Thursday November 07, 2019

ALPS director honored with state award

Londa Strong
Londa Strong

If you’ve enjoyed a Cabarrus County park or active program in the last few decades, chances are Londa Strong had something to do with it. Strong’s involvement with recreation in Cabarrus County dates back nearly four decades and during that time, she’s been a catalyst for progress.

The North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association (NCRPA) recently presented Strong with the Fellow Award, the highest honor the association bestows on members.

The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners recognized Strong at its October meeting. In the 76 years of existence of the NCRPA, Strong is one of only 99 people to receive the honor, according to Keith Jenkins, NCRPA president.

According to the organization, selection for the award is “based on an objective system of rating including membership in NCRPA; a minimum of 10 years’ experience in the field of recreation and parks; service contributions to the recreation and park movement through the Association and other state and national recreational and park organizations and exemplary leadership and character.”

NCRPA Executive Director Michelle Wells, who at one time worked under Strong in Cabarrus, detailed her former mentor’s contributions.

“For more than two decades, Londa oversaw the administration of Cabarrus County’s Matching Incentive Grant program, seeing nearly $5 million be utilized for community recreation projects, including 35 school parks and the creation and/or enhancement of various parks and recreation facilities by local non-profit organizations,” Wells recently told commissioners.

“We all benefit as Cabarrus County employees because your heart is not just in this community, it’s with your co-workers …” Cabarrus County Deputy County Manager Jonathan Marshall told Strong during the meeting. “It is very much appreciated.”

“I have the best job anyone could ask for,” Strong said. “You get hugs every day from participants, they thank us for providing opportunities and programs and it’s like working with your best friends.”

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