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ARPA District 7 Meeting in Foley Well Attended

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From left: Joe Gottfried, former Director of Athletics at the University of South Alabama, and the current Director of Fundraising for the City of Mobile (Ala.) Sports Hall of Fame; Dr. Fred Cromartie, United States Sports Academy director of doctoral studies; Katrina Frazier of the Mobile Parks and Recreation Department; Dr. Bret Simmermacher, Academy chair of sports coaching; and Dr. Rodney Blackman, Academy chair of recreation management. Academy director of sports management Dr. Brandon Spradley (not pictured) also attended the event.

The Alabama Recreation and Park Association (ARPA) District 7 meeting was well conceived, well organized, well presented, and well attended. This group, led by Katrina Frazier of the Mobile Parks and Recreation Department, recently turned out en force for their quarterly meeting, on 2 August 2017, at Foley City Hall.

The District 7 quarterly meetings are always a good time for attendees to socialize, facilitate marketing and programming idea sharing, networking, community development and relationship building. In addition, the 2 August meeting also featured a small contingent of professors from the United States Sports Academy, as well as special guest speaker, Joe Gottfried, former Director of Athletics at the University of South Alabama, and the current Director of Fundraising for the City of Mobile Sports Hall of Fame.

Joe Gottfried, former Director of Athletics at the University of South Alabama, and the current Director of Fundraising for the City of Mobile Sports Hall of Fame.

Gottfried’s presentation was both an encouragement and a pitch – first, an encouragement about the meaningfulness of work in the recreation field, coupled with admiration and praise for jobs well done in the face of steady streams of challenge. Gottfried spoke of being able to identify with the challenge of fundraising – and then was able to also inform and delight attendees with stories of past fundraising success, such as the $35 million Mitchell Center on the University of South Alabama campus in Mobile. He also spoke of additional funding opportunities through local grassroots efforts, and he enchanted the audience with the prospect of upgrade and relocation of the Mobile Hall of Fame to the iconic RSA building.

Also featured in the meeting was information about the upcoming National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) National Congress in New Orleans, LA, September 26 – 28, 2017, as well as the address of regular District business matters.

By Dr. Rodney J. Blackman

Dr. Rodney J. Blackman is the Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at rblackman@ussa.edu.

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