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Brooklet names center for councilman
Randy Newman led project to restore community building
Randy Newman photo.jpg
Brooklet City Councilman Randy Newman cuts the ribbon to officially open the Randy Newman Community Center and Festival Grounds back in the fall. The facility has been a popular place for events since that time, especially over the Christmas holidays. - photo by JULIE LAVENDER/Special

When Brooklet City Councilman Randy Newman walks into the city of Brooklet employee Christmas party this week, he’ll step into a building that carries his own name.

The Randy Newman Community Center and Festival Grounds, just a stone’s throw from downtown Brooklet, has been a popular venue for local events since the building was named in his honor back in the fall.

Brooklet citizens are especially enjoying the center during the holidays, with Christmas parties filling up the calendar. The community center and grounds are available to the public for a rental fee.   

Mayor William Hendrix is particularly proud of the refurbished facility and hopes the town members will enjoy use of the property.

“It’s available for rent for anything, with the exception of alcohol-related events,” Hendrix said. “Birthday parties, weddings and other shindigs. Inside the community center or outside use of the pavilion.”

For years, the property has been the site of the annual Brooklet Peanut Festival. The Brooklet Community Development Association rented the area each year from the Jones family. Several years back, the property became available, and the city of Brooklet purchased it.

A building stood on the property, but it needed some work to be useable by the public.

“Councilman Jim Stanoff brought up the subject of having Bingo in Brooklet,” Newman said. “Since we did not have a space large enough at the time, I suggested remodeling the building we had.”

Newman, who is the zoning administrator/chief building inspector for Bulloch County, said he took on the project — and with great passion, apparently.

“Randy has diligently worked on this building,” Hendrix said. “He does so much for the town of Brooklet. He put his heart and soul into this project.”

Newman has spent almost his entire life in Brooklet.

“I’ve always loved what we call the ‘town’ of Brooklet,” he said. “My family moved here when I was 6 years old, and when I was young, I used to cut grass for several people in town. Back then, everybody knew everybody.

“When I was 13, I started painting houses with Mr. George Roebuck, and I worked for him every summer until I went to college at Georgia Southern.”

After graduation, Newman worked at Brooks Instruments for 10 years before starting a painting business with his wife, Theresia.

In 1998, Newman ran unsuccessfully for City Council against Jan Tankersley, but won the election for the position in 2000.

Newman’s passion for his hometown is, and was, evident to all, which resulted in the refurbished building sporting his name.

The soft-spoken councilman had only a few words to say during the ribbon-cutting ceremony and showed great emotion.

“I am so grateful and humbled by this. It means a lot to me, and I feel so honored to have this named after me,” he said. “I just love doing stuff — I’d rather be behind the scenes. When I found out the building was being named for me, I was so overwhelmed that I cried like a baby.

“I appreciate this. I have always wanted to give back to the community that I love so much.”

For information about rental opportunities for the Randy Newman Community Center and Festival Grounds, contact Brooklet City Hall.                                             

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