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Rec complex a boost for our children and community

Posted: November 17, 2011 11:23 a.m.
Updated: November 18, 2011 5:00 a.m.

I want the City of Camden to build a recreational facility which can improve not only our fiscal health but also our physical health. Since our two teenagers play “club” sports, we have been to tournaments in Aiken, Columbia, Easley, Mauldin, Rock Hill, Summerville, and Sumter. We have admired top-notch gymnasiums, beautiful fields with lights, and indoor walking tracks. Camden could have these, too.

At athletic tournaments teams pay entry fees, purchase T-shirts, and win trophies created by local businesses. Families stay in hotels, eat at restaurants, go shopping, and buy gas -- pumping money into those cities instead of ours.

Citing input that Camden High School students gave our mayor, last week an opponent of the project compared them to spoiled children wishing for everything in a Sears catalog. Actually, these smart, hard-working, caring people recently raised $13,700 for the United Way! After practicing volleyball at the old CLC gym (which reeks of mildew and has no restrooms,) playing basketball in the old armory (where low rafters can block a perfect shot), or swimming for local summer teams (against year-round swimmers in other towns), of course they have big dreams for Camden.

As a registered dietitian, I am concerned that two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are overweight or obese. These conditions lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension, costing the community lots of money and lives. Physical activity must be encouraged.

When real estate developers proposed an attractive neighborhood where the old middle school sits dormant, nearby residents didn’t like it. Many citizens voted against the “penny tax for progress.” Now people are trying to halt the new project. How do these folks plan to attract new residents?

I urge people who support the project to attend the next city council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 8:30 a.m., write a letter to the editor, and visit Mayor Jeffrey Graham’s Facebook page. Yes, we are busy working and rearing children, but we can’t let retirees with free time be the only ones offering opinions. Camden has enough old stuff -- now we need something new!

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