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Helping a community in need
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 Patti Battle doesn't strike you as your average community advocate.

Tanned, fit, well-spoken and laid back, she seems like she could have easily gone through life having a good time.

Though she's embarrassed to admit it, in high school she ran with the in-crowd and dated the football players, garnering the jealousy of cheerleaders who felt she was encroaching on their territory.

But Battle's heart lies in community work. As head of Operation Dignity, a non-profit that works on improving housing and opportunities for low-income communities, she's worked with Porterdale residents for several years, fixing homes and getting grants for home improvement and youth activities.

In addition, Battle was recently named manager of Porterdale's Better Hometowns program, putting her in charge of promoting the town's image and encouraging downtown development.

She already has some big goals in mind, such as a Web site, town brand, business association, possible farmer's market and community events that will hopefully help break down the tentative barrier she sees between the newer Loft tenants and long-time residents.