By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Community picnic honors CERT volunteers
Event boasts one of largest crowds
Picnic pic 2
Picnic guests were entertained by a variety of events like hayrides, group hikes and face painting last week at Amicalola Falls State Park. - photo by Photo/Michele Hester

One of the largest crowds in the last eight years was in attendance last Tuesday for the county’s annual community picnic at Amicalola Falls State Park.



With estimates as high as 800 hundred hot dogs and 500 hamburgers served, the community picnic offered a fun and free afternoon of events such as face painting and hayrides for the entire family and musical entertainment by the Dawson County Chamber Singers and Homeward Bound, a local bluegrass band.



Originally held Sept. 11, 2001, the picnic also provided the community with an opportunity to pay tribute to those who risk themselves on a regular basis for the public’s safety.



This year, a special tribute recognized the men and women of Dawson County’s Certified Emergency Response Team, a select group of volunteers that assists Dawson County Emergency Services in areas such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.



“We are so fortunate in this county to have these volunteers, because in so many ways, we are dependent on volunteers, volunteer firemen and good folks like you that come out and keep us safe,” said Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Kristie Myers, presenting a plaque of recognition to CERT volunteers at the picnic.



Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT volunteers can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.



“We want to very much thank the chamber for this honor,” said CERT member Wayne Watkins. “Billy Thurmond, director of emergency services, Lanier Swafford, chief of emergency services and Tim Satterfield, deputy chief of emergency services, we just thank you very much, but without them we would not be so successful.”



Like CERT responders who are dedicated to the safety of the county’s citizens, community volunteers play an active role in the success of the annual picnic by donating food, door prizes and their time to insure a fun time is had by all.



“This is one of those events that absolutely verifies the value of volunteers to a community and to our organization,” said Linda Williams, president of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce.



E-mail Michele Hester at