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A Year in Review

plus... 2016 State Soccer Winners

Save the Date! Alabama Recreation and Parks Association

Creative Camp April 5-6, 2017 Camp Skyline, Mentone, AL

Creative Camp Do something creative every day! Creative Camp is held every year in April at the beautiful Camp Skyline in Mentone Alabama. This is your chance to attend camp for adults and learn something to take back to your city! Every year we offer 6 hours of games, crafts, programming ideas and more! Creative Camp strives to share activities and crafts that can be adapted for any age and ability.



Laura Leigh Chesser 2016 Publications/Marketing Chair Michael Coleman Executive Director Alabama Recreation and Parks Association 2017 Board of Directors Drew Peterson - President Robby Dellinger - Past President TBA - President Elect Mandy Johnson - Secretary Sandi Wilson - Treasurer Gina Bryant - District 1 Chair Jenny Barrett - District 2 Chair David Primus - District 3 Chair Cheryl Kennedy - District 4 Chair Laura Leigh Chesser - District 5 Chair Andy Wiggins - District 6 Chair Katrina Frazier - District 7 Chair Luci Ray - Corporate Representative Willie Moore III - CDS Chair 2017 Committee Chairs Alabama Five -O - Sandi Wilson Awards - Stacy Banks Conference Site - Michael Coleman Conference Education - Robin Brothers COPP - Janis Burns Corporate Representative - John Hunt Finance - Sandi Wilson Long Range Planning - Drew Peterson Marketing/Publications - Laura Leigh Chesser Membership - Eric Scott Nominating - Janis Burns Professional Development - Robin Brothers Recreational Sports - Jakob Stephens Therapeutic Recreation - Andrew Pinkerton

Published by: Creative Marketing Concepts 4264 Lomac St. Montgomery, AL 36106 Fax: 334/272.3837

6 IN THIS ISSUE From the President ......................................................................... 4 From the Executive Director .......................................................... 5 A Year in Review ............................................................................. 6 2016 ARPA State Soccer Winners ................................................ 13 2016 Calendar ................................................................ Back Cover

The Alabamian is the official publication of the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA), an affiliate of the National Recreation and Park Association. The magazine is published by the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association, Inc. as a service to its membership. Submissions of parks and recreation-related articles are welcomed. Opinions expressed in signed articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of ARPA. Comments/responses should be sent to: Alabama Recreation and Parks Association P.O. Box 230579 Montgomery, AL 36123-0579 334-279-9160 334-279-9161 fax 2017 Creative Marketing Concepts. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher.

Published January 2017

Winter 2017 • The Alabamian


Alabama Recreation and Parks Association

From the

President Robby Dellinger


hope everyone had a great holiday season to spend with family and friends. Speaking of friends I hope everyone has registered for Conference or making arrangements to register for Conference. This year in Montgomery should be another great conference.

I wish everyone the best this year with all of your programs and events. This is a great association and let’s keep moving forward. Sincerely,

Robby Dellinger I cannot believe it has been a year since I was sworn 2016 ARPA President in at Orange Beach. It has been an honor to serve as president. I hope everyone keeps coming up with new ideas for this association. Please do not be afraid to propose these ideas at the district level or to a state board member. We have to keep moving forward as an association. A former coach of mine always said you cannot stay the same; you are either getting better or getting worse. I prefer to keep getting better and we can only do that with new ideas and people who want this association to be the best.

Call for Articles! If you would like to be published in a future issue of The Alabamian Magazine, please send your article and any graphics to the State Office at

The theme for the next issue is “Parks are Good Medicine”

How do your parks help people get active to stay healthy? Do you have an innovative/ unique playground that keeps kids in the community active? The deadline for consideration in the Spring issue is April 1st. Please call 334-279-9160 with any questions. 4

The Alabamian • Winter 2017

From the State Office

From the

Executive Director Michael Coleman


his past year has been one of change and growth for the association. Under the leadership of President Robby Dellinger and the entire Board of Directors, several changes have been implemented that will positively affect ARPA in the coming years. Although I’m sure there are other plans that will come to fruition during 2017 as President-Elect Drew Peterson takes office and establishes his goals for the year. 2016 saw the first online registration and use of credit card in the history of ARPA. This may seem like a small accomplishment compared to some, but it shows the progressive nature of the leadership within our Association. For trivia sake and historical record, Mark Perkins goes down as the first to use the online/credit card registration. Additionally, the Recreational Sports Committee set records for tournament bid numbers. Exceeding all previous amounts, the committee continues to expand, offering adult sports competitions again after a time off. On the youth level, our state tournaments continue to grow and prosper with the addition of youth volleyball and flag football as offerings. These promise to continue to grow and the committee will evaluate additional sports and consider them for district and state competitions.

year’s conference. The amendment allows for a broader array of affiliate members by including church, private and campus recreation programs into our Association. This should increase our overall numbers from the 90 Affiliate members and approximately 435 professional members. We encourage all of you to actively recruit new members that could take advantage of our educational offerings and participate in our recreational sports programs. So far we have had a few new additions, but would love to be the representative for parks and recreation of all types within the state of Alabama. I’m sure I’ve omitted something that we did that created change within ARPA. I hope we will continue to strive to be on the cutting edge of recreation service in the Southeast and United States. You as members have placed very capable people in leadership positions to guide the Association in the coming year. Support their efforts and continually motivate them to do the best they can for the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association. Until next time, Michael Coleman CPRP Executive Director, ARPA

Our overall membership continues to grow slowly, but that could be on the upswing due to passage of an amendment to our By-Laws at last

Winter 2017 • The Alabamian


A Year in Review


The Alabamian • Winter 2017

District 2

Huntsville - Swimming with the Sea Dragons pursue starting a swim team with the help of Parks & Rec staff and HAS volunteers, “Swimming is the one sport that I have seen positive changes in every participant’s life, regardless of their performance. The life and safety skills that the children learn extend far beyond the pool.” Worshek hopes to be able to further expand the program by getting the team competition ready for the Huntsville City Swim Meet in the summer of 2017, and eventually providing transportation to the Showers Pool for children in other low-income areas that currently do not have easy access to a community pool or swim program. The City of Huntsville’s Department of Parks & Recreation covers a large array of facilities, including three public pools. This past summer the Department worked with the Huntsville Swim Association to create an exciting program at the Dr. Richard Showers, Sr. Center’s indoor pool. With the dedicated help up the Huntsville Swim Association’s President, Curt Worshek, the Showers Pool established the first swim team for boys and girls ages 5 to 17 years old, named the Sea Dragons. This team is compiled mostly of African-American children from the surrounding community.

Written by: Ashley Polesak

The summer participation of the swim team far exceeded expectations, with around 35 children practicing on a weekly basis and 50 registered for the team. Worshek explained why he chose to

Winter 2017 • The Alabamian


District 2

Huntsville - Community Events Team Need a PA system here or a line of barricades there? Need equipment set up to assure an event goes off without a hitch? In Huntsville, that’s the role of what Mayor Tommy Battle calls “the unsung heroes” of the Community Events team. “If something happens at one of our city sites or facilities, we have our hands on it,” says Community Services Superintendent David Delisser, who oversees the team of half-dozen full-time employees and several part-timers. The Community Events team, which is under the umbrella of the City of Huntsville Parks and Recreation Department, worked with more than 75 organizations in 2016, a jump of 65 percent from 2015, and performed some 72,500 hours of service units, up 71 percent. Its most involved partnerships are with Arts Huntsville and its summertime Concerts in the Park during the summer and springtime Panoply Arts Festival, and with Downtown Huntsville Inc. Other activities have ranged from a cat show to a woodcarvers exhibition. “On a daily basis, we have two or three inquiries from people who want to do events,” Delisser says. “Depending on what they’re trying to do, we basically partner with them. We want to find out how we can help and kind of guide them through the process. “Our goal,” he says, “is to make everybody’s event as successful as possible.” “Huntsville prides itself on the qualityof-life events it provides for all our


The Alabamian • Winter 2017

citizens,” Mayor Tommy Battle says. “Without the Community Events team, which seems to have things almost magically in place everywhere we go, those events wouldn’t be nearly as successful.”

District 3

Tuscaloosa - PARA Celebrates 2016 Accomplishments in Programs, Parks, Facilities and People PARA’s parks and facilities also shined in 2016. Several were chosen to host large, quality events including the North Central AHSAA Softball Regional at Morrison Complex and the Men’s NCAA Division I Golf Regional at Ol’ Colony Golf Complex. PARA also worked diligently to open Van de Graaff Arboretum and Historic Bridge Park in Northport. This new, rustic nature park is the first of its kind for PARA, and features RV camp sites, tent sites, a fishing lake, boat ramp, walking trails and a single span of the 1882 King Bowstring Bridge.

A review of 2016 shows PARA has much to be thankful as the new year begins. The many milestones and accomplishments of the past year are a testament to the diversity and quality of PARA programs, parks, facilities and people. In the area of programming, PARA’s sports and fitness programs expanded in quantity and quality with the population of the local area. Youth Soccer, Youth Baseball, Youth Flag Football and Youth Soccer all saw an increase in participation and athletic success, including the 8 Year Old All-Stars winning the Dizzy Dean Baseball State Championship. PARA also launched the SPARK Initiative, an innovative program designed to ignite an interest in non-traditional sports in underserved areas of the community by integrating the resources of PARA’s professional staff and facilities into regularly scheduled PE classes at local schools. PARA’s fitness programs expanded as well and now include 27 unique fitness classes at six locations across Tuscaloosa County. Large community events such as Celebration on the River and the 41st Annual West Alabama Christmas Parade continued to provide the people of West Alabama with exciting festivities to celebrate the holidays.

Several PARA facilities were renovated in 2016. The revitalization of the McDonald Hughes Community Center included remodeled interior, new cardio and fitness equipment and a fresh look to the building facade. Summertime fun was officially upgraded with the addition of two “Super Splasher” 26’ tall tube slides to the newly dedicated Nancy Blewitt Swim Complex at Bowers Park. The ballfields at Bowers Sports Complex were renovated as well. New and continuing fundraisers for park projects were also held. The Fourth Annual Bark in the Park for the Will May Dog Park and the Play Fore All Golf Tournament were both well attended events that increased awareness and generated revenues to benefit their respective projects. All of PARA’s 2016 accomplishments would not be possible without the help of its highly dedicated team of professional staff and volunteers, some of which were formally recognized for their efforts. Keith Jenkins, Therapeutics Program Supervisor

Winter 2017 • The Alabamian


District 3

Tuscaloosa - PARA Celebrates Continued and Faucett Brothers Activity Center Manager, was the recipient of the ARPA District III, Merit in Recreation Award. Jim Jayne, a dedicated volunteer and contributor to local sports had a ballfield named in his honor at Morrison Complex. Bowers Pool was renamed the Nancy Blewitt Swim Complex for lifelong swim coach Nancy Blewitt. PARA is thankful to these individuals, but also to many other individuals and groups that offer their time and commitment to improve arts, parks and recreation for all in Tuscaloosa County! PARA wishes everyone continued success in 2017 a Happy New Year!

District 6

2016 ARPA District VI Awards Banquet Congratulations to James Meissner from Daleville on receiving the “ARPA District VI Maintenance Staff of the Year” award. Congratulations to Cheryl Pennington from Troy on receiving the “ARPA District VI Support Staff of the Year” award. Congratulations to Jonathan Royal from Andalusia on receiving the “ARPA District VI Young Professional of the Year” award.

From left to right our winners are: Congratulations to Kaleb Bass from Dothan on receiving the “ARPA District VI Grounds Staff of the Year” award.


The Alabamian • Winter 2017

Congratulations to Andy Wiggins from Andalusia on receiving the “ARPA District VI Professional of the Year” award. Andy was not able to attend the banquet.

District 6

Enterprise - Look What’s Happening! Sports Programs: • • • • • • • • •

Youth Sports for 2016: Baseball ages 4-16 Softball ages 5-15 Basketball ages 5-18 Football ages 5-12 Cheerleading ages 3-12 Golf ages 7-15 Church Youth softball – 6 teams Total number of Participants: 2000

Adult: • • •

Spring Open League softball Spring Church League softball Adult Kickball-operated by private organization


Combination of what we offer and other sporting organizations. 2016 February to Current: 24 Tournaments/ 423 Teams

Enterprise Events: • • • • • • •

Children’s Festival in the Park Spooky in the Park Easter Egg Hunt Fall and Valentine Dance for 4th, 5th, 6th Graders Senior Fishing Days Public Fishing Days Assist with Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting

Summer Camp: • • • • • • •

Outdoor games: kickball, softball Tennis Archery at Wiregrass Archery Local Field trips to Petting Zoo, Park with Splash pad, Aviation Museum, Bowling, Ft. Rucker Pool and Splash pad Movie Day – Clarks Cinema Arts and Crafts Kids experienced presentations from our local area: WTVY Meteorologists, Enterprise High School HOSA, and Karate to name a few.

Winter 2017 • The Alabamian


District 6

Enterprise - What’s Happening Continued Current Projects: • • •

Skate Park Bates Stadium Renovation New Playground at Peavy Park Completed.

Awards: Received 2016 Tourism of the Year Award Enterprise Parks and Recreation Department wishes everyone a happy and successful New Year 2017

District 7

Mobile - A Year in Review One cannot truly understand the complexity in trying to define one astonishing segment of their department. We have so many things to be proud of within our department. Ms. Anderson is a Facility Supervisor at Mobile Parks and Recreation Department, Hillsdale Area Community Center in West Mobile and she has gone beyond and above for her community. Her duties include programming youth and adult programs, promoting and coordinating activities with civic and community groups. In addition, to her normal duties she works tirelessly with her seniors to provide acts of kindness to those who are in need or disadvantaged.


The Alabamian • Winter 2017

We are most extremely proud of Ms. Anderson and how she has rallied the Senior Sewing Club and volunteers together to provide 75 scarves for cancer patients and designed 400 dresses for young ladies living in Africa, as well as produced 35 lap blankets to seniors residing in assisted care living and 15 shoeboxes containing toiletries, facial products and socks. Ms. Anderson’s commitment and level of giving back to the community has no bounds. Her willingness and dedication to provide dresses for less fortunate young girls residing in Africa demonstrates her relentless spirit to give to those in need. A wise person once stated, “Your potential self is infinite.” Ms. Anderson’s level of giving is truly impossible to measure. We sincerely appreciate her integrity, hard work and collaboration to help people within her community and beyond our continent. She is truly an asset to the City of Mobile and the Hillsdale Community at large. Ms. Anderson was recognized by Mobile Community Action, Incorporated at their Community Achievement Awards Banquet, November 10, 2016 for her dedication and service. Submitted by: Katrina H. Frazier, Mobile Parks and Recreation Department

2016 ARPA STATE SOCCER WINNERS November 19-20 9U Boys Champions – Prattville

Front Row: Tripp Berch, Chase Chandler, Porter Sutton, Lanieya Page, Lane Pyron, Steven Vasquez, Kyse Alzatari, Nick Bramblett Back Row: Ben Mittelstet, Bryce Espinola, Wyatt Bowman, Richard Byard, Luke Pezet, Aneirin Rockwell, Armon Daniels, Levi Smith

9U Boys Runners-Up – Dothan Red

9U Girls Champions – Dothan

Back Row: Avery Havas, Taylor Daniel, Bennet Amason, Lila Richards, Lauren Yu and Kaleigh Heard Front Row: Anna Beth Townsend, Sevyn Walker, Gabbie Hoyle, Cate Liddon , Mary Helen Mendheim, Maggie Benton and Alena Beverett Coaches: Brian Burger, Tom Renshaw, Patrick Amason

11U Boys Champions – Athens

Team Roster: Layton Romine, Carlos Roman, Alex Martinez, Randy Cortes, Jorge Mendoza, Brody Sheppard, Ernest Vincente, Alex Martinez, Jesus Roman, Reyli Martinez, Arturo Diaz, Jonathon Soto, Dylan East and Franklin Vicente

11U Boys Runners-Up – Prattville

9U Girls Runners-Up Athens

Back Row: Coach Brian Gothard, Andrew Gothard, Austin Sanders, Levi Stone Gunner Jackson, Daniel Martinez ,Trent Young, Dallas Hedstrom, Wills McRae and Coach William McRae Front Row: Will Veade, Mikaail Thompson, Kylen Cullen, Kenyonne Thompson, Tate Williams, Hiatt Parker and Noah Rodriguez

Back Row: Leslie Vicente,Jylene Ruiz,Kate Cristan, Ella Anderson, Kimberly Haegrove,Paige Castrejan and Naplin Serrato Front Row: Merritt Maclin, Andrea Rieth, Daina Leon, Laeclia Sheppard, Grace Bielat, Daisy Mendoza and Loui Chestnut

Team Roster: Cole Baker, Nathan Stimpson, Matthew Meadows, Turner Walker, Reese Owens, Dallin Heyward, Tristan Lynn, Tres Crumpton, Will Moore, Nick Duddle, Teystan Merian, Kolton Smith, Baylor Cannon, Bo Moore, Alex Bibb, Nicholas Germann, Mason Smith , Ricardo Rangel

Winter 2017 • The Alabamian


2016 ARPA STATE SOCCER WINNERS November 19-20 11U Girls Champions Dothan

Front Row: Cassidy Perry, Maci Caldwell, Presley Kinney, Kayden Martin, Sims Mendheim, Emily Odom and Abby Caldwell Back Row: Morgan Stickler, Kelsey Wilkins, Olivia Bruner, Gracie Hoyle, Bre Gossage, Abi Moncrief and Aniyah Stokes Coaches: Clay Caldwell, Mark Kinney, Jim Kinney and Garrett Nilkins

11U Girls Runners-Up – Prattville

13U Champions – Dothan

Top Left to Right: Coach Jeremy, Josh Pinyan, Mitchell Barbaree, Carlos Flores, Stryker Wylly, Zachary Newsome, Bianka Luna, Cheyenne Hedstrom, Coach Alfredo Flores, Coach Rosemary Flores Bottom Left to Right: Andrew Lindsey, Joshua Smith, Alan Flores, Will Gibson, Nolan Perry, Noah Donner, Levi Thomas, Jullian Whaley

13U Runners-Up – Prattville

15U Champions – Dothan

Players: Charly Alberto Gonzalez, Lawson Whitlock Thomas, Robert Harrison Holman, Theodore Maxwell Dowd, Barton William McManus, Thomas Hunter Hanson Jacobs, Jaison Conner Ross, Christian Michael Baker, Tristan Lee Woodham, David Thomas Krista, Jonathan Michael Wever, Luis Angel De Jesus-San Miguel, David Michael Warren, Benjamin Dungan McManus, Harry Preston Hall III Coaches: Brian Holman, Michael Warren, Andy Tomas

15U Runners-Up – Sylacauga

Back Row: Tori Sigler, Grace Downey, Kevin Oanls, Julia Barnett and Ashlee Wilson Front Row: Campbell West, Arildnd Mora, Jamie Piltner and Shanna Danelley


The Alabamian • Winter 2017

Ground Left to Right: Daniel Hendricks, Cade Segars Standing Left to Right: Will Hill, Coach Michael Godwin, Ethan Bishop, Ethan Jones, Scott Anderson, Chris Holsonback, Davis Godwin, Gauge Weierbach, Daniel Sigler, Elliot Duke, Tristan Lambert, Jake Pittner, Conner Sikes, Carson Roberson, Brady Roberson, Coach Jason Roberson, Charlie Sikes Not Pictured: Cohen Palmore

(No names of players or coaches available)

2016 ARPA STATE SOCCER WINNERS November 19-20 18U Champions – Prattville

Front Row: Daniel Gonzales, Jonathan Moyer, Alex Barton, Jonathan Cooper, Austin ‘Bo’ Stinard, Alex Fallon, Jessica Stephenson, Luis Braz Back Row: Coach Mark Stephenson, Daniel Word, Justin McCauley, Benjamin Davis, Trent Thompson, James Duke, Caleb Cleckler, Addison Arnold, Carlos Lapeña, Coach Brian Davis Not pictured: Kris Adams

18U Runners-Up – Eufaula

Front Row: Jay Patel, Jonathan Grant, Ublicer Barrios, and Angel Morales. Back row: Assistant Coach Jesus Gutierrez, Zach Odom, Chase Jackson, Francisco Herrera, Jaeda Rodriguez, Kendrick Smith, Abdias Salas, Irma Mendez-Tum, and Head Coach Jesus Carmona.

Advertise in the Alabamian

As the official publication of ARPA, The Alabamian offers opportunities to reach out to more than 800 professionals delivering park, recreation and therapeutic recreation services in Alabama. For advertising information: contact Michael Coleman 334.279.9160 15 Winter 2017 • The Alabamian

Alabama Recreation and Parks Association P.O. Box 230579 Montgomery, AL 36123-0579


Calendar of Events


29-31 ARPA State Conference Montgomery, AL


10-11 Youth Basketball State Tournament Gadsden, AL 17-18 Adult Basketball State Tournament Tuskegee, AL

April 5-6

Creative Camp Mentone, AL

The Alabamian Winter 2017  

ARPA Quarterly Magazine, The Alabamian - Winter 2017.

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