CPRS Long Beach Awards | Around About North County

Last Friday John and I drove to Santa Barbara, picked up his sister Bev, and continued on to Long Beach to attend the California Parks and Recreation Society Awards Recognition Banquet which closed the CPRS Conference.
We met Jennifer Fanning, Colony Park Community Center Director & Recreation Supervisor at the City of Atascadero, and Larisse Lopez, Recreation Coordinator at Colony Park Community Center, who had been attending the Conference held at the Long Beach Convention Center. CPRS celebrated with the theme “70 Years of Inspiring Excellence.” 
The Awards of Excellence Banquet was held in the Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Friday evening. We were booked at the Hyatt and our room overlooked the harbor where we could see the Queen Mary and other beautiful harbor sights. It was a great location---I think the last time I was in Long Beach was probably 50 years ago and I’m happy to say it has changed for the better!
The evening’s program included remarks by the outgoing CPRS President; recognition of the incoming President; and the presentation of awards. The Awards of Excellence included Park Planning, Facility Design, Creating Community, and Marketing &Communications. 
Professional & Service Awards included Champion of the Community, Rising Professional, Outstanding Research, and Fellowship/Hall of Fame.
It was my honor to be included in the Champion of the Community category. I remember when our Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley called from Sacramento to inform me that I had been nominated and had been selected to receive the award in March at the Conference. What a surprise!
I was proud to accept the award, but I did it on behalf of the hundreds of other Atascadero (and North County) “community champions,” who volunteer to help keep our community the special place we live and work in.
We were impressed with the other award recipients in all of the categories. From Park Planning and Design to Marketing and Communications the projects were amazing. 
Cal Poly Professor, Dr. Marni Goldenberg PhD, was recognized with the Outstanding Research Award, making San Luis Obispo County well represented.
I have always felt Parks and Recreation to be one of the most important departments in any community and I am proud to have played a part in the growth of Atascadero’s department. 
The staff in Atascadero has always been ready and willing to work for the betterment of our programs. If you haven’t been to our Colony Park Community Center, just stop by and see how well-used it is by our youth.   
On the subject of recreation, mark your calendars for Saturday, April 14, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. when you can participate in the Atascadero Citywide Yard Sale. Proceeds will benefit Parents for Joy to build an inclusive playground at Colony Park Community Center in Atascadero.
The difference between this yard sale and one giant one held in just one place, is that you stay home and put your “stuff” out, but your location is on a map which will lead shoppers to your door.
With this event, shoppers know that they are contributing to the playground project. Your registration fee of $15 goes to the project. If you have an organization that wants to be listed, the fee is $40.
Registration deadline is April 11th. To register visit parentsforjoy.org and click on the “events” tab. 
When you visit the website or Facebook page of Parents for Joy, be sure to check out the playground project---It will be amazing and will be the only one in SLO County.
Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County successfully concluded their first annual “Legacy of Literacy” Book Drive. This book drive is a national Assistance League program, designed to support literacy by providing new and gently used books to students K-12, nationwide. Through this book drive, Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County received more than 400 donated books, delivered to their Thrift Store, which were distributed to two organizations within our County: Stand Strong and Bright Futures. Stand Strong provides support for survivors of domestic violence and Bright Futures is an after-school academic program for students K-12 in the Lucia Mar Unified School District. This book drive will be an annual event, which will grow in momentum each year and will fill a continual need for student literacy.
Please visit the website to learn more about Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County at alslocounty.org.   
Mark your calendars for ECHO’s 3rd Annual Empty Bowls Luncheon on Thursday, April 26, at the Atascadero Bible Church. 
For more information contact Jamie Neutill (CJN Event Planning) at 805-462-9106.
Don’t forget the Tent City Marathon this Sunday, to benefit the restoration of the Historic Printery Building on Olmeda Ave. in Atascadero.
Visit tentcitymarathon.com for more information or contact Victoria at 530-521-1877.
Enjoy the weekend – Enjoy the rain!              


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