MASSENA - Summer swimming season is in full swing at the Massena Town Beach, and the numbers are holding their own, according to Massena Recreation Director Richard A. Boprey.
“We’re off to a decent start with the beach. Beach fees are up. We’ve had some good numbers when the weather is sunny and bright. Pavilion rentals have picked up quite nicely. We’ve sold a few season passes,” Mr. Boprey said.
Some of the numbers at the beach are participants in the six-week summer recreation program, which kicked off June 30 and runs until Aug. 8. Mr. Boprey said, because of the sometimes iffy weather, their program numbers are down slightly, but the summer rec is still going strong with activities taking place Monday through Friday.
The program is offered at Jefferson, Nightengale and Madison elementary schools, along with Alcoa Field. The participants are at their respective playgrounds for games in the morning, which were recently enhanced courtesy of a $1,500 grant from the St. Lawrence County Health Initiative.
“We selected $1,500 worth of games,” which were split up between the four playground areas as well as the therapeutic recreation program that’s also held during the summer, Mr. Boprey said.
Following a morning of games at their respective playgrounds, students head to Jefferson Elementary for a free lunch before boarding a bus and heading to the beach every day except Friday.
Wednesdays are an all-day affair at the beach, with local businesses providing the free lunch, and Friday’s are “Activity Day” at locations such as Timequest Mini Golf, Bowlmor Lanes and the Massena Movieplex.
“Pat (Henrie, summer recreation director) has done a good job of securing little extra things that we like to do. It’s the only day the kids go out of pocket,” paying a nominal fee to participate in the activity, Mr. Boprey said.
The 20 to 22 participants in the therapeutic recreation program are picked up at their homes and taken to a room that’s rented at Jefferson Elementary School, where they work with summer recreation leaders. They’re bused to the beach on Tuesday and Thursday.
Mr. Boprey said one constant in the summer recreation program has been the support of local businesses. All of the Wednesday lunches at the beach, for instance, are paid for by sponsors. Among them, SeaComm Federal Credit Union provides a week of lunches, Subway provides subs for two Wednesdays, Hannaford provides hot dogs, buns and chips, Pepsi donates 2-liter bottles of soda and Domino’s Pizza also chips in.
The recreation director said that, as a thank you for their support, he wants to recognize sponsors’ efforts by providing them with small plaques at the end of the program.
“A few people have been good to summer rec. That same group of people are good to us every year,” he said.