V3 May 2018

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and the Grind Working with the tools available has not stopped Rome Aerials Gymnastics from laying out on the line.

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may 2018 COLUMNS 10

In America, where speech is free, HOLLY LYNCH suggests that we cash in our stockpile on the issues plaguing our community.


JIM ALRED remembers two of the toughest coaches ever, and how he has used their coarse approach to shape his life.


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This month’s HARDY HOME has an abundance Southern charm and a pretty paradise to explore. Business owners and city officials saw something special along the streets and sidewalks of 5th Avenue and soon we will all see the RIVER DISTRICT live up to its potential. RFPRA coaches give us a reason to get behind one of Rome and Floyd County’s most demanding disciplines, ROME AERIALS GYMNASTICS. NORTHWEST GEORGIA VETERINARY EMERGENCY CENTER is giving family pets a place to go when they are under the weather, and the good news is they will never be alone again.

From River District p.24 Cover: Gymnastics, Blythe Crabbe p.32 4


APRIL 2018

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Publisher's Note

In the merry, merry month of May, we take a day to appreciate the women who bring us into the world. Then we turn around in June and thank the men who help them in the journey that is parenthood. In a world where there seems to be day for everyone at some point during the year, I would have to say these two occupations deserve far more than a day. Our parents raise us from a twinkle in their eye to full-grown adults, and as for the assumption that the OWNER & CEO Ian Griffin job is over once the kiddos have fled the nest, that is a farce. The job is never truly finished and that is the way it should be. I wasn’t a bad kid, but I caused enough mischief to keep my parents on their toes, and though they never let on, I’m sure they worried about my career choices and direction at times after I left home. They supported my dreams no matter how far-fetched or odd they may have been. From my destiny to be an NBA superstar, to a chef, to a Sportscenter anchor and finally my run at being a rock star, they never once made me feel like I shouldn’t shoot for the stars. That’s exactly what I did and perhaps I would have tried without their support, but it sure felt good knowing they were behind me. Then I threw them the ultimate curveball…I met a girl and decided to move back home, get married and start a business. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Ian with a baby carriage. Game = Changed. I had a great relationship with my mom and dad before I had kids, but I had no idea how much they loved and cared for me until I was raising my own. Sharing a common complexity that is parenthood elevated our relationship to new heights because we had a new experience to bond over. A parent obsesses over their children because they want the best for them. That can be heavy at times and who better to discuss the ups and downs with than a pair who has dealt with it all before. Here I am nearing 40 and my support system is still in place, providing wisdom, friendship and most importantly free babysitting. I kid, but life is busy and the babysitting gives them time to truly bond with their grandchildren. So it’s a win-win, right? The downside to that is I feel like they spend far more time with my children than they do with me. It’s “Hi mom, bye mom” or “we should do this or that dad” and on out the door to the next obligation. Life gets in the way and I know they understand it, but as we celebrate our moms and dads these next two months I felt inclined to acknowledge that I don’t spend enough QT with my folks. Time to punch a hole in the calendar, I love you mom and dad. Happy Mother’s and Father’s Day to all the lucky parents out there!


Ian Griffin, Owner



APRIL 2018

OWNER & CEO Ian Griffin EDITORIAL MANAGER Oliver Robbins, Jr. MAG ART & DESIGN Ellie Borromeo WRITERS Oliver Robbins, Jr., Erin deMesquita, Holly Lynch, Lauren Jones-Hillman, Jim Alred, Abbie Smith, Jennifer Luitwieler, McKenzie Todd, Rachel Reiff EXECUTIVE PHOTOGRAPHER Cameron Flaisch CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Andy Calvert AD SALES + CLIENT RELATIONS Chris Forino AD DESIGN Elizabeth Blount Ellie Borromeo PUBLISHER V3 Publications, LLC CONTACT 417 Broad Street Rome, Ga. 30161 Office Phone 706.235.0748 v3publications@gmail.com CREATOR Neal Howard


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Heads Together



APRIL 2018

THIS YEAR MARKS QUEEN ELIZABETH’S 92nd birthday. In 2017, she made 50 public appearances, in addition to her everyday duties. My little company coordinated about 40-ish weddings last year, so I know how busy she was. In her 92 years, she’s seen a lot. From volunteering in World War II to the advent of the age of technology, her years have taught her a lot. My mother-in-law will be 93 this year, and my great-aunt 105. Both are remarkable women. When asked, they can’t tell you their secret to longevity except to stay active. They’ve worked, in the home and outside of it, raised children, outlived their spouses, and found their own way. Since I know both ladies, I know they don’t say much, but if they do have something to say, it’s worth hearing. Do you wonder what these women would tell you about their stories? The highlights and

Trends&Traditions with Holly Lynch

lowlights? Do they think about their legacy, or just live and work each day trying to do the right thing? My mother-in-law, I believe, would consider her sons and grandchildren her legacy, much like the Queen might. Her sons work hard, stay busy, maintain their homes and pay taxes. The grandchildren, however, are still figuring themselves out a bit – making career moves and mistakes; starting relationships, but not committing; making big mistakes from small decisions. The Queen’s grandchildren, from what we observe across the pond, have been through the same.

serving Breakfast 7:30-10:30am tues to fri 8:30-11am sat


From a public perspective, the one thing I most admire about the young royals is their commitment to starting a public conversation about mental health, and the entire stigma surrounding it – from addiction to family issues to moral decline. The Heads Together initiative, started by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will and Kate) and Prince Harry, is pretty impressive, at least from this writer’s point of view. I encourage you to do a little Google-search about it. Here, in our little community, we have a difficult time talking about the big elephants in the room. We watch far-too-skinny girls walk dogs down the street and pick our friends up from jail after getting DUIs. But we don’t talk much about addiction and mental health, except in closed circles. This issue hits very close to home for me, and I think it’s time we started talking about the deterioration of community. There’s not one Celebrate Recovery group in Rome anymore. Addiction support meetings are difficult to find. Our amazing medical community is doing all they can, but navigating the path to recovery and the right help for everything from eating disorders to addiction to depression is a muddy, dark road. We prefer to support the arts and “fancy” causes rather than mental health programs and family support groups. Don’t get me wrong, I love the arts. I love music and dance and theatre and fun heart-shaped sculptures. But I also love children and young people, who are floundering. They are lost, and we need to talk about it. A conversation, I pray, will lead to systematic and measurable improvement. I will not profess to know the answers to the ills of our society, but I do know we should talk about them openly. If the English are known for their stiff upper lips, then the Southern ladies and gentlemen are not far behind. If the Brits are talking about mental health, can’t we? You know how I feel about the British Royal Family – a little obsessed, a little crazy – but I also admire their perseverance and ability to adjust to the times. And I’m very impressed with the public conversation about mental health they’ve started. Let’s follow suit and at least start talking. The shame of addiction and mental illness should not silence our friends and family. Let us be the noisy Americans we are known for. Our extra-special senior adult community, like our over-90 year old friends and relatives, has learned a lot about adapting to change. They’ve lived nearly a century, and seen more change, heartache, and upheaval than most of us will. And each day these fine ladies, all queens in their own right, do the right thing and stay active. Let’s get active too – let’s put our own heads together and start talking. *The views expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not represent the opinions of V3 Magazine.

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Life in 3D

For Forthe theLove Loveofofthe theGame Game with withJim JimAlred Alred 1414 V3V3 MAGAZINE MAGAZINE APRIL APRIL 2018 2018

I LIKED I LIKED ONEONE of of thethe coaches coaches from from thethe first first second second I met I met him. him. WeWe clicked. clicked. The The other other coach coach and and I didn’t. I didn’t. There There were were issues. issues. But But over over time, time, I grew I grew to to like like and and respect respect him him a great a great deal. deal. I never I never had had thethe benefit benefit of of being being coached coached byby either, either, butbut I was I was lucky lucky enough enough to to seesee a small a small sampling sampling of of what what they they could could do.do.

HomeLoan_KeyinHands.indd 1

Two men. Both brash. Both outspoken. Both with a chip on their shoulder. Opposing coaches and teams sometimes didn’t care for them, but the parents and athletes they coached who accepted their philosophies excelled on and off the field. After one game, Bill Kramer, the new head football coach of Naples High in Florida, looked dejected, disappointed and a bit angry. Opposing players from the squad, which just hung more than 55 points on his beleaguered troops, danced on the giant eagle-head logo at midfield. He turned to watch for a moment with a most sour expression on his face before returning his gaze to the reporter. He pointed at the midfield celebration. “I truly hope every one of my players stands and watches this, because it’s tough when another team gets to celebrate like that in the middle of your field.” The first time I met Coach Kramer he preached intensity, discipline, education, desire and more, but the words, which stick in my head more than two decades later, were the three he uttered most often – sense of urgency. Some players heard the words and rolled their eyes. Others listened to them and found ways to make the most of the time they had as high school athletes. Kramer and his coaches brought a hard work philosophy to the Golden Eagles. During my coverage of a mid-summer weightlifting competition Naples held, I saw the results of the words and the work beginning to take shape. Several Naples players recorded bests in various lifts. The sense of urgency Kramer preached seemed to be infecting the whole team. That urgency paid off over the years to come with several semifinals appearances and a couple of state football titles.

4/25/18 4:25 PM

A year before meeting Kramer, I was introduced to a tall, skinny bundle of energy named Jeff Sommer. Sommer coached cross country for Estero High School with the ferocity, intensity and fervor usually reserved for football coaches. He screamed. He yelled. He disciplined. And he ran every mile and every workout next to his charges. He forced his teams to meet at 5:30 a.m. some days before school to train. He said they did it to help escape the brutal heat and humidity that haunts Southwest Florida for the majority of the year. He also did it to prove a point. If an athlete wanted to run for Sommer, they had to put in the work. Team members became well acquainted with a simple three-word philosophy. Discipline. Dedication. Desire. Sommer called them the 3D’s and those words and a 3D logo emblazoned almost every piece of clothing he and his charge wore. One day, I asked him why he selected the words. He paused, chewed on his lip for a minute and launched into a soliloquy capable of motivating an old mule to run a marathon. He had a way with words. The short version, paraphrased of course, went something like this. If you think about these things and do them every day and live the 3D motto good things will happen. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but you will improve whether it’s in running or life. Sommer and Kramer lived and coached by their words and their examples. While Kramer didn’t don pads and a helmet and line up with his charges, I saw him running sprints against his players on more than one occasion. Sommer ran almost every mile with his team. He did take a few weeks off after suffering a heart attack during a run, but that served as a minor setback.

Athletes, parents and spectators saw the coaches working and sweating with their players and gave them respect. Their athletes not only listened to their words but began living them, even when it wasn’t easy. It’s funny. I’ve interviewed a couple hundred coaches over the past 25 years. And these two almost always pop up in my head when I begin thinking about the best. Not because they both coached numerous state championship-winning teams and won, but because I saw how much they cared about all of their athletes and how much they wanted them to succeed. And those words still stick today. If someone asks me what I believe separates the great athletes from the good athletes, I morph the two philosophies. Practicing and playing with a sense of urgency, knowing that you have to go as hard as you can each and every day while throwing in the dedication, discipline and desire to work and get better serves as a huge litmus test. While the words don’t guarantee state titles or wins, so many high school athletes under their tutelage took them and applied them to sports, academics and life and have found success. Kramer to this day coaches Naples High and continues to have success; I’m guessing that sense of urgency continues to exist on the sidelines. And while Sommer tragically died a few years ago, those three words and his 3D motto live on. And even for a 45-year-old former sportswriter, when evaluating work, the 3Ds and the sense of urgency come into play and I hope that my efforts are up to the levels these coaches set for their charges. *The views expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not represent the opinions of V3 Magazine.

APRIL 2018



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Southern Comfort

As renowned folk artist known as “Blacktop” prepares to move from Rome, he leaves behind a legacy of compelling painted pieces and the historic house he has called home. text RACHEL REIFF



en (Blacktop) Gentle is most known for his contemporary folk art, which has become a staple of the Rome community and collected all around the world. His multimedia painting usually starts with a base of black tar or tar paper on wood, which is how he got the moniker “Blacktop.” For him, his art is a process of storytelling, in which he “invokes the past and spirits into people and environments.” His paintings are indeed full of life and texture, and they sing of rich colors and history; of old houses and places and people; of a time gone by. Such stories live also in the Gentle house: a beautiful Southern Estate located at 409 East 9th Street, just listed for sale through Hardy Realty. The classic appeal of the house is undeniable from the moment you first drive up to the double lot property. Pretty brick pavers lead the eye up towards the friendly front porch, framed by six

white columns and the sloping roofline, which houses three antique dormers. The history of this place calls to you, and you are drawn up the stairs and into the entry of this impressive 1940s-style home. Upon first glance, the 12-foot ceilings and grand, wooden staircase might seem intimidating if the warm colors of the original hardwoods and the charming details of cased-opening mouldings do not immediately make you feel right at home. To both your immediate left and right are formal living rooms, staged by Rome’s Jonathan Gilreath-Harvey, of Yellow Door Antiques. Off of the formal space to the left is first a spacious sunroom and then the formal dining area. This leads you to the butler’s pantry and the kitchen. Also on the main level are a half bathroom, as well as the master bedroom and bathroom. The laundry units are even conveniently located off the master bathroom, inside its large walkin closet.


There is no lack of living space or storage space, something that Gentle says makes hosting friends and family a breeze. “That’s what my wife and I loved the most about this house,” he explains. “This house is for hosting and family gatherings. We had Thanksgiving at the house every year.” It is easy to find room for all of your overnight guests as the second floor boasts four more bedrooms and two more full bathrooms. It was in one of these rooms that a little more than 20 years ago Gentle began painting full-time, selling his pieces and getting recognition for his work. It is easy to be charmed by the quaint quirks of every room on the second story, from the original pine flooring in each, to built-in bookshelves and the large walk-in closets with different sized doors. As you tug the crystal doorknobs of the bathroom closets, you find again exciting nooks for more storage or maybe an award-winning spot for a game of hide-andseek. Each room brings a new treasure and


tells a new tale of past memories made within these walls. Outside the walls, the home holds another delightful surprise. Exiting from the kitchen, through the back door, you are met with a large stone porch. From there you can descend to the original Old English Boxwood gardens below, where the shrubbery is over 60 years old. Weave through the garden, and you will find that even more awaits, as the lot extends both to the left towards a brick courtyard and farther back, with plenty of space for a garden party of Great Gatsby proportions. Gentle says this backyard was one of the reasons he and his wife decided on the property 22 years ago. “It was really more space than we

needed, but we fell in love with it. We loved the big rooms where we could house the antiques we collect. We loved the privacy of the backyard and the space it gave us and, of course, the mature plants.” This is also what Gentle says he knows will draw the next owner to the home. “I know the next owner will immediately see that this place has great bones. It has a cozy feel and despite its large square footage is such a comfortable house.” It is a place that Gentle says he knows he will miss, but he also is confident that it’s time to move on, as his wife recently retired and they moved to Guntersville, Ala. to be with family. “I definitely want to watch my two grandkids grow up,” says Gentle.

As he moves on though, our beloved Blacktop promises not to be a stranger. He assures that his paintings will still be available in various locations on and around Broad Street. And he is confident that whoever next owns this charming Southern home on East 9th Street will, like him, find in it a place where love and family and creativity blossom. For additional information about the property or to schedule a showing, please contact Hardy Realty at 706-291-4321.


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The once dead business fronts of West 5th Avenue and West 3rd Street are beginning to liven up, as Rome prepares to offer more who want to venture off Broad. TEXT Jennifer Luitwieler

PHOTOGRAPHY Cameron Flaisch & Andy Calvert APRIL 2018



Change HAPPENS slowly. What was once a thriving residential district along the north side of the river and winding along 5th Avenue and West 3rd, over time gave way to a sleepy bypass to elsewhere. The houses did not vacate in one swoop and business did not suddenly evacuate. The streets did not erode overnight. By the same principle, returning what is now called the River District, to a new kind of glory is expected to take that same kind of time. Truth be told, the first inklings of change began back in 2012 when Rome leaders established a master plan. Amanda Carter, Director of Downtown Rome, says at that time, the plan identified this block as an area that could enjoy some renovation and some forward thinking. To be fair, a good number of law firms and other professional establishments had seen success in the area, and have continued to see that security, and planners figured with some improvements, surely other businesses could extend that property. Carter says that unlike Broad Street, which is a historic district, the River District “can be approached differently. We call it the River District because it brings the center to the rivers, and acts as an extension of the Downtown vibe.� The city, she says, plans to do some paving this spring immediately improving the accessibility of the district, but that the big changes will be seen when SPLOST money is spent adding parking, widening sidewalks for patio seating, adding lighting, and generally beautifying the area. Rome residents got a glimpse of how these plans might spur growth along this corridor on a balmy night in March. For a four-hour time span, business owners worked with the city to showcase what they call Tactical Urbanism; parking spots became walkways and the sidewalks became sitting areas. Potted plants and parcels of turf lined



APRIL 2018

She explains that the rent was more affordable and she anticipated growth in the area. She is an enthusiastic proponent of change to the area. She believes that the changes will “improve the sidewalk, slow down the traffic and move the power lines to behind the buildings.” She’s got dreams of brightlycolored murals on the sides of buildings, of people using the Roman Chariot to wend their way through all of town, enjoying food, art, shopping and more. Barrie Turney recently moved her shop, Craft Yarn Co., from one side of Fifth Avenue to the other and is now a close neighbor of Manners’. Turney saw quick and sustainable growth in her boutique since opening in June, 2017. Less than a year later, she’s got the streets and café seating dotted the lanes. Tactical Urbanism is intended to bring thoughtful planning to revitalize neighborhoods, creating walkable spaces, accessible shops and an openness that seems from another era. Event organizers referred to their showcase as a Pop-Up Park, with food trucks, dog walks and even soft sofas ready for weary walkers. Business owners share Carter’s vision for a reinvigorated streetscape. Nedra Manners owns one of the first retail spaces visitors see when they cross the bridge from Broad into the River District. Yellow Door Antiques set up shop three years ago this June, and she chose the spot intentionally.

RCB_EquityLoan_V3ad.indd 1

"We call it the River District because it brings the center to the rivers, and acts as an extension of the Downtown vibe"

APRIL 2018



4/25/18 4:20 PM

an independent classroom, expanded inventory, and her new line of house dyed “Company Yarn,” in three weights. Turney needed the bigger space for the size of her growing classes and events, and she participated in the Pop-Up Park as well. Like most businesses that evening, a table of refreshments and extended hours brought in the curious and the eager. Turney says when she left Rome for motorcycle mechanics school in 2008, Fifth Avenue was run down and to be avoided. The great price lured her to the district, and she has not looked back. She is so committed to the area that she signed a three-year lease on her new building and continues to expand her vision. The Foundry Growler Station, owned by Gorg and Mindy Hubenthal, has also been embraced by the Rome community. The couple opened the beer and home-brewing shop just over a year ago and has gained a loyal following. Perhaps this is a testament to Gorg’s relaxed vision. I didn’t do a bunch of research,” he says when explaining how he chose the location. “It was the right place to do what I wanted to do.” For him, proximity to Broad Street was critical, as was parking. The paving and sidewalk improvements will only help businesses grow, a thought echoed by Turney, who believes the greater visibility of her new space will only prompt more visitors to that side of the river. He, Manners and Turney, as well as Carter, all express a certain hope and openness about what is possible on that side of the river. “The sky is the limit,” in Carter’s words. Galleries, restaurants and other retail spaces would all work well in this funky part of town. Each of the owners referred to the new hotel opening as a boon to the area, and think Romans will take advantage of the walking bridge to have what Carter calls “a fuller experience” of the city. Even in their hope, though, they each remain practical, as business owners must be; they understand that change takes time. They see a bright future in the River District.



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COMMUNITY LEADERS WH O HELP GUIDE US E V ERY S T EP O F T HE WAY Our Board of Directors is dedicated to helping us continue to provide exceptional service for the Rome community. Speak with us today or visit ucbi.com to learn more. ROME 307 East Second Avenue | 706-234-5800 MT. BERRY 2760 Martha Berry Highway NE | 706-378-2225 CAVE SPRING 15 Cedartown Street SW | 706-777-3367 From left to right: David Johnson, Northwest Georgia CEO, United Community Bank; Dr. Frank D. Stegall, Retired, Cardiologist Harbin Clinic; Tim Wallis, CEO, Wallis Printing; Dr. Charles B. May, Jr., Orthopedic Physician, Rome Orthopedic Center; Steven E. Kemp, Retired Banker; Delos H. Yancey, III, CEO, State Mutual Insurance; Kenna Stock, CEO, Harbin Clinic; J. Scott Tucker, North West GA President, United Community Bank; Charles S. Williams, Jr., CEO, CPM Charles Williams Real Estate Investment Corporation; Fred Taylor, Chairman, OTR International; E. Wright Ledbetter, COO, R.H. Ledbetter Properties.



APRIL 2018

Member FDIC. © 2018 United Community Bank | ucbi.com

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Georgia's Best Sushi & Hibachi

727 Turner Mccall Blvd, Rome, GA

(706)-232-3317 APRIL 2018



RIGHT Raegan Bohn

These young athletes spend most of their free time training and are totally invested in their dream. TEXT McKenzie Todd PHOTOGRAPHY Cameron Flaisch


ALANCE BEAMS AND uneven bars and vaults, oh my! These things may sound intimidating, but under the guidance of Head Coach Matt Zollitsch at Rome Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority (RFPRA) Gymnastics Center, they are simply resources of wisdom he uses to help teach young children the basics of gymnastics. I would know, as Zollitsch put me through their skills test in order to decide whether or not I would make the Rome Aerials Gymnastics team or not. To be continued… If you’re anything like me, the extent of what you know about gymnastics is more than likely only what you’ve seen on television during the Summer Olympics. I know I’m not alone. Zollitsch says when the Summer Olympics is happening the center tends to see a rise of about 30 percent in numbers of athletes who want to join, much like gym memberships when the New Year’s resolutions see a push. With that being said, as I went in for my interview with Zollitsch, I was nervous as to what I was getting myself in to. “USA Gymnastics has levels one through ten. Five to seven are your high compulsory levels when athletes begin to have routines made for them, and levels eight to ten is your higher-level gymnastics like twisting, double backs, etc. The Center starts at level three and goes through level ten. We allow children from age six and up to start learning basic skills such as a round-off back handspring. When they get to level four, they start the high bar, Kipps, swings, and other level appropriate disciplines,” says Zollitsch. Zollitsch and I started our skills training by stretching and preparing my old body for complete and utter annihilation. Before beginning the actual gymnastics part of the session, Zollitsch took the time to explain the safety guidelines the Center follows as they are careful to prevent injuries taking place in the complex. Zollitsch says, “I like to call the gym an athletic classroom, because children essentially get the same lessons here as they would in an academic setting. I like to make sure the kids are in the right place to advance before throwing them into something they are not ready for.”

ABOVE Evie Shropshire

ABOVE Brianna Hibberts RIGHT LtoR: Matt Zollitsch, Chloe Schuttinga, Taylor Arasmith, Ansley Parrish



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After going over safety and signing a waiver, of course, we began on the floor with a simple power hurdle round-off back handspring, then moved on to trampoline where I began twisting. I should’ve started this piece off with a disclosure. I have been a competitive cheerleader for over half of my 22 years on this earth. However, cheerleading is nothing like gymnastics, and I would soon

ABOVE Blythe Crabbe LEFT Back row: Piper McCreary, Abby Horn, Gracie Cowan, Ellie Benter, Sara Wood, Lily Cook Front Row: Camden Clark, Riley Pelfrey, Rachel Tanner, Janelle Taylor, Bailey Hastings BELOW Naomi Goodwin

figure this out once we moved on to the bars and beam. While completing the skills test, I asked Zollitsch what sort of commitment is needed to compete with the Rome Aerials Gymnastics Team. For the children who commit to the gymnastics program at the Center, three days a week is required in the gym for roughly three hours at a time, and the levels 9-10 come in on Fridays as well. So the lower levels of skill are looking at spending in between 16 and 20 hours per week at the Center. This doesn’t leave much time for anything else, since gymnastics is a year-round sport. Many athletes do not commit because they play other sports like soccer, basketball, etc. Zollitsch says

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Center has hosted over three state meets, each of which have brought in $250,000 in economic impact for the City of Rome, and have had a net profit of over $675,000 since its inaugural season. As the largest, county funded, year-round sport that Rome and Floyd County offers, the absence of community support makes growth from year to year tough. “We don’t get much coverage, and we run much of our own PR. Since gymnastics is an allyear sport, the pieces of equipment we have get used by open gym kids, tot-time kids and more almost seven days a week. That is a lot of wear and tear on the equipment, and we don’t get a ton of help financially. We either have to raise the money ourselves, or work with what we have,” says Zollitsch. Zollitsch preaches the importance of the family, as well as the community these children represent. With the help needed to sustain the program, maybe we can feel the pride of watching one of Rome’s sons or daughters take the podium on the world’s stage.

ABOVE Christa Ellis RIGHT Allison Rivers

that some of his gymnasts do play seasonal sports, but it is pretty tough on a schedule. “We have a priority list here for everyone that is on a team, or for anyone who is going to be around the gym. We preach family and God first, education second, gymnastics third, and social life and so on fourth,” says Zollitsch. Where this does sound overwhelming to some parents and children, there are many rewards in connecting to the sport of gymnastics and what these children receive after training at the Center. “Every child builds comradery with their teammates. Their family is here because they essentially lack a ‘normal’ social life. Most drive straight from school to the gym, which is why there is a dedicated homework room at the gym for the students who travel to practice,” says Zollitsch. He also says a lot of the coaches become mentors and in some cases, see the children more than the parents do, so it’s important that the atmosphere is welcoming and that the children realize their coaches are more than coaches but are mentors, friends, and teachers. They grow in the gym just as much as they do at school, if not more. As we approached the end of our training session (and injury free I may add) Zollitsch pulled out a medal and presented me with the honor of “joining” the Rome Aerials for the next season. As much as I would love to, I begrudgingly turned down the offer and left the center with a whole plethora of knowledge about the sport of gymnastics, which is something that everyone should take time to explore if they are interested in the sport. Since the SPLOST vote in 2009, and the construction of the complex in 2011, the RFPRA Gymnastics Center has housed over 200 athletes and around 70 team kids. RFPRA Gymnastics 36


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Find out how you can help by contacting Matt Zollitsch at www.rfpra.com/gymnastics. Also, the center can be reached by phone at 706.291.0766

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APRIL 2018


Learning Environment

Open Mon. - Fri.: 7:00am - 6:00pm (706) 234-0800 • 16 O’Neill Street Rome, GA

Call Today to Tour Our Facilities!

Openings Available for Children 6 Weeks - 4 Years

at Morrison Campground

150 years is a long time - we must be doing something right. Please join us for a week of fun, faith, food, and fellowship as we commemorate our Sesquicentennial.

July 13-22, 2018

1000 Morrison Camp Ground Rd NE, Rome For more information call: 706.853.9619 or visit: morrisoncampground.org

APRIL 2018





APRIL 2018

ALL NIGHT This group of determined doctors saw a need for 24-hour pet care and together they have built an ER for our fur babies.

LONG TEXT McKenzie Todd

PHOTOGRAPHY Cameron Flaisch

APRIL 2018




you are a devoted animal parent and you recognize the importance of the health and well-being of your beloved furry friend, you would cringe at the thought of leaving them alone, overnight at a vet’s office during an emergency. However, this has been the reality of Northwest Georgia residents, as there are simply no “emergency” pet clinics available for our four-legged family members. This means that if an accident with your pet occurs after hours, several steps are required before reaching a veterinary office. Oftentimes, you’d have to call a local veterinarian, have the staff contact the doctor, meet at the office, have a doctor see your animal, and hopefully get them stable enough to leave them with no staff to keep watch. For most pet owners this is a daunting process that essentially puts one of your favorite wet-nosed children’s lives at risk. Many of the Rome clinics have lived through the burden of these emergencies, as they are the ones who pet owners call after having worked a 50 to 60-hour schedule, and will not always be there to take care of your faithful companion in times of dire need. Dr. Dan Pate has partnered with other clinics in the area to offer an answer to after-hours complications with animals. “West Rome Animal Clinic gets about six to ten emergency calls a week. When you start multiplying



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that by the various clinics around us, for example, in Centre, Ala. where the veterinarian gets around ten calls a day, it adds up,” explains Dr. Pate, head veterinarian at West Rome Animal Clinic. Dr. Pate has recognized this problem for a very long time, and for over a year he has been working diligently to bring together multiple clinics in support of the idea of a 24-hour clinic centrally located in Rome, Georgia. Yes, you heard right. Rome is the new home of a pet ER (the equivalent of Redmond or Floyd Hospital for humans), and it is called the Northwest Georgia Veterinary Emergency Center. The Northwest Georgia Veterinary Emergency Center (NGVEC) is the brainchild of Dr. Pate at West Rome Animal Clinic, Dr. Daniel Todd of Mount Berry Animal Hospital, and Dr. Dave Caldwell of Culbreth Carr Watson Animal Clinic. The project has moved along quickly as the trio dug deeper into the world of emergency vet clinics. “We are the three largest clinics in town, so it was understandable that we would need all three offices in order to make this idea successful. We went out to dinner and spoke about it, and we decided that we would like care options for our animals after hours, nights, weekends and holidays,” says Dr. Pate. Dr. Pate and friends crunched the numbers, scoped out an area in their community, and spoke with other emergency clinics such as Mountain Emergency Clinic in APRIL 2018



Blue Ridge, Cherokee Emergency Vet Clinic and Cobb Emergency, in order to figure out what kind of population those clinics serve, as well as what kind of population Rome has that could be helped by a 24-hour vet service. At the monthly Northwest Georgia Veterinary Medical Association conference, Dr. Pate, Dr. Todd and Dr. Caldwell put together a presentation calling veterinary offices in Floyd County and surrounding areas to action. “The day we met with the Northwest Georgia Veterinary Medical Association was the day we knew that the Northwest Georgia Veterinary Emergency Center was real. We went into the meeting with a goal of raising around half a million dollars, and we left with just that,” raves Dr. Pate. The $500,000 raised allowed both Dr. Pate and Dr. Todd the freedom to purchase the building that now houses the NGVEC. Formerly a dentist’s 44


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office, the new building has been completely gutted and modernized by an architect who specializes in veterinary design. In order to meet the needs of the 34 veterinarians and 17 clinics from Rockmart, Calhoun, Cedartown, Cartersville, Summerville and Centre, Alabama, the space holds state-of-the-art equipment and is accessible to all doctors on call. With a brand new roof, the Center holds all equipment such as an x-ray machine, ultrasound, anesthesia and surgery room, isolation for pets with communicable illnesses, as well as a surgical suite. Another approach that Dr. Pate believes prosperous is the upstairs conference room that was built to hold around 50 to 60 people. The partners want a room to bring together the local veterinarians and clinics. “This room is essentially a place where members of the Northwest Georgia Veterinary Medical Association can convene, while bringing the vets and owners of the various clinics together so that they can see what is happening at the emergency center, make sure they know our doctors, make sure they like the way things are running and more. This is just one of the ways we are trying to keep everyone involved in the process,” says Dr. Pate. Keeping the emergency center fully accessible to every single vet and clinic in the areas served is the number one goal that Dr. Pate believes will make this center as successful as they hope to be. By bringing together the veterinary community, this ultimately helps pet owners and their little ankle biters, as there is now a place for them to go during emergencies. “We did not want any vet to own more than 20 percent and did not want any clinic owning more than 30 percent because we did not want this emergency center to have only two or three people controlling it. We want everyone to have a voice. As it turns out, no vet owns more than 10 percent which is what we are most excited about. Our ultimate goal was to bring the veterinarian community in Rome closer,” says Dr. Pate. The NGVEC is set to open to the public on May 1st. The Center will have three full-time emergency veterinarians who will be in the office during nights, weekends and holidays so that no animal has to spend a night alone during an unplanned crisis. The emergency clinic will not be a regular veterinarian’s office, as it is simply for emergencies only. “It is so humbling to me that Rome’s vet community is coming together for the good of the animals,” says Dr. Pate. “That is the key to this entire process. The Center has brought us closer together, and has caused us to work very hard as a team, and I believe that this beautiful facility will be something that Rome can be proud of.”

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For information Contact: Selena Pickard (706) 271-5739


MAY 18, 2018

Meadowlakes Golf Course


FOOD & BEVERAGES PROVIDED ON COURSE Ducks Unlimited is a 501-C3 Foundation All Fees are tax deductable CONTACT DAVID CULP – (706) 346-0571 OR SELENA PICKARD – (706) 271-5739


FINSTER FEST 2018 Saturday & Sunday May 26 & 27, 11am-5pm Paradise Garden 200 N. Lewis Street Summerville GA Over 50 Artists Regional Musicians Southern Food Fare Free parking and shuttle from Walmart www.paradisegardenfoundation.org Festival Hotline: 706.808.0800 46


APRIL 2018

The Dish bistro



101 West 1st Street Rome, GA 30161

PH: 706-622-2977 moesoriginalbbq.com/rome Hours: Sun-Thu: 11am - 10pm Fri- Sat: 11am - 2am

Moe’s Original BBQ is a Southern soul food revival where great food is served in an atmosphere that is relaxed, spontaneous, yet civilized…. well, sometimes.




406 Broad Street Rome, GA 30161

413 Broad Street Rome, GA 30161

198 North Street Canton, GA, 30114

PH: 706-238-9000

PH: 770-213-8890

Hours: Mon - Sat: 6:00pm-10:00pm 400 Block Bar & Lounge: 4:00pm-1:30am

Hours: Tues - Fri: 11:00am-3:00pm

PH: 706-234-4613 Hours: Mon-Thur: 11:00am-9:00pm Fri-Sat: 11:00am-10:00pm Sun: 11:30am-3:00pm

Live music each weekend.

Schroeder’s menu includes sand-

La Scala offers both first-rate

wiches, calzones, soups, salads, potato

service and terrific Italian Cuisine in an

skins, nachos, wings, and more. And

upscale casual atmosphere.

We offer live music, heavy appetizers,

50% off cafe menu

tea infused cocktails, & beer and wine

from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

on weekend nights in addition to our

don’t forget our pizza! It’s the best in town... and for a sweet treat, try our Cheesecake Calzone! (Draft and

regular menu.

Bottled Beers & Wine also offered)

Book Your Private Event with Us!

Famous for: Their Roast Beef Relief!


1204 Turner McCall Blvd • Rome, GA 30161 2300 Shorter Ave • Rome, GA 30165 3110 Cedartown Hwy • Rome, GA 30161 104 S Tennessee St • Cartersville, GA 30120

PH: 706.291.2021

Hours: Mon-Sat: 5:00am-10:00pm Sun: 6:00am-10:00pm


510 Broad Street Rome, GA 30161

PH: 706-314-9544 Like us on FACEBOOK Mon-Sat.: 11:00am-3:00pm

Buy one Bacon, Egg & Cheese

Jamwich - Serving distinctive sand-

Biscuit at regular price

wiches, salads, and soups. Sandwiches

and get another one FREE

built with the finest ingredients: Boar’s

Offer good at 1204 Turner McCall

Head meats and cheeses, Zelma’s Blue

Blvd only. Not valid with any other discounts. One coupon person per visit. Valid thru 9/1/18

Sat: 10:00am-3:00pm Sun-Mon: CLOSED Hours are extended: 9am - 9pm during First Friday Events

Ribbon Jams and Jellies, fresh sourdough bread, premium Boars Head thick cut bacon and farm-to-table produce.

595 Riverside Parkway Rome, GA 30161

Call or Text Your Order to:

PH: 706-233-9960

Lunches: Wed/Thurs/Fri in Downtown Rome

PH: 706-237-8320.

Hours: Sun -Thu: 11:00am-9:00pm

Food Truck Friday: 11am-2:00pm @ 2nd Ave. & 2nd Street

Fuddruckers catering can help you

Friday Nights @ River Dog Outpost

Fri - Sat: 11:00am-10:00pm

feed just about any size group,

Saturday Late Nights on Broad Street

anytime, anywhere. Our menu will

Delivery through Roman Food Delivery Check out our full weekly schedule & rotating menu at: eatspeakcheesey.com Contact us about booking, catering, and private events at : hillery@speakcheesey.com

please the most discerning tastes and meet the high standards you require. We know how to make your event spectacular with the WORLD’S GREATEST CATERING.


Make it a meal worth remembering. Where to eat in Northwest Georgia. APRIL 2018



It’s time to

Spring Into Health This spring, Harbin Clinic challenges you to start fresh and prioritize preventive health measures. For proactive health management, men and women of all ages should see their primary care physician yearly for these routine evaluations:


Blood Pressure

Cholesterol and triglycerides

Blood sugar/glucose

Healthy weight ranges


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Visit harbinclinic.com/screenings to see which screenings may apply to you. Schedule an appointment with a primary care physician to spring-clean your health today!