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Westside Center's 1st-time Community Picnic popular

       The first-time Community Picnic at the Westside Community Center offered food, entertainment, activities and information to about 250 people who flocked to the late-August event.

The long line for the barbecue lasted most of the day during the Community Picnic Aug. 27 at the Westside Community Center.
Westside Pioneer photo

       With a new playground on the way - it was eventually installed in October - the picnic also celebrated the community effort that had led to the previous playground at the northeast corner of the 2.8-acre site.
       The turnout surprised and pleased Aundrea Fuller, who coordinated the event for the Community Center. “I think it was a huge success. We did a good job of setting the groundwork for future picnics,” Fuller said.
       The center has previously hosted such affairs by other groups, but this “was a good foothold for our own picnic,” she added.
       The previous playground had been installed through an intensive school/community effort in 1995 when the location was still the Buena Vista school site. A time capsule had accompanied that installation. Despite water damage to its contents, Fuller was able to salvage many items - chiefly photos and student writings - and had them on display.
       “The funniest thing is the swinging bridge,” reads a short student piece from the 1995 capsule, talking about the then-new playground. Ripped in half, with a water stain in one corner, the essay continues, “Thank you for putting up the playground. Sometimes I go and play on it the whole day.”
       Open Monday through Friday and most week nights, the Westside Community Center presents a range of programs and classes - some free, some with a cost. There's also a preschool, and buses bring in students from Buena Vista and West elementaries for YMCA after-school activities.
       Here are some of the Community Center's offerings: French, English as a second language, senior meals, fitness center, dance classes (including Japanese, waltz, line and belly), ballet, Silver Sneakers (senior exercise), medical clinics, beading/jewelry making, art, photography, writing, crafts, painting, yoga, meditation, a music jam, pickleball and table tennis.
       The city-owned facility has been operated since 2010 by the Woodmen Valley Chapel's community outreach arm, ACTS (A Call to Serve).
       For more information, call 385-7920 x100.

Westside Pioneer article