November 2015 Around Town

Shop For Good

The 5th annual Elegant Elf Marketplace, presented by the Sandy Springs Society, returns to Lake Forest Elementary School on Saturday, November 7, and Sunday, November 8, as Sandy Spring’s highly touted “Shopping for a Cause” event. The stylish, high-end gift show brings together close to 80 carefully-selected local and regional vendors. New this year is an entertainment lineup featuring culinary demonstrations, book signings, jazz, dance, chorus and theatrical productions throughout the weekend. Shoppers can enjoy lunch at the Polar Express Café and purchase tickets for festive raffle.  The Sandy Spring’s Society donates 100 percent of the proceeds through grants to over 25 local non-profit organizations.  The Elegant Elf Marketplace hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday at Lake Forest Elementary School, 5920 Sandy Springs Circle. $5 entry fee, and children 10 and under are free.  Easy access parking is free.

Give Thanks for Camp

Keep your kids active and engaged during their Thanksgiving break with the Dunwoody Nature Center’s Thanksgiving Break Camps. Kids can join them for two days of fun and adventure as we all give thanks for nature’s bounty and explore the changes occurring in Dunwoody Park. Camps are open in half day sessions for 3 and 4 year olds, and full-day sessions for kindergarten through 5th graders. Space is limited for these camps and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. Learn more and register at

30 Years Young

Atlanta International School (AIS) observes the 30th anniversary of the school this year, celebrating an important milestone for the school’s community.  AIS will celebrate the Class of 2030 (known on campus as the “30/30s”) over the course of the year at a number of events and the class of 2030 will also bury a special time capsule on campus. The school was founded 30 years ago by a group of parents, international educators and members of the business community whose aim was to provide the Atlanta area with the kind of international education opportunities found in major cities throughout the world. The school offers STEM-and STEAM-endorsed and bilingual diplomas in addition to the prestigious IB diploma. Beyond the classroom, AIS students participate in award-winning performing and fine arts opportunities, competitive athletics and global experiential learning. The AIS community comprises over 90 nationalities. AIS is accredited by SAIS and the Council of International Schools.

Health Care Duo

Northside Hospital and Gwinnett Medical Center announced that they have approved a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) to begin exclusive discussions to combine their operations. If a final agreement is reached, the merger would create a major health care system serving rapidly growing areas of the Atlanta Region and North Georgia. Anchored by Northside Hospital in Sandy Springs and Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, the system also would include hospitals in Canton, Cumming and Duluth, as well as cancer treatment centers, imaging centers, medical office buildings, urgent care centers and other outpatient locations throughout the state. Altogether, the Northside-Gwinnett Medical combined system would have nearly 1,400 beds, more than 16,000 employees and close to 3,500 physicians on staff. Northside Hospital CEO Bob Quattrocchi and Gwinnett Medical Center CEO Philip Wolfe said they are targeting early 2016 as a potential closing date for the deal. Meanwhile, the two organizations will conduct due diligence and planning activities. If a final definitive agreement is reached, the proposed transaction will be submitted to the State of Georgia Office of the Attorney General for review and approval, including at least one public hearing on a date to be determined.

Smart Energy

The Westminster Schools has again earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification, which signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. This marks the second consecutive year that Westminster has received this certification.To earn the ENERGY STAR certification, The Westminster Schools ensured that all of its buildings throughout campus use 35 percent less energy and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than similar buildings across the nation. Westminster improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire campus and by making cost-effective improvements to its facilities. The Westminster Schools is a Christian, independent day school for boys and girls from pre-first through high school, which seeks to develop the whole person for college and for life through an excellent education.

Marists Merit Merits

Three Marist School seniors—Charles Daniel, Theresa Denniss and Courtney Peters—have been named semifinalists in the 61st annual National Merit Scholarship Program competition. These academically talented Marist students will have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million. National Merit Scholarship Finalists will be notified in February 2016. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. Approximately 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2016 Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). Marist is an independent, Roman Catholic, college preparatory day school enrolling approximately 1,080 boys and girls in grades 7 through 12. It is owned and operated by the Society of Mary, more commonly known as the Marists, a religious congregation of priests and brothers founded in France in 1836. Marist was founded in downtown Atlanta in 1901 and is the oldest Catholic school in the Atlanta area. The school moved to its current site on Ashford Dunwoody Road in 1962. The mission of Marist School is to form the whole person in the image of Christ through instruction grounded in religious values, the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the spirit of the Society of Mary. The mission is advanced through communal pursuit of excellence in academic, religious, extracurricular, leadership and service programs.