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Picnic draws crowd

Volunteers honored

POSTED: September 16, 2009 4:00 a.m.
Elizabeth Hamilton Dawson Community News/

Lainie Liebman pets a black rat snake held by Arliss Brigman of Georgia State Parks.

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Dawson County bid farewell to summer Sept. 8 during the 13th annual Community Picnic at Amicalola Falls State Park.

  

The free community picnic served up an estimated 800 hamburgers and 900 hot dogs. It also featured activities ranging from face painting and hayrides to performances by the Dawson County High School Chamber Singers and Relative to Him, a local vocal group.

  

“We had an excellent turnout this year, with over 700 people attending,” said Linda Williams, president of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce.

  

“We were pleased with the event and with the families and children who came out to enjoy themselves.

  

“We appreciate the positive feedback that we’ve received, and are glad that those who attended had a good time. We enjoyed ourselves as well.”

  

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the event has also provided an opportunity to pay tribute to public safety personnel who risk their lives serving the community.

  

This year, a special tribute recognized the men and women of the Meth Task Force, volunteers who work behind the scenes to make Dawson County a drug-free community.

  

“We are so fortunate in this county to have these volunteers, because in so many ways, we are dependent on dedicated people such as yourselves to make the place that we call home a better place to live each and every day,” said Jay Walker, chamber chairman who presented a plaque to the group.

  

Walker noted that the group gathered 800 signatures for a petition that removed drug paraphernalia from local convenient stores.

  

“We are so appreciative of this group and can’t thank you enough for what you do,” he said.

  

Bob King, a task force board member, accepted the award on behalf of the group.

  

“We are not a legal task force, but rather a group of volunteers working together to educate the public and provide community support for people to make positive changes and decisions in their lives,” King said.

  

He shared how the group recently held a well-attended fair at the local high school, stressing healthy relationships and alternatives for non-narcotic pain relief.

  

Williams described the picnic as “one of those events that absolutely verifies the value of volunteers to a community and to our organization.”

  “This event could not and would not have happened without our volunteers and sponsors who have worked so hard for months to make the picnic successful,” she said. “The picnic is a supreme volunteer effort.”

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