Susan Crumbley has always been passionate about helping people and working in her local community of McDonough. After working at a Connecting Henry Christmas event in 2008, she began working as an administrative assistant and worked her way up to executive director, of which she was appointed in 2014.

Connecting Henry has been around for 19 years, and acts as a gateway organization that brings community partners and citizens together to collaborate and share resources with the community in order to advocate, educate, and assist one another. “We build strong relationships with community leaders, agencies, schools, and faith-based organizations to unite the community and strengthen families,” Crumbley says in an email interview.

You may not have even realized it, but Connecting Henry has been a huge part of many philanthropic initiatives around Henry County, including, working the “Christmas Community Cares Toy Shop” by providing 262 families with hats, scarves and mittens to 465 children from infants–12 years old. Connecting Henry also has assisted families in Henry County who were in need of housing, utilities, clothing, food and other types of financial assistance, and fielded 250–400 calls per month for community resources by making referrals to appropriate agencies.  Other behind-the-scenes work included collaborating with the Inaugural Healthy Children Conference, the Parent Expo, Paint Henry Blue (Child Abuse Awareness), the Adopt-A-Teacher Campaign, The Cereal Box Challenge, the Warm & Toasty Campaign, and the Kiwanis Henry County Fair.  And this was just for 2017!

In addition to all of this great work listed above, they also run the “S.W.A.G.” program, a group that focuses on personalized GED instruction for Henry County residents ages 16–24, and works on employment training, personal financial literacy, access to health education programs, and job-readiness skills. It helps people get back on track with their lives. The program’s creators believe that not everyone who is unsuccessful in school is lazy or has a learning disability, and that every high school dropout has a story and different barriers and different needs. “The S.W.A.G. Program seeks to provide unconventional learners the opportunity to further their education and thrive in an alternative setting; thus, improving their odds for a successful transition from youth to adulthood with life-sustaining employment,” Crumbley says in an email.

“We accept students year-round. The next new student orientation is Thursday, August 24. Students must call and register in advance to reserve their seat at 770-288-6230,” Crumbley says.

For more information on the S.W.A.G. program, or for more information on how you can get involved with Connecting Henry and all of their awesome work, please visit their website, or send an email to connectinghenry@co.henry.ga.us.

In September, Elvis is coming to McDonough on The Henry Players stage, kicking off their second full season at Hood Street Art Center, as the first show of their 27th season.

The musical, “All Shook Up,” centers around a small little town in 1955, when a guitar-playing young man comes into town and shakes things up — getting the town to shake their hips and swivel to the music. This “lip-curling musical fantasy” will have you “jumpin’ out of your blue suede shoes with classics such as ‘Heartbreak Hotel,’ ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ and ‘Don’t Be Cruel,'” and more, according to the Henry Players website.

The directors of this musical are veterans Sheila Gatlin, and Adriana Beckner. And according to Beckner, this show chose her and is a change of pace of the types of shows she typically directs. “I tend to do dark shows, so it has been enjoyable working on such a fun, energetic show,” she says.

Henry Players veteran Elise Gomez recently got back on the stage after two years of taking a break, and she wanted to do something fun and energetic — and something that would get her dancing again. So, of course, she picked the high-energy, fun musical All Shook Up. She’s part of the ensemble for the show, and views being in this musical as “a great chance to work with fellow actors that [she has] worked with in the past with some new faces as well.”  “It’s like one big reunion party!” she says.

Gomez gets to play multiple small roles since she’s in the ensemble, and she’s really enjoying the opportunity to play multiple roles. One minute I am a heartbroken loner singing Heartbreak Hotel and the next a dueling devilette in Devil In Disguise,” she says. “Some of my favorite shows have been ones where I got to be in the ensemble. It’s fun to run around, quick change, dance and do it all over again!”

Be sure to catch “All Shook Up” on September 7–10 and 14–17, and see how one young man changes a small town through rockin’ classics that will get your heads bobbing and toes tapping. Order your tickets now! All Shook Up is rated PG-13.

 

A healthy and filling breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for kids. Not only does it help them focus while they’re at school, but it jump-starts their metabolism for the day, which leads to healthier body weights.  And with the kids going back to school a little earlier than usual, you may be wracking your brain to come up with healthy and tasty ideas for breakfasts on the go. Especially for those days where nobody can find their shoes, they’ve lost their bookbag, and are somehow missing socks. With stressful mornings, healthy breakfasts (or breakfast at all) may be accidentally overlooked. And you’re definitely not alone in this. Here are five healthy, hearty, breakfast ideas your kids can eat en route to school, and they don’t take a lot of prep-time in the mornings, when you’re already stretched for time.

Mini Omelette “Muffins”

These muffins are really delicious, super healthy, and easy! They can even be thrown in the freezer and thawed later if you make them in bulk one Sunday when you have some free time. They are easily customizable with whatever veggies you’d like to put in there, and are easily reheated in the microwave for ten seconds before you hit the door. The “base recipe” makes ten muffins, and includes eight eggs, salt and pepper, cheese, flour, and baking powder (so they aren’t watery if you’re planning on freezing then thawing). You don’t even have to include the flour or baking powder if you’re planning on eating them within the week.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (reserve half a cup to sprinkle on the tops of the muffins)
  • 2–4 cups of whatever veggies you’d like

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While it’s preheating, line your muffin pan with either silicone liners or parchment paper — the original author says that these muffins don’t do well with paper. Mix together the eggs, cheese and veggies until well combined, then add the flour and baking powder. Stir the dry ingredients until they’re combined, and spoon the mixture into each slot of the muffin pan, filling it nearly full. Sprinkle the leftover cheese on top, and bake for 25 minutes or until muffins no longer “jiggle.”

Fruit/Veggie Smoothie

What better breakfast than a serving of fruits, veggies, and dairy, and it’s healthy and portable? The Body Mind and Soul website suggests starting with just fruits and the liquid ingredients of the smoothies first, and then slowly adding the veggies. Most kids won’t really be able to taste the veggies once they’re added anyway, because of the sweetness of either a banana or apple. All you need is a liquid base, which can be either water, soy/almond/regular milk, or fruit juice, a couple of fruits (and veggies, like spinach, later) and honey, maple syrup, or agave for additional sweetness. To start, three or four ingredients is the way to go — you can always add more later. A delicious smoothie to start with that won’t even taste like it’s healthy is a “chocolate,” peanut butter and banana smoothie.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2–3 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 2–3 tablespoons of 80–100 percent cocoa powder (which is healthier than regular milk chocolate)

You’ll have your calcium, potassium, protein, and antioxidants (from the cocoa powder) first thing in the morning — and it’s delicious and filling.

Overnight Oatmeal

This healthy, power-packed breakfast is certainly brainfood, and with the addition of chia seeds, it’s a home run for nutrition. It’s rich in protein and calcium, and is easy to make to boot. You’ll just need half-pint mason jars or some kind of container for storage. These ingredients are good for one jar of overnight oatmeal.  

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
  • ¼ cup of fruit of your choice

All you have to do is add everything but the fruit in the jar and shake it up until everything is combined well. Then add the fruit and stir it in until it’s mixed throughout. Refrigerate overnight or up to two days and enjoy.

Banana Oat Energy Bites

This energizing breakfast is quick and easy to eat, and it will keep your kid satisfied until lunchtime with a clear and focused mind. And at six ingredients, you can easily make these the night before and eat on them throughout the week.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • ¼ cup of a nut butter of your choice
  • 2 cups of rolled oats

Simply mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl, and then stir in all the ingredients until well combined. Scoop two tablespoons of the mixture into your palm and roll into one-inch balls. Refrigerate overnight or at least two hours and store in the refrigerator.

Make-Ahead Parfaits

Similar to the overnight oatmeal, these can be prepped in mason jars to be ready to grab in the mornings. And they can be stored in your fridge for up to five days. And what’s healthier than fruit, granola and nonfat yogurt for breakfast? This recipe makes about 5–7 parfaits

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces of plain or vanilla nonfat yogurt
  • 2 lbs of mixed berries of your choice
  • 5 cups of granola

In layers, place a fourth of a cup of the berries at the bottom of the jar, and then a fourth of a cup of the yogurt, layering until you have about an inch or two of space at the top (for the granola that you’ll add in the morning). Seal the jar with the lid and keep in the fridge until you leave in the morning. You can even keep the granola in little Ziploc baggies for dumping if you trust your kids won’t toss it all over the backseat.

According to a combined effort between NASA and the United States Naval Observatory, on August 21, McDonough will be able to see a partial solar eclipse at around 2:30 p.m.—and it’s predicted that the moon will obscure as much as 96.8 percent of the sun. And Moye’s Pharmacy on the square wants to make sure you don’t miss this spectacular sight.

On August 21, starting at 1 p.m., Moye’s Pharmacy on the square is throwing a Solar Eclipse Party for McDonough. This event will be held in the Moye’s parking lot at 62 Keys Ferry Street, and is free of charge except for a small fee for the special safety glasses, which will be $1.79. In addition to the breathtaking views, other festivities so far include a Mary Kay vendor, live music TBD, “games of a solar nature,” and Moon Pies and RC Colas. You can pick up your glasses prior to the event at all Moye’s Pharmacy locations. Be sure to call before you stop by to make sure they’ve come in.

“We are looking for vendors that would like to join us and I can always use volunteers!” Moye’s manager Monterey Thompson says. If you’d like to participate as a volunteer, musician, or a vendor, be sure to reach out to Thompson ASAP at monterey@moyespharmacy.com or at 770-957-1851.  

Eclipse stuff!

Posted by Moye's Pharmacy on Saturday, July 29, 2017

Photo courtesy of the Full House Band

The Full House Band seems to always bring a “full house” to each and every one of their performances around the south side, and have been seen rockin’ around Covington, Fayetteville, Peachtree City and McDonough bars and venues — and most recently, the Summer Concert Series on the square.

This cover band doesn’t just stick to a particular genre of music, and loves to play a variety. According to LeAnne Wesley, the lead singer of the group, “we play anything from southern rock, country, r&b, and pop! We love playing different variety of music so it appeals to every age group in our audience.”

And that definitely held true on Saturday night, where they played a variety of songs from many different generations, including everything from The Outfield to Bruno Mars.

Some favorites the band plays  at performances include “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” “Ex’s & Oh’s,” “Girl Crush,” “Two Tickets to Paradise,” “Gold on the Ceiling,” “Brick House,” “Uptown Funk,” “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Footloose,” and more.

So why the name “The Full House Band”?

“We have two females and three males in the band—hence the name ‘full house,’” Wesley says. Performing is also a family affair, because Wesley’s dad is they keyboard player in the band, as well. “I enjoy getting to spend time with him, doing what we love to do… playing music and entertaining people!” Wesley says.

If you enjoyed what you saw at the Summer Concert Series, The Full House Band loves to do private events and parties. “They’re our favorite!” Wesley says.

The Full House Band is LeAnne Wesley, Steve “Doc” Mayo, Steve Rhodes, Arlo Jinks and Vicky Saylor. To book The Full House Band for your next event, you can reach out to the band through Facebook or email LeAnne at fleannewesley@yahoo.com.

Photo courtesy of the Main Street McDonough Program