More than just a rec center

CRRC's Market Days returns on April 22. Photo submitted.

by Crystal Gottfried, Staff Writer

Community Resource and Recreation Center of Canyon Lake makes the most of its own resources as well as the resources of many other agencies to improve the lives of area residents.

Most people here know about CRRC's Thrift Store in Sattler. Donations of household goods, furniture and clothing are received daily. Volunteers sort and clean the donations, then organize and display the items for sale. Merchandise is regularly offered at greatly reduced rates and special sales, such as the current "Bag Sale," help the center clear out and recycle their goods.

The "Bag Sale" began on Monday, and it continues until next week when the Thrift Store will close its doors to re-merchandise and stock newly received inventory.

As well-known as the Thrift Store is to folks in the area, CRRC's Recreation Center on South Access Road, below Canyon Dam, is equally well-known as the site of many ongoing activities, such as children's and adult's sports and exercise classes, health and wellness programs, as well as special events such as Market Days and the holiday favorite, North Pole Village.

Community organizations regularly use the Rec center to hold special events. The Moving Waters foundation has an annual Native American POW-WOW there, and Registered Nurse Paula Lyday-Ivesley conducts bi-monthly blood pressure and blood glucose checks, as well as immunization clinics from time to time.

H-E-B just recently provided the Rec Center with three new bleachers through a $5,000 grant. CRRC Executive Director Eleanor Preston said Saturday that a Thank You H-E-B banner is gratefully displayed over the bleachers, a much needed addition.

CRRC's Recreation Center Director Kristi Drugg provides physical instruction as a part of the Silver Sneakers Fitness Program which is one of the nation's leading fitness programs. Members have fun while they move to the music through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement and activity for daily living skills.

In addition, power yoga was introduced last month, on Monday and Thursday evenings as well as on Saturday mornings. These classes help people burn calories and increase flexibility while building strength and toning muscles.

Eagle Scout Candidate Craig Mullens recently completed construction on a gazebo that will become part of the North PoleVillage and that can be used at other CRRC events.

According to Sue Schubring, Resource Program Director, Mullens approached CRRC with the project to help him earn his Eagle Scout badge and provide a service to the community while demonstrating his leadership skills and planning capabilities.

"We are very proud to have the opportunity to work with Craig on his Eagle Scout project," said Schubring. "Craig is a friendly, courteous and cheerful young man who did a beautiful job in building the gazebo. His contribution will allow CRRC to provide another magical experience for visitors to the North Pole village."

In fact, the North Pole Village was completely new last year with local companies each volunteering to build one of the shops, church or other feature of this traditional Canyon Lake children's holiday activity.

Restauranteur Ed Joy, owner of Ed's Old Windmill Restaurant presented "Steak Night" at the Rec Center last week and CRRC board members and staff were overwhelmed and pleased when more than 135 meals were served that night.

CRRC's Activity Center, on FM 2673 in Sattler provides regular programs and assistance to seniors and others in the community through their Emergency Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels. They provide Crisis Assistance with rent and utilities. Volunteers will make daily reassurance calls to shut-ins and the organization provides low cost transportation services, as well as referrals to other health and welfare resource agencies.

Defensive driving courses, cultural seminars, nature hikes and social road trips are a regular part of their planned programs for the community.

Comal County's Extension Service is currently conducting a Healthy Cooking Class at the center with the county extension dietician teaching the classes.

CRRC loans durable medical equipment to people in the community. They loan walkers, wheelchairs, shower chairs, canes and crutches.

They provide various social services for seniors and others in need, right at their offices at Canyon Lake, so folks can have their special needs met without having to drive to New Braunfels or San Antonio.

The National Council on the Aging and the Alamo Area Council of Governments are hosting a program to help seniors enroll in a prescription drug plan on April 10. A specialist will be available at CRRC on that day to help Medicare beneficiaries choose a drug plan that will work for them. This service will be provided both in English and in Spanish, so individuals can receive one-to-one assistance in choosing the best drug plan. The deadline to enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Program is May 15.

CRRC is here to help the community with their tax preparation in conjunction with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). This tax preparation assistance will be provided for people of all ages and incomes and will give special attention to those that are sixty years old and older, as well as to taxpayers in the low to middle income levels.

Tax assistance is available on Tuesdays from 1-4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-12 noon at the CRRC Recreation Center on South Access Road until the April tax deadline. AARP will provide free E-File.

But that's not all folks!

Market Days are coming to CRRC Rec Center on April 22. This favorite event has rapidly become a favorite for local vendors and artisans as well as the community. Besides the huge variety of items for sale by local artists and craftspeople, Market Days features great food, baked goods and entertainment by several groups, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a dance group formed by Kristi Drugg, for entertaining as well as to help its members get fit, have fun and make friends.

CRRC has been an indispensable asset to groups as well as individuals in our area. Take for instance, Girl Scout Troop 571. They are trying to earn the highest ranking award that Junior Girls Scouts can achieve ­ the Bronze Award. To earn this special distinction, the girls must show that they made a promise to help others, to improve their community, and to be the best persons they can.

The girls have planned a project to benefit the CRRC food pantry by collecting paper products. On Saturday, April 1, the troop will set up tables at four locations in the Canyon Lake area, Sac n Pac on River Road, Super S in Startzville, the Hancock Mini Mart, and the Sac n Pac on Purgatory Road to collect donations of toilet paper, paper towels and Kleenex tissues from shoppers.

With more than thirty-five regular volunteers, most of them members of the national volunteer organization, RSVP, and guided by a volunteer board of directors, with the assistance of experienced staff, CRRC meets and exceeds its mission statement "to serve the residents of Canyon Lake by providing vital service resources as well as life-enriching recreational and educational opportunities."

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