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GBRC shares Blue Ribbon Award to promote health
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After accepting a $2,500 facsimile check from Doug Vance, executive director of the Kansas Recreation & Park Association (second from right), Diann Henderson, executive director of the Great Bend Recreation Commission (left) and others hold the Blue Chip Award banner from KRPA and BlueCross BlueShield of Kansas. Others pictured are, from left: Marlou Wegener, Alejandra Juarez and Bruce Schultz, all from BC/BS of Kansas, and Dr. Marc Huslig, president of the GBRC Board. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Several people working to make Barton County a healthier place received some recognition and financial assistance Monday during the Great Bend Recreation Commission Board meeting. Doug Vance, executive director of the Kansas Recreation & Park Association, visited the meeting along with representatives from BlueCross BlueShield of Kansas, to present a $2,500 facsimile check and a banner in honor of Great Bend winning the Blue Chip award.
The award was announced in January and GBRC Director Diann Henderson accepted it at the KRPA conference in Manhattan, so Monday’s visit was a chance to thank those involved. Great Bend was one of four Kansas communities – the others being Greensburg, Lawrence and Wichita – recognized for efforts to create healthier communities. GBRC shared its $2,500 with Great Bend USD 428, the City of Great Bend, Barton County Extension Agency and ElderCare.
Representatives from each of those entities received a plaque Monday, and a thank-you from GBRC Board President Dr. Marc Huslig. “Thank you for your support of healthy lifestyle through our program, development of public spaces and community-wide events,” he said. “I hope this becomes infectious and we can do this a few more times.”
Henderson said previously that at least part of the money will be used either to improve the walking trail at Veterans Memorial Park, or for activities that encourage using the trail.
In other business Monday, GBRC staff reported June 1 activities are planned during the June Jaunt celebration. There will be an NBC baseball tournament at the Great Bend Sports Complex, and that is also where the recreation commission will unveil the Imagination Playground it has purchased. Other June 1 events include a tennis tournament and model airplane fly-in at MACK Field, sponsored with the Model Association of Central Kansas.