October stacked up as one of our busier months, what with many program starts as well as several big events around the facility, including Ducks Unlimited, Columbia Basin Trust symposium, the Health and Wellness Fair, Halloween Hysteria and the Gleaners coat sale. Calling for some pretty rapid room turnarounds, intensified focus on cleaning and some concentrated administrative and programming requirements, staff rose to the occasion as they always do and by the end of the month, we had accumulated some pretty nice comments from all concerned.
The CBT symposium was interesting for us as we saw approximately 280 participants move around the facility into various sessions, breakout rooms and meals over a couple days. Providing significantly more to the community than facility rental revenue, the impact of close to 300 people moving around our valley, staying at our motels, buying gas, coffee and other bits and pieces is huge. Not only do events like this provide huge economic impact to the valley, they showcase what we have to offer as a community and I heard many positive comments along that line.
I’m not sure if you had a chance to take in the Health and Wellness Fair at the Creston and District Community Complex a couple weekends ago, but we had about 40 different vendors with a plethora of information about taking care of yourself and your families — some of which I didn’t know but found extremely useful. The fair was an initiative of the community complex, College of the Rockies, Physioworks and the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors and had booths in almost every room of the building tied together with footsteps on the floor leading you where to go. We got great feedback from both exhibitors and the public as to how we can improve upon the event next year, which is great; it can be dicey starting new events, and getting enough support and momentum to generate that critical mass that creates a life of its own, but it appears that we are on our way.
Halloween is pretty big for us and from humble beginnings with our Halloween Hysteria event in 1996, where we started to provide a safe alternative for young kids schlepping up and down the streets; we have always gotten a crowd partaking in the various games and activities. This year was no exception, as we saw over 150 little goblins, ghosts and princesses traverse around the Creston Room testing their skills and picking up some swag in their treat bags. Yes, I know some of you are saying, “What about the Health and Wellness philosophy?” and we hear you — but at this point we feel it is better to provide a safe environment and gradually work our way up to handing out broccoli and pine nuts.
On the aquatic scene, we had our Annual Slime Swim Oct. 27 and wow! It was the best yet with 217 participants — we almost made capacity in the pool, which then earns the guards on duty some special recognition. Slime Swim is always pretty cool, with the main lights dimmed and the underwater ones on; creating a spooky marine setting that would have even Count Floyd scared. We even went through about 125 caramel apples, which once you gnawed through the caramel, you had a pretty healthy, locally grown apple. (I’m always looking for that balance…)
Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.