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Thomas Eye Group launches summer LASIK contest

Thomas Eye Group launches summer LASIK contest

ATLANTA -- Thomas Eye Group, a full service eye care provider with nine locations in metro Atlanta, is celebrating the first day of summer by launching a “Summer LASIK Giveaway” contest. Facebook users desiring a LASIK procedure are asked to submit an essay explaining why they or a loved one deserves LASIK. The essay with the most votes as of 12:00 p.m. on August 1 wins a free LASIK procedure.

“This contest is a fun way for us to introduce the benefits of LASIK to a broad range of individuals in the metro area and help a deserving person reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contacts,” said Rod Roeser, CEO for Thomas Eye Group.

Merrell, Life Time Fitness invite Georgians to free fitness classes

Merrell, Life Time Fitness invite Georgians to free fitness classes

(WXIA) -- Shoe and clothing brand Merrell, along with national fitness center Life Time Fitness are holding upcoming fitness classes around Atlanta, free of charge for anyone who attends. 

All classes, "Outisde Fitness Powered by Merrell," are held at various Life Time Fitness locations. As a spokesperson said, the classes are taught by certified personal trainers, and follow a boot camp format. 

Participating Life Time locations include Alpharetta, north Atlanta, Johns Creek, Peachtree Corners, Sugarloaf and Woodstock Mountain Brook. Classes are held three times per week, and run from June 1 - August 30. 

City of Woodstock to hold LifeSouth Blood Drive

City of Woodstock to hold LifeSouth Blood Drive

WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- The City of Woodstock is holding the LifeSOuth Blood Drive on Wednesday at the Woodstock City Annex.

The drive will run from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Walk-Ins are welcome. All donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and have a valid form of identification. 

Before donating blood, it is important to eat iron-rich foods and drink plenty of non-caffein beverages. 

For more information, visit LifeSouth online

Boston ES raises $2,800 through Jump Rope for Heart

Boston ES raises $2,800 through Jump Rope for Heart

WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- Students at Boston Elementary School recently participated in Jump Rope for Heart.

The annual event raises money for the American Heart Association. This is the Woodstock school's 11th year hosting a Jump Rope for Heart event.

Altogether, Boston Elementary students raised $2,822. The school's top fundraiser was first grader Kaitlyn Swift, who collected pledges for $225.

"We are very proud of (the students') hard work and dedication to such a worthy community service project," Boston Elementary principal Joey Moss said in a statement.

Learn more at heart.org/jump.

The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

ATLANTA -- Eight year old Ava Bullard is playing with her sisters, riding their bikes on their long country driveway. It is a simple act that defies those who said she would never talk, those who said she wouldn't function in the real world.

Ava was not a typical baby, or toddler.

Her mother Anna says, "You couldn't interact with her."

MORE | Complete coverage of The Autism Gap

Ava did not play with toys. Did not speak. Could not dress herself. Did not interact with her parents or sisters. Slept two hours a night. She was in her own world.

Anna says, "It's like she looked straight through me. She would just...it's like you weren't there, if you were in the room with her."

Anna Bullard took Ava from doctor to doctor for months. One doctor told the family Ava was 'just weird.'

Atlanta recruiting 5,000 volunteers for cancer study

Atlanta recruiting 5,000 volunteers for cancer study

ATLANTA -- Sixty years ago, 1 million men and women signed up for the first-ever Cancer Prevention Study. They filled out surveys every few years. And the information from those million Americans led to a dramatic discovery.

Doctor Alpa Patel with the American Cancer Society is the lead researcher on CPS3, the third generation of the cancer prevention studies.

MORE | Join the Cancer prevention Study 3

"The first study was actually set up to specifically address the question of whether not smoking caused lung cancer, and it provided the first evidence that in fact smoking is what was the causal fact, causal factor with the increase rise in lung cancer death rates we were seeing in men at that time," she said.

YMCA removes economic barriers between those in need, programs

YMCA removes economic barriers between those in need, programs

ATLANTA -- The YMCA of Metro Atlanta kicked off a campaign on Tuesday that will connect families in need with scholarships, allowing them to participate in YMCA programs. 

The campaign, Why It Matters takes place once a year. For 2013, board members Charlie Yates, Jr. and Carol Cookerly will co-chair the campaign as it works towards raising $2.7 million. 

"The Y has always had an annual campaign that helped meet the need for financial assistance," Cookerly said. "But, this marks the first year we are pulling together our 23 local Ys and launching a system-wide brand and effort to secure the funds we need to continue to play a pivotal role in Atlanta by helping individuals, especially children, reach their greatest potential."