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GAITHERSBURG — At Monday night’s Council meeting, Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council unanimously passed a resolution to expand the scope of a nonprofit agency responsible for supporting and promoting the city’s recreational and cultural programs.
At the Nov. 19 meeting, the Council passed an ordinance to amend Chapter 6B of the city code, which expanded the scope of the Gaithersburg Arts and Monuments Funding Corporation (GAMFC) so it could benefit the city’s parks and recreational programs, in addition to continuing to fund the city’s arts programs and revitalization initiatives.
Reflecting the change in scope, the ordinance changed the agency’s name to the Gaithersburg Parks, Arts, and Recreation Corporation, or G-PARC. Monday night’s resolution established G-PARC and confirmed its inaugural board of directors.
“Under G-PARC, we will create three alliances, an arts alliance, a parks alliance, and a recreation alliance,” said Denise Kayser, Gaithersburg’s Arts and Events Division Chief, who will also serve as staff liaison to G-PARC. “The arts alliance will continue supporting the programs that we already support, like the Book Festival, the Arts Barn, and public art, the chorus. We’d also like to start programs to help artists become more business-minded to sell their art, sort of an enterprise toolkit for artists. For the parks alliance, we already have a board member from the Muddy Branch Alliance, and we’re going to reach out to the Izaak Walton League and other organizations to pool our resources to improve and preserve our parks. The recreation alliance will raise money to support our programs and scholarships.”
Representatives of the Kentlands Community Foundation presented a donation of $11,000 to the city’s Dolores C. Sawyer Scholarship. The donation came from funds raised by the 25th annual Kentlands/Lakelands 5-k, which was held Sept. 1.
“This is the most we’ve ever received from the Kentlands Community Foundation,” said Michelle Potter, Gaithersburg’s Director of Arts, Recreation, and Culture, who accepted the oversized check on behalf of the city. The scholarship allows children who cannot meet the financial requirements to attend the city’s summer camp programs.
The city hall administrative support team received the city’s third-quarter employee recognition award.
“Our front desk team are the first people that you meet when you come to City Hall,” said City Manager Tony Tomasello. “They do a great job of putting people at ease. When someone comes to the city in a bad mood, they leave feeling at least a bit better.”
Before the meeting, Ashman and the Council hosted the city’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting on the City Hall grounds.