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BOC approves several activities for parks

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners basically told a support group for relatives of people with addictions to go fly a kite on Tuesday.

Go fly a kite in a kite-flying competition, that is.

The county commission unanimously gave its blessing to let Real Help! Network, Inc., host a kite-flying contest on April 21 at the county’s Gerald R. Matthews Complex in Lovejoy. The event, which is designed to raise funds for substance abuse and recovery programs, is one of four events and one league the commission decided this week would be allowed to use Clayton County Parks and Recreation facilities.

“We’re getting more requests from our partners, and other organizations, to use our properties,” said Clayton County Parks and Recreation Director Detrick Stanford, after the commission meeting. “We want to provide services to our citizens, and it’s not that we have to provide the programs all the time. Our properties certainly serve as that gateway sometimes [for outside groups to stage community programs].”

Stanford said allowing outside groups to stage events in the county’s parks allows his department to continue providing the same level of programming to Clayton County residents, without having to use county funds to stage them. He said the events staged by these organizations are, in a way, designed to act as a supplement to the county’s offerings.

“What we’re realizing is that we don’t always have to use the general fund to provide these services, if an organization is going to come in and help provide the same level of service that we would,” Stanford said. “We let them become the facilitator, and they just utilize our space.”

In addition to the kite-flying contest, the commission also gave its blessing to allow:

-- A baseball league to organize at J.W. Arnold Park, in Jonesboro, from April to November. The league has been organizing annually at the park for 15 years under the leadership of longtime league organizer L.C. Reaves, according to the commission’s resolution to OK it for this year. Reaves is organizing it again this year.

-- A Youth Under construction, Inc. Black Marriage Day celebration to take place on April 29, at International Park’s V.I.P. Complex, in Jonesboro.

-- A young male-empowerment conference hosted by Commissioner Wole Ralph to take place on April 14, at the Jim Huie Recreation Center, in Jonesboro.

-- A Lake Spivey Rotary Club 5K race to take place on May 5, at International Park.