LAR to celebrate 20th anniversaryLakes Area Recreation (LAR) is excited and looking forward to celebrating its 20th year anniversary.
By: By Fritz Bukowski, LAR, Alexandria Echo Press
Lakes Area Recreation (LAR) is excited and looking forward to celebrating its 20th year anniversary.
Since 1990, LAR has provided a wide variety of recreational and family activities for people in Alexandria and the Douglas County area.
LAR is a public non-profit Joint Powers organization. The success of LAR is due to the continued demand for youth and adult programs, as well as the shared commitment from the city of Alexandria, School District 206, LaGrand Township and Alexandria Township. Thirteen surrounding cities and townships also financially contribute to LAR, which helps to keep youth fees affordable.
Douglas County generously provides space at a reduced rental rate in the Douglas County Services Center at 720 Fillmore Street in Alexandria.
Facilities at LAR Center include a cardio room with Nautilus weight machines and elliptical machines, weight room, a gymnasium, a gymnastics center, locker rooms and a multipurpose room.
Since opening in April of 1995 the LAR Center has had more than 750,000 participants walk through the doors for various activities!
In the past 20 years, more than 150,000 youth registrations have been received. Youth activities include baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, dance, tennis, swimming, after-school programs and other activities.
Seven full-time staff members oversee the daily operations and coordinate all the programs. For the past 20 years more than 12,000 volunteers and 5,000 part-time employees have worked hard to provide quality youth programs.
The LAR board remains committed to turning no child or family away due to lack of ability to pay for programs. LAR, along with The United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties, have provided program scholarships for any family eligible for the free or reduced lunch program at School District 206. In the past 20 years more than 9,000 scholarships have been awarded totaling more than $250,000 to youth and families.
More than 42,000 adult registrations were received in the past 20 years in the volleyball, softball and basketball programs. Registrations for the fitness programs at the LAR Center, Discovery pool and Arrowwood pool have exceeded 14,000 registrations.
Through the years these activities have helped participants to reach their fitness goals of living a more active and healthier life.
The programs offered by LAR would not be possible without the facilities use agreement between School District 206 and the city of Alexandria. Eight gymnasiums and 12 baseball/softball fields, 12 football/soccer fields and the Discovery Middle School pool are needed to offer the current programs.
LAR also provides lifeguards for L’Homme Dieu Beach and Latoka beach every summer. The townships of Alexandria, and LaGrand provide the funds to pay the lifeguards. Since the conception of this arrangement, there have been 32 full saves and 122 assists recorded.
Lakes Area Recreation’s staff and board of directors are excited to provide quality programs that meet the current and future needs of the residents in the lakes area.