March 31, 2015 News Release: Rec director receives 9th statewide award, Department of Recreation, Greene County Government, Pennsylvania

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Greene County Department of Recreation
107 Fairgrounds Road, Waynesburg, PA 15370
Phone: 724-852-5323 • Fax: 724-852-5356 •

News Release

County of Greene, Pennsylvania
Contact: Elizabeth Menhart
Communications Director
Phone: 724-852-5210 / Fax 724-627-5428

Recreation director receives ninth statewide award
FOR RELEASE — March 31, 2015

WAYNESBURG, PA — Greene County Recreation Director Jake Blaker recently received an excellence in recreation and parks award from the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, Inc.

Blaker accepted the award at a ceremony held Tuesday, March 24, during the 68th annual PRPS State Conference at the Lancaster Marriott and Convention Center in Lancaster, Pa. The Department of Recreation was honored for the 2014 series of Flashlight Drags drag-racing events held at the Greene County Airport in Waynesburg. The events provide a safe, legal alternative to street racing and help boost county tourism and the local economy.

"The drag races bring people from all over the region into the county," Blaker said. "We have had people from as far as Washington, D.C., participate in the races. With support from the Greene County Commissioners, our vendors, and personnel from the county prison, EMS, Waynesburg VFD and the Sheriff’s department, we are able to continue these highly entertaining events."

Produced by Altered Gas Performance Events, LLC, Flashlight Drags consists of a 1/8-mile race along the airport runway. Drivers can race as many times as they want and against any of the other racers, all for fun. The format is heads-up, meaning that both vehicles leave the starting line at the same time. The name of the event refers back to the early days of drag racing, when a flashlight was used to signal the start.

Since 2006, the Department of Recreation has been recognized with nine excellence in recreation and parks awards. According to the PRPS, award recipients must demonstrate outstanding quality, innovation, range and value of appeal, community support, and efficient use of funding, human and material resources in the development, delivery and use of programs, special events, publications and promotions.

Nominations are rated based on how well they demonstrate the POWER principles, which include how the entry positions public parks and recreation as an essential community service, its outcome and wow factor, how it effects change and how it utilizes resources.

"We are extremely appreciative of the work that the Recreation Department does under the supervision of Jake Blaker," said Commissioner Chuck Morris, chair of the Greene County Board of Commissioners. “Jake organizes unique events, and his dedication to the youth of the county has been and will continue to be exemplary."

The PRPS is the principal state organization promoting quality recreation and park training, networking and leadership opportunities for those working and volunteering in the field. Headquartered in State College, Pa., the PRPS is a nonprofit membership association with more than 1,700 members statewide. For more information, visit For more information on Flashlight Drags, including the 2015 dates, visit or

Photo attached: Jake Blaker (right), Greene County director of recreation, accepts a Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, Inc., excellence in recreation and parks award from Barry Bessler, chair of the PRPS recognition and awards committee, at a ceremony held March 24 in Lancaster, Pa.

For general information, please contact the Information Services
at 724-852-5399 / Toll Free: 1-888-852-5399
Greene County Office Building, 93 E. High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370

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