In 1993, Doug Leman, President of the Kiwanis Club of Blue Ridge, proposed a conference to include representatives of area agencies for the purpose of networking and exchanging information. This was intended to educate our community about the various services available in this area. Although service providers have primarily attended the conference, it has proven to be extremely beneficial. The original purpose was to include the general public as well.
The first conference was held on September 25, 1993 with an estimated attendance of 70 people. Since that time, the conference has been an annual event. On September 23, 1994 Nathan Deal was the guest speaker for the second annual conference with about 100 attendees. Glenn Harbison, publisher of The News Observer, said "So many times we hear of situations where agencies are trying to help a person or families, and they just don't know how many other resources beside their own are actually available. The community services conferences are designed to overcome some of those barriers and get help to the people who need it." Three years later, on September 17, 1997 Dr. Barbara Fuller, faculty member of Southwest Virginia Community College, was the motivational speaker. She spoke about the "wheel of wellness" having 6 spokes: physical, social, emotional, mental, spiritual, and intellectual. Butch Jones, a member of the Georgia Policy Council on Children and Families, spoke on early childhood development on November 18, 1998 at the fourth annual confernece. He suggested that agencies needed to work with families to help children grow up with a bright future. Last year, on September 29, 1999 Dr. Fred Craddock, pastor of Cherry Log Christian Church, and Jeff Minor director of the Georgia Division of Aging Services spoke about the aging community. This year's conference has a two-fold focus: mental health and volunteerism.
At every conference, the Priority One Resource Book is distributed. This book included a synopsis of each agency making it easier to refer a citizen to a particular service.
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Mineral Springs Center, Inc.
P.O. Box 28
35 Circle Dr
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
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