Megan Hammeke is the Great Bend Recreation Commission’s newest recreation coordinator, in charge of programs for senior citizens and people with special needs, as well as the summer aquatics program. GBRC Director Diann Henderson introduced Hammeke to the recreation commission’s board of directors when it met Monday.
Hammeke joined the GBRC staff in April, working in the office. She was promoted to coordinator after the retirement of Linda Marqueling, and her first official day on the job was Oct. 3, when she helped with the fall style show at the Senior Center.
She is a 2006 graduate of Great Bend High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in health and human performance from Fort Hays State University. She is also a certified water safety instructor, and managed the Club West swimming pool in Great Bend during the summers when she was in college.
She is married to Ryan Hammeke, and the couple are expecting their first child.
Aquatic instruction is in her blood, Hammeke said. "My great-grandmother was Nadine Amerine, and she taught swim lessons for years."
Her degree and training have prepared Hammeke to coordinate special needs programs, such as the easy cooking classes, Light & Lively exercise program, bowling, arts and crafts, and the upcoming Halloween Dance at the Activity Center. She’s also trained to coordinate senior programs, which include the STEPS exercise program, a new Activity for the Ages program at the Senior Center, and an upcoming defensive driving course.
During Monday’s business meeting, the GBRC board approved specifications for a new van that will expand the fleet by one vehicle. Henderson said the specifications call for a Dodge Grand Caravan because of its stowaway seats, and that the van was included in this year’s capital outlay budget. The new van is needed with the addition of the Great Bend Activity Center at 2715 18th St.
"It’s similar to what we’re using now (at other sites)," Henderson said. "These are very standard options we’ve put on it." The request for bids will be published as a public notice in the Great Bend Tribune later this week.
Henderson reported that GBRC offered 1,220 hours of supervised activities in September. There were 1,655 people enrolled in programs. Total participation was 13,052 (each time a person participates in an activity is counted), of which 5,481 were spectators. For the same period in 2010 there were 1,559 people enrolled in programs, and participation was 12,413, of which 4,919 were spectators. The recreation commission will offer 133 different programs this fall.
In other business, Henderson and staff shared the following information:
• Sun shades have been added on the east side of the Municipal Auditorium, replacing trash sacks that once covered the windows. There are also new trash cans in the gym and outside the recreation center.
• GBRC is involved in the operational plan for the city’s new Great Bend Sports Complex on the south end of town. It is expected to be ready to use this spring. A representative from the Kansas State High School Activities Association plans to tour the site today.
• Leisure Program Coordinator Garet Fitzpatrick said 261 students attended the recent Great Bend Middle School dance at the Activity Center, which was the largest attendance he’s seen.
• Sports Coordinator Chris Umphres said there are no changes to basketball rules this year. The deadline to sign up for youth or adult basketball is Friday, with late registrations accepted next week.
• The Kansas Recreation and Parks Association president and executive director will be in Great Bend for one hour on Oct. 18 and will tour the Activity Center and the new sports complex. They will also visit Russell, Wilson State Park and Ellsworth.
• In January, GBRC staff will attend the KRPA conference at Topeka and will sponsor two of the informative programs there.