”


ART AT TWILIGHT in Duluth will be Friday, June 3, starting at 7 p.m. at the Duluth Festival Center. Original art and hand-crafted treasures will be featured in the silent auction with most of it created by the league’s members. There will be food, music and a jewelry raffle. Tickets are $50 in advance and $55 at the door. Tickets are available on the Duluth Fine Arts League website: www.duluthfineartsleague.org/.

(NEW) Seventh Annual Peachtree Corners Festival will be Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11. Come celebrate summer the Peachtree Corners Festival way! Located on tree-lined The Corners Parkway and Woodhill Drive, the festival offers free admission and on-site free parking, accessed from Crooked Creek Road between Holcomb Bridge Road and Jay Bird Alley. No shuttle buses needed! Enjoy a pre-festival concert at 7 p.m. Several food trucks will be on site. For more information visit www.peachtreecornersfestival.org.


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