Cascade residents and merchants said Thursday they are excited that Cascade Patch is now serving up news and advertising in their community.
"Cascade Patch keeps us abreast of what the community is doing, and allows us to keep the community abreast of what we are doing," said Ama Opare, who oversees Opare Integrative Health Care with her husband, Dr. Nana Kwaku Opare.
The Opares were among more than 50 people who attended a holiday open house hosted Thursday by Janita Poe, the editor of www.cascade.patch.com. The event was at the Southwest Branch Library behind the Southern Friends Car Wash on Cascade Road.
The Cascade Patch site is among the first Patches to launch in metro Atlanta. Soon there will be 60 local sites in metro Atlanta, Poe said.
The sites intend to deliver hyper-local news and advertising in an online newspaper and Poe said Thursday that the Cascade Patch is updated through the day with fresh news and announcements.
Among the sites' many powerful community features are its massive directory, marketplace and calendar.
The directory lists every business and governmental office in the Cascade area. Categories range from night life to restaurants, schools to senior centers and real estate.
Athon Barron, an active member of Providence Baptist Church, said he is delighted by the presence of Cascade.Patch.Com. He has already posted an announcement of an upcoming event at the church about a health-related program.
"I'm so glad to see it because what is needed in the community is advertising for small businesses," Barron said. "Cascade.Patch provides that."
Dan Young, a leader of the Sandtown Homeowners Association, said Cascade Patch will be a powerful voice for black-owned businesses in the area. The site also will deliver local news that now goes largely unreported by the media, he said.
"I see the Cascade Patch as an important contribution in informing us about political events," Young said. "The site also will talk about the development of black-owned businesses. It will provide an opportunity for our small businesses to communicate with their clients."
Many small businesses are family-owned, such as the Subway restaurant in Sandtown Crossing, he said. Many of them don't have big advertising budgets and now will be able to reach out through Cascade.Patch, Young said.
Poe, the editor of Cascade Patch, has personal experience with small business.
Poe has owned several small businesses in addition to working as a staff reporter for 16 years at four major metropolitan newspapers – including The Chicago Tribune and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Poe greeted everyone who dropped by the event. Guests nibbled on cookies and other snacks. Some won raffles with gifts that included Patch tote bags.
The Cascade community was not routinely covered by the media before the arrival of Cascade Patch, yet residents and visitors say it is a vibrant and vital place.
Cascade is comprised largely of young urban professionals in their 30s. There are just about the same number of singles as there are married couples, according to demographic data compiled by Neighborhood Link, a free network of community web sites.
Very specific information is available on this page operated by Emory University.
Home prices hover around $100,000. But the rolling wooded lands also offer higher priced homes in subdivisions, according to Neighborhood Link.
Schools are a focus of the Cascade lifestyle. Parents are active in their children's schools and routinely gather to celebrate their success.
For example, when Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, he was cheered at his alma mater by hundreds of students, parents and local politicians. Westlake High School's cafeteria was packed with folks who were so proud of the success of the Westside alumnus.
Like many Cascade Patch stories, the Newton celebration story was report on Cascade Patch with not only a story but also several dozen pictures and two videos.
Poe said the new website is committed to covering the daily news of the community.
"We're just getting started but we are growing fast," Poe said. "Our goal now is to not only let people know we exist but also that we are here to cover daily Cascade news."