Word On The Web

On “The Obligation of Assimilation,” Feb. 18 Week-Ender blog post:

“Well written. Anyone who has been to Egypt could pretty much tell the place was close to a crisis. With thousands of unemployed young men loitering everywhere with nothing but time on their hands something like this was bound to happen.

Ed Farnan

Irish Central

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Hi Ron,

All I can say is bravo! My dad and his family came to America from Germany before WWII and they were so proud to be here that my grandmother sold U.S. war bonds even though we were fighting her home country. My grandfather went to college here with a German/English dictionary at his side and still got straight A’s. No complaining--only gratitude. Great article.

Heidi Stelmach

Manager, EarthWords Nature Shops

CanalWay Center

Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio


On “On Bridge The Gap Between You And The Next Guy,” April 1 Week-Ender Blog post:

That was a fabulous article. It’s Monday afternoon and I’m taking my lunch break catching up on some of last week’s e-mails. Thanks for a thought provoking-article that will get me thinking again and again.

P.S. Facebook is over rated. I’m on it, but it has not changed my life and I could live without it! Stick strong and do not get sucked in!

Karen L Johnston

Pullman Aquatic & Fitness Center

Pullman, Wash.

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Building A Path

Your article really brings the message back to the character development and life lessons that are introduced through sports (“A Rewarding Experience,” PRB February 2011). For many in Quiche (Guatemala), this is the only opportunity to escape from drugs and violence. As an avid participant throughout my childhood, I know the lessons that I learned both on and off the field have shaped who I am today. I'm excited because for the first time since college, I'll have the opportunity to pass on my passion for lacrosse as a volunteer coach for a local area team. Thanks for sharing your experience and reminding coaches just how important their role is.

Margaux Viola

Boulder, Colorado

Development Manager, TeamSnap

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Mr. Engh,

I just read your article. I wanted to thank you for reminding me how important my job is as athletic programmer for the city of Bristol Parks and Recreation. We just finished up our elementary school basketball program and through the three-month season, there were frustrating moments, but there were more moments of satisfaction.

Regarding the resolution that the United Nations passed, I was wondering if there is something parks and recreation departments can do to help. Right now we have about 200 reversible basketball jerseys that are just sitting in a box.

Sandra Cole

Athletic Programmer

Bristol, Tenn.

Note: The National Alliance for Youth Sports collects sports equipment to ship to underprivileged children around the world through its Global Gear Drive program. For more information on donating, call (800) 729-2057 or email


Billy Casper Golf Awarded Contract

Manassas, Va.--The Prince William County Park Authority Board has awarded Billy Casper Golf, LLC., a five year contract to manage the authority's three 18-hole golf courses. In a unanimous decision, Billy Casper Golf will take over management, including all customer service.


Make A Pledge To Public Lands

The 17th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD), which celebrates public lands with service projects, will be on September 24, 2011. Last year, 170,000 volunteers participated at over 2,000 locations on projects that ranged from picking up trash to creating new trails. In addition to it being a fee-free day in many federally managed lands, volunteers are rewarded with coupons for free entry into their favorite federal public land areas that have entrance fees. For more information, visit


Pleasing The Public

There is now more to consider regarding public restrooms than just providing a place for a quick “pit stop.” Through the last ten years, the public has developed new concerns while visiting a restroom:

• It should be well maintained and clean. Odor, litter, empty towel dispensers and poor cleaning are among the most common complaints from the public restroom visitor.

• Not touching anything is “In.” It’s fairly common knowledge that most visitors will try to avoid touching anything while in a public restroom. The fear of leaving the restroom with new germs is very strong--even to the point that many will kick the toilet flush valve handle or use a paper towel to grasp the door handle on the way out.

• Environmental Awareness. Americans are becoming more environmentally aware. “Green” is important. Appreciating that their parks and recreation department is a “Good Steward” of the environment is important to many.

Information provided by Vince Newton, owner of Commercial Restroom Products.


Field Notes

Gold Medal Products is celebrating its 80th anniversary. The company manufactures concession equipment and flavors and distributes them—and other concession supplies—worldwide from its Cincinnati, Ohio, location.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame conferred the 2011 G. Harold Martin Award to Robert (Bob) Ogoreuc, president of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. The award is given annually to an individual who exemplifies “long and exceptional leadership, insight and dedication to the water safety of children and the cause of making every child a swimmer.


Community Takes Notice

To keep residents coming back, put the message out that you are open for business. Even if they can’t remember where they “heard that name before,” they will stop and take notice the more they hear about your organization. Here are a few ways to kick up your presence in the community:

1. Create a photo-sharing page. Families can upload their photographs on your website or Facebook. Everyone loves to brag and it will introduce their friends to you.

2. Use the power of direct mail. People still look forward to getting mail and set aside time to review it. It’s also more likely to be delivered than e-mails that require exact addresses and can be caught in spam filters.

3. Drive traffic effectively. Social media was made for opt-in, “friend-only” items like coupons or promotions. Don’t forget to include offers and your social media sites on ads, too.

4. Brand your business. Create fun take-home snacks or trinkets with your name and website. You can easily use existing concession machines to create tasty treats and store them in personalized containers.

5. Mix up your marketing. Studies have shown response rates increase the more times customers see your name. Plus, using a variety of channels--like direct mail and e-marketing--increases your chances of grabbing their attention.

6. Build your mailing lists. Offer discounts and insider information as carrots to build your e-mail and mail databases.

7. Host community events. Partner with local non-profit organizations or chambers of commerce. You’ll reach numerous new customers, build goodwill, and they’ll share in the marketing costs and responsibilities.

8. Clean your mail lists. Forty-million Americans change their addresses annually. Consider options like the USPS’ National Change of Address software (

Information provided by Bethe Ferguson, Marketing Communications Coordinator at Gold Medal Products Co.




21 University of Massachusetts Turf Research Field Day, South Deerfield, Mass--UMass Joseph Troll Turf Research Center on River Road;


29 Florida Recreation and Park Association, Orlando, Fl.—Caribe Royale Resort;

7-11 Recreation Facility Design and Management School; Kansas City, Mo.; Gary Gates, or 573-636-3828; More information at

21-24 2011 National Scenic Byways Conference, Minneapolis, Minn.--Minneapolis Marriott City Center;


7-10 Alaska Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference, Seward, Alaska;

12-13 South Carolina/North Carolina Recreation and Park Association Joint Conference, Charleston, SC—North Charleston Convention Center;

13-15 Iowa Parks & Recreation Association Fall Workshop, Clinton, Iowa—Wild Rose Hotel, Convention Center, Casino;

20-22 South Dakota Parks & Recreation Association Annual Conference, Bismark, N.D.;

20-23 Minnesota Parks & Recreation Association Annual Conference and Exhibit, Prior Lake, Minn.—Mystic Lake Casino Hotel;

21-23 Lyle B. Beaver Leadership Development Institute, St. Charles, Mo. Gary Gates, or 573-636-3828; More information at