The Great Bend Recreation Commission’s board of directors thanked outgoing board member Dr. Mary Misegadis for eight years of service at its Monday meeting. Misegadis’ term as an elected board member expires at the end of the year and is not eligible for another renewal at this time.
A plaque presented to Misegadis in appreciation of her service noted, “Her vision has enhanced recreational opportunities in Great Bend.”
Dr. Misegadis also had words of appreciation for the GBRC staff and board.
“You have the finest group of people that you could possibly have. It’s been an honor to have been part of this group,” she said. “You serve the community. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you do.”
A new board member, Sandy Smith, will be appointed by the Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education and will be sworn in at the January meeting. USD 428 makes the appointments for two seats on the GBRC board.
The board also approved a change to the Employee Handbook. GBRC Executive Director Diann Henderson said the revision reflects requirements of the Affordable Care Act, and states that group health insurance will be available to all eligible employees. “This is the verbiage that was recommended by Blue Cross & Blue Shield,” she said. (More part-time employees became eligible to sign up for insurance under the law.)
In other action, the board met in executive session for 15 minutes while discussing personnel and the administrative evaluation.
Adult and youth soccer rules were on the agenda but no action was required because Sports Director Chris Umphres said there were no rule changes.
Henderson answered questions about a late payment of tax money from the Barton County Treasurer’s Office, which was the subject of a story in Sunday’s Great Bend Tribune. “We did receive a $30,000,” she said. However, the Tribune story showed GBRC receiving two checks, for $30,363.63 and $127,835.84, which was an error, she said. The larger amount was awarded to Great Bend USD 428.
She also said the December payment of money that should have been paid last June did not adversely affect the rec commission, which has an operating budget that can accommodate the late cash flow. “Budget-wise, that’s not an issue for us,” she said.
Program coordinators reported on November activities:
Megan Hammeke said bowling continues to be popular with the special needs population, who bowled a total of 181 times last month. Sixteen people helped decorate a Christmas tree at the Barton County Historical Society Museum, and 64 attended the Thanksgiving dance featuring the band Free Lance. This month’s programs include a Santa ceramic craft, making a calendar, and another dance, this time with a DJ. The Knights of Columbus will help the rec commission with the cost of the Christmas dance, where participants also receive goodie bags with applies, oranges and peanuts.
Hammke is also the coordinator for senior programs, where fitness classes are popular. Fit For Life met nine times, with people exercising a total of 219 times. Meanwhile, the Tai Chi classes continue to grow in popularity, and are offered at three experience levels. Seventy seniors attended the USD 428 coffee last month at the Senior Center. This month’s activities will include more exercise and craft activities, and a holiday open house at the Senior Center on Thursday.
For sports, Umphres reported basketball and adult volleyball are keeping the gyms busy this month.
Garet Fitzpartrick, coordinator of leisure programs, said Santa’s Workshop was a big event on Dec. 1, and participants in an arts and crafts class decorated a Christmas tree at the Shafer Gallery. The Imagination Playground usually draws at least 24 children when it is open for drop-in activities, and the rec commission is still accepting entries for the longest pheasant tail feather and for snow sculptures, whenever it snows. The Barton County Academy will present a talent show at the Rec Center, 1214 Stone St., at noon on Wednesday. Great Bend Middle School’s Women in Harmony Group will perform at the Christmas Entertaining Meals event on Dec. 17. The meal will begin at noon and the group will begin performing at 12:15 p.m. The event will end by 1 p.m. Registration for the catered meal is due to the GBRC office by Friday, Dec. 12.
For the month of November, GBRC had 3,805 enrollments. There were 9,331 participants, of which 3,180 were spectators. GBRC offered 1,134.5 hours of supervised activities.