August & September Calendar

AUGUST

12: VININGS FREE CONCERTS. Vinings Jubilee’s Second Annual Summer Concert Series: Concerts on Tower Stage from 4 to 7 p.m. are free and family-friendly and a great way to enjoy one of Atlanta’s most historic neighborhoods this summer. Rock N’ Roll in August – Saturday, August 12 featuring The Sidemen. http://tinyurl.com/m327g67.

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13: TASTE OF SHILOH. Celebrate the summer at the 2017 Taste of Shiloh FUN DAY Fundraiser, Sunday, August 13. Have a great time and help raise funds for Shiloh SDA Church’s annual TOSF health fair outreach, with a portion of proceeds going toward the church’s Restoration 30 church building renovation fund. Admission is FREE, with tickets available for food, games, arts and crats, and a variety of fun activities.  Tickets available onsite only, with chances to win some great prizes. Free gift for the first 25 guests. Sponsorship exposure is also available on our website, and via email and social media. For FUN DAY details, including sponsorship, call 470-377-3777, visit tasteofshiloh.com, or email tasteofshiloh@gmail.com.

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14 – Sept. 20:  ART EXHIBITION. 30th National Juried Exhibition at the Mable House Arts Center Aug. 14 – Sept. 20. Opening Reception – Aug. 19, 5 – 7 p.m. The South Cobb Arts Alliance celebrates its 30th National Juried Exhibition with a selection of 65 works from 51 artists from across the nation. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 10am to 5pm, and whenever the Mable House Arts Center is open.

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16: SCBA AFTERHOURS. South Cobb Business Association at The Event Station, Powder Springs, August 16 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

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17: SBA ALIVE AFTER FIVE. Smyrna Business Association after hours at Vision Rehabilitation Services, 5:30 – 7 p.m. at 3830 South Cobb Drive, Smyrna.

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17: VBA AFTERHOURS. Vinings Business After Hours at Wild Birds Unlimited, From 5:30 to 7 p.m. at 2980 Cobb Parkway (Across from Akers Mill Sq.)

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19:  CANDLELITE CONCERT. 8 p.m. to 10 at Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre . The dates for the 2017 Candlelite Concert Series have been announced, so mark your calendars now for some great music under the stars, August 19 “SOULHOUND”, and September 16 “RED HEAD DIAMOND. www.southcobbarts.org.

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24: BAND COMPETION. Amp Up Cobb Youth Band Competition will hold a community information meeting on August 24 at 7 p.m. at the Mable House Arts Center. Know any 10 to 18 year olds in garage style bands? Want to be part of this new October youth band competition event? Then be sure to attend this important meeting and learn more about this new event. Amp Up Cobb is a presentation of SCAA and Cobb P.A.R.K.S. Questions? Email ampupcobb@gmail.com.

SEPTEMBER

2-4: ART IN THE PARK. The City of Marietta is pleased to play host to the 31st Annual Art in the Park during Labor Day Weekend, September 2-4. On the Square in Marietta.

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5: VBA. Vinings Business Association meets the first Tuesday of each month for lunch: Networking and speakers from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Guests are always welcome! (no industry restrictions). Lunch August 1 at Hotel Indigo, 2857 Paces Ferry Road. A Business After-Hours is held the 3rd Tuesday of each month. www.viningsbusiness.com. 678-725-0099..

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6: SOUTH COBB BUSINESS. The SCBA meets the first Wednesday of each month at 11:45 at Presbyterian Village, East-West Connector.  www.sc-ba.org

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7:  SBA. September program is a Public Safety Roundtable with Fire Chief Roy Acree and Police Chief David Lee. Smyrna Business Association, Community Center, 11:30 a.m.  Thursday, For reservations: www.smyrnabusiness.org

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9: HEROS GALA. 2017 Smyrna Heroes Gala- September 9. Remington Hall at Adventure Outdoors, 2500 South Cobb Drive, Smyrna. For more information and purchase tickets, visit the website at www.smyrnapsf.org,  send an email to admin@smyrnapsf.org, or call 404-791-6935.

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16: TASTE OF SMYRNA, Downtown Smyrna. Taste of Smyrna “Festival of Delectable,” Sample all Smyrna restaurants have to offer on Saturday Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on the beautiful Village Green in downtown Smyrna. Admission is FREE and samples can be purchased from1 to 4 dollars.

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16:  CANDLELITE CONCERT. 8 p.m. to 10 at Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre . Mark your calendars now for some great music under the stars, September 16 “RED HEAD DIAMOND. www.southcobbarts.org.

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21- Oct. 1: FAIR. North Georgia State Fair. Jim Miller Park Sept. 21- Oct. 1

 

WEEKLY EVENTS

AMERICAN LEGION POST 264, 6251 Ivey Road, Mableton is offering free Group Fitness Classes every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

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BOY SCOUT TROOP 61 meets every Monday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Troop Lodge at Bethany Methodist Church at the intersection of Hurt and Hicks Roads. Cub Pack 61 meets Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Bethany Gym.

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BOY SCOUT TROOP ONE meets every Sunday at 4:30 p.m. New Scouts Welcome! 2845 Log Cabin Drive, Smyrna (off Atlanta Road). www.bsatroop1.net

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SMYRNA BOY SCOUT Smyrna Boy Scout Troop 11 meets at Smyrna First United Methodist Church every Tuesday evening 7:30- 9 p.m.  Contact us at 770-883-1123. Website: www.smyrnatroop11.com.

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FARMER’S MARKETS:

MABLETON FARMERS MARKET, a MIC community project, begins its eighth season at the Mable House Complex at 5239 Floyd Road Thursday, June 1st.  Market days will be every Thursday, 8:30 to 12:30 p.m., through August 24.  Come and shop for nutritious locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, homemade jams and jellies, organic bars, bites, nuts and more. Visitors will also experience quick and easy food preparation demonstrations.

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MARIETTA FARMER’S MARKET. Enjoy fresh produce and goods from the Marietta Square Farmers Market every Saturday – rain or shine- 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on the Historic Marietta Square. For info, visit www.mariettasquarefarmersmarket.net.

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SMYRNA FRESH PRODUCE MARKET, Saturdays May through September, 8 a.m.to noon, Smyrna First Baptist (parking lot), 1275 Church Street, Smyrna, LocalHarvest.org/Smyrna-Fresh-Produce-Market-M30474

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FREE TAIJI CLASS for all Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. South Cobb Regional Library: 805 Clay Road, Mableton and on the second Tuesday of each month at The Mable House, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton.

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THE LORD’S STOREHOUSE sponsored by Shaw Temple AME Zion Church provides free of charge clothing, small household items, canned goods and toiletries to needy families, individuals and shelters. We also accept donated items in gently used and clean condition. We are located at 775 Hurt Road, SW, Smyrna Ga. and are opened Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. For Info call Ms. Turner 678-437-5685 or email: 1MomTurner@ATT.net

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MUSEUM: Free admission at the Smyrna Museum, 2861 Atlanta Road, Smyrna, Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 4. Check Facebook at “Smyrna History Museum” for upcoming Museum events. See www.smyrnahistory.org for Museum volunteer opportunities and membership.

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SMYRNA BUSINESS EXCHANGE: The Smyrna Business Exchange is Smyrna’s premier close contact networking group representing over 30 local businesses (and growing).  The Smyrna Business Exchange meets at the Smyrna Community Center every Thursday morning from 7-8:30 a.m. Questions or to RSVP for a complimentary visit, call Jeff Daxe at 770-795-5079 (or email at jad@mijs.com).

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KIWANIS CLUB OF GREATER SOUTH COBB meets at noon the 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month at O’Charley’s 4130 Austell Road, Austell. Call 770-438-6961 for more info.

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JONQUIL CITY KIWANIS SMYRNA: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Wolfe Senior Center, 884 Church Street, Smyrna.

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SMYRNA OPTIMIST: 7 a.m. Friday, American Legion Post 160, 160 Legion Drive, Smyrna.

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SMYRNA ROTARY: noon Tuesday, Brawner Hall, Smyrna. For further information, see www.SmyrnaRotary.com

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SOUTH COBB ROTARY: noon, Thursday, Presbyterian Village, East-West Connector

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SOUTH COBB TOASTMASTERS Tuesday at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. South Cobb Regional Library, Mableton 678-799-4425.

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TOASTMASTERS: Interstate North Toastmasters at 3100 Cumberland Boulevard. We meet every Monday at 6:30 p.m. Visit our website: 2823.toastmastersclubs.org

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TOASTMASTERS: T-Toasters. Paces West, 2727 Paces Ferry Rd., Bldg 1. We meet Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. and welcome visitors. Visit www.ttoasters.com to find out more.

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VININGS ROTARY: Noon. Wednesday, Georgian Club.

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THE GALLERIA WORLDSPAN Wings Toastmasters Club Tuesdays 12 to 1 p.m., Building 300, main conference room.

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MONTHLY OR MORE

AMERICAN LEGION, Post 160. Membership Meeting at 7:30 p.m. every 3rd Tuesday and serves breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the 2nd Saturday of each month and the AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY, Unit 160 Membership Meeting at 7:30 p.m. every 3rd Tuesday each month.  SONS OF THE AMERICAN LEGION, Squadron 160 meets at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday each month. All of these meetings are at 160 Legion Drive, Smyrna. For more information, access AmericanLegionPost160.org or call 770-436-2501.

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AMERICAN LEGION POST 264, 6251 Ivy Road, Mableton meets every third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Bingo–Mon, Tues, Friday 8 p.m., Sat. 5 p.m. and Sun. 4 p.m.

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ATLANTA FREETHOUGHT, Regular Meeting at 1 p.m. every 2nd Sunday. 4775 N. Church Lane, Smyrna (a mile inside I-285, just off Atlanta Rd). Our historic building was a church in Smyrna/Vinings for 141 years. We’re a nonprofit educational organization and meetings/programs are free and open to the public. Call 678-662-3857 or visit our website, www.atlantafreethought.org, for more about us.

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AUSTELL CITY COUNCIL meets the first Monday of each month for its regular meeting.

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AUSTELL CIVITAN CLUB is a non-profit organization serving the community and with a charter to support people with disabilities. Our monthly meetings are the 4th Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. located (Treadmill Building) 5000 Austell-Powder Springs Road, Suite 105, Austell. If you have ideas for the community or interested in becoming an officer, join us! For more info visit www.austellcivitan.com or contact admin@austellcivitan.com.

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COBB-MARIETTA RETIRED EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION meets the second Thursday of each month. The monthly luncheon is held at the

First Methodist Church in Marietta at 11:30 a.m.  For more information visit www.cmrea.org.

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COBB COUNTY MOCHA MOMS offers local support to mothers of color. Cobb County Mochas are a mixture of over 70 working and stay at home mommies. We offer an array of opportunities to connect with other moms through Mom’s Night Out, Sister Circles to that allow us to discuss issues affecting us on our motherhood journey, single moms support, couples’ nights, family community service projects and more. Visit cobbcountymochamoms.org or email cobbcountymochamoms@gmail.com

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CUMBERLAND VININGS OPTIMIST CLUB: Meeting for breakfast the 2nd Wednesday of each month at the Vinings Club, 2859 Paces Ferry Road NW. We are an inclusive club dedicated to community service and welcome everyone to come as our guest to a meeting of your choice.

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FOOD AND CLOTHING DISTRIBUTION. St. Luke United Methodist Church, 5115 Brookwood Drive, Mableton, distributes non-perishable food items and clothing ONLY, every 3rd Tuesday, of each month from 10 a.m. to 1.

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HOBO SUPPER Second Thursday of each month, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Community invited—Clarkdale UMC Austell—Powder Springs Road, Clarkdale.  For $6 you get a Drink, Beans (3 kinds), Mashed Potatoes, Cole Slaw, Corn Bread, Onions, Pickles, Beets and a large variety of  homemade desserts to choose from. Community invited.

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THE JONQUIL GARDEN CLUB meets every 4th Tuesday at the library in downtown Smyrna. Members assemble at 10 a.m. and the meeting opens at 10:30 a.m..The objective of the Jonquil Garden Club is to beautify and preserve our environment by encouraging conservation and plantings, not only in our own gardens, but including public places. Anyone interested in gardening, floral and landscape design is welcome to attend.  For further information, you may contact Shirley Priest at 770-433-3248. www.jonquilgardenclub.org

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KIWANIS CLUB OF GREATER SOUTH COBB meets at noon the 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month at O’Charley’s 4130 Austell Rd, Austell GA 30106. Call 770-438-6961 for more info.

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JONQUIL CITY INVESTMENT CLUB. Jonquil City Investment Club is a Smyrna-based all-female club looking for new members interested in attending monthly educational meetings and investing small amounts of money in the stock market.  For more information contact Cindy Acker, Senior Partner, at cindyacker@bellsouth.net.

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LIBERTARIAN PARTY of Cobb County will host their Evening Social & Chapter Meeting, Event held on the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. Meetings Held at Fire Station #1 at 12 Haynes St., Marietta. For more information like us on Facebook @ Libertarian Party of Cobb County or call Gretchen Mangan  at 494.368.2865.

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MOMS CLUB of Smyrna West: For stay-at-home or part-time working moms, we have added to the elementary school districts served in the Smyrna area: in 30080 and 30082 zip codes and any of the four following school districts: Smyrna Elementary, Norton Park, King Springs, and Nickajack.  We offer morning and afternoon weekly play groups and activities.  For questions about our club or are interested in becoming a member, please contact us directly at momsclubofsmyrnawest@yahoo.com.

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SMYRNA FIRST MOPS offers fellowship with other mothers of children age birth to Kindergarten. We welcome women from throughout the community, so you don’t have to be a member of Smyrna First United Methodist Church to join, although we do currently have a waiting list if you need a space in the nursery during our meetings. For more info, visit www.smyrnafirstmops.com. MOPS NIGHT GROUP. Smyrna First United Methodist Church’s MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group Night Group meets once a month on Wednesday evenings. If you are interested in joining the MOPS Night Group, please contact smyrnafirstmopsnight@gmail.com or visit www.smyrnafirstmops.com

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NEWCOMERS CLUB OF COBB COUNTY meets every 3rd Tuesday of the month 10 a.m. – noon. John Knox Presbyterian Church, 505 Powers Ferry Road, Marietta, Visitors are welcome. September through May.

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SMYRNA BUSINESS ASSOCIATON: lunch meetings the first Thursday of each month at the Smyrna Community Center, 11:45 p.m.

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SMYRNA JONQUIL LIONS CLUB welcomes guests and prospective members. As a part of the world’s largest service organization simply stated:  We serve.  Check us out and join as we strive to make our community a better place. The club meets at the Smyrna Community Center the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m. and the 4th Tuesday at noon.  http://e-clubhouse.org/sites/smyrnaj. www.facebook.com/pages/smyrna-Jonquil-Lions-Club/321959177899884

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SMYRNA LIBRARY READING GROUP: meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., at the Smyrna Public Library, 100 Village Green Circle.

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SMYRNA STITCH-IN GROUP meets the first Monday in the class room at Hobby Lobby, 1355 East-West Connector, Austell. If you like to cross stitch, do crewel work, needlepoint, etc and want to meet women in the area, please come join us.  Contact Phyllis Whittingham at pwhittingham@comcast.net.

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SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS – The Gen. Leonidas Polk Camp meets on the 4th Thursday of each month (except for Nov, Dec, & Jan) in the meeting room at the Piccadilly Restaurant, 536 Marietta Pkwy S, Marietta. Our meetings include a presentation on a topic of interest regarding the 1861-1864 era. We begin gathering at 6 p.m. for socialization and dinner followed by the meeting at 7 p.m. We are a hereditary memorial organization and welcome all visitors. For further info contact: Jack Williams at 404-256-4208 or songofjoy2@aol.com.

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SOUTH COBB BUSINESS ASSOCIATION meets the first Wednesday of each month at 11:45 at Presbyterian Village, East-West Connector.  www.sc-ba.org

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SOUTH COBB HOMESCHOOLERS.  Are you a homeschool parent in need of support?  The South Cobb Homeschool Support group meets monthly at the South Cobb Regional Library at 805 Clay Road, Mableton. If interested in attending email us at schomeschoolers@thestudyhalledu.com or call 404-644-8391. Visit our website at schomeschoolers.blogspot.com

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SOUTH COBB LIONS CLUB meets the 1st and 3rd Monday evenings 6:30 p.m. of each month at the South Cobb Community Center 620 Lions Club Drive, SW Mableton. Contact: South Cobb Lions Club: Phone 470-554-2128 on Facebook South Cobb Lions Club or email southcobblionsclub@yahoo.com

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VININGS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (VBA) meets the first Tuesday of each month for lunch at Social Vinings. Networking and speakers from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Guests are always welcome! (no industry restrictions). A Business After-Hours is held the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

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VININGS VILLAGE CIVIC CLUB meets the first Monday of each month September through June at 6:30 p.m. at various locations around Vinings. For further information, e-mail us at viningscivicclub@gmail.com or visit our new website: viningsvillagecivicclub.org. Members and Guests are welcome.

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SUPPORT GROUPS

ADULT CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLIC and Dysfunctional Families meets every Sunday at 2 p.m. at Ridgeview Institute in the Professional Building North, 3995 S. Cobb Dr., Smyrna. www.ridgeviewinstitute.com/hosp_info_calendar_supp.htm

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ALATEEN and Al-Anon Family Groups meet every Monday at 8 p.m. at the Ridgeview Institute in the Day Hospital. 3995 S Cobb Drive, Smyrna

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CANCER SUPPORT GROUP, The Star Group To help patients and their families feel more hopeful and less alone through the mutual sharing of thoughts, feelings, and concerns related to living with, and surviving cancer. Fourth Thursday of each month at Noon. (A light lunch is served) WellStar Cobb Hospital Magnolia Room Group leader: Raymond Coffman Please call 770-732-3780 to RSVP.

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DIABETES SUPPORT. WELLSTAR HEALTH SYSTEM will hold monthly free diabetes support groups in the following locations: Smyrna Primary Care, 562 Concord Rd, Smyrna 1 – 2 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month except December. No registration is required.

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OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS now meets at Ridgeview Institute, Room 8, 3995 S Cobb Drive, Smyrna. Mondays 7 p.m.

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Smyrna Parkinson’s Support Group meets at 2 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month, January through November at the Aline Wolfe Adult Recreation Center at 884 Church St., Smyrna, GA  Phone: 678-631-5541.The facilitator is Carl Proctor  Email: carlcproctor@aol.com Contact: 404-275-9383. Smyrna Parkinson’s Support Group Membership is free to Parkinsonians, care partners, family members, medical professionals and other people whose lives have been touched by PD. We are grateful to the Aline Wolfe Adult Recreation Center for providing our meeting space.

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RECOVERY INTERNATIONAL Self-help support group for stress, anxiety, depression, etc. Meets every Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 4300 King Springs Road SE, Smyrna, in the old rectory next to the church. Contact Alicia Garcia at 678-665-5233 for more information.

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REFORMERS UNANIMOUS (RU) is a Christ-centered addictions program that meets every Friday at 7 p.m. at Westside Church located at 4900 Floyd Road, Mableton next to Walgreens. RU helps adults find freedom from addictive behavior.  Call Mark Baker at 404-354-8911 for more information or see www.wbcfamily.org.

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E-mail your organization’s calendar news to news@brightsidecobb.com. Deadline for SEPTEMBER issue is AUGUST 23 with publication the week of SEPTEMBER 5. Calendar items are accepted from civic groups, non-profits, schools and church organizations and run as space is available. Due to the increasing number of calendar listings, please keep announcements brief. Please do NOT send calendar announcements in flyer format. For more information about submitting calendar items or other news, contact us at 770-426-9388 or by e-mail to news@brightsidecobb.com. Find updated calendar items on our website at www.brightsidecobb.com.

 

From the August 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Campbell Is Now Cobb’s Largest High School

Campbell High School opened the school year with some 2,957 students enrolled, making it the largest high school in Cobb County.

“We are bursting at the seams,” said Principal Jeannie Walker. Rooms that had been converted from classrooms to other purposes have been reconfigured as classroom space to accommodate new staff, she said. With some no-shows after the first day’s count, the student population is at 2,800 “but that continues to grow, and will do so again after Labor Day,” a school spokesman said.

Campbell had 2,664 enrolled in March, and by August 1 had increased nearly 10 percent. North Cobb was the largest school in Cobb in March’s count with 2,851.

“We’ve got more bodies crammed into the same space,” she added. The classrooms were built in the 1960s and are not as adaptable as newer construction.

Campbell has added 6.5 new teaching positions for the upcoming year and has 38 new employees.

“The Spartan staff is strong and keeps appositive attitude” she said.

“Campbell High School exceeded the previous year’s performance in all areas on the end of course test last year,” said Walker. Not only did they have the highest SAT, ACT & CCRPI gains for 2016, they achieved a 93 percent IB diploma rate and 92 percent of the seniors enrolled in 2017 graduated on time.” Other notable Campbell accomplishments are listed on page 9 of this issue.

Other changes coming to the school include a new football coach who arrived in the spring and will lead the Spartans on the field this fall. Kyle Adkins comes from Pope High school. His wife April is also a teacher at Campbell.

Parking space will also be an issue this school year as construction of a new gymnasium has removed a parking lot in front of the Nash Gym. It is expected to open in January.

The reduction in parking will be felt during sporting events and open houses and only seniors will be allowed to park on campus.

From the August 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

‘Everybody Wants To Live In Smyrna,’ Mayor Says

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon welcomes Jean Brannon, his fifth grade teacher, to the State of the City address in July.

Smyrna is the hottest spot to live in the metro area according to Mayor Max Bacon.

Bacon addressed an overflow crowd at the annual state of the City Address for the Smyrna Business Association and Smyrna Division of the Cobb Chamber in July.

“We’ve always had great people, even the Braves moved out of Atlanta to be next to Smyrna,” he said. “Everybody wants to live in Smyrna. We were strong before the 2008 blip on the economy.”

“We will not raise taxes,” the mayor told the crowd. Smyrna will maintain the millage rate of 8.99 mills for 2017. This rate has been in effect since 2007. Homeowners who maintain a primary residence in Smyrna and have filed for the floating homestead exemption will not see a tax increase on their 2017 property tax bill.

“We are as fiscally sound as any government anywhere,” Bacon said. “We show that in our bond rating.”

Smyrna has a AAA bond rating, one of only six in the state. The city’s $92 million budget is broken down by: public safety, 38 percent; general government, 21 percent; Public works, 18 percent; debt 9 percent; parks and recreation, 8 percent; community development, 3 percent; library, 2 percent and Keep Smyrna Beautiful, 1 percent.

“We have a great police force and fire department,” Bacon said. “We have superior service.”

Early this year Bacon admitted that he had a heart condition. After being referred by his family doctor, Bacon said, “My doctor was wrong, I had not had one heart attack, I had two,” he said.

He had two stents installed and has since recovered.

The health scare has brought up questions of whether Bacon, who has held the mayor’s job since 1985, will run for another term.

“Am I going to run again? Right now I’d say yes, because I’m not going to tell you no,” he said.

“I know that I will finish this term (through 2019) then I’ll make a decision,” he said. “My health’s good for 68.”

“I thank Jack Halpern and Halpern Enterprises for hanging in there with us,” Bacon said. “They donated the land for the Smyrna Elementary School and what we got back was a great investment in or city.”

Bacon noted that the Belmont and Jonquil developments are essentially done, although some storefronts are still being built out. Belmont is a 48-acre mixed-use development with homes, apartments, retail, restaurants and Smyrna Elementary. The Belmont Physicians Center is under construction on Windy Hill and David Weekly homes will build a second phase of houses along Atlanta Road. Jonquil, anchored by Publix, is an 11 acre mixed-use site in downtown Smyrna including apartments and retail and restaurants.

“Concord Road is finally finished,” he said.

The $12 million SPLOST road widening project on Concord Road is complete, he reported. The Downtown Development Authority sold one property to a restaurant and many parcels on the north side of Concord is being developed as a passive linier park.

The next road project is the Windy Hill Road improvement that will begin next year from South Cobb and Atlanta Roads.

“Windy Hill will be an express route,” he said. Four express lanes will move east-west traffic with frontage roads on each side.

“It’s going to be a mess for the next five years,” he said.

“The Reed House will top my list of things I am proud of,” he said. The city purchased the home on Atlanta Road for $18 million and will spend $1.3 million renovating it to use as an event facility.

“This is going to be a great addition once it is finished,” he said.

From the August 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Golf Cart Parade Honors Fourth, Veterans

 

  Presbyterian Village in Austell held its annual golf cart parade to honor the Fourth of July with more than two dozen golf carts decked out in patriotic bunting. Where in previous parades there has been a Grand Marshall seated in the lead car; this year some 14 World War II veterans were honored as Grand Marshalls, riding in individual carts.

Among them was, below left, Navy veteran Bill Smith, a pharmacist’s mate 3rd class, who served aboard the USS Wyoming in WWII.

Hilliard Pouncey, right, an original Tuskegee Airman, rides in the lead car as one of more than a dozen “Grand Marshalls” at the annual golf cart parade at Presbyterian Village in Austell on July 3.

 

 

 

 

Bringing up the rear in a 1915 Model T, below right, are Robert and Bryant Brough of Mableton in vintage uniforms to honor the veterans.

At left, Ike Strueusee, an Infantry Staff Sgt. during the war, fought at the Battle of The Bulge in the Army.

Brenda Humphrey Names Braves Honorary Bat Girl

ATLANTA, GA – MAY 19: Honorary Bat Girl Samantha Timmons poses with Brandon Phillips #4 of the Atlanta Braves before the game against the Washington Nationals at SunTrust Park on May 19, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves won 8-4. (Photo by Logan Riely/Beam Imagination/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Brandon Phillips

Brenda Humphrey of Mableton served as Honorary Bat Girl for the Atlanta Braves at the May 19 game.

The Honorary Bat Girl contest recognizes fans who have been affected by breast cancer and have demonstrated a commitment to battling the disease.

After supporting and caring for her mother and three sisters as they each battled various forms of cancer over the years, Ms. Humphrey was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2014. The single mother of a Marine serving in Japan, she immediately began to educate family members and friends about the disease while going through treatment and recovery. Diagnosed again in March 2016, Ms. Humphrey continues to fight the disease while never letting it break her spirit.

The Braves hosted Ms. Humphrey on May 19 as the Braves played the Nationals at Sun Trust Park for a VIP experience that kicked off with a special lunch with the Braves wives. Following lunch, she watched batting practice from the field and stayed for the game. Ms. Humphrey also took home limited-edition pink MLB merchandise. This year, Atlanta Braves player Brandon Phillips served on the Guest Judging Panel for the Honorary Bat Girl Contest.

During the Honorary Bat Girl contest entry timeline, fans from across the United States and Canada shared how they, or their loved ones, support the cause to raise awareness and find a cure for breast cancer. The winners were selected by a panel of judges, including special guests, who chose the winning submissions based on the following criteria: quality of writing and description of personal connection to breast cancer, demonstration of commitment to the battle against the disease and public appeal (as determined by online fan votes).

The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative celebrated on Mother’s Day. In nine years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and millions of fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by MLB charitable partners, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen. This initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

From the June 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Mableton Farmers Market Is Open

The Mableton Farmers Market is off to a running start of its eighth season. The Market, a community project of the Mableton Improvement Coalition, operates every Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., through August 24. Come  to the Mable House Complex at 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton, and shop for fresh and nutritious locally-grown fruits and vegetables, eggs, breads, homemade jams and jellies, organic bars, bites, nuts and more. Visitors will also experience quick and easy food preparation demonstrations sponsored by partner Cobb & Douglas Public Health.

Wholesome Wave Georgia, another of the Market’s partner organizations, is again on board this season to double the value of SNAP EBT transactions. Believing that every family in Georgia should have access to quality food,  Thursday, July 13, will be the next and last SNAP Assistance visit at the Market this season.  If you or anyone you know has questions about Food Stamp eligibility or issues with an existing account, WWG will have an expert representative to advise inquiring market shoppers about SNAP (food stamp) benefits, complete online applications and/or investigate problems with existing accounts. Consultations are completely confidential.

Stop by the Mableton Farmers Market.

From the June 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Russell Students Perform Successful ‘Space Shuttle’ Mission

Wearing orange full pressure “pumpkin suits,” the astronauts turned and waved one last time before boarding the space shuttle. Cameras snapped; parents waved, and with that they were locked in their home for the next 27 hours. Meanwhile, mission control began to work through the calculations and systematic steps to send a shuttle into space. The clock in the room ticked down to launch time. A television monitor featured a split-screen of the astronauts, now wearing helmets, as they prepared to embark on an out-of-this world lesson.

The student astronauts and their teammates in mission control were part of the 19th mission to space for the Russell Elementary School Space Program, which first launched in 1998.

The unique space program sends student astronauts on a simulated space mission inside a replica NASA shuttle. The space mission includes a launch, landing, payload deployment, spacewalk, onboard experiments and around-the-clock monitoring of onboard systems from the school’s mock mission control center.

Students in the space program start in August to prepare for launch day.

“They learn about orbital dynamics,” said Chris Laster, Space Team teacher coordinator and founder. “They learn how to work together as a team. They learn how to track telemetry, which is data that is sent down by radio from our space shuttle simulator. They learn how to monitor that for trends to detect problems and malfunctions and how to take measures to solve those problems.”

That’s not all the students learn. Grueling, that’s how Laster described the material the students learn over the course of the eight months leading up to the space launch.

“All the kids learn how to read acronyms from NASA. They have to learn how to read flight plans and time stamps,” explained Tracey Steiner, a Russell science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) lab teacher.

The students tackle the grueling material after school hours. Some of the students spend four days a week for several hours each day preparing for their space mission. The teaching staff help the students develop the math and science skills to understand the different systems aboard the space shuttle and the complexities of the spaceflight operations.

“We learned a lot about technology like radios and computers,” said fifth grader Samantha, one of the student astronauts. “Before I joined the program, I used to call it a space shuttle or a rocket. Now, I know the full term for everything.”

Some of what Samantha learned shocked her, for example, reading about the lack of privacy and bathrooms in space.

Samantha was motivated to join the space team by the stories her brother shared about the program when he came home every day. He was a member of the space team a few years prior.

Samantha’s fifth grade classmate Joy also made the space team a family tradition. Joy’s two sisters are both veterans of the Russell Space Program. Her sister, Princess, was there for Joy’s launch day as commander of the STS-19 team.

“The fact that she was able to buckle down and do all that work and reach the point where she is actually commanding the [space team] is wild,” Princess said.

The older sister has regaled stories of her time in the space program with her new college friends, who she said are shocked that her elementary school has such an elaborate space program.

“I loved the program, and I love how it is growing,” Princess added. “Mission control looks a lot more realistic.

Princess, who is studying biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Georgia, credits the space program for impacting her interest in science.

Joy and Princess’s dad credits the space program for helping his daughters excel in school.

“[The space program] teaches them how to be leaders,” their father Muhammed Dikko explained. “It teaches them how to stay on task when they are given assignments. It teaches them to take life, in general, seriously. We have seen the changes in [Joy’s] life. We have seen it in our other daughters. I’ve never had to tell them to go do their homework as a result of this [program] because they look forward to it.”

The proud father studied the material with his daughters, but has a confession about wanting to actually join the space team himself.

“It is a lot of hard work,” he said. “I couldn’t do it.”

Students in the space program have gone on to be chemical engineers, high-ranking service members and business owners. According to Laster, one space program veteran and graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology will soon be writing orbital trajectories and trajectories for space probes. This student, too, credits the space program for propelling him on his career track.

Steiner, who has flown on 10 space flights with students, has a theory about why the space program encourages student success.

“The kids learn that there is a final goal,” Steiner explained. “They work hard and dedicate themselves to making something happen. We either fail together or succeed together, and when they learn they can succeed together, even if it may be the hardest thing they have ever done, they will be up for the challenges of life.”

The students who join the space team undergo a rigorous application process including physical fitness tests. The student astronauts earn the top fitness scores.

“To be selected for space team, you have to write an essay on why you want to join, how you think you can benefit and what skills that you can bring to the team,” astronaut Samantha added. “You basically have to prove that you are good enough to be on the team.”

Although the students must have high grades to join the team, Laster sometimes sees something in a student that others may not. He said that after some students join the program, they start to thrive and do things that they didn’t even know were possible.

Fifth grader Edith, who served as the STS-19 capsule communicator in mission control, said the space program helped her develop better study habits. Her favorite part was making friends and learning how to work more as a team

Princess still keeps up with the friends she made on STS-10 mission.

Astronaut Kelsie, 5th grade, signed up for the STS-19 mission because she knew it would be a great teamwork experience and “It looked fun.”

The students cite varying reasons on why they want to enlist in the space program, but their teacher only has one.

“I’m here for the kids,” said Laster.

He launched the space program after taking Russell students on a trip to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. A student asked why Russell Elementary couldn’t have a space program like the one in Huntsville. That question started the countdown to the school’s first space mission.

The program started off in the classroom and moved into the separate simulator set up in a trailer outside of the school, which is painted to look like a NASA space shuttle.

Steiner, who hung up her pumpkin suit for the last time after the STS-19 mission, described the space program as the heart and soul of Russell Elementary.

After STS-19 landed on May 9, the astronauts and mission control reunited and celebrated with a parade through the school.

There is a lot of emotion that takes place with the students, parents and teachers on landing day, according to the dad of three veteran space team members.

“There are a lot of tissue boxes being used. Even people who think they never cry, they always end up in tears,” Dikko said.

There was a lot to celebrate this year. About three minutes prior the shuttle landing, a power surge knocked out power in mission control and the simulator. The school staff does sometimes inject malfunctions so the students can use their skills to overcome challenges. This was not a drill.

“[The students] actually trained for that sort of thing,” Laster explained. “What we had not anticipated was that power was also knocked out in the simulator. So that really sent us into a scramble. It also messed up some of the tracking systems the students were using. So they basically had to go it blind at that point. They handled it very well.”

After all the excitement of the landing, the STS-19 team had a lot to discuss during the school press conference. The entire school gathered in the cafeteria to listen to the team answer questions about their mission.

“I hope the space program gets adopted in other schools nationwide because it teaches them a lot of leadership skills,” said Joy and Princess’s father Dikko. “It helps prepare them for the future and life and general. It teaches them how to relate to each other. It goes way above and beyond their everyday school work.”

From the June 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Linda Keeney Retires After Decade At King Springs

After a decade at King Springs Elementary, and 30 years in Cobb Schools, Linda Keeney has retired as principal.

Her daughter, Amanda Laine Chalk, in a Facebook post, described the scene on her final day and the last day of school. “In true Linda Keeney fashion, she led the buses out and waved goodbye to all of her ‘kids.’”

“She loves this school and the community and what a difference she has made.”

During her tenure as principal King Springs was named a Georgia School of Excellence in 2013; was a Platinum School for Student Achievement during her second year as principal and was twice named a PTA national school of excellence for parent involvement.

“We have rally added a lot a of parent involvement,” she said. “We have a strong PTA and a strong school council.”

Before becoming principal, she worked at Griffin Middle School and Blackwell Elementary.

“I love kids,” she said. “A principalship is a calling. It’s hard to retire because I can’t get beyond having the kids come in in the morning and grabbing me around the legs and saying I love you.“

During the past decade the school has grown from 625 students to some 950 presently. It serves a diverse area with a student population of 43 percent Caucasian, 38 percent African-American and 11 percent Hispanic.

“We ae a true melting pot,” Mrs. Keeney said. “We have parents of all ethnicities involved in the school. We are getting more and more kids. Parents want to get their kids in the King Springs area. Realtors tell me they can’t get enough homes to sell in this district.”

She received praise from the school community and the public.

“She has had a great deal to do with the revitalization of King Springs Elementary,” said Susan Thayer, Cobb Board of Education member from Smyrna. “She put her heart and soul into that community and that school and made it what it is today. She has been a wonderful part of our community and a great principal.”

“Congratulations to retiring King Springs Elementary School Principal, Linda Keeney. Thousands of young lives were enriched through her dedication to excellence and leadership,” said Jeff Jones, chair of the Smyrna Arts and Cultural Council.

What will she be doing in retirement?

“Visiting my grandchildren, there’s a new one due July 26,” she said. “And doing some traveling.”

She plans to take her grandson, who is turning 16 this summer, to Washington D.C.

“I will miss the kids and the teachers most,” she said. “And least, the getting up at the crack of dawn.”

I telling the school about her retirement, she used a quote from Winnie the Pooh: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

From the June 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Sweetwater Mission Seeks Aid For Summer Lunches

During the summer break many children from low-income families in Cobb and Douglas Counties won’t have access to meals provided at school. Sweetwater Mission believes there is nothing more important than helping parents provide healthy meals for their children.

During June and July Sweetwater Mission will provide an additional 80,000 pounds of food by offering additional groceries to families with children. The focus will be nutritious foods like fresh bananas, apples, carrots, potatoes; fresh and frozen meats; 100 percent fruit juice; and kids’ favorites like applesauce, mac and cheese, and peanut butter and jelly.

Sweetwater Mission needs your help. Together, we can ensure that more than 3,500 children eat healthy, play hard and are ready for school at the end of summer break. Donations can be mailed to Sweetwater Mission — Summer Food, P. O. Box 802, Austell, GA 30168 or online at www.SweetwaterMission.org.

From the June 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Memorial Day Services set

Powder Springs

American Legion Post 294 of Powder Springs will be honoring our deceased veterans at the annual Memorial Day Ceremony to be held Monday, May 29 at Noon at the Powder Springs Veterans Memorial in front of the library at 4181 Atlanta Street.

The program will include the Post’s 9-member Color Guard, commentary, a guest speaker, patriotic music, and the laying of a Memorial wreath, to be followed by Taps. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place inside the George Ford Center community room behind the library.

Our traditional Memorial Day Cookout will begin at 4 p.m. for all Legion family members and guests. The Post will provide the meats, while members are asked to round out the meal by bringing a side dish, salad and/or dessert to share. Donations will be requested in support of the local USO at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

“Please invite your friends and neighbors to join us at noon for this solemn holiday,” said Ra Barr, Commander Post 294.

Smyrna

Marking the centennial of America’s entry into World War I, The city of Smyrna will hold its annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 29 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

In addition to the ceremony there will be displays of military equipment which including current and vintage military and security vehicles and weaponry, a US Marine Patrol Boat, H3 Hummer and Rock Wall and other attractions.

The Georgia Army National Guard Band, Campbell High School JROTC, and USAF Honor Guard will all be participating in the ceremony.

This year’s featured speakers will be MG (Select) Jesse Simmons, Jr., commander of the Georgia Air National Guard, and CPT Donna Rowe, Vietnam theater US Army Nurse Corps.

Ceremony sponsors include The City of Smyrna, Smyrna Veterans Committee, Veterans Memorial Association of Smyrna, American Legion Post 160, Northwest Speakers, Smyrna Rotary Club, Jonquil City Kiwanis, Chick-fil-A of South Cobb, and JWC Real Estate.

The event will be at the Smyrna Veterans Memorial at 2800 King St. (between Smyrna City Hall and the Smyrna Library). The event and parking are free. The rain location is the Smyrna Community Center.

World War I created the notion of America as a superpower. Not because the United States hadn’t previously wars. It had. Not because we hadn’t beaten European powers before. We had.

What changed was that in this war the United States fought against a major, world class adversary, alongside others of the world’s best armies, held its own and was the primary force for victory.

World War I started in August 1914, as France, Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, Serbia, the British Empire and others went to war. What was expected to be a quick, decisive war became a long and costly stalemate, where millions died or were wounded.

The United States joined the fight on April 6, 1917. A year passed before the American Expeditionary Forces saw real action. But fight it did: at Seichepry (April 1918), Cantigny (May 1918), Belleau Wood and Chateau Thierry (June and July 1918), St. Mihiel (September 12-15, 1918) and in the large Meuse-Argonne Offensive (September 26 – November 11, 1918) – all in France.

US Air Service (USAS), US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC) fought in the skies, while the USN escorted ships and hunted U-boats in the Atlantic. WWI finally ended at 11 a.m.  on November 11, 1918. More than 21 million had died; 11,700 of whom were Americans. Another 21 million from all nations were wounded. Everyone’s life was changed; the world changed.

In all the wars in which America participated, there have been 651,008 battle deaths and about 1.2 million deaths overall. About 42 million of our men and women have served in the military during wartime. About 2 percent (1/50th) of the people serving during a time of war have died.

We are here today for the sole purpose of honoring all who gave their lives in service to America and the defense of freedom.