By NIKKI YOUNK
CRYSTAL FALLS - The Crystal Falls Contemporary Center already provides many activities for children and adults alike, and new programs are constantly being added.
Members of the Crystal Falls Contemporary Center Board of Directors are, in the front row, from left, Tahoney Anderson, Jen Ketola, and Kathy Purrenhage. In the back row, from left, are Stacy Gasperich, Kari Divine, Joyce Ziegler, Britt Curnow-Brozak, and Melanie Bess-Haight.
"We're expanding almost weekly," said Melanie Bess-Haight, administrative assistant for the center. "We've really been doing a lot of work to build up the center."
Bess-Haight added that she welcomes any input from the community regarding what classes or one-time activities to offer.
"There's not always a lot to do in Crystal Falls," she said. "We want people to get more active, to get out and explore what we have going on."
Existing programs include the after school program, the summer youth program, and pottery classes.
The after school program runs five days a week during the school year.
Parents must pay in advance for the month, and their children will be bused to the center from Forest Park Schools after school.
There are different clubs for each day of the week. Mondays and Wednesdays are math and science days, Tuesdays and Thursdays are arts and crafts days, and Fridays are fitness days.
The summer youth program is a six-week program for children age five through eight. This year's activity schedule is still being worked out.
Pottery classes are currently held on Wednesday evenings. Contact Cindy Oboczky at cindyoboczky@yahoo for more information.
In addition to these activities, the center has been hosting two annual fundraising events: a wine tasting in the fall and a beer tasting during Crystal Falls' annual Harvest Fest, which will be changed to Summer Fest this year.
Bess-Haight pointed out that lately, the center has been adding several exercise classes to its schedule.
"We're trying to offer a variety of programs that will fit peoples' interests and schedules," she said.
Newer classes include Zumba, yoga, and Body Boot Camp. Interested participants can pay $5 to drop in on a session.
There are also new programs on the horizon.
On May 17, the center will host a Ladies' Night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Participants will learn how to make homemade bath and body items. Cost is $20 per person, and there is a 20-person maximum.
This summer, the center will offer an addition to its summer youth program. Now, there will be a three-week program for older children aged nine through 15. They will learn the art of recycling, do-it-yourself skin care, no-cook cooking, and drawing.
Future activities could include a mother-daughter tea, complete with refreshments and photo opportunities, and renovation projects to the center.
Bess-Haight is especially looking at cleaning up the center's backyard garden area and sprucing up the inside of the facility.
"We really want to get the children involved in decorating the center," she said. "We want them to feel that it's their center."
As a non-profit organization, the Crystal Falls Contemporary Center appreciates donations, volunteers, and suggestions for additional activities.
Residents are also welcome to rent the center for parties or other special events.
The center does not have regular business hours at this time, so the staff are best reached through e-mail at email@example.com or Facebook under Crystal Falls Contemporary Center.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.