Buford Business Alliance
News & Updates
May 2024 | Issue 18 www.VisitBuford.com
Buford Business Alliance News
Welcome new members!
  • City Barbeque (Latoya Thomas)
  • Mighty 8th Media (Jonathan Holmes)
  • Musa Natural Photography (Marlene Rivera)
  • Spine Chiropractic (Dr. Pranav)
Buford Business Alliance Board Members (left side of table, starting from the front) Freda Kalina, Alicia Payne, Jeff Martin and Ed Rodriguez interviewed 24 outstanding Buford High School seniors at the high school.

CTE Director Jennifer Wood (right side in the back) and College and Career Counselor Carmen Borja (right side in the front) hosted the BBA and assisted them in the interview process which lasted from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on May 1.
BBA board members conduct interviews for BBA scholarships
We are thrilled to announce that this year, we're expanding our scholarship program for Buford High graduates! Last year, we awarded $1,000 to one deserving student, but this year, we're proud to award $1,000 scholarships to FIVE outstanding graduates!

Four BBA board members interviewed 24 scholarship applicants at Buford High School on May 1. The applicants were incredible!

The average GPA for this group of 24 students is 3.7! Each student participated in multiple extracurricular activities at BHS and gave back to their communities through their various endeavors. They will attend colleges in Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

At the end of the day, we couldn't choose just one as each of them demonstrated exceptional talent, dedication, and promise for the future, so we picked FIVE!

The recipients will not find out they won a BBA scholarship until their name is announced during graduation.

To honor their achievements, each winner will receive a certificate alongside their diploma at graduation with instructions on how to claim their scholarship money. They will be invited to attend a future BBA event where they will each be presented with a $1,000 check!
Don't Make It Weird - BBA's Q2 Non-Profit
Harry Miller appeared to have it all. The 2019 graduate of Buford High School (Georgia) was the valedictorian of his class, a missionary who serves on the board of “Mission For Nicaragua”, and a “Five Star” football recruit who had full scholarship offers to nearly every top football program in the country. Ultimately, he chose to play at THE Ohio State University where he saw time on the field playing as a freshman and would soon be interviewing agents who wanted to represent him in the NFL draft as a high-round pick. All was going as planned, or so everyone thought. Late in the evening on a warm August night in 2021, Harry would make a call to his mother that changed the trajectory of all their lives forever with five words, “I can’t do this anymore.” The following day after speaking to his Head Coach Ryan Day, telling him about his overwhelming desire and intent to take his life, he received the help he desperately needed. Like any other injury or illness, Harry began working with professionals to help heal from an illness that no one else could see, but everyone was talking about, “Where is Harry Miller?” After quietly sitting out of the 2021 season with much speculation as to his whereabouts Harry decided it was time to put an end to the false narratives circulating and tell his story by announcing his medical retirement from football. His statement caught the hearts of the country, and he was instantly catapulted into a newer, more important role, Mental Health Advocate. His mission is simple, to break the stigma surrounding mental illness by raising awareness and education, using the motto, “Don’t Make It Weird”, talk about mental health. Harry recently graduated THE Ohio State University, Summa Cum Laude, with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He now travels the country sharing his story and raising awareness about Mental Health while breaking the stigma attached to Mental Illness. He has also traveled to Washington D.C. to create and support policy and legislation such as the TEAMS Act, requiring coaches to be adequately trained in signs and symptoms of Mental Illness, as well as finding resources to help the student-athlete, among other initiatives.
Locally, very soon after Harry announced his retirement, Harry’s mother, Kristina Miller, CPS-P (Certified Peer Specialist-Parent) was overwhelmed by the parents of children and young adults in the community who were suffering in silence, alone. No more! From that realization, “Don’t Make It Weird”, a nonprofit organization was born and is working to continue the conversation about Mental Health, breaking stigmas.
DMIW.org offers:
  • Monthly support group for family members of those living with Mental Illness, 2nd Wednesday of each month, locations TBD.
  • Free Bi-monthly Classes such as: QPR - Suicide Prevention Training, IEP/504 Education and Support, Teen Mental Health Support.
  • High School Sports Sponsorships with Banners on Fields
  • Billboards
  • Private Peer Support
  • Resources
  • Shared Lived Experience
  • Community Service Projects
Currently, DMIW has been meeting at different locations thanks to the kindness of strangers who also believe in our mission and who donated their conference space for 3 hours. While DMIW is still very new, the need is great and what we would love to see happen is to establish a home base in Buford to serve and support the community. A place where not only the meetings and classes could take place, but also a place to come for a cup of coffee or a bottle of water while talking with someone who understands exactly what you’re going through, peer support. We are currently looking for a 500-1000 sqft office or warehouse space to be a regular presence and resource in the Buford Community.
For more information about us and what we have been doing, or to see the media releases of Harry’s interviews and talks, please visit DMIW.org.
Most importantly, if you or someone you love needs immediate help, dial 988, Suicide Hotline.
Together we will break the stigma so everyone who needs help is no longer ashamed for being ill.

“Don’t Make It Weird”, talk about mental health.
Any person who pays for one yearly BBA membership at $99 can register additional businesses for just $50 each.

Contact Freda Kalina if you would like to take advantage of this steal of a deal! Call/text her at 770-596-8178 or email her at BufordBusinessAlliance@gmail.com.
After-hours meetings will be on Mondays beginning in May
A survey was sent out to existing members asking for input on which day works best for them for the BBA After-hours meetings.

An overwhelming majority voted to move the monthly After-hours meetings to the second Monday of each month.

Beginning in May 2024, the BBA monthly After-hours meetings will be on the second Monday of each month.

All BBA Breakfast meetings will remain on the third Tuesday of each month at the Tannery Row Ale House.
BBA Member News and Promotions
BBA President Freda Kalina has ventured into event planning. She has these events available in June.
Anyone interested in being a vendor, contact Freda at 770-596-8178.

Everyone is welcome to attend these events. Free admission!
Leather & Lace Coffee & Company offers more than coffee
Leather & Lace Coffee & Company owned and operated by Lori Waters and Heather Pace offers several events each month at the Braselton Civic Center.

Here are a couple of their "Must Go" events!

  • Saturday, May 18 - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Charcuterie Workshop - Click here for more information.
  • Friday, June 21 - 7 p.m. - John Berry Solo Acoustic Concert - Click here for more information.
37 Main presents 2024 Cumming Music Festival
Dear Community Friend,

Greetings from 37Main, Buford! Our 7th annual 2024 Cumming Music Festival is just around the corner at the Cumming Fairgrounds! This year promises an awesome line-up of outstanding Tribute Bands and family-friendly entertainment, record crowds, and our first-time-ever “Nashville Night”. 

All of this creates a perfect opportunity to showcase your business as a Sponsor or Vendor! Multi-level Sponsor and Vendor opportunities are available to market your business to the thousands of guests attending the festival.

We have Food Tents, Food Trucks, Unique Product Vendors already lining up. Northeast Sales is sponsoring our 2 Beer & Wine Tents. VIP RV parking is available near the arena this year – bring family and friends and spend the weekend!

Sponsor and Vendor benefit and pricing information is attached and also available on our website at 37main.com (Music Festival tab).

We would love for you to be part of the fun!

Friday, July 19, 2024, is “Nashville Nights” featuring Tribute Bands 7 Summers, a Tribute to Morgan Wallen and Play it Again, a Tribute to Luke Bryan. Special entertainment guests Pickup Line, Jonathan Ingram Band, and The Lost Mountain Band. Gates open at 6pm.
Saturday, July 20, 2024, is our all-day event featuring Tributes to Fleetwood Mac, Bee Gees, Van Halen, Eagles, Def Leppard, Linkin Park, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Nirvana – a Decades Rewind to the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s! So much fun! Gates open at 12 Noon.

A portion of the Festival proceeds is supporting SUDC, a cause near and dear to our hearts -
Your business could be featured here!
Do you have an upcoming event, sale or promotion?

Tell us about it and it could be featured here!

Send the details to Alicia at InsideBuford@gmail.com!
BBA Member Perks
Get your business mentioned in the new BBA monthly email newsletter
Members are eligible to have their special events or promotions mentioned in the new monthly BBA newsletter.

Simply send the information by email to Alicia Payne and she will be able to insert it into the next month's newsletter.

All submissions must be turned in no later than the 20th of each month to make the following month's newsletter.
BBA adds more benefits to membership

Members of the Buford Business Alliance now get more benefits than ever before.

Member benefits include:
  • Two monthly networking events
  • Multiple community events including the Holiday Parade and Festival and the Spring Festival
  • Short social media mention once every six months for each member on the alliance's social media accounts
  • Free directory listing on the BBA website
  • BBA will promote member's ribbon-cutting ceremonies and other special events via social media
  • Members' special events or promotions are eligible to be mentioned in the BBA monthly email newsletter
  • Members receive discounts with Inside Buford for advertising, consulting and design services.

For more information contact the BBA at BufordBusinessAlliance@gmail.com.