CHAGRIN FALLS, OH (WOIO) - The Chagrin Valley Recreation Center, long beloved tradition of Summers in the Chagrin Valley, is asking for the support of the community in order to remain open and develop into an improved facility that better meets the desires of the community and is fully sustainable into the future.
Declining membership over recent years combined with increased maintenance costs of the aging facility has caused a financial crisis. As a non-profit organization that does not receive any funding from taxes, the Rec depends on its membership fees to cover operational costs and provide programming such as swim and tennis lessons, masters swimming, day camps, and special events. The membership numbers in recent years have simply not been enough to cover those costs. Added to that is the need for serious repairs to the aging facility including pool pump repairs, pressure gauges, by-pass valves, filters, concrete work and patching damaged areas of all three pools.
"In 2011 and 2012 we sold close to 400 memberships to individuals and or families. This past summer, that number plummeted to just over 200. We can't maintain a viable facility with that membership - it's just that plain and simple" explained Rec Chairperson, Michael Garvey.
The Rec needs to raise $100,000 in order to open next year and begin improvements to attract more members.
"The problem is two-fold," says Mr. Garvey, "we need to raise enough money to cover expenses to open next year, but just as important, we need the community to support the Rec. We need members to come back- to bring their families and friends back. And we need new members. So we need to know what we should do to improve the Rec in order to meet their needs. The Rec is a truly unique place that has successfully filled an important niche in our community in the past; the challenge now is to build upon that history to keep up with changing times. "
Fundraisers are being planned throughout the fall and a membership drive, normally held in the spring, will commence in October. Everyone is encouraged to join in helping save the Rec. Planning committees are being formed to develop a strategic plan to make the Rec viable for the future.
Community members will be asked to visit the Rec website, www.chagrinrec.com in the coming weeks to show their support as well as take a survey to help discern what is most important to the community in a recreational facility.
"We will do everything possible to not only keep the Rec open but make it better than ever. We believe the community will rally to ensure that summer memories are enjoyed by generations to come," added Mr. Garvey. ""We want people to invest in the Rec, not just donate."
The Rec needs more than money- it needs members and a supportive community. Please visit www.chagrinrec.com to commit to join for the 2015 season, show your support, and donate.
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