Click Here for direct access to donate to the 2021 SAVE THE POOL Campaign supports BVRA and all its programs through 2021. We are seeking out private and corporate sponsorships to support health and wellness of our community and your employees and families! We are excited that the community will stand behind BVRA to support all of the wonderful outdoor programming opportunities and the Energy Gymnastics Program. Contact Shirley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570 524-4774 for more information.
BVRA offers fantastic programs to the community including the premiere Energy Gymnastic recreation and competitive programs, Ramsay Martial Arts, as well as our the brand new BVRA Studio room which can be used for art and exercise classes or a group lecture series hall, our fantastic summer camp programs including our new Community garden project, the Tennis Courts, the wildly popular Skate Park, the West field and the little-known treasure of the west field nature trail. The fantastic St Mary’s Street playground and the hugely popular spider web, and community picnic pavilions, the beloved Ice Rink, and of course the oldest and most valued Summer Fun Spot, the Lewisburg Community Pool.
BVRA has something for everyone ages infant to 99+. And we want to continue to grow our programs to include more opportunities for junior and senior high students, young adults and families and our senior 55+ population. We have been serving the community for over 4 decades. Many may remember us as the Union County Recreation Authority or Lewisburg Area Recreation Authority. In 2013 our name changed to Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority to represent the larger community that we serve.
We all have been affected by the COVID pandemic in some way or another this past year. The biggest impact that it has had on BVRA was when on March 16, 2020, we were forced to close the doors to the Energy Gymnastics program. We made every effort to try zoom classes but without the apparatus the gymnasts were lost without access to the lovely gym. Usually the gymnastics center is bustling six days a week with up to 300 children in programs throughout the week. This program brings a lot of families to the community which spurs business for our local restaurants.
The closing of the gym has had a drastic and continuing effect on the rest of BVRAs signature programming, namely the inability to open the Community Pool for the first time since 1961. Without the financial support of the year round Gymnastics program, municipal funding to operate the pool does not cover the annual cost, even in a normal non-pandemic year. Approximately $50k loss is experienced each year due to the fixed costs required to operate it. Over the years costs have increased while family memberships have decreased due to factors such as more private pools, and many more working families with less leisure time or ways to transport the kids to the pool, to name a few.
While both Lewisburg Borough and East Buffalo Township both combined contribute about 1/5th of the annual funding to BVRA, these funds do not currently meet the cost of running the pool seasonally and maintaining the widely used beautiful St Mary’s Street Park greenspace right in the middle of our community.
We are grateful to the Union County Cares Grant and the Charles Degenstein Foundation for their grants bestowed upon us to aid with cash flow to keep minimal programming during the pandemic and the additional emergency funding from East Buffalo Township and Lewisburg Borough.
But…it is unfortunately not enough…
The unfortunate part regarding access to external grants and funding opportunities is that BVRA is a 170c Municipal Nonprofit organization. As such, BVRA was not eligible for Government-backed Covid-funding relief programs. We must rely on our municipal government base that created the authority and the community for support.
The gym reopened in late August at 30% operations so we could comply with state Covid safety mandates. In our rebuilding efforts, new part-time gymnastics coaches needed to be trained to reopen programs. The December closures created yet another setback on the goal to increase Gymnastics program capacity to the allowed 50% capacity, further setting back much needed capital for all programming including the Pool.
The gymnastics center is prepared to be at 50% capacity with Session 2 that started March 1 in the gym. Summer camp opportunities and the Pool are being prepared for summer 2021. These programs provide additional seasonal jobs to approximately 20-25 students as well as numerous activities for kids and families throughout the summer. BVRA’s year round staff consists of three full time office and non-gymnastics staff members, four full time Gymnastics coaches, three part-time park and maintenance staff, and usually some AmeriCorps volunteers. AmeriCorps positions were not used over the winter due to the budgetary constraints and Covid impact on BVRA programs.
The BVRA staff and the BVRA Board of Directors are committed to the success of BVRA and it’s quality programs that our community has grown to love.