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KU players coming to Great Bend
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University of Kansas basketball players will meet the public and play a game with local all stars at the annual KU Barnstorming Tour, Sunday, April 17 in the gym of the Barton Community College Kirkman Center.

Diann Henderson, executive director of the Great Bend Recreation Commission, discussed the upcoming fundraiser at Monday’s GBRC Board of Directors meeting. Tickets for a suggested donation of $8 will go on sale soon, with proceeds going to fund scholarships for young people who cannot afford GBRC fees. There will be an autograph signing period starting at 2 p.m., followed by a game at 4 p.m.

Henderson said arrangements for the annual event are under way, and three KU seniors are expected to attend. Names cannot be released until players finish the current basketball season.

In action items Monday, the board accepted the low quote for GBRC audits for the next three years, from McMillen Folkerts & Associates PA, for $13,200. The only other quote was $10,000 higher. The McMillen Folkerts accounting firm also had the low bid to prepare "990 forms" for the GBRC Foundation for the same period, for $1,650.

The board also adopted a Youth Sports Code of Conduct and voted to add it to baseball and softball rules and the youth sports manual. Henderson and sports program coordinator Chris Umphres said the code of conduct addresses issues that have come up in the past, but also addresses typical concerns. "We want to treat kids, coaches and spectators the same," Henderson said, adding the code is similar to what other recreation agencies use. It includes a provision that allows a person to be ejected from a game and suspended for the next two games for some violations (e.g., alcohol or weapons on premises).

Henderson said GBRC staff has been asked to repaint the concrete lion in front of the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo.

The director and board member Leonard Kaiser also reported on a recent visit from a KU focus group that is working on a Kansas Recreation and Parks Association statewide promotion. The group would like to create something that covers the broad range of parks and recreation services, which will be a difficult task, Henderson said. In the 1980s, a similar endeavor produced the slogan, "Life, Be In It," and accompanying materials that were part of a national campaign.

GBRC program coordinators Umphres, Linda Marqueling and Garet Fitzpatrick gave their monthly reports on recent activities. Henderson reported that for the month of February, GBRC had 2,997 enrollments; 17,284 participations, of which 8,329 were spectators; and offered 993 hours of supervised activities.