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Thu, Oct. 29

Guest column: Can half of the summer really be over already?

The city of Williams Recreation Department has been busy through this first half of our summer season. We wanted to share with the community some of the many activities we have produced that so many of you have enjoyed with us.

The city of Williams has sponsored "Aerobics with Georgeanna" this past year at the Holiday Inn on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. This is a wonderful program that is well attended and much appreciated. We are currently looking for alternate funding to keep this program active for our community members.

The city of Williams sponsored "Adult Softball League" began early this year on May 18. We are very grateful to Mike Atencio for volunteering to organize and supervise this program. These teams will continue to play on Sunday evenings as long as the weather permits.

The summer activities at the Williams Recreation facilities kicked off with the extremely successful "Grad Night," followed the next day by the "4-H Barbecue" and "Kid Zone" activities produced by our Chamber of Commerce. Bill Williams Mountain Men sponsored a Free Swim at the Williams Aquatic Center on Memorial Day that was attended by more that 80 members of our community.

May 30 was our first night of "Basketball with Brandon." This is an eight-week pilot program that began this year at the Williams Recreation Park basketball courts on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to midnight for teens and young adults. This was accomplished through a cooperative effort of the Williams Alliance and the city of Williams. The attendance numbers for this program have grown each week and we are proud to be able to state that we feel this program has been a complete success for our teens and young adults. The Williams Alliance and the city of Williams are currently looking for funding options to continue this program throughout the year.

Our "Summer Splash Rec Program" began on June 2 with record numbers, fantastic field trips, events and special programs. We have averaged 75 kids per day with a high of 101 that we took on the field trip on June 17. We've been bowling, up to Elk Ridge Ski Resort for summer tubing (incredible), saw "Kung Fu Panda" at the movies and held our "First Annual Summer Rec Olympics."

Marisa Masson, our local dance instructor, came with a demonstration and instruction that really had the kids up and moving. Sarah McRae, our local Community Service Officer, brought her "Bike Rodeo" program and the kids had a great day of fun and education. The "Pet's on Parade" day was another wonderful success. Along with seven adorable dogs and a cat this year we had a guinea pig, a hermit crab, a chicken and three chinchillas! This was all in the first month!

All of these programs share the city of Williams Recreation Center, Recreation Park and Skate Park with the hundreds of other youth and their parents that enjoy activities from 3:30 to 10 p.m. six days per week. These activities include craft night, movie night, and game night, along with use of pool tables, foosball tables, air hockey tables, board games, basketball courts, a playground and an indoor skate park with ramps.

The Williams Aquatic Center has begun another busy summer with aerobics, swim lessons, and hundreds of people participating in public and lap swim hours. The swim team hosted a swim meet on June 14 with the Camp Verde team creating great competition. Approximately 90 people enjoyed this event at the Williams Aquatic Center. The WACY Dolphins, our swim team, continue fundraising efforts currently selling tickets for a Wii that was donated by Jackson Campbell that will be raffled off at the end of summer. On June 28 the team traveled to Prescott Valley and enjoyed another day of great competition with the Prescott Valley team.

On June 14 the "Soldiers of the Cross" hosted a water games day at the Williams Recreation Park with a dunk tank, music, pizza, squirt gun fight, snow cones and lots of fun. There were approximately 150 people, youth and adults, enjoyed this event with us. The next day on June 15, another Free Swim day was held at the Williams Aquatic Center sponsored by "Williams Social Club." Another 80 people came and enjoyed that wonderful day at our aquatic center.

All of this on top of the many events at the Bob Dean Rodeo Grounds. including roping events, barrel races, tool sales and Cowboy Church and we are only half way through summer. So the next time you're thinking "There's nothing to do in Williams," look around. Hundreds of community members and tourists have discovered the many, many activities, events and programs we offer here in the city of Williams. There is still another half of summer to come!

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