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Family fun festival set for Sunday
by Bill Baldowski
June 25, 2014 11:59 AM | 2325 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Derek Nichols and his son, Ryland, 4, will take part in the Family Fun Festival and Co-Ed Softball tournament put on by the Nichols Center at Deer Lick Park Sunday.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal Derek Nichols and his son, Ryland, 4, will take part in the Family Fun Festival and Co-Ed Softball tournament put on by the Nichols Center at Deer Lick Park Sunday.
This Sunday’s Families of Recovery Family Fun Festival and Coed Softball Tournament is packed with activities designed to be a memorable start to the summer season.

Proceeds will benefit drug addiction recovery, said event organizer Tara Nichols, founder and president of the nonprofit Nichols Center in Douglasville.

Scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Deer Lick Park at 2015 Mack Road, the free festival will raise funds for the center, which provides education, awareness and support for families.

“The Nichols Center offers support to families and individuals dealing with this problem as well as offering career recovery classes and individual drug treatment planning as well as providing an intervention strategy for families,” Nichols said.

“It is our desire at the center not only to put such families in touch with resources available to them in Douglas County for treatment of those with substance abuse issues but get them connected and working with these available resources.”

More than 300 people attended last year’s festival in addition to 10 co-ed softball teams which took part in a double-elimination tournament.

Seven teams have registered to play Sunday but there is room for 19. The team registration fee is $200.

In addition, seven vendors have signed up to appear at the festival, which will include face painting, games and other activities.

The center recently took a giant step forward in establishing itself in the Douglas County community.

Northeast Georgia Recycling Co. donated space to house its services, Nichols said.

“We have remodeled the upstairs position of this structure so that families can come in and receive information on the services available in the county and do so in a family-friendly atmosphere,” she said.

“As part of our mission, we have also started a small clothing closet store to provide clothing for those in our program going to job interviews and we are in the process of starting a small food pantry.”

She said her reasons for starting the program are personal.

Nichols’ brother-in-law died of an accidental drug overdose a few years ago. After his death, she said, her family found a note he had written regarding his future plans.

“One of the things he wanted was to kick substance abuse,” Nichols said. “Our family suffered greatly with my brother-in-law’s substance abuse and felt powerless to do anything.”

Nichols said, however, families are not powerless in fighting substance within the family unit and there is help available.

“However, there are many families which just don’t know about the help that is already available and we want to assist them in finding that help,” Nichols said

“We are looking to become an everyday part of the local Douglas County community and we want families to come to the center and take advantage of the resources available.”

For more information on the festival or the center, call (678) 634-8989, email, or visit

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