Community center to host picnic celebration June 9

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Eureka Springs Community Center will officially open with a picnic celebration 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 9, offering services like Zumba and pickleball to the area.

Diane Murphy, chairwoman of the Eureka Springs Community Center Foundation, said Equity Bank will bring a grill and provide hotdogs to picnic goers. The event will also feature assorted picnic foods, Murphy said. A 22-foot water slide will be on-site for the kids, according to a press release from the foundation.

At 11:30 a.m., the foundation will have an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, and the community can view the gym after.

“The fact that the community has been behind the project all the way and has been so committed to helping make it happen has made all the difference,” Murphy said.

At the event, there will be information about different classes the center will offer. Some classes like pickleball will be offered immediately, but others like swing dancing and hula-hoop fitness will begin in July.

The gym will initially be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m some Saturdays. The reason for the limited hours, Murphy said, has to do with the community center’s limited staff. She said she hopes the hours will evolve as the community center grows.

Locals can become members of the center for $20. Families will be able to join for $40. The memberships will last until the end of the year and will give the participants membership rates to classes, the release says.

The community center foundation has been functioning as a board for almost three years, Murphy said. The foundation repurposed the center from the old high school site, according to the release.

“Honestly, I have never served on a volunteer board like this that has worked so hard on everything,” Murphy said.

Murphy envisions the center as complementary to the services that Eureka Springs already offers, she said. The center isn’t meant to compete with other community projects. Instead, Murphy said, she hopes the services fill in the gaps in amenities.

At the picnic, there will be a display with the names of everybody who helped create the center.

“Every single donation counts, whether it’s time and effort, whether it’s dollars, whether it’s a great idea,” Murphy said.

The foundation raised money for the center through donations, fundraising and grants, according to a press release.

For the rest of the summer, people can join the Founding Member Campaign. Participants must donate $200 to the center, and, in turn, they will receive a plaque made of material from the old high school.

As always, Murphy said, everyone is open to add input for the community center’s future at the picnic.

“You don’t really get to build a community center without their community,” Murphy said.

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