To the editor:
Fifteen years ago a small group of men from the Beaver Springs area conceived of a community center where area youngsters could congregate for various activities in a safe and healthful environment. After doing some polling and feasibility studies, it was decided to go ahead with the project. A suitable piece of land was purchased and paid for and construction began.
A corporation was formed and a Board of Directors appointed.
Thanks to the generosity of several local businessmen, enough funds were provided to begin building the project. As with many such projects, the final cost was double the first estimate. A bank loan allowed us to finish the project and open the doors on May 15, 2002, with a mortgage of $950,000. The facility is one of the finest privately-operated, if not the finest in central Pennsylvania.
Over the years the MACC has offered such programs as Silver Sneakers, Strut n Stroll, Tae Kwon Do, Zumba, yoga, basketball for youth and adults, volleyball, weightlifting, racquetball, summer day camp, pre-school classes, after school programs, Teen Adventure Service, shuffleboard, bocce and free babysitting for members.
Available for members are two racquetball courts, 10,000 sq. ft. gym with two basketball courts, available also for volleyball, badminton, tennis, indoor soccer and field hockey. There is a climbing wall. There is a fitness room equipped with approximately a dozen machines. There is an aerobics room used for specific classes, such as advanced exercise, martial arts, etc. There is a conference room available for meetings, etc. There is a toy-filled child care room with its own restroom facility. There is a fully-equipped kitchen and lobby area with ping pong and two pool tables. There are ample locker, shower and restroom facilities.
During the early years we were able to obtain grants from the U.S. Department of Justice which provided financing for a variety of programs for teens. Federal government austerity measures have since eliminated that source of funding. Some local charities provide us with some funds to run specific programs, and occasional state government grants are available. We have faithfully reduced our mortgage, the balance of which now stands at $432,000. It has been a struggle, and is becoming more so.
Our mortgage payments are approximately $60,000 annually. Utilities, including electric, propane, water and sewer, phone, cable and Internet are approximately $35,000 anually. Also payroll must be met. Membership fees alone are not sufficient to cover these expenses. Over the years we have sponsored various fundraisers, such as golf tournament, chicken barbecue, Chinese auction, carnival games, breakfast, yard sale, etc.
These activities take a tremendous amount of work, mostly through the efforts of many volunteers. Without the enthusiastic support of volunteers the MACC could not function. The MACC employs just three full time staff. There have been several part-timers, mostly funded by the Americorp or CareerLink.
What would our community be like without the MACC? Would children and teens suffer without the opportunities offered by the MACC? Would the adults who use the facilities have another place to better their health and fitness?
The MACC needs the input of the whole extended community because it is a treasure to be nourished and maintained. How can the community at large help the MACC flourish? Individual monetary donations of any amount are helpful and greatly appreciated. The eliminations of the mortgage would be the biggest step in bettering the MACC's financial situation.
Who will step up to the plate? The MACC benefits everyone in one way or another. Everyone can be a champion for a better community.
We invite you to visit the MACC. Any staff member or volunteer would be delighted to give you a guided tour of the facility.
Charles R. Bobb
MACC Board of Directors