OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL)- Opelika Parks and Recreation received three awards Tuesday night at the 2019 Alabama Recreation and Parks Association State Conference.
The three awards presented were Innovative Special Event of the Year, Innovative Program of the Year and Professional of the Year in Recreation.
The Opelika Shine Prom received the award for Innovative Special Event. This award is given to special events that epitomize innovation in design, presentation, and implementation in the parks and recreation field. The Shine Prom allows teens and adults with special needs to participate in a night of fun. The event included dancing, food, limousines and a red-carpet entrance.
The Toddler Drive in Movie was awarded Innovative Program of the Year. This award is presented to programs that show outstanding innovation in design, presentation and implementation.
“This unique event affords children ages 5-7 in the Auburn/Opelika area the opportunity to be creative,” said Laura Leigh Chesser, public relations coordinator. “It is really special to witness the feeling of accomplishment and excitement for what they created once their car is complete.”
The last of the three awards was presented to Mandy Johnson, Event Coordinator for Opelika Parks and Recreation and creator of the Toddler Drive in Movie program. The Merit in Recreation is awarded to those who show outstanding leadership and innovation in the area of recreation, athletics, leisure or special event programming and/or instruction.
“Mandy has brought a new level of creativity, innovativeness and organization to Opelika Parks and Recreation that we didn’t have previously,” said Chesser. “Mandy goes above and beyond her call of duty daily, and she works in a way that spreads joy and humor to the others around her.”