(Posted Aug. 11, 2017)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
Activity is picking up at the West Jefferson Community Center.
In the few months the village-operated center has been open, it has become home to the popular children’s Lunch-and-Learn program and the Forever Young senior fitness program.
According to Parks and Recreation Director Marci Darlington, the center had hosted 18 Lunch-and-Learn sessions so far this summer, serving a total of 429 lunches. The Aug. 14 and Aug. 17 sessions will feature backpack and school supply giveaways. On Aug. 15, COSI will present a program entitled “Coaster Creators.” The Aug. 17 session, the last in the series, also will feature magician Rory Rennick. For all sessions, lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. followed by the program from noon to 1 p.m.
Darlington also noted that the center has been rented out three times by private parties, and she is getting more inquiries about rentals.
Additionally, the West Jefferson Advisory Council and West Jefferson Business Group are holding their meetings at the center.
The village is sprucing up the grounds with raised bed gardens that soon will feature fall flowers.
On Aug. 1, National Night Out activities, according to Darlington’s report, drew hundreds of participants and 22 vendors and exhibitors.
Darlington also reported on activities at the pool where the last day for regular swimming will be Aug. 20. On Aug. 21, the dogs take over for the annual Dog Paddle from 4 to 8 p.m.
Darlington said she is working with life guard managers to develop a hiring and training program for next season.
Coming up on the recreational calendar is a Family Fishing Fiesta scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Duke Farm House on Route 29. The catch-and-release event is supported by a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and a donation from the Wells family. Children will learn about baiting hooks, casting, preservation and more at stations set up at the pond. Bait will be provided. Each child will receive a rod and reel combo and a tackle box. Prizes will be awarded for the most fish caught, biggest fish, smallest fish and ugliest fish. Food will be served. To register, call Darlington at (740) 490-8317 by Sept. 6.
Grant funding also supported a Something’s Fishy program on July 17 and National Night Out activities on Aug. 1. Darlington is working out details for a Senior Fishing Fun program on Sept. 9 for senior citizens. Money also has been set aside for Fishing with Mom and Fishing with Dad activities in 2018.