December 2015 Around Town 1

Rotarians Donate 1000 Books to Cobb 
County Jail

The Cobb County Jail just got about 1,000 gently used books and magazines thanks to dozens of generous Rotarians at East Cobb Rotary, South Cobb Rotary, Marietta Metro Rotary and Smyrna Rotary.  The project started with Rotarian Jay Treadwell, who had boxes of gently used books that needed a home.  Last year, Smyrna Rotary donated about 450 books and magazines to the Smyrna Jail, but now they have all that they can handle.  Contacting Cobb County Jail was the next logical choice, and they responded eagerly to the idea.

Why books? South Cobb Rotary’s President Michael Martin explains: “The inmates in the Cobb prison system are people like us who have dreams, hopes and wishes that have been deferred because of criminal activity.  Showing care and concern for their wellbeing may help rekindle and make possible the dreams, hopes and wishes that were put on hold.”

East Cobb Rotary’s President Ken Crowell adds, “Inmates are just like the rest of us—they need to be intellectually stimulated to be productive.  It’s our hope that these books and magazines will help give them a glimpse of what life can be after their release.”

The project was fairly straightforward.  “We just asked members in the clubs to find gently used books and magazines from their own collections,” says Smyrna’s Narayan Sengupta.  “We also bought a few at Goodwill and elsewhere.  We added ‘Donated by Rotary’ labels to as many of the books and magazines as we could.  The total project cost was under $100, but the value was thousands of dollars.”

After distributing the books to the Cobb County Jail, the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office was both thankful and appreciative that Rotary took an interest in promoting literacy in the incarcerated individuals in Cobb County. This donation will help all involved remember that there are those who care about everyone in our community, regardless of their circumstances.

Shop for a Cause to Support St. Jude

A holiday tradition like no other, the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign brings together celebrities, media, retail and corporate partners in an unprecedented way each holiday season to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which leads the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

What began as a holiday-focused fundraising effort created by Marlo, Terre and Tony Thomas (the children of St. Jude Founder Danny Thomas) has now grown into an annual tradition that has raised more than $588 million in its 11-year history. Beginning in November and running through the end of December, consumers can support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital while they shop at a variety of businesses representing diverse brands in retail, restaurant, travel, and beyond. These funds support the hospital’s mission to provide cutting-edge treatment, pursue visionary research, and to make sure no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude.

And you don’t even have to leave Vinings to support the St. Jude Thanks and Giving Campaign! Retailers like Best Buy, Party City, Home Goods, Marshall’s, and Domino’s are stores you probably shop in or cruise by on a daily basis. Consider stopping in to support their connection with the valiant work at St. Jude. There are over 70 retailers that are all part of the Thanks and Giving Campaign to use their profits and prestige to help St. Jude find cures and save children.

“During one of the busiest times of the year, our partners make supporting the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital an integral part of their holiday strategy,” says Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Throughout the campaign we ask people to ‘Give thanks,’ and we are truly thankful for our partners, their employees, customers and St. Jude supporters who enable us to continue working until we reach the day when no child dies from cancer.”

To join the fight against childhood cancer this holiday season, you can donate at You can shop with participating business partners and donate at the register. You can also follow @StJude on social media and show what you are thankful for during the holidays using the #GiveThanks hashtag.

Andretti Indoor Karting & Games Opens 
in Marietta

Billed as Marietta’s most unique entertainment complex, Andretti Indoor Karting & Games opened recently. This is the company’s second Geogia location. The first location was established in 2001 in Roswell, Ga.  All the locations feature high-speed super-karts for kids and adults (ages 8 and up), European-style tracks, a state of the art arcade featuring 120 of the latest games, Sky Trail ropes course, 4,000-square-foot laser tag arena, zip line, XD motion theater and Cruden racing simulators.

The brand new Marietta location is also home to The Andretti Grill, a full bar and restaurant serving a chef-inspired menu, as well as SkyBar, a glass enclosed bar on top of the racing track. Throughout the bars, restaurants and gaming area, there are over 100 flat screen TV’s to catch all the sporting action elsewhere in the world.  For prices, hours, and additional information, check out