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Kiwanis concludes ‘Connecting the Community’ basketball tournament


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Dec. 29, 2020 - 4:48 PM

Kiwanis concludes ‘Connecting the Community’ basketball tournament

Beth Neely / The Newnan Times-Herald

The Kiwanis Club of Newnan recently concluded its Connecting the Community basketball tournament, which took place over four Saturday mornings starting on Nov. 14.

The objective of Connecting the Community is to share a message of unity among those who live in Newnan and Coweta. In addition to a basketball tournament, which included about 40 players each Saturday, an inspirational message of unity was shared with all participants. Community sponsors also provided lunch each day of the event.

Key contributors in sharing our message of unity include Hope Global Newnan, where the basketball games took place on three Saturdays, as well as the Newnan Police Department, whose officers served as referees for the basketball games and grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for event participants.

During inclement weather on one Saturday, the Kiwanis Club of Newnan thanks Royal Baptist Church for opening its doors to Connecting the Community.

Inspirational messages were shared by Ezra Thompson of the Newnan City Church, Daryle Smith of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Tommy Webb of Sleep in Heavenly Peace and Derrick Teagle of Empowered 4 Life.

The Kiwanis Club of Newnan thanks all of our Connecting the Community contributors and sponsors: Chick-fil-A, Empowered 4 Life, Community Christian Church, Royal Baptist Church, Newnan City Church and Toya Tees.

While this event may be concluding, the Kiwanis Club of Newnan will continue to promote our message of unity within the community. According to Derrick Teagle, a Newnan Kiwanis member who spearheaded the Connecting the Community event, “Our goal as a club is for this not to be just a four-week basketball tournament. We will be discussing how we extend our message of unity beyond just the four weeks of this event. We want to have conversations about how we can come together and unify our community.”

Newnan Kiwanis member C.R. Phillips, who is the lieutenant governor of Division 3 of the Georgia Kiwanis District and a key contributor to Connecting the Community, said, “This needs to continue and must continue. Kiwanis is all about perpetuating community contact events with young men and women. That is what we’re here for.”

Mike Barber, Treasurer of Newnan Kiwanis and also a key contributor to Connecting the Community, said, “Newnan Kiwanis is involved in the community, and our focus is on youth. This event is typical of what we do as a club, pursuing a positive purpose in the community. When other members of the community support Newnan Kiwanis, through events such as this or the county fair, they know their contributions to Kiwanis will have a positive impact on the youth in our community.”

Newnan Kiwanis members Andrea Foster, Beth Neely, Jeff Coggin and Mark Musaus also volunteered during the four-week event. Foster said she appreciates the lifetime values promoted by Connecting the Community such as teamwork, diversity and inclusion. Foster went on to say, “We need to have conversations about how to unify our community during this time and with these young men.”

Neely talked about developing relationships with those participating in Connecting the Community and said, “This is a great chance for everyone to get to know more people and leaders in our community. When we see each other when we’re out and about, we can take the opportunity to say hello to people we may not have otherwise known.”

The Kiwanis Club of Newnan meets for lunch every Tuesday at the Newnan Country Club at noon. Guests are always welcome.

20201219-COMMUNITY-Group-crop-2-1.jpg?mtime=20201221151618#asset:55997Landon Thomas waits for the ref to make a call.


20201219-COMMUNITY-Chef-Lee-1.jpg?mtime=20201221150930#asset:55988Newnan Police Officer Ed Lee mans the grill, serving up hot dogs and hamburgers after the basketball tournament at Royal Baptist Church on Dec. 5.20201219-COMMUNITY-Blurry-T-1.jpg?mtime=20201221150931#asset:55990T. Gilstrap drives the lane in the Kiwanis Connecting the Community basketball tournament hosted by Royal Baptist Church on Dec. 5. 20201219-COMMUNITY-Makai-dunk-1.jpg?mtime=20201221150931#asset:55989Makai Sullivan tips the ball in at the final Kiwanis Connecting the Community basketball tournament at the Hope Global Youth Center on Dec. 12. 20201219-COMMUNITY-Serving-line-1-1.jpg?mtime=20201221150932#asset:55991Kiwanians Mark Musaus, left, and Andrea Foster prepare plates to serve as fast as Officer Ed Lee, center, can cook them on Dec. 5.20201219-COMMUNITY-split-shot-1.jpg?mtime=20201221150933#asset:55992Jay Cook looks on while Z. Strozier tips in another one for the Red Team. 20201219-COMMUNITY-Coach-Derrick-1-1.jpg?mtime=20201221150934#asset:55994Kiwanian Derrick Teagle coaches his team during the final Kiwanis Connecting the Community basketball tournament on Dec. 12. 20201219-COMMUNITY-Group-crop-1-1.jpg?mtime=20201221150934#asset:55993Makai Sullivan, Eric Harris, Zay Gibbs and Jay Cook take a break after a solid run on the court.