For more than 30 years, some Great Bend men have started their mornings or spent their noon hours at the Municipal Auditorium, enjoying a game of pickup basketball in the gym. Now participants from the Great Bend Recreation Commission’s morning and noon basketball programs want to give something back – and establish a hall of fame, local attorney Chuck Pike said.
Pike addressed the GBRC Board on Monday, explaining the partnership some of the basketball players hope to form with the Rec Commission and its Foundation.
"In the late ’70s a group of businessmen started playing in the gym over the noon hour," Pike said. Those who still play would like to recognize some of the those people. In establishing a hall of fame, they plan to create a fund so donors can do something for the city — such as helping upgrade the adjustable goals in the gym or perhaps funding a basketball seminar. The details will be worked out later, but the plan is to give plaques to hall of famers and to have a permanent plaque and some photos on display.
"Tons of people have played," Pike said. "It’s grown from something pretty competitive to what we call Recess for Grown-ups." However, the competitive edge may return as some younger men are starting to play, he added.
GBRC Executive Director Diann Henderson said she’s already discussed the idea with Pike and the southeast corner of the Municipal Auditorium has some wall space that would work.
The proposal received unanimous support from board members who were present Monday.
"I think it’s a fantastic idea," said Leonard Kaiser, vice chairman. "I know there’s been hundreds of guys that have played." Dr. Marc Huslig, chairman, was unable to attend Monday but has played in some of the games, Pike said.
Sports Supervisor Chris Umphres said the fee for AM Basketball, which meets from 6:15-7:15 a.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, is $10 a year. Noon basketball meets Monday through Friday and the fee is $25 a year, which also allows the member to play in the morning games. Members who are 18 years and older who pay the yearly $50 membership for the Wellness Center don’t not have to pay additional basketball fees.
Umphres added there is no membership fee for walking in the Municipal Auditorium or for drop-ins at the gym at times when it is not in use. Drop-ins under 16 years old must be accompanied by someone who is at least 16.
In other business, the board heard the 2010-11 audit report from Curtis Kuhn with McMillen Folkerts & Associates PA, and met in executive session for 10 minutes to discuss a personnel matter, the administrative evaluation.
Kuhn said the Recreation Commission had another clean audit, with "no material issues."
"The center has very sound fiscal policy and is in a sound fiscal position," Kuhn reported. The audit includes the general fund and the employee benefit fund. Kuhn also looked at the GBRC Foundation, which received $720 in donations and was also the pass-through agency for the lease-purchase payment on the new Activity Center.
"We’re happy to say, as usual, we had no disagreements with management on the audit," Kuhn said. "They do a very good job behind the scenes of things you don’t see, for documentation and fiscal reporting."
Henderson also gave the monthly report of attendance. For December, there were 3,953 people enrolled in GBRC activities. There were 6,661 participants, of which 2,984 were spectators, and GBRC offered 984 hours of supervised activities.