By KATHRYN BENNETT
Some of the best-kept secrets in Cobb County are right under the noses of the general population in the metro-Atlanta community, where the county government employees take pride in the standard of living they are able to offer their patrons.
Cobb County government is comprised of multiple departments of hardworking individuals who provide the community with several different services, ranging from art therapy workshops for special needs students to facilitating the largest fair in north Georgia. The Cobb County Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Department is responsible for being a safe haven for the community to partake in inexpensive fun that will transcend into memories for a lifetime.
CCPRCAD director Eddie Canon takes pride in the precedent set each year by his staff at all community events held at his facilities.
“I think we are the quality of life for Cobb County. I think we make good memories that the citizens of Cobb County appreciate,” Canon said. “The citizens expect quality leisure services and the great professional staff enjoys providing those services.”
Many of the special events hosted by the department are a countywide tradition, but one experience that is truly surreal is having the opportunity to attend the Special Olympics Winter Games.
CCPRCAD has been hosting the Winter Games for the last 21 years, and Canon said he is proud to have such a great relationship with the special population. This event is facilitated by the Therapeutic Recreation Department, which is a part of the recreation division of the parks department.
“This is an example of the parks department offering many services to all Cobb County citizens. We provide the services for the mind, body and spirit. We are the feel good department,” Canon said.
This event hosts hundreds of athletes with intellectual disabilities each year, teaching them the value of teamwork and good sportsmanship. Teams, representing different counties across the state and the Southeast region of the United States, are comprised of athletes, coaches, and volunteers who travel to Cobb County each January to showcase their talents to statewide spectators.
Barbara Savage, Chairman of the Cobb County Recreation Board, attends most county-sponsored events and describes the Special Olympics as a blessing to the parks department and the community.
“That event enables us to use our facilities and our resources to affect the lives of so many in such a positive way,” Savage explained. “Those athletes, coaches, parents, and families leave with wonderful memories and feelings of accomplishment.”
This department is a direct representation of the standard of living that Cobb County government tries to bring to the community on a daily basis. With more than 50 facilities countywide, the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Department strives to bring inexpensive entertainment and leisure to its citizens.