SIPtember raises $10K for community center
The Eureka Springs Community Center continued its annual SIPtember event on Wednesday, Sept. 15, raising at least $10,000 for the organization.
Board member Jean Elderwind said she doesn’t have the grand total yet, but the event raised $10,000 minimum and possibly more. The majority of the funds, Elderwind said, came from silent and live auction items. Elderwind said the fundraiser is another example of the Eureka Springs community coming through for the community center.
“We had so many generous individuals and businesses and banks and restaurants and hotels give us fabulous items for our auction,” Elderwind said. “It wouldn’t have been a success without the generosity of so many businesses and individuals, plus about 80 people that were there being so generous to bid on and purchase items.”
The first SIPtember event happened in 2019, Elderwind said, and was postponed in 2020 because of COVID-19. Elderwind said Gotahold Brewing offered to host this year’s event in its large beer garden, giving plenty of space for social distancing. Additionally, Elderwind said, the brewery requires masks indoors — the same policy implemented by the community center at all its facilities.
“You could sit at a table and not have interaction with others unless you chose to do so,” Elderwind said. “It’s a venue where you would feel personally safe during COVID-19.”
Activities director Cathy Segur said several people signed up for memberships at the event.
“I was elated at the number of people that came out from the community to support us,” Segur said. “It was just a really fun event. We had a competition going on between two different teams and they had a costume contest, so a lot of people dressed up and came out to help.”
Segur encouraged everyone to check out the community center and all its offerings, including a fitness center, classes and a walking trail surrounding the facility. The community center is now open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Segur said pickleball is the most popular activity at the community center.
“It’s the fastest-growing sport in America,” Segur said. “We have three courts available.”
The community center will add three classes in October, Segur said, for a total of 10 classes. Segur said the classes are scheduled at various times to give everyone an opportunity to join in.
“Some people want to sleep in, and some people want to come in early,” Segur said. “That’s the beauty of us being open 12 hours a day. I’m trying to build some more classes during the day and early-morning hours.”
Segur said she recently sent out a survey to the members asking what they’d like to see and do at the community center.
“I’m taking all that information and trying to find the best way to do that,” Segur said.
If you’ve never been to the community center, Segur said, the staff is happy to show you around.
“I have a new staff. We’re all three new here,” Segur said. “We work together really well together. We want people to come in, feel relaxed and call this their place. We’re always here to help them.”
Segur said the community center will have a wellness open house from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 6. She’s looking to offer more events and programming to the community, Segur said.
“I want this to be their place,” Segur said. “You can feel the buzz in here. You can feel the excitement building when they come in.”
Elderwind said she has been part of the board for the past six years.
“I was there at the very start when we received our 501(c)(3) designation in 2015 and I have watched it grow and I have watched us grow as a board,” Elderwind said. “I have great optimism for what the future will hold. We’re moving forward and so grateful for all the support.”
For more information on the community center, visit www.ESCommunity.org.