The department has been at the top in the state of Georgia for recreation for the last 25 years and as an employee for the department you could not ask for a better atmosphere to work in. I hear friends and people I meet at our events always tell me how fun it must be to work for the parks and recreation department.
My answer is always, “I could not imagine doing anything else.” Think about it, you get to work with kids and adults in an atmosphere that promotes having fun.
Sixty miles west of Atlanta, I like to think we live in Mayberry instead of what we call Carrollton. It is a nurturing environment to raise a family, and if you really feel like you need the big city lights of Atlanta then you are only an hour away.
The department this year truly stepped it up a notch and it showed by the awards we won at the Georgia Recreation and Park Association banquets this year. In our Cultural Arts Division, Penny Lewis won the Cultural Affairs Distinguished Professional Award. If you went to MeccaFest this past October I think you can figure out why she won this prestigious award. She is a passionate about the arts in Carroll County and I love that about her.
Our athletic division, led by Julie Ivey, hosted three state tournaments this year, and more than 40 tournaments and meets. I know how good they are, but in case you don’t, they won the Athletic Agency of the Year Award for the fifth year in a row, and also the Athletic Program of the Year Award. Sports are big in this town, and those guys are the sole reason for all of our athletic successes.
Under Donna Ford, the program division won the Special Populations award on the district level and the state level for the Senior Wolves Program that Danielle Jenkins started at our senior center.
Dottee Morton won the Distinguished Professional of the Year Award for the fourth district. This was voted on by our district for all the work Dottee has done not only for our parks and recreation department, but also for her contributions on the state level. What a nice honor for someone who has worked tirelessly for parks and recreation over her career.
And last, but not least, one of our favorite commissioners, Ann Fletcher, won the Fourth District Volunteer of the Year Award. Talk about an awesome advocate for parks and recreation not only for our city but also on the state level. She has been a wonderful ambassador for us for 15 years.
These staff members are what parks and recreation is all about, and if you have never taken part in one of our many activities then come on by and sign up. As my brother in law has told me many times, you don’t realize and you take for granted how good our recreation department is, and you don’t figure it out until you move somewhere else. Come visit and have some fun with us!
Maierhofer is director of the Carrollton Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department.