Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bid Farewell To Dena and Her Laurelhurst Community Center Staff Thursday Evening

This Thursday from 5:30-7:30pm is the Farewell Open House at the Laurelhurst Community Center. It's an opportunity to thank and bid farewell to the staff,who have put on so many many fun events for our neighborhood over so many years, including the Salmon Bake, Egg Hunts, Halloween Carnivals, many recreational and sports classes and leagues, camps, and so much more. Members from the Advisory Council will also be there to listen to input and ideas about the future of the community center.

With the approval of the 2011 Budget by City Council, the community center will have very limited hours starting in January. The classes that will continue to run will be pottery, art, Pilates, youth basketball and nerf soccer leagues. The staff at Magnuson Community Center will oversee the operation of these programs. And the building will be open to the public during designated operating hours which are currently being determined based on class times. Winter quarter registration is underway. You can go here to register or call 684-7529.

One of the staff members who has been instrumental in overseeing and bringing so many family events, classes, programs and activities to the community center is Dena Schuler (picture above with the Easter Bunny), the recreation coordinator, who started during the remodel of the community center in 2006.

In the summer of 2007 she and her team "were inducted into the tradition of the Laurelhurst Salmon Bake which has happened for forty something years. It has come to be one of my favorite events with great food, music, games and fun. I’ve met folks that have been coming to this event since it’s start," Dena told us.

Dena said that Laurelhurst has been a wonderful community to work in. As a child she took baton lessons at Laurelhurst Community Center and was an active in parks and recreation programs, including learning to swim at Meadowbrook pool. Dena said that this helped foster an appreciation for Parks and Recreation and is one of the reasons that lead her to the career working with Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Dena adds "I love to connect with the neighborhood at special events. The annual pumpkin party, tea parties, and egg hunt are always so much fun to be part of. Getting to see many neighborhood kids each week at storytime (today is the last one) has been a joy. I love to see how excited kids are when they come to an event here at Laurelhurst. The salmon bake and annual holiday art sale have been fun because multiple generations participate at these events. Laurelhurst has one of the largest basketball programs in Seattle. It helps to foster teamwork, self esteem and an active lifestyle which are vital to the development of healthy communities. I’d love to see all of the kids that we serve become adults that give back to their park or community center by volunteering."

On December 27th Dena will be transferred to Loyal Heights Community Center in North Ballard. She says, "I am fortunate to have enough seniority to be placed at another community center. Many of my coworkers at other locations will be laid off beginning in January. Though I am sad to be leaving such a wonderful community center, I will step up to the challenge of coordinating programs at Loyal Heights as well as many activities that are being held at Ballard Community Center."

She says "Laurelhurst staff would like to thank all of our neighbors who have made our time working here a great experience!"

And thank you to Dena and her staff!

Dena reading at a storytime

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