By Joel Hall
Since July, the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center has stood as answer to the lack of recreational facilities available in the northeast portion of Clayton County.
Yet, Rhodenizer, the former county commissioner for whom the center is named, believes many people are unaware of the center's services. "[People] drive by and see something, but don't quite know what is going on in there," he said.
This Saturday, from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m., the center will host it's first fall festival, the first major public event since its grand opening on July 12.
Organizers at the center plan to bring together the citizens of the Rex community for a day of food, games, music and guest appearances by members of Atlanta's local, professional, sports teams.
"I think it will probably be the best opportunity we've had this fall to get the center before the people who will be using it," said Rhodenizer, who vowed to be there to meet the people of the community.
"We've invited a lot of the local businesses in the community and the kids in general," said B.J. Banks, manager of the recreation center. "We want them to know that this is a $7 million facility and they have to use it."
Banks said that in addition to having popcorn, snow cones, pizza, a live DJ, and moon walks for kids, volunteers will be on hand to show off other offerings, such as aerobic and kickboxing classes, after-school programs, and knitting and bingo programs for seniors.
Banks said the Atlanta Hawks have confirmed that one player will be at the event, but could not confirm which one. He said the center is working on confirming appearances by players with the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves.
"For a long period of time, there wasn't anything over here bringing the community together," said Banks. "I hope that this will stay here and be an annual event."
District 1 Commissioner Sonna Singleton will give remarks. She said she is looking forward to introducing more citizens to the center, which has "become the focal point of our district."
"I'm looking forward to it, because one of the problems that we have always had is that we haven't had a location to bring together people for an event like this," said Singleton. "It just shows again how valuable this place is to the community."
The Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center is located at 3499 Rex Road in Rex, Ga. For more information, call (770) 472-8042.