Director’s Corner March 2023

As I write this, I just got back from vacation and now I’m already busy with lots of stuff happening at the Activity Center!
As of April 3 we will be open Monday through Friday, from 9am to 4 pm, which is the schedule we will continue to follow during the summer.
Upcoming events: The Gun and Sportsman Show is schedule for April 1 and 2, and we are taking vendor applications now.
The Rhubarb Festival in June has over 65% of vendor spots taken! We have over a dozen brand new vendors and my biggest fear is that our regular vendors may lose their preferred spots if they don’t renew NOW…we just have too many new vendors wanting those prime spots. So if you want to keep your spot, contact me now! And remember, if you join the Center as a business member at either the platinum or gold level, you can hang your banner at the Rhubarb Festival FOR FREE!
Our membership drive is continuing through March, and just last week we had about 45 people renew their membership. Remember, right now there’s a special membership rate of $35 if you sign up before the end of March. Even if you don’t want to participate in the classes the Center offers, or attend the lunches, your membership dollars keep our door open! For example, our gas bill usually runs about $399 a month….lately it’s tripled to about $1200 a month. And that doesn’t include our electric bill! So we really need those members to help us keep the lights on!
BIG NEWS! The Eclipse Theatre Company of Bend is coming to the La Pine Activity Center! We will have a performance of “Here On The Flight Path” on Sunday, April 16 at 2pm, complete with food and drinks! This is an adults-only play and hopefully the first of many in the future that we can offer this community. See page 5 for more information.
In other news, we are offering two new classes at the Center! We are not a gym or fitness center, but we have people coming here taking these two new classes and loving them. Shondra McGrath is the instructor for “Better Bones and Balance” held Fridays at 9am and Mondays at 11:30, and Carol Spaw is now offering exercise and strength activities. Her class is Wednesday at 1pm for low-impact exercises like weights, pull-ups, etc. Cost is $5 for members and $8 for non-members. See the article on page 7 of this newsletter for more information about these two new classes.
The High Lakes Car Club Swap Meet is scheduled for May 13, and we’re doing our annual Flea Market sometime in May or June. More to come on that!
Grants are being worked on for kitchen upgrades and improvements. We also received $10,000 from the Council on Aging for these kitchen upgrades.
Last year our big project was the asphalt parking lot, and this year our big project is upgrading our kitchen. Next year we may look at expanding our facility because we are growing, and there’s nothing to stop us continuing to expand!

Fit For Life Training

Carol Spaw is our new “Fit for Life” fitness trainer at the La Pine Activity Center, and on Wednesdays at 1pm you can find her in the main activity room, teaching people how to get moving and become stronger at any stage of life.
Originally from Iowa, Carol moved to La Pine about 15 years ago. She currently teaches Piyo (a combination of Pilates and Yoga) and spin classes at Anytime Fitness in La Pine. Through her business, All in Fitness, Carol teaches online and outdoor classes.
Fit for Life includes moving your body and utilizing weights and other workout equipment.
  “My main objective is to get people stronger, and the class can be as easy or difficult as the person wants.,” says Carol.  “The class is geared for all fitness levels, there’s no special equipment required and I ask that students just dress comfortably be ready to move and meet new friends!”
“Even though this is a new class, I think it’s going to be a good fit for the Activity Center,” said Carol. Through her Community Fitness she can do classes at your business for employees and the public.
“I really do enjoy working with the community and bringing health and fitness to everyone. We live in a beautiful place, so get fit and go out there and enjoy it!” 

Meet the Instructor for Better Bones & Balance

Do you need “Better Bones and Balance”? If so, then come to the Activity Center on Mondays and Fridays, where Shondra Zimmerman teaches an Oregon State University research-based class for folks with osteoporosis, but anyone who is interested can join.
“I’m about to be a physical therapist so I put my own flair into the class,” says Shondra, “like to work on mobility and bone building — which is a strength workout — to slow down the process of osteoporosis and sometimes actually reverse it. We also work on fall prevention, post-rehab work — we cover all the basics. We work on balance, and strengthening the bones and joints. The class lasts one hour, there are no physical requirements and it is for all levels. We’ll be starting to get on the floor soon, but anyone who can’t do that can use a chair. We accept all ages and injury levels. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and athletic shoes. The class meets Mondays at 11:30am and Fridays at 9am. It’s just $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers, and the first class is always free. I also do punch cards for regular members. I want to make sure everyone can take this, so if money is an issue, please come talk to me before class!”

Meet Matt Tarter, Newest Board Member!

Please join us in welcoming La Pine resident Matt Tarter to the La Pine Activity Center Board of Directors!
Matt is the owner of Matt Tarter Designs, a graphic design company with customers like Spike TV and Paramount+.
“I also work at the Crescent Fire Department as a firefighter/EMT and paramedic,” says Matt, “and when I’m not doing that, I’m the head coach for boys’ varsity soccer at La Pine High School.”
In addition, Matt runs the La Pine Soccer Academy, a nonprofit organization that starts children as young as three years old learn the sport of soccer.
I asked Matt why he volunteers at the La Pine Activity Center.
“In my graphic design business, I help local businesses with re branding, and that’s actually how I started helping Jamie. What Jamie does for our community really inspires me,” said Matt, “so I starting volunteering at the Activity Center, first designing the new Activity Center logo, and also doing the fliers for the Rhubarb Festival, Sportsman’s Show, and others.”
Matt has lived in La Pine for five years and wants to stay here and help out whenever he can at the Activity Center.
“I love this small town and the opportunity to help out and give back,” said Matt.

Don Greiner, Member

If you’ve noticed the absence of a familiar face at the La Pine Activity Center, it’s because Don Greiner has moved to Chehalis, Washington, into an assisted living facility.
Don originally moved to La Pine because “When I was a child my parents came here to go hunting and fishing nearly every year, and in the early 1960’s my dad purchased 10 acres of land on Dorrance Meadow Road. He later gave 2.5 acres to my sister, 2.5 acres to me, and retained 5 acres for he and my mother. Two of those three parcels are still in my family.”
In 2004 Don moved permanently to La Pine, building a home on the Dorrance Meadow property. “After that I met Audrey and we became partners, but she thought the snow was too much sometimes, so we found a house in Crescent Creek and we lived there for a few years until we moved to Washington to be near my daughter.”
“It became difficult for Audrey to take care of me, so now I’m in an assisted living facility, even though I’m still mobile and able to do most of my own things.“
“I miss the friends I made in La Pine, “says Don. “I worked on the City Council and served there 11 years between being a councilor and on different city committees. And I was active in the running of the La Pine Activity Center by being the person who made sure they conducted business properly, looked at bylaws, and worked bingo every Tuesday for at least four years. I made sure bingo accounts balanced with the state, all the funds were put in the bank every week for both Monday and Tuesday bingo, and more or less helped out with whatever was needed.”
“La Pine is growing fast and I’d like to see it grow in the right way,” says Don. “I miss the people of La Pine terribly and talking to the elected officials in the area because I like to express my opinion. I also miss going to the Activity Center, but you know, I was born in 1930, and I think I grew up in the best times possible.”

Glenna Gunn, Bingo Coordinator

Glenna Gunn is a Center volunteer who acts as the money taker and verifier during our Bingo on Monday night and after lunch on Tuesday. She’s been doing this for about six years, just one year less than she’s lived in La Pine.
“My husband and I retired and we wanted to be closer to our daughter and grandchildren in Redmond,” says Glenna. “We had been living in McMinnville, but my husband is an avid fly-fisherman, and he’s fished the lakes around here for years, so we settled on La Pine.”
Before Glenna and her husband Randy retired, she was a registered nurse, “mostly delivering babies. That was when we were well staffed and things weren’t as crazy as they are now. Randy was a steel factory manager at Cascade Steel in McMinnville. We bought a house here and the rest is history.”
“I’ve played bingo my whole life,” says Glenna. “I really enjoy helping people out during bingo sessions, and it’s a job that’s very much needed at the Center. Our Tuesday group is right after lunch, but the Monday group is a fundraiser for the Center, and we have payouts of $300 and $500. Our Tuesday regular payouts are about $10 minimum. We make a good amount each month for the Center because of our Monday bingo, and it’s a much-needed revenue source. But Jamie also wants everyone to have fun, too, so the Tuesday group is more focused on just having a good time.”
The Monday bingo session runs from 4pm when the kitchen opens until about 9pm. Available for purchase are hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken strips, all very reasonably priced.
You don’t have to be a member of the Center to play bingo here. Our New Year’s Eve bingo had a $1000 payout and the place was packed.
“I’ve made more friends and formed more close relationships since coming to La Pine, and the Activity Center, especially, than in my entire 35 year working career. I love seeing the same smiling people at bingo each week!”

Director’s Corner, February 2023

Happy February!  Here’s the latest news at the La Pine Activity Center!
We had a meeting on January 17 with Cheryl Puddy, Program Officer from the Oregon Community Foundation, Chaney  Coman, Grants Manager from the Roundhouse Foundation, and Jenny Green from the Oregon Arts Commission.  Over 25 people attended this meeting, which was about getting some grants to cover the costs of our much-needed kitchen upgrade.
Our two large ovens aren’t working and at this time we’ve been using alternate cooking methods.  We bought $600 worth of parts to keep us going, and we’re going to be applying for a grant for the ovens, and another for the remainder of the kitchen remodel.
We need new stoves, ovens, steam table, our walk-in cooler needs new parts, new flooring is needed so our seniors don’t trip on our mats, and we also need a new dishwasher.  That’s a big list of items, so one of our board members, Meredith Strunk, has taken the role of grant-writer and we hope to submit these soon.
We had 96 people attend our Veterans lunch, sponsored by Stu Martinez, on January 19!  We still need sponsors for April and May, so contact me if you’re interested.
We’re also having an Early Bird membership drive and right now we’re offering memberships for only $35 a year (that’s just $2.92 each month) if you sign up during February, March or April.  Your membership is important — whether you come to the Center or not — because it helps to keep this place open. For instance, our gas bill last month was $1190…it used to be $399 for a month.  We currently have about 200 members and we want to remind local businesses that they can be members, too!  
And look at what benefits our members get:  a safe, warm place with WiFi, free classes including line dancing, body groove, healthy walking and strengthening, reduced price yoga classes, card games, computer technical support, bingo twice a week, 20% off a room rental once a year, and an informative monthly newsletter emailed to each member.  And even if you’re not a member, everyone is welcome to an affordable, healthy, and delicious lunch served three days a week!  So join today!
Our upcoming Rhubarb Festival planning is in full swing. We’ve already got 25% of our vendor spaces reserved and paid for!
That’s all for now — I’m going to on vacation but will be back mid-February, so keep coming to the Center and I’ll see your smiling faces when I return!

Connie Guyer, Membership Coordinator

If you’re wondering who keeps track of the 250-plus members of the La Pine Activity Center, here she is! Connie Guyer is our volunteer Membership Coordinator.
Connie says she started volunteering at the Center because she wanted to meet people and become part of this community. “I moved here in September of 2019 and by March of 2020 we were all in quarantine because of Covid,” says Connie, “so it was really hard to meet people. The Activity Center was closed intermittently during that time, too, which made it extra hard to become involved.”
Born in Burns, Oregon, Connie moved here from Keizer, Oregon because she has family that lives here. Before she retired, she worked for 30 years for the State of Oregon as an operation and policy analyst, retiring in 2018. “It took me about a year to get my house sold and buy one here, which was luckily just before the prices increased dramatically in La Pine. I am really happy to be on this side of the mountain,” says Connie.
As the coordinator it is her responsibility to coordinate with Jamie Donahue, our Director, and the front desk folks all things membership. What would we do without those wonderful folks! To track our membership she keeps a database of current members. This database tracks all the information that you provide on the membership application, including if you want to volunteer or not. The information is used for La Pine Activity Center uses only. She also sends information via email to the membership. You may have noticed getting information about upcoming events or other information from Connie. Center members can look forward to receiving our monthly newsletter by email starting in January of 2023, but about 1/4 to 1/3 of Center members don’t have email or a computer, so the Center also provides hard copies at the front desk.
“Our membership application form is kept at the front desk,” says Connie, ‘and we’re working right now with Jamie to have a working online membership sign-up in the future, to really make this process convenient for people. We really encourage people to come to the Activity Center front desk to sign up. We accept checks, cash, credit cards or PayPal online as payment.
Right now we have an EARLY BIRD MEMBERSHIP special during February and March where the membership fee is just $35 for the year instead of our usual $40. Our membership year runs from May 1 through April 30. And remember,any age person may be a member.
“It’s really important to fill out ALL the blanks on the membership application, or put N/A to indicate that particular field does not apply. And please try to be as legible as possible.”
Why be a member of the La PineActivity Center? Well right off the bat, new members get a free lunch, so that’s an instant perk of joining! Lunches are prepared homemade and fresh at the Center and by the way, are delicious! Our members usually are the first to know about the free dental bus for those without insurance, free clinics for flu and Covid vaccines and events that support the community like the fund raisers in support of the La Pine High School senior class, or a walk to support cancer research, and so much more. The Activity Center provides a great place to come visit and get warm or in the summer to cool down. A big bonus for members is that once a year you may rent a room for 20% off (based on availability) and vendors get 10% off space rental. And, who wants to miss out on bingo or line dancing or exercising with a fun group.
Members get 1 free 3 up on a game during Monday and Tuesday Bingo. Line Dancing, Body Groove are free but other classes like yoga are discounted to $5 from the non-member fee of $8. On February 10, the center will be offering a healthy walking/strengthening class. The first class is free but after that the cost per class is $10 for non-members, but as a member they are $5.
You don’t have to be a member to enjoy the Rhubarb Festival in the summer or Winter Traditions in the winter, but it sure is nice to see folks you know and hang out with at the La Pine Activity Center.
So, please come down in February or March or really anytime we’re open to become a member…your membership helps us to be able to be here in La Pine supporting our community!

Sandy Nicol, Volunteer

If you’ve come through the front doors of the La Pine Activity Center, then you’ve probably been greeted on Wednesday mornings by a friendly face that belongs to Sandy Nicol, one of our front desk volunteers.
Sandy moved here in the late 1990’s and has been volunteering since 2003, when the Center was housed where the Cub Corner is today, at the corner of Burgess and Huntington.
There have been a lot of changes since then, but Sandy has remained a constant helper and information provider.
“I really like being able to answer people’s questions about the Center,” says Sandy. “What I enjoy most about my volunteer work are the people I get to meet and help out.”
Sandy and her husband moved to La Pine from Arizona, but are originally from the eastern part of the U.S.
“I like the laid-back atmosphere of La Pine,” says Sandy. “Especially now that we’re older, La Pine is a great place to live…the people here aren’t in such a hurry to get on with things…but there’s always something to do here, and the Center is the heart of this community…I’m going to keep volunteering here for as long as I can!”