Check out photos from the Jazzy Bugs class at The Little Gym of Mason on Oct. 8. Click on an image below to see a larger-resolution version.
More than 20 area vendors will be on-hand to present health tips and advice and free services for attendees on a variety of health subjects, from physical fitness to financial planning.
Participants will be able to sign up for a blood drive set for Oct. 14 at the community center, register for a flu shot and learn about services available through the community center and TriHealth. Special activities and crafts will be offered for kids.
Guest speakers will present seminars throughout the event:
The event is free and open to the community. The community center is at 6050 Mason-Montgomery Road and can be reached at 513-229-8555.
Part suburban scavenger hunt and part endurance sport, the four-hour competition pits teams of two in a race to become the “Top Chasers” of Mason.
Chasers run, bike or walk from clue to clue at area Mason businesses, city landmarks or parks to advance to the next station — and one step closer to the finish line.
The event, now in its second year, takes place from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Mason Community Center.
An awards ceremony and after-party culminates with the final concert in the city’s Sunshine Concert series at 6 p.m., with local band Jab performing cover Rock hits at the Mason Municipal Center.
Trophies and prizes will be awarded to the top men’s, women’s and coed teams, and to the top 55-and-older team.
Register through Aug. 8 by calling 513-229-8555 or online at www.imaginemason.org (activity #486015). Registration cost ranges from $50 to $87 depending on Mason Community Center membership and residency.
Carrie Blackmore Smith reports:
When local governments are forced to cut back on services, community centers and their programs often appear at the top of the list of perks a community can survive without.
Enter Colerain Township, one of the region’s largest communities, where officials have cut some programming this year but managed to scrape together funds to keep their center running. Now they’re searching for a long-term solution to afford the community center. In Cincinnati, three community centers and six pools are on the chopping block, part of the Plan B solution to ease a $35 million budget deficit.
But Springfield Township and others – including on a larger scale, Mason – are bystepping that pressure by turning their centers into self-sustainable operations, an uncommon occurrence in the region.
And they’re not relying on cuts to get there. Instead, they’re adding new features.
Few local governments want to make their centers solvent; some consider the costs well worth the value and haven’t felt pressure from residents or elected officials to match revenues with costs. Other centers are clearly struggling, but aren’t quite sure how to deal with it.
Ohio Municipal League spokesman Kent Scarrett said he hasn’t noticed a trend of governments trying to balance community center budgets but wasn’t surprised to hear it’s happening in Southwest Ohio.
“It makes sense,” Scarrett said. “Obviously, money is tight … and these services and community activities benefit the social fabric of communities.”
Posted in: News |
Young teens can learn healthy exercises that can be used throughout their lives during spring break at the Mason Community Center.
The center is offering Teen Spring Break Fitness Camp March 25-28 at the arts center, 6050 Mason-Montgomery Road. It is targeted to those ages 10-15 and meets from noon to 1:45 p.m. each day.
Participants will use several areas of the community center as well as neighboring parks for the program. Those attending should dress for the weather.
Cost is $52 for premier members, $62 for basic members, $78 for Mason residents, and $93 for non-residents.
Michael D. Clark reports:
The center point of the Mason community will soon turn 10 and will enter its second decade making its first-ever profit, thanks to the additions of private companies.
The giant Mason Community Center will celebrate its 10-year anniversary on March 1 but there has already been something else to cheer about in the last year for the once-financially troubled facility.
“2012 was our first year of operating in the black,” says Jennifer Heft, Mason’s assistant city manager. “The center is doing extremely well because of the changes in the last two years.”
The recent additions of Tri-Health’s Group Health medical offices – housed in a 27,000-square-foot, two-story addition on the north side of the massive center – and a private, medical lab facility has helped cover operating expenses, Heft says.
“We were losing a $1 million a year,” prior to the partnership with private health providers, Heft says.
The $23 million center has an annual operating budget of $4.6 million and handles more than 315,000 visitors a year in the 199,000-square-foot multi-use facility. Its features include:
• A giant fitness area.
• More than $900,000 in exercise equipment, gyms, two large indoor pools and an indoor running track.
• A renovated and expanded senior citizens center, postal office and café.
The center is also connected to Mason High School – one of the largest high schools in Ohio (enrollment 3,400) – and across a parking lot from Mason Municipal Center. The center, city hall and Mason’s high school and nearby middle school are all located on a 72-acre campus stretching along the eastern side of South Mason-Montgomery Road.
Mason Community Center’s unusual combination of public, taxpayer-funded facilities – combined with private-sector company leasers – makes it the largest community center of its kind in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
“We wanted the center to be the hub of the community,” Heft says. “And what also makes us unique is that we’ve taken a business approach to the center and we have reached out for partnerships. We have display areas for local businesses and the center has become a huge economic tool for us.”
Ideally, she says, a newcomer to Mason or surrounding Deerfield Township communities would be told by current residents that the community center is the place to go if they want to get more involved.
For information, visit www.imaginemason.org/ or call 513-229-8555.
The program for children ages 9-14 is designed to increase their athletic ability in the off-season by working on strength, speed and endurance.
The program meets from 6-6:45 p.m. Tuesday and Thursdays through Feb. 1 at the Mason Community Center, 6050 Mason-Montgomery Road.
Cost is $48 for community center premier members; $57 for basic members; $72 for Mason residents and $86 for non-residents.
Register online at www.imaginemason.org (activity code 161802) or call 513-229-8555.
In an affluent community like Mason, many kids spend after-school hours and weekends at dance classes or swim practice.
But such luxuries are an impossibility for a growing number of Mason families, who struggle to pay the bills and can’t afford these extras.
Now, thanks to a $20,000 grant from General Mills, the Mason Food Pantry is hoping to bridge that gap while emphasizing the importance of fitness and nutrition to children in need.
The pantry is one of 25 groups nationally to receive a grant through General Mills’ sales community grant program. Three other local organizations also received grants, including Girls on the Run of Greater Cincinnati, Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses and Life Pantry in Loveland.
Local General Mills sales offices nominate nonprofit organizations that work to alleviate hunger or advance nutrition wellness in their communities, said Tiffani Tekulve, an account manager at GM’s Mason sales office.
The Mason Food Pantry’s new program, Health Over Performance Fit Kids program, meets both of those goals, she said.
The program, which the pantry plans to roll out in the New Year, focuses on fitness assessment, professional development and recognition, said pantry director Gina Brown.
The goal is to minimize comparisons between kids while supporting them as they pursue personal fitness goals for lifelong health, she said.
The center will launch its Empowered to Lose BIG challenge starting Jan. 5.
The program, which is open to community members and non-members, offers weekly weigh-ins, e-newsletters with tips and advice and healthy eating tips from a nutritionist. Cost for this program is $10. Those who register by Dec. 22 will receive a free T-shirt.
Free how-to clinics will be held every other Wednesday starting on Jan. 16 with a 45-minute session on “Making Successful Changes.” Sessions are offered at 11:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m.
Prizes will be awarded for the top men and women finishers in three separate categories: most pounds lost, most percent body weight lost and most “pound reward points.”
For an additional cost, participants can meet up to twice weekly with a certified instructor for 45-minute workout sessions. The classes, which are geared to people of all fitness levels, meet at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursdays from Jan. 8 through March 14.
Cost for this 10-week series is $120 for premier members; $142 for basic members; $167 for Mason residents and $192 for non-residents.
Register online for the challenge or fitness classes at www.imaginemason.org (activity # 186100) or call 513-229-8555.
The national SilverSneakers fitness program is geared towards group retirees or older adults eligible for Medicare.
The program provides a fitness center membership, with customized classes for seniors to improve their strength, flexibility, balance and endurance, along with health education seminars, online support classes and program advisors.
The center will hold a free informational seminar about the program at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27.
Enrollment for the program begins at 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 3 at the front entrance desk. The center is at 6050 Mason-Montgomery Road and can be reached at 513-229-8555.