New Building To Replace Clay, Harmony Leland Schools

In Fall 2020, some students in the Cobb County School District will step into a new state-of-the-art school building in Mableton. The Cobb Board of Education voted January 17 to award the contract for the combined replacement elementary school for Clay Elementary School and Harmony Leland Elementary School to Nix-Fowler Constructors, Inc.

“We are excited, along with the community, to see the construction start on what will be a first-class school,” said Superintendent Chris Ragsdale. “All the additional space, technology, safety, and security upgrades will help our teachers and staff better serve our students. We’re thankful to the Cobb community members for helping to make the new school possible by voting to approve Ed-SPLOST V.”

The new facility will feature 76 classrooms across 186,930 square feet of space. That means the replacement school could house three schools the size of Clay Elementary School and still have room left over. Clay covers 55,412 square feet, and Harmony Leland encompasses 65,127 square feet.

Construction for the new school, which will be located on Factory Shoals Road in Mableton, is scheduled to begin in Spring 2019.?The construction of the school is slated to be complete in May 2020.

Harmony Leland Elementary has served students in Cobb for almost 70 years, while Clay Elementary has educated thousands of Cobb students over the course of about 60 years.

When Clay Elementary School’s estimated 380 students walk through the doors of the new school, they will meet new friends. About 600 Harmony Leland students will join them when the combined replacement school opens in Fall 2020.

Together the new classmates will be able to explore the new opportunities that the advancements included in the new school facility will provide for them and the thousands of the students who come after them.

From the February 2019  issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time!

Girl Scout Cookies Season is coming this month.  The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world.  In buying these cookies, you power the scouting experience. All proceeds stay local with the individual troops or the Greater Atlanta Council.

Girls in the Greater Atlanta Council have been going door-to-door or taking digital orders since January 1.  The cookies arrive in Atlanta Feb. 16 and girls will be delivering them after that date. You will see Cookie Booths pop-up all-over town.  Scout leaders ask that you support these girls as they work to raise funds to use to expand their scouting experiences through travel, enrichment, and of course, camping.  Another option girls have is to donate cookies to support their communities.

Cookies are $4 per box for Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Savannah Smiles, Tagalongs and DoSiDos and $6 for the Specialty cookies, S’mores and Toffee-Tastics.

In 2018, a local scout with the support of long-time customers Judy McMillan and Janet Rau, both of Smyrna, was able to donate 60 boxes of cookies to The Center for Children & Young Adults (CCYA), a non-profit in Marietta.  CCYA provides a home for youth who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by their caregivers. The Center is located on a 4.9-acre comprised of three residential programs: Another Chance (co-ed ages 12-15), Open Gate (girls ages 12-15) and Life Works (co-ed ages 16-18).  The Center provides comprehensive services, including housing, food, clothing, care, supervision and transportation for 40 youth.

The scout was asked by her donors to find a place that would accept “sweet treats” that youth would not normally receive. CCYA resonated with the scout, Courtney Waybright, a sophomore at Campbell High School’s IB program because “this is a place I or any of my friends could come to if something happened and we needed a safe environment.” She was impressed with the facility and its innovative practices of incorporating music, art, horticulture and animal therapies, community partnerships, a culture of care and a unique collaborative model to assist youth in overcoming childhood maltreatment, exposing them to new opportunities and allowing them to learn and practice life skills. The mantra of CCYA is that the “Best is Yet to Come!”

To support Courtney and her troop’s next philanthropic adventure, email the troop at GirlScoutTroop1872@gmail.com; they will gladly collaborate with you and develop a plan for donating to a mutual cause.  In the past, the troop and Courtney have donated cookies to fire fighters, police, and veterans.

To learn more about the cookie program, please see https://www.girlscouts.org/en/cookies/all-about-cookies/support-girls-success.html.

From the February 2019  issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Group Plans For City In South Cobb

Mableton could be the “the next best city in Cobb County” within two years if the South Cobb Alliance wins funding and support from the legislature.

Enthusiastic supporters recently held a town hall meeting at South Cobb Regional Library.

“The time has come for us as a community to determine if it is feasible for us to become Cobb County’s next city,” said Tre Hutchins, an organizer of the cityhood effort. “This will allow us an opportunity to customize our needs as it relates to the quality of life we deserve in South Cobb.”

Mableton, an unincorporated community in south Cobb, would be joined with the unincorporated part of Austell to create Cobb’s newest city, which would also be called Mableton.

The new city would be bordered on the north by Hurt Road just north of the East-West Corridor, on the west by Austell, on the east by Smyrna and go southward all the way to Cobb’s southern tip.

The first step is having a bill introduced in the General Assembly. Hutchins said State Rep. Erica Thomas, D- Austell, has agreed to do that.

Hutchins said the group needs $30,000 for a Feasibility Study.

“We have 1/3 of it and need another $20K to make sure this happens,” he said. “The South Cobb Alliance is dedicated to securing the funds to complete the study. For more information: www.SouthCobbAlliance.org/.

Hutchins said he thinks the study will show the city of Mableton will be able to provide at least three of the 16 state constitutionally mandated municipal services currently provided by the county without raising taxes on its residents.

February & March Calendar

FEBRUARY

10 & 23: ART CLASSES. Studio 23 Atlanta, an art school in Smyrna, offers classes and workshops to students of all ages and skill levels. Join us for a Mommy + Me Painting Workshop held on Feb. 10 and 23. For more information, visit studio23atlanta.com.

  • • •

12: TEEN NIGHT: PAPER CIRCUITS. Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 6 -7 p.m.  Smyrna Library, Meeting Room RSVP:  youthservices@smyrnga.gov.  We will combine electronics and collage for a one of a kind design. Materials are underwritten by a generous grant from Google Fiber.

  • • •

13 – 28: STORY TIMES: Smyrna Library. Infant & Toddler Story Time (0-2 year-olds) Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. & 4 p.m. Feb. 13, 20, 27 Preschool Story Time (3-5 year-olds) Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Feb. 14, 21, 28

  • • •

13: CREATIVITY CLUB: PAINTED VALENTINES. Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 6-7 p.m. Smyrna Library, Meeting Room Ages: 8-12. We’ll create unique cardboard valentines using cereal boxes and acrylic paint!

  • • •

19: TINKER TUESDAY: Paper Circuits Tuesday, Feb. 19 Smyrna Library, Meeting Room  4 – 5 p.m. Ages: 5-12 years old PLUS parent/caregiver. RSVP: sreference@smyrnaga.gov by Feb. 18. We will combine electronics and collage for a one of a kind design. Materials are underwritten by a generous grant from Google Fiber.

  • • •

19: BLOCK PARTY Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 10:30-11 a.m. Smyrna Library, Meeting Room Ages: 0-24 months  Each month we will have a different type of block available to keep your little one engaged.

  • • •

26: IT’S TEA TIME!  Jonquil Garden Club member Jacque Landers will host an Installation Tea for Jonquil Garden Club incoming officers for 2019-2020 at her home in Forest Hills on Feb. 26 at 10:30 a.m. All members and friends of the club are invited.  The club will resume its regular schedule on Tuesday, March 26, at 10:30 at Smyrna Library with a program on easy- to- make floral designs with hands-on participation by members. For more information about club programs and projects, contact Shirley Priest at 770-433-3248.

  • • •

27:  PAPER CIRCUITS. Creativity Club Creativity Club Tweens aged 8-12 only Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 6  to 7 p.m. Smyrna Library, Meeting Room Paper Circuits Create a paper circuit that lights up an LED and is powered by a battery. Make a robot’s eyes glow, light up a night sky, or create your own design. Combine drawing and collage with electronics for a one of a kind design. Materials are underwritten by a grant from Google Fiber.RSVP: youthservices@smyrnga.gov. Creativity Club activities are designed for children aged 8-12. Each child must have a responsible adult who remains inside the library for the duration of the program.

  • • •

28: STORIES OF AFRICAN-American History Thursday, Feb. 28 4:00-4:45 p.m. Smyrna Library, Meeting Room All ages Gloria Stowers, from the Cobb Cluster of the Southern Order of Storytellers, will share stories based on the book, Henry’s Freedom Box, by Ellen Levine.

MARCH

5: VBA. Vinings Business Association meets the first Tuesday of each month for lunch: Networking and speakers from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Location to be announced. 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.. A Business After-Hours is held the 3rd Tuesday of each month. www.viningsbusiness.com. 678-725-0099.

  • • •

6: SOUTH COBB BUSINESS ASSOCIATION meets the first Wednesday of each month at 11:45 at Presbyterian Village, East-West Connector.  www.sc-ba.org

  • • •

7:  SMYRNA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, Community Center, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Program: Cobb Travel and Tourism CEO Holly Quinlan. For reservations: www.smyrnabusiness.org

  • • •

9: PARTY GRAS. Presented by Campbell Middle School Foundation. A Masquerade Gala and Silent Auction. March 9 from 7 to 10 p.m. Magnolia Room, Smyrna Community Center. For tickets email campbellmiddlefoundation.org.

19: EXPO. VBA Business & Food EXPO March 19 Hotel Indigo Atlanta Vinings 2857 Paces Ferry Road Atlanta (¼ Mile Inside 285). Free Parking. EXPO Hours 4 – 7 p.m.

  • • •

FARMER’S MARKETS

MARIETTA FARMER’S MARKET. Enjoy fresh produce and goods year round from the Marietta Square Farmers Market every Saturday – rain or shine- 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on the Historic Marietta Square. For info, visit www.mariettasquarefarmersmarket.net.

  • • •

WEEKLY EVENTS

BOY SCOUT TROOP 61 meets every Monday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Troop Lodge at Bethany Methodist Church at the intersection of Hurt and Hicks Roads. Cub Pack 61 meets Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Bethany Gym.

  • • •

BOY SCOUT TROOP ONE meets every Sunday at 4:30 p.m. New Scouts Welcome! 2845 Log Cabin Drive, Smyrna (off Atlanta Road). www.bsatroop1.net

  • • •

SMYRNA BOY SCOUT Smyrna Boy Scout Troop 11 meets at Smyrna First United Methodist Church every Tuesday evening 7:30- 9 p.m.  Contact us at 770-883-1123. Website: www.smyrnatroop11.com.

  • • •

BOY SCOUT TROOP 220 meets every Tuesday Night at 6:30 p.m. at Life Church Smyrna Assembly of God located at 4100 King Springs Road (right next to Griffin Middle School). For more information see our website www.troopwebhost.org/Troop220Smyrna/Index

  • • •

SMYRNA BUSINESS EXCHANGE: The Smyrna Business Exchange is Smyrna’s premier close contact networking group representing over 30 local businesses (and growing).  The Smyrna Business Exchange meets at the Smyrna Community Center every Thursday morning from 7-8:30 a.m. Questions or to RSVP for a complimentary visit, call Jeff Daxe at 770-795-5079 (or email at jad@mijs.com).

  • • •

JONQUIL CITY KIWANIS SMYRNA: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Wolfe Senior Center, 884 Church Street, Smyrna.

  • • •

SMYRNA OPTIMIST: 7 a.m. Friday, American Legion Post 160, 160 Legion Drive, Smyrna.

  • • •

SMYRNA ROTARY: noon Tuesday, Brawner Hall, Smyrna. For further information, see www.SmyrnaRotary.com

  • • •

SOUTH COBB ROTARY: noon, Thursday, Presbyterian Village, East-West Connector

  • • •

SOUTH COBB TOASTMASTERS Tuesday at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. South Cobb Regional Library, Mableton 678-799-4425.

  • • •

TOASTMASTERS: Interstate North Toastmasters at 3100 Cumberland Boulevard. We meet every Monday at 6:30 p.m. Visit our website: 2823.toastmastersclubs.org

  • • •

TOASTMASTERS: T-Toasters. Paces West, 2727 Paces Ferry Rd., Bldg 1. We meet Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. and welcome visitors. Visit www.ttoasters.com to find out more.

  • • •

VININGS ROTARY: Noon. Wednesday, Georgian Club.

  • • •

THE GALLERIA WORLDSPAN Wings Toastmasters Club Tuesdays 12 to 1 p.m., Building 300, main conference room.

  • • •

SMYRNA BUSINESS EXCHANGE: The Smyrna Business Exchange is Smyrna’s premier close contact networking group representing over 30 local businesses (and growing).  The Smyrna Business Exchange meets at the Smyrna Community Center every Thursday morning from 7-8:30 a.m. Questions or to RSVP for a complimentary visit, call Jeff Daxe at 770-795-5079 (or email at jad@mijs.com).

 

MONTHLY OR MORE

AMERICAN LEGION, Post 160. Membership Meeting at 7:30 p.m. every 3rd Tuesday. The AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY, Unit 160 Membership Meeting at 7:30 p.m. every 3rd Tuesday each month.  SONS OF THE AMERICAN LEGION, Squadron 160 meets at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday each month. All of these meetings are at 160 Legion Drive, Smyrna. For more information, access AmericanLegionPost160.org or call 770-436-2501.

  • • •

AMERICAN LEGION POST 264, 6251 Ivy Road, Mableton meets every third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Bingo–Mon, Tues, Friday 8 p.m., Sat. 5 p.m. and Sun. 4 p.m.

  • • •

ATLANTA FREETHOUGHT, Regular Meeting at 1 p.m. every 2nd Sunday. 4775 N. Church Lane, Smyrna (a mile inside I-285, just off Atlanta Rd). Our historic building was a church in Smyrna/Vinings for 141 years. We’re a nonprofit educational organization and meetings/programs are free and open to the public. Call 678-662-3857 or visit our website, www.atlantafreethought.org, for more about us.

  • • •

COBB-MARIETTA RETIRED EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION meets the second Thursday of each month. The monthly luncheon is held at the

First Methodist Church in Marietta at 11:30 a.m.  For more information visit www.cmrea.org.

  • • •

CUMBERLAND VININGS OPTIMIST CLUB: Meeting for breakfast the 2nd Wednesday of each month at the Vinings Club, 2859 Paces Ferry Road NW. We are an inclusive club dedicated to community service and welcome everyone to come as our guest to a meeting of your choice.

  • • •

GARY HILL NETWORK monthly networking luncheons are held at 11 a.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month at different locations. Call 770-438-6961 for more information. Feb. 21 is at McCray’s Tavern, 4500 West Village Place, Smyrna.

  • • •

KIWANIS CLUB OF GREATER SOUTH COBB meets at noon the 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month at O’Charley’s 4130 Austell Rd, Austell GA 30106. Call 770-438-6961 for more info.

  • • •

KIWANIS CLUB OF SMYRNA meets every last Wednesday of the month, noon  to 1 p.m. at  Provident Village  at Creekside, 4838 South Cobb Drive, Smyrna.

  • • •

MOMS Club of Smyrna West: For stay-at-home or part-time working moms, we have added to the elementary school districts served in the Smyrna area: in 30080 and 30082 zip codes AND any of the following school districts: Smyrna Elementary, Norton Park, King Springs, Nickajack, Teasley, Belmont Hills, Green Acres, Argyle, and Russell. We offer morning and afternoon weekly playgroups and activities. For questions about our club or if you are interested in becoming a member, please contact us directly at membership@momsclubofsmyrnawest.com

  • • •

MOMS CLUB SOUTH COBB. Do you ever feel like you are the only at-home mother who stays home? If so, you are not alone! Come meet other moms and kids at the MOMS CLUB of Austell and Mableton! We meet monthly and would love to meet you and your kids. If interested in attending, contact us momsclubofaustellandmableton@gmail.com, 770-841-8631 or momsclubofaustella.wixsite.com/momsclubofaustell.

  • • •

COBB COUNTY MOCHA MOMS offers support to mothers of color. Cobb County Mochas are a mixture working and stay at home moms. We offer an array of opportunities to connect with other moms through Mom’s Night Out, Sister Circles, and playdates for kids, couples’ nights, single moms support, family community service projects and more. Email us at cobbcountymochamoms@gmail.com

  • • •

FIRST MOPS offers fellowship with other mothers of children age birth to Kindergarten. We welcome women from throughout the community, so you don’t have to be a member of Smyrna First United Methodist Church to join, although we do currently have a waiting list if you need a space in the nursery during our meetings. For more info, visit www.smyrnafirstmops.com. MOPS NIGHT GROUP. Smyrna First United Methodist Church’s MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group Night Group meets once a month on Wednesday evenings. If you are interested in joining the MOPS Night Group, please contact smyrnafirstmopsnight@gmail.com or visit www.smyrnafirstmops.com

  • • •

NEWCOMERS CLUB OF COBB COUNTY meets the third Tuesday of each month September through May at 10 a.m., John Knox Presbyterian Church, 505 Powers Ferry Road, Marietta.  Please join us for fun activities and new friends or contact us at newcomersofcobbcounty.com.

.• • •

SMYRNA JONQUIL LIONS CLUB welcomes guests and prospective members. As a part of the world’s largest service organization simply stated:  We serve.  Check us out and join as we strive to make our community a better place. The club meets at the Smyrna Community Center the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m. and the 4th Tuesday at noon.  http://e-clubhouse.org/sites/smyrnaj. www.facebook.com/pages/smyrna-Jonquil-Lions-Club.

  • • •

SMYRNA STITCH-IN GROUP meets at 4:30pm the first Monday in the class room at Hobby Lobby, 1355 East-West Connector, Austell. If you like to cross stitch, do crewel work, needlepoint, etc and want to meet women in the area, please come join us. Contact Holli Hallmark at hah1627@gmail.com

  • • •

SOUTH COBB LIONS CLUB meets the 1st and 3rd Monday evenings 6:30 p.m. of each month at the South Cobb Community Center 620 Lions Club Drive, SW Mableton. Contact: South Cobb Lions Club: Phone 470-554-2128 on Facebook South Cobb Lions Club or email southcobblionsclub@yahoo.com

  • • •

VININGS VILLAGE CIVIC CLUB meets the first Monday of each month September through June at 6:30 p.m. at various locations around Vinings. For further information, e-mail us at viningscivicclub@gmail.com or visit our new website: viningsvillagecivicclub.org. Members and Guests are welcome.

SUPPORT GROUPS

CANCER SUPPORT GROUP, The Star Group To help patients and their families feel more hopeful and less alone through the mutual sharing of thoughts, feelings, and concerns related to living with, and surviving cancer. Fourth Thursday of each month at Noon. (A light lunch is served) WellStar Cobb Hospital Magnolia Room Group leader: Raymond Coffman Please call 770-732-3780 to RSVP.

  • • •

CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP. To provide a safe place for caregivers to come together and connect with others who truly understand caregiving. Group members will exchange information, talk through challenges, share feelings  and learn about resources in the community. Support group is facilitated by a Licensed Social Worker. Group meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2:00 at The Book House, 5450 Old Floyd Road, SW Mableton, GA 30126. For information please contact: Maureen Schuster, LMSW- 404-312-8309 or mschuster@seasons.org

  • • •

Smyrna Parkinson’s Support Group meets at 2 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month, January through November at the Aline Wolfe Adult Recreation Center at 884 Church St., Smyrna, GA  Phone: 678-631-5541.The facilitator is Carl Proctor  Email: carlcproctor@aol.com Contact: 404-275-9383. Smyrna Parkinson’s Support Group Membership is free to Parkinsonians, care partners, family members, medical professionals and other people whose lives have been touched by PD. We are grateful to the Aline Wolfe Adult Recreation Center for providing our meeting space.

  • • •

RECOVERY INTERNATIONAL Self-help support group for stress, anxiety, depression, etc. Meets every Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 4300 King Springs Road SE, Smyrna, in the old rectory next to the church. Contact Alicia Garcia at 678-665-5233 for more information.

  • • •

REFORMERS UNANIMOUS (RU) is a Christ-centered addictions program that meets every Friday at 7 p.m. at Westside Church located at 4900 Floyd Road, Mableton next to Walgreens. RU helps adults find freedom from addictive behavior. Call Westside Church at 770-948-0121 for more information or see www.wbcfamily.org.

  • • •

E-mail your organization’s calendar news to news@brightsidecobb.com. Deadline for MARCH issue is FEBRUARYY 23 with publication the week of MARCH 5. Calendar items are accepted from civic groups, non-profits, schools and church organizations and run as space is available. Due to the increasing number of calendar listings, please keep announcements brief. Please do NOT send calendar announcements in flyer format. For more information about submitting calendar items or other news, contact us at 770-426-9388 or by e-mail to news@brightsidecobb.com. Find updated calendar items on our website at www.brightsidecobb.com.

From the February 2019 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Darlene Duke Reflects on Service To Sweetwater Mission

For more than two decades Darlene Duke has been helping feed, clothe and educate people in south Cobb and Douglas Counties.

She stepped down as executive director of Sweetwater Mission at the end of the year but will continue part-time as business director.

Brian Hamilton took over as executive director this year. He is retired as General Manager of Georgia Operations from Thompson Tractor, the Caterpillar Dealer in Alabama, where he worked 34 years.

“Darlene has set a high standard of Excellence that I am committed to continue,” he said.

Sweetwater Mission, located at 6130 Hotel St., Austell, began in 1968 as members of several churches came together with a plan to help low-income families in their community. Volunteers formed a small used clothing distribution center and soon began to offer food and financial aid to neighbors in need. Community Action Mission Program or CAMP was formed – later known as Sweetwater Valley CAMP and now simply Sweetwater Mission.

Mrs. Duke began her career at the charity in 1994 as a volunteer though her church. The first Director, Ruth Reed, later asked her to join the board of directors. As it grew, the board sought to hire two part-time employees and Mrs. Dukes suggested they combine the jobs to make it full time. She went to work full time in 2003 and became director in 2005.

“I was doing client intake in the morning and financial aid appointments in the afternoon. That’s how I was able to do both jobs,” she said. “Since the first day there, it’s been a pleasure to go to work every day.”

Sweetwater Mission now serves some 1,500 clients per month with some 200 volunteers and four full-time and four part-time staff. Some 75 clients a day visit Monday through Saturday for donations of food, clothing and educational programs.

“We had some record breaking days right before Thanksgiving with 105 to 108 people back to back.” She said.

The agency may be small, but has gotten noticed by United Way of Metro Atlanta which placed a pilot program, Kid’s Home Initiative, to deal with homeless students at Sweetwater.

Comparisons to other agencies are difficult, but Mrs. Duke said that “Annual report to annual report, on a half million dollar budget we’re giving away more food, more items of clothing, and more financial aid than MUST was doing on an $8 million budget. But it’s a different model.”

Sweetwater does not government money. That allows them to assist undocumented clients.

“If the federal government will pay to send them to school, don’t tell me that I can’t pay to feed them,” she said.

The food program relies on cash donations from business, churches and individuals to stock a food pantry with items from the Atlanta Food Bank.

“It’s a walk in service – there’s an easy sign in process – but it doesn’t require a Social Security card and anyone can get food,” she said. “We rely heavily on donations of clothing and personal care items.”

While they have a good selection of women’s clothing, there is a need for men’s clothing and clothing for school-aged children.

On her two days off from work Mrs. Duke will stay busy with her volunteer work. She is Vice-President of Georgia Church Women United and wants to get more involved in United Methodist Women’s group at her church, Powder Springs United Methodist. She is active in the South Cobb Rotary, serving as past-president and treasurer.  She chair as backpack program and is on the board of the Douglas County homeless coalition.

What is she most proud of in her term with Sweetwater?

“It’s a tossup,” she said. “I love the food program because of how it really helps people. I’m also proud of the kid’s home initiative.”

“We have two people on our staff who formerly received assistance from us,” she said and it’s wonderful to have them feel good about the experience.

Keep Smyrna Beautiful Wins Awards

Keep Smyrna Beautiful was honored with a 2nd Place award for its overall programs in 2018. The award was presented by the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation on Dec. 6, and marks the 23rd consecutive year the local non-profit has been recognized for excellence in environmental efforts.

Keep Smyrna Beautiful’s programs touch on water quality, solid waste and recycling issues, trees, beautification, community sustainability (the community garden and outdoor market), mobility (bike racks), and community involvement (Adopt-A-Mile and other volunteer programs).

As Keep America Beautiful recently stated:

“Today, Americans are moving faster and doing more with the modern conveniences our society provides. But this comes at an expense to our natural resources, beauty and community cohesion we work every day to improve.

“Our national challenges with litter, recycling and beautifying communities will be even more relevant in the years to come as they were in 1953 when national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful was founded … more than in 1967 when canine TV star Lassie appeared as a mascot for our anti-littering public service campaign … and more than 1999, when we launched the Great American Cleanup.

“Because of our history, many people believe Keep America Beautiful is just an anti-litter organization. After all, “Every litter bit hurts!” But we are much more!”

As Keep America Beautiful is more than anti-litter, so is Keep Smyrna Beautiful.

“We are the official organization for all things environmental in the City of Smyrna. We have begun to work on projects such as Atlanta Regional Commission Green Cities Designation, EV Charging Stations, a Tree Save program. We are moving forward every day to help the City of Smyrna be the best it can be”, said Janet Liberman, Executive Director.

To volunteer, please contact Julie Barwig at jbarwig@smyrnaga.gov. To learn more about Keep Smyrna Beautiful, https://www.smyrnaga.gov/your-government/departments/keep-smyrna-beautiful

Barbara Hickey Named South Cobb Citizen Of Year

Volunteer, philanthropist and community leader are among the many titles that Barbara Hickey has accumulated in the past two decades. In November she was named South Cobb Citizen of the Year by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, the South Cobb Business Association and the South Cobb Rotary Club.

“This person has had a long history of service… She has been everywhere in the community, contributing, really pouring her heart into whatever need is there,” Cobb Chamber President and CEO Sharon Mason said. “Many of us know her as a great friend, as a mentor in our lives, whether it was her leading Diaper Day or forming the Cobb County Coalition of Business Associations (CCBA) to bring all the business associations together or meeting pretty much any need that was out there for non-profits, she has been there for so many people in this community.”

Wayne Dodd, president of the South Cobb Business Association, said Mrs. Hickey “saw a need and came up with a solution.”

“Her heart and her love has always been in South Cobb,” Dodd said. “Her past efforts will pay dearly for years to come.”

Albert McRae, president of the South Cobb Rotary Club, said Mrs. Hickey was always elegant and well spoken. “She’s a doer, a person of action. Barbara Hickey represents service over self,” he said.

Austin Eads, a past Rotary president said, “now most likely The world is a much better place because of Barbara Hickey, especially in South cob.”

Hickey, who is suffering from health problems, was not at the meeting. Her son and daughter-in-law Sean and Cecilia Rowe accepted the award in her place.

Sean Rowe said his mother loves Cobb County and its people, refusing to leave even when her husband Jim Hickey was offered a prestigious job elsewhere.

“She is a beacon of light,” Sean Rowe said. “We are so proud of her as a mom, as a citizen, as a grandmother, as a friend… For those of you who loved her for so many years, just know that it didn’t go missed. She knows it. She felt every ounce.”

‘Legally Blond, The Musical’

The Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School will present “Legally Blonde: The Musical” Jan. 31 through Feb. 3 at the Anderson Theatre, Cobb Civic Center, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta.

Based on the hit movie, Legally Blonde: The Musical follows Elle Woods as she traverses the halls of Harvard. After her break up with boyfriend Warner, Elle sets out to win him back by attending Harvard Law School. While there, she experiences the ups and downs of student life but sets out to prove herself to the world. This fabulous and action-packed musical will delight and enthrall with its memorable songs, charming characters, and scandal.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Jan. 31, Feb.1, Feb. 2, and a matinee at 3 p.m. on Feb. 3. Tickets are available at www.andersontheatre.org/encore-series.

 

Susan Thayer Named Smyrna Citizen Of The Year

Her resume includes jobs as teacher, principal and school board member. Now Susan Thayer can add the distinction of being Smyrna Citizen of the Year.

Mrs. Thayer was presented the award at the October Smyrna Division breakfast of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

In her introduction by Smyrna Mayor Pro Tem Dereck Norton noted her career highlights and said, “she’s been a trusted voice on the school board for Smyrna for the past four years.”

During her 40 year career in education, she worked for three metro Atlanta school systems, serving as a teacher, a guidance counselor at Osborne High School and the principal of Pebblebrook High. She also served as the director of leadership development and the executive director of high schools for Cobb County Schools as well as the assistant superintendent of K-12 curriculum in neighboring Douglas County.

“Working for the community has been a pleasure and a real joy,” she said in accepting the award. “Working with you has been a delight.”

“Our community has so much going for it,” she said. “But our community will never be better than our schools.”

Thayer, the only woman on Cobb’s seven-member school board, did not seek re-election this year. She will be replaced by pediatric dentist Jaha Howard in January.

Cobb Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said Thayer’s presence on the school board will be missed come January.

“Her biggest asset is the experience she brings from working in K-12 school districts,” he said. “She’s been a principal, she’s been a teacher and she’s worked in the central office … That experience is just invaluable.”

Thayer said she hopes to spend more time with her family next year, and looks forward to seeing how the “other half” lives.

She was nominated for Citizen of the Year by Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon, who said he couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of the award.

“She’s done so much for the school system. She has probably been the most knowledgeable school board member we’ve had in her first and only term,” Bacon said. “She knew the system and she represented the Smyrna area as well as anybody could have represented us.”

Bacon’s sentiments were echoed by Smyrna councilman Derek Norton, who presented Thayer’s award.

“She’s a longtime friend and has been very, very good for us on the school board,” he said.

Thayer, who said she never expected to receive such a recognition, was lured to Brawner Hall early Wednesday under false pretenses by her friend, Cobb Superior Court Judge Ann Harris.

Thayer said she was told the 7:30 a.m. event was a presentation about the new Susan Todd Pearson Middle School, which the district is building to relieve overcrowded Campbell and Griffin in her portion of the county.

“She was certainly surprised,” Norton said.

Thayer said serving on the school board would be her last professional activity, calling it a “tremendous honor” to step down with the accolade.

“What a way to go out,” she said. “It’s very flattering and very humbling.”

Harvest Festival To Be Held at Mable House

The Harvest Festival will be held at the Mable House Historic Grounds on October 13.

Produced by The Friends of The Mable House in partnership with Cobb Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, The Harvest Festival was formerly the Storytelling Festival.

“The Friends organization wanted to rebrand the event to create an enhanced family experience,” said Libby Geiselmayr, Mable House Arts Center Coordinator.

Professional storytellers Josie Bailey and Joanna Maddox will be telling tales, plus, there will be musical performances, food and other activities.

This free event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. will include Hay Rides given by the South Cobb Lions Club, a sweet potato garden, corn shucking, butter churning, homemade Johnny cakes, professional blacksmith Wind Chapman, farm animals, live storytellers, arts and crafts with clay throwing demonstrations, old time games, sweets and drinks by the girl scouts, live musical performances, Mother Goose, and gold panning.

There will be Historic House Tours with live demonstrations of quilting, spinning, weaving and sewing.

The South Cobb Lions Club will be selling BBQ both Saturday and Sunday.

Musical performances are set by FlatPickin’, Inc., and Soulful Praise, the Pebblebrook High School Gospel Choir.

From the October 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.