Source: NorthFulton.com

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Mentors honored at ‘Magic Moments’ breakfast in Cumming

by Aldo Nahed

November 06, 2012

Christine and Sylvia
James and Dylan.
Tommy and Sylvia
CUMMING, Ga. — The "Magic Moments" breakfast Oct. 30 was a time to honor Forsyth County's community mentors.

The Mentor Me North Georgia-sponsored event was held at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

"Mentoring is based on a very simple idea – someone who wants to improve the life of someone else becomes matched with someone who wants and needs the positive influence of a mentor," said James McCoy, president and CEO of the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce.

Mentor Me is a nonprofit organization that provides one-on-one mentoring relationships between volunteer adults and children who need role models in their lives.

A mentor himself and a Mentor Me Board member, McCoy was recognized as Mentor Me's "Longest Match."

He has mentored Dylan for about six years.

"The benefits of mentoring are great for everyone involved," McCoy said. "The lives of both are changed forever. In Forsyth County, we want to provide mentors to all children who need and want them."

McCoy said mentors help contribute to better schools, brighter futures and stronger communities.

"I can think of no other way to have a greater impact on the overall quality of our community and, most importantly, the quality of life for the children of our community than supporting Mentor Me," McCoy said.

Others recognized included:

• Male Mentor of the Year: Logan Thomas

• Female Mentor of the Year: Christine Roberts

• Donor of the Year: John Heath

• Lifetime Contributor: Tommy Bagwell

• Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Forsyth was recognized as title sponsor.

Mentor Me Board Chairman Virgilio Perez-Pascoe, also a mentor, thanked the award winners and all who volunteer as mentors.

"Our mentors help so many children become successful adults and productive members of the community," Perez-Pascoe said. "It is rewarding personally, but most important, it can enrich the life of a child. Forsyth County was named one of the best 100 communities in the nation for young people, and programs like Mentor Me is one of the reasons."

Most of the children in the mentoring program live in single-parent homes, or are living with grandparents or foster parents. Statistics show that children in mentoring programs are 46 percent less likely to start using illegal drugs and 52 percent less likely to skip school. And 92 percent maintained or demonstrated improvement in their academic performance.

Mentor Me is a Forsyth County United Way agency. However, the organization depends on private donations for 50 percent of its funding.

To volunteer or make a donation, contact Executive Director Sylvia Cardona at 678-341-8028 or sylvia@mentormenorthga.org, or visit www.mentormenorthga.org.