Outlook healthy for Rec’s campaign

By on January 21, 2016

Final funding push to complete the campaign

The calendar timeline indicates Ephrata Rec Center is one-half way through its three-year Capital Campaign. Financial contributions paint an even brighter picture.

“The good news is, thanks to very generous support from some local businesses, the Ephrata Borough partnering with their matching funds program, the Lions Club’s generosity, and donations and commitments from Ephrata Rec supporters, we’re well over half-way to our 3-year campaign goal of $500,000,” said Executive Director, Jim Summers.

“It’s not apparent to someone walking through the front door, and noticing no change in the interior of the building, that we’ve spent over a quarter million dollars in infrastructure improvements which make a big difference to the building now and into the future,” said Summers.

It’s not visible that the new HVAC system replaced one was that was completely broken and all repair estimates indicated a new one was needed since it was well beyond its replacement date.

“The new HVAC system makes the whole building more comfortable for members and guests,” explained Summers. “The system corrected our high humidity problems and the consistent, lower humidity results in less wear and tear on light fixtures, paint, furnishings and equipment.”

The second of three big ticket items, the conversion from oil to gas, is also completed. This has stabilized several monitored calibrations that in the past fluctuated widely. Members have commented on the consistent comfort of all parts of the building.

“Helping us to complete two of our three, large planned projects was a grant we won from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA),” explained Summers. “We were eligible due to the size of our community.”

“Our community rec center is more than a place for people to exercise and take classes. We serve the community in many ways that never generate revenue for us,” Summers said.

“We do the Power Packs project which is part of a national program which provides food for needy families over the weekend, we provide year-round scholarships for students who want to participate in our sports programs and qualify for financial help, we provide space for civic clubs to meet and hold fundraisers, and provide Ephrata’s Fourth of July Firecracker Race and fireworks, to name a few of our big ticket community service activities,” said Summers.

“We’re moving forward and our excellent Board of Directors is positive about the direction in which we’re headed. Many folks enjoyed the successful, Horse Racing Night fundraiser the Board sponsored.”

“The third major project, a new roof over the gym and pool, I’m confident, with additional business, charitable organization and individual contributions will occur in the second half of 2016,” Summers said.

Poised to visit businesses not previously contacted, and competing again for a share of the USDA grant money, should help the Board green light this final, big expense item of the roof replacement this year.

“We’re also asking the community in general to know that their donations, one-time or over three years, are still most welcome,” said Summers. In addition to these three needed major renovations, smaller projects are also part of the three-year campaign.

“Our staff has been fantastic about helping fund other, much needed improvements,” Summers explained. “Money from a Bingo event, although not part of the capital campaign, went to upgrade the sound system in the aerobic studio, the group spin studio and the assembly room. Enough funds were raised to also replace all the broken mirrors which had cracked or sustained other damage over the years. Jan Ressler worked with our staff on this project. I can’t say enough about our impressive staff.”

As the Rec Center moves forward and invites other supporters of community recreation to join their campaign in progress, the Mission statement is what the Board of Directors always seeks to fulfill. Summers easily quoted it from memory: “To improve the quality of life by providing wholesome, affordable recreation opportunities to the citizens of the Ephrata area.”

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