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Young professional group to host kickoff

HYPE, a local young professionals group, is kicking off its 2021 schedule with an event next Thursday, Jan. 21 at Sweetland on Ice.

The kickoff has an 80s theme and there will be a $10, buy-one-get-one-free rate for skating. It starts at 6 p.m.

“HYPE loves a theme and ‘Ice, Ice, Baby ‘seemed fitting,” said Leslie Traylor, HYPE’s membership coordinator. “Leg warmers and oversized sweatshirts are encouraged.”

The organization held last year’s kickoff at Great Wolf Lodge. HYPE aims to provide networking and engagement for the young workforce in Troup County, getting them more involved in the community.

“Unfortunately, once COVID-19 hit our community mid-March, we were in the same boat as many other organizations having to cancel or reschedule events,” said Anabeth Ivey, HYPE’s outgoing president. “We tried to host a small outdoor gathering in July 2020 to pick things back up, but we quickly realized the obstacles of COVID weren’t going away any time soon.”

HYPE, which stands for Helping Young Professionals Engage, is always seeking more members, Traylor said. The group hopes the kickoff will attract people to join. The event is open to anyone 40 and under, and  HYPE’s members live and work across Troup County.

“Any young professional that wants to get more involved in the community is definitely invited and encouraged to attend,” Traylor said, adding that attendees will be “joining fellow young professionals for a fun night as we skate, meet the board and learn more about our 2021 calendar of events.”

Sweetland on Ice, which opened in November and runs until Feb. 15, features a 5,500-square foot open-air ice-skating rink operated by the amphitheater. Tickets are typically $14 for skating and rental, but the HYPE special allows people to pay $10 for two people.