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New equipment helps GBRC monitor heat
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Great Bend Recreation Commission has purchased a portable device so it can check the heat index of any playing field, GBRC Director Diann Henderson told her board of directors Monday.

The decision to cancel a game or practice is based on indexes that combine temperature and humidity. The Kansas State High School Activity Association has published charts for both hot and cold weather to show dangerous levels, Henderson said. Coaches have guidelines on how to safely conduct practices, and a staff member can cancel events due to weather issues, including temperature or lightning.

Usually the decision falls to GBRC Sports Coordinator Chris Umphres. Temperatures reached 100 degrees or more several times in the past month, but Umphres said none of the games had to be canceled due to heat. "Even though it was hot, the humidity stayed down," he said.

Henderson and Umphres also reported on the new "Great Bend Rec" Facebook page, which has links to schedules, scores and league standings.

In action items Monday, the board awarded the bid for next year’s T-shirts to M&N Screen Printing & Embroidery, which submitted the low bid of $4.20 per shirt. The only other bid was for $4.31. Umphres said between 1,800 and 2,000 shirts are purchased each year for youth team sports. Along with the Recreation Commission logo, the shirts show the team name and player number.

GBRC employee Megan Hammeke reported on this year’s swimming lessons. She said 398 children enrolled in one or more of the three swimming classes, and 49 children were enrolled in the lessons for toddlers 6 months to 3 years old.

Garet Fitzpatrick reported on leisure programs, noting the next round of aerobics classes starts Aug. 22. Fitzpatrick also reported that GBRC is looking for someone to teach hunter safety courses.

For the month of July, there were 4,099 people enrolled in 1,475 hours of supervised GBRC activities, Henderson said. There were 15,768 participants, of which 6,729 were spectators.

Brochures for fall activities are scheduled to come out on Sept. 12. "Mark your calendars for Dec. 5th," Hendersonn said. "That’s our ‘Santa’s Workshop’ date."