Salem parks board sets dates for 2014 events

SALEM – The Salem Parks Commission set dates for a handful of events next year, including Salem Relay for Life on June 14 and 15 and the Scrabble Run and Carnival for a Cure tentatively set for Sept. 21.

Kim Hoffman, the organizer of the Scrabble Run and Carnival for a Cure approached the commission Wednesday about holding the event again on the third Sunday of September, which falls on the 21st. She said the first-time event, which raised money for the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation for research, went very well.

She thanked Recreation Supervisor Shane Franks and Parks Director Steve Faber for all their help. Franks also said thanks should go to Parks Foreman Jim Grimm and his crew for helping with setup.

Hoffman, her husband Mike and their children belong to the CRBF which is made up of families with children who have a degenerative retinal disease which eventually causes blindness. Hoffman’s 8-year-old daughter, Olivia, was diagnosed at age 4. The families in the foundation hold fundraisers to raise money for research for a cure.

She said the first Scrabble Run and Carnival for a Cure raised about $10,000, which was way above their expectation. For next year, they would like to have a little better turnout, but said people had fun. She said the people who rode bikes for the Scrabble Run want a longer route, which she said they will do for the bicyclists, but keep the route the same length as this year for the walkers and have all the scrabble checkpoints along that section of the overall route.

Commission Vice Chairman Terry Hoopes said it’s “great to use the parks for such a worthwhile cause.”

Faber said the board may have to shuffle the date for the Race for the ROC due to the Relay for Life schedule, noting that Relay for Life has had that weekend in June for many years at Waterworth Memorial Park. He also announced that the car show usually held the same weekend as the Salem Super Cruise is tentatively set for June 20 at Centennial Park.

The dates for the commission’s next two meetings have been changed due to the usual fourth Wednesday falling either the day before Thanksgiving or on Christmas Day. The meetings will be held at 5 p.m. Nov. 20 and 5 p.m. Dec. 18.

During the department head reports, Grimm said he and his crew have been working on general maintenance around the parks, working on leaves, weed wacking, winterizing the pool and pavilions. He said the restrooms will be done soon. Perennials have been cut back and some were separated and replanted. He also dug up some of the annuals, repotted the plants and placed them in the greenhouse for next year.

Hoopes asked if some of the winterizing would interfere with the upcoming coat giveaway at Centennial Park, being held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 2, noting there had been some concern voiced by the organizers in the past. Faber said he spoke with one of the people and explained that restroom availability will depend on the weather, noting they may have to winterize early if the weather takes a turn.

“We’re not going to allow pipes to burst,” he said.

Commission Chairman John Panezott asked if everything had been fixed in the Centennial Park restroom that was vandalized recently, which it had.

Franks reported that fall softball was winding down and should be finishing up soon.

Hoopes also talked about how good the parks have been looking, especially the view from the workout room at the Salem Community Center over Waterworth Memorial Park.

The commission approved $3,843 in expenses for the month.