Community Center becomes magnet for area residents
BERRYVILLE -- The Berryville Community Center continues to attract new members, including the 84 who joined in July alone.
More than 1,000 new members joined last year, bringing the total number of active and inactive members to nearly 12,000.
Those were some of the figures Emma Hamilton, director of Berryville Parks and Recreation Department, presented to city council members when they met Tuesday evening.
Hamilton said attendance is up nearly 10 percent over last year. Members now represent 175 different ZIP codes. More than 50 percent come from Berryville, nearly 17 percent from Green Forest, and almost 12 percent from Eureka Springs. Holiday Islanders account for 4.36 percent of overall memberships.
Adult "enhancement classes," which are free to the public, are continuing, she said. They include September sewing and scrapbooking classes, October cooking and sewing courses, November decoupage and photo book sessions, and a December two-part course in ceramic Christmas ornament making. Some courses do require a class supply fee.
Hamilton said the BCC has a good base of "core" volunteers. They, along with "consistent" community service workers, logged in a total of 2,244 volunteer hours so far this year.
She noted that September is volunteer recognition month and the BCC will host its annual volunteer banquet on Sept. 25 to honor those who contribute their time to the center.
The summer youth program, which served 60 youngsters, has concluded, she reported, but Mighty Mites and soccer leagues were starting up.
The outdoor pool has also closed for the season, she said. Eight life guards were employed during the season, offering swimming lessons and supervision of private parties four evenings a week.
Alderman Cindy George inquired about a possible switch to salt water, rather than chlorinated water in city-owned pools.
Hamilton said it was possible in the outdoor pool because sunlight played a role, but not for the indoor pool at the BCC.
She promised to check into the salt water option further, especially since George noted the maintenance cost was reported to be considerably less than chlorine.
In other council business, a request for use of the Public Square was approved.
A Toys for Tots Pig Roast is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 20, from 3 to 9 p.m. on the west side of the square. Organizers say they have rented the community building and the actual event will run from 5 to 8 p.m., with children's games included in the activities.