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Leadercast to benefit Newton Co. Miracle League

COVINGTON — An educational opportunity and the chance to help out a worthwhile organization can be had for one low price on May 7.

The Covington Chick-fil-A restaurant is making possible a simulcast of the Chick-fil-A Leadercast, which will be broadcast live from the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, featuring 10 well-known speakers who will talk about leadership principles that matter the most. A one-day leadership event, this year's focus is "to help you be the one leader to make a lasting impact in the lives of those you lead ... Set your sights on being the one to make all the difference by living out the leadership principles that guide your decisions in life," organizers said.

Proceeds from the Covington portion of the event will be given to Miracle League of Newton County to help build an all-accessible baseball complex at City Pond for children with special needs.

"This is the second year Chris and Amy Giella of the Covington Chick-fil-A have personally said, ‘We want the proceeds from the ticket sales to go to the Miracle League,'" said Tamara Richardson, a consultant for Miracle League of Newton County. "The Covington franchise has spent the money for us to have the simulcast here. The room here at Turner Lake will seat about 200 and we are hoping to fill the room. So, it could be a very good fundraiser for Miracle League."

Richardson said she hopes companies who have some dollars set aside in their budgets for training will take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the event, which will be broadcast all over the United States and Canada.

The 10 featured speakers will be:

• Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great;"

• Tony Dungy, retired coach for the Indianapolis Colts;

• John Maxwell, best-selling leadership author;

• Ed Bastian, president of Delta Air Lines;

• Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS Institute Inc.;

• Chip Heath, author of "Made to Stick;"

• Ben Carson, Johns Hopkins professor and neurosurgeon;

• Connie Podesta, an expert in psychology and leadership;

• Steve Uzzell, award-winning corporate photographer;

• Mark Sanborn, best-selling author of "The Fred Factor."

The Covington event will be at the Turner Lake Recreation Center Complex at 6185 Turner Lake Road. The session will kick off with signing in and getting settled at 8:30 a.m. and the broadcast will begin promptly at 9 a.m. and last until 4 p.m.

Tickets are $85, and Richardson pointed out this compares to tickets at the World Congress Center from $199 to $219, plus no traffic and free parking.

"We are the only location east of metro Atlanta that is simulcasting the event this year," she said. "It's a really wonderful one-day leadership training event right here in our own back yard.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.chick-fil-aleadershipcast.com or by calling Richardson at 770-786-4373, ext. 14, or by e-mail at trichardson@co.newton.ga.us.

Richardson said last year's event was very well received; however, the lead time for organizing participants was short. She hopes this year more people will hear about it and want to participate.

Funds raised will go to completing the campaign to pay for construction documents for Covington's Miracle League Field.

"We're within $10,000 of having the money for the construction documents," Richardson said. "Then we can begin to pay for the field itself ... breaking ground and getting things started."

She said there are 2,400 special needs youths and children in Newton County who will make use of the field. Additionally, it is expected there will be sports participation from those within a 60-mile radius of Newton County, which will include Jasper, Butts and Morgan counties.

Also, Richardson said on tap is an art contest sponsored by the Miracle League of Newton County to raise awareness of exceptional children and their recreational needs. The event will be held in conjunction with the Newton County Special Olympics Games.

Submitted artwork pieces will be displayed in the windows of the old Teacher's Toolbox on the Square and at the Newton County Library during the month of May.

This will coincide with the Special Olympics opening ceremonies at Sharp Gym on May 3, elementary school track and field events on May 4 and high school track and field events on May 5, both at Eastside High School.

Ribbons and prizes will be awarded to the top three contestants in the elementary, middle and high school age groups. Prize winners will be notified by April 30 and their artwork will initially be displayed at the Special Olympics opening ceremonies on May 3.

The contest is open to anyone ages 5 to 22. Artwork can be done by individuals at home or through classes at school.

The theme of the artwork should be either:

• A child or children with special needs participating in some type of recreational activity, such as track and field events, wheelchair basketball, etc. (can use "40 Years of Champions" or "Special Olympics" wording in the picture)

• A child or children playing baseball (can use "Miracle League" wording in the picture)

The picture must be done on an 8-inch by 11-inch sheet of paper. Crayons, colored pencils, chalk, charcoal, cut up paper squares and other types of media are allowed. Artwork cannot be three dimensional.

Completed artwork must be brought to the Newton County Recreation Commission by April 23, or the artwork will be picked up at each school from the art teachers earlier that week.

For any questions, call Tamara Richardson with the Newton County Recreation Commission at 770-786-4373, ext. 14, or e-mail trichardson@co.newton.ga.us or call Lynda Reagan with the Newton County Special Olympics at 770-784-4954 or e-mail reagan.lynda@newton.k12.ga.us.