Father & Daughter Dinner at Rec Center
By Angie Landsverk
The Waupaca Parks and Recreation Department’s staff continues to seek new uses for the recreation center.
Its latest idea is to is host a Father & Daughter Dinner from 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 28.
“We wanted to go out of the box, try different things and utilize the building in different ways than just open gyms,” said Sandy Abraham, the center’s youth coordinator.
Forty tickets are available for the April 28 event, at a cost of $10 per person.
Those wanting to attend must purchase their tickets by 4 p.m. Friday, April 21.
Tickets are available on Activenet, which is the recreation software the department uses.
People may access Activenet at apm.activecommunities.com/waupacaparknrec/Home to purchase tickets.
Aaron Jenson, the city’s parks and recreation director, said those who do not have an Activenet account may receive assistant at the rec center.
The event will be held in the center’s lobby, and the rec center is closed that evening for open gym.
“It will be a special night for fathers and daughters,” Abraham said.
The dinner is being served at 6:30 p.m.
The Green Fountain Inn will prepare the meal, which will include a garden salad, garden marinara lasagna, an asparagus/zucchini/red pepper medley, homemade artisan breads with herbal butter and a salted caramel brownie for dessert.
Jenson credits the Waupaca Community Health Action Team (CHAT) for the idea.
Last September, Waupaca’s CHAT group sponsored a Farm to Table Dinner in downtown Waupaca.
“We wanted to do something similar,” he said.
The center’s staff is targeting different groups, as well as parents, to show them what type of facility the city offers.
An event for mothers and sons is also going to be planned.
“We’re just trying to be creative, get other events in here and have a lot of fun,” Abraham said.
She said the Father & Daughter Dinner has a shabby chic theme.
The rec center’s lobby is going to be decorated with lights and flowers, with the dinner being served on formal dinnerware by youth center staff.
Fathers and daughters are encouraged to dress up for the dinner. The event also includes trivia and prizes.
Jenson noted the reason the department is able to set the price at $10 per person is because ThedaCare is helping to offset some of the cost.
“The Parks and Rec Department is all about wellness, physical activity and being active,” he said. “One thing we don’t touch on often is nutrition.”
Information about healthy recipes is going to be provided to those who attend the April 28 event.
Jenson said this event is the second of two new events offered this year.
Earlier this year, the center offered a Parents’ Night Out, opening the center only to children age 4 through 10.
Abraham said they are still getting comments from parents about that event.
Jenson said these new events are part of the department’s 2014-19 plan.
During that planning process, the department talked to 27 different community groups.
“One of the things was to highlight what the youth center is about on weekends,” he said. “What we want to show the community is that it’s a great place for youth to be.”
Abraham said the rec center is also a place where youth have the opportunity to serve the community.
Money found on the floor of the center is placed in a collection jar and donated to a local effort.
The next donation is going to the Humane Society of Waupaca County.
On April 1, youth center staff and youth picked up six bags of garbage in the block around the rec center.
One student said to Abraham, “If we’re going to play around here, we should clean up our backyard,”
Their next community service project is washing the center’s windows.
Jenson wants parents and their children to realize the asset the center is and hopes offering different events introduces more people to it.
“It’s a place they can go on weekends to have fun, and they can also do and be involved in community service,” he said.