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Dawson County residents competing on royal court
Tickets still available for “Mardi Gras in the Mountains”
hospice mugs
Seanie Zappendorf and Chris Gaines. - photo by For the Dawson County News

Two Dawson County residents hope to be crowned King and Queen of the mountains come February.

Seanie Zappendorf and Chris Gaines will represent the county as they set out to collect donations for the 13th annual Mardi Gras in the Mountains, a black tie optional fundraiser that benefits Georgia Mountains Hospice, as well as Knights of Columbus and the Rotary Club of Jasper.

Over $40,000 was raised at the event in 2015.

Zappendorf currently works as a chief financial officer for a veteran-owned racing company, and has for the last 15 years.

She currently serves as the vice chairperson of the church council at Bethel United Methodist Church as well as the church charter organization representative with the Boy Scouts of America. She is a graduate of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Leadership class of 2016 and has participated, volunteered, sponsored and helped fundraise many community events and organizations like the Music and Beer Festival, Mountain Moonshine Festival, Rotary Club, Good Shepherd Clinic, Wee Books, Boy Scouts of America, United Way, Lion’s Club, and the City of Dawsonville’s Christmas parade.  

Zappendorf is serving or has served on a number of boards including the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, the Dawson County Republican Party, Relay for Life, the Bowen Center for the Arts and the First Chair of the Republican Women of Forsyth County.

She resides in Dawson County with her husband Ron and two boys.

Gaines is currently serving his first term as Dawson County District 2 Commissioner.

He is a commercial insurance producer and relationship manager at PointeNorth Insurance Group and has lived in Dawson County since 2001.

Gaines is also serving or has served on a number of boards, government offices  and non-profit organizations including  serving as councilman and Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Dawsonville, co-chairman of United Way of Dawson County, chairman of the Downtown Development Authority of Dawsonville, board member of Boy Scouts Troop 422, member of the Rotary Club of Dawson County, board member of the Optimist Club of Dawsonville, board member of the Dawson Leadership Program, mentor with the Dawson County Mentoring Program, a member of the Jaycees of Dawsonville, board member of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and member of the Dawsonville Lions Club, among others.

He is married to Jessica and has three boys, a seven-year-old and twin five-year-olds.

Based in Jasper, Georgia Mountains Hospice has provided care to the people of north Georgia since 1993. As a not-for-profit community hospice, patients are served regardless of age, diagnoses or ability to pay.

Around 450 people will attend the event, to be held beginning at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10. The event will include a catered buffet meal, live music and a silent auction.

Two people from Dawson, Pickens, Gilmer and Cherokee counties are chosen to sit on the court. Then, monetary votes, where $10 represents 10 votes, decide who the final King and Queen will be.

Visit to review the nominees and place your monetary bid for your favorite King or Queen. Tickets may also be purchased online.

The event will be held at the Appalachian Campus of Chattahoochee Technical College.

For more information on the evening events, how to purchase tickets or the voting process, call Gina Pendley at (706) 253-4100.