’Play in Daleville, there’s lots to do’

By Jan Murray jmurray@southeastsun.com

’Play in Daleville, there’s lots to do’
First stop, the recreation department, located at the Billy Atkins Community Center.Brook Beasley has been on the job as the recreation director for just three months, but her enthusiasm over what the city has to offer and her vision for what she wants to offer is evident as she talks of what her department already has and what she plans to add in the near future. While challenging to run a fairly large recreation department off of an estimated $220,000 annual budget, Beasley said she has a love for sports and kids and intends to make the recreation department efficient and successful in serving the eclectic community’s recreational needs.“You have to have a heart for it to make it work. I have a heart,” she said. “There is so much potential, so much I want to do.”Like most municipal recreational departments, Daleville offers a host of sports, from flag football and contact football, for all ages, to basketball, baseball, softball, cheerleading and soon, Beasley said, soccer. The city leagues play teams from Fort Rucker, Ozark, Enterprise, Troy, Brundidge and other Wiregrass towns and church leagues. Registration for the basketball leagues (ages 5 through 18) is going on now with practice beginning in December and the first games being held in January. Cheerleaders for the different teams are also being recruited.The Fall Classic (for Pee Wee and Midgets) is the next big thing for those participating in city football and cheerleading. The classic will be held in Enterprise Nov. 21-22. The Daleville department is sponsoring the cheerleading competition for teams with members ages seven to eight, nine to 10, and 11 to 12. The cheer competition entrance fee is $50 per team. Each team will have to perform a dance and a cheer, competing for one of three trophies to be awarded.Beasley, who is also a personal trainer and offers her services outside of the recreation department, is also a certified archery instructor, as is the assistant director, Tina Cannon. They are planning to offer archery soon and even have an archery range.  In addition, they hope to teach classes at the high school in the near future. Beasley offers her personal training skills for private classes and personal physical fitness help.Besides the common sports activities and two walking trails, Daleville also has one of the rare finds in the area—a skate park, complete with all kinds of obstacles and trick ramps for skaters to perfect their skills on. The skate park is fenced and located at the rear of Culpepper Park, off of S. Daleville Avenue.Also, at Culpepper Park, fun-seekers will find a safe, colorful playground—one of two the department maintains—and a safe walking trail. The other playground is located behind the recreation building. Picnic tables are available at both locations for families to enjoy picnics. Culpepper Park also sports two ball fields with plans to add two more within the next couple of years. Nearby, on Old Hwy 134, next to the bus barn, is one of the area’s first dog parks. ChoctawPoochie Dog Park, the area’s first off-the-leash dog park, opened in the fall of 2012 and is open to the public.Back at the recreation center, an active after-school program is at capacity, offering 25 children homework help, snacks, crafts, games and more after each school day. The program is so popular that Beasley has to turn down youngsters wanting to be a part. Those who come enjoy incentives for pizza parties and enjoy playing electronic games, foosball, pool and more.Lora Bright is in her 10th year of teaching dance at the center. With two brightly colored classrooms, the dance program now has 30+ students with room for more. Classes offered include tap, ballet, pointe’, jazz, modern, baton, gymnastics and cheer. Bright teaches classes for ages two and up.Bright, a Dale County native and graduate of Daleville High School, has been dancing since she was a toddler and teaching for more than 20 years.“I have seen kids come in as young as five and have no confidence, thinking they weren’t good enough or talented enough. When I see that, I try to focus on that,” she said. “ I try to teach them that they are beautiful and that they are good enough. They seem to build their confidence up here.”She said when former students, who have grown up, call her and thank her for making them feel loved and beautiful, she knows that what she does is all worth it. “It’s not about the money,” she said, adding she tries to keep tuition and other costs down so more children can participate. Generally, she has the proper dance shoes for each discipline available from donations from previous students and the Christian Mission in Enterprise.Dream Dancers is still taking new students through mid-November. Recital routines begin after Christmas and the dance school will combine with Center Stage Dance in Enterprise for a spring recital.Additional programs offered at the recreational complex include Zumba on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and Tae Kwon Do on Mondays and Wednesdays. Tae Kwon Do is just now starting so new enrollees are welcome. Zumba enrollment is always open.Free GED classes, sponsored by Enterprise State Community College, are held weekly at the center. On Mondays, those wishing to prepare for the GED may attend class from 6 until 9 p.m. An additional class is offered on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until noon. All classes are free.With all that is going on, even more is planned. Beasley aspires to offer a regular community movie night soon. Behind the Billy Atkins Center is a large outdoor movie screen with a 50-person capacity bench seating area. All Beasley needs now is a projector. She hopes to be able to purchase one soon or even have one donated so movie times can begin.There are also active Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops that meet in huts at the recreation center.The recreation center is open 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily. Hours will be adjusted during the winter months.Seniors will find lots to do at the local Senior Center. From quilting and sewing to craft making and games, there is rarely a dull moment at the Daleville center. Soon, they will have their holiday store open and raffle off one of their homemade quilts. For more information on the senior center, call Director Laura Leger at (334) 598-9197.The city library is full of activity and has a large selection of books, multiple computer stations and more. On Tuesday the Baby Learn and Play Program is held for those two years-old and under and then on Fridays, special programs are held for those aged two-to-five.  An adult book club meets once a month. Contact the library for more information at (334) 503 0119.In addition to all the city offerings, some private businesses also provide opportunity for fun. Coming up Oct. 22 from 5  until 8 p.m., a local hot dog restaurant Hometown Hotdogswill have a classic car Cruise-In with $1 hot dogs and free sweet tea at that event. They are celebrating one-year of business in Daleville. Contact them at (334) 599-1364 for more information.Local day spa Salon Envy and More offers numerous events for the community through their after hours program. Acrylic painting classes, jewelry shows, food tastings, tea parties, wine down events, and even a fashion show have been and will continue to be offered as long as the community embraces the opportunities. Find their Facebook page, After Hours at Salon Envy & More, or contact the salon directly at (334) 237-3208.Mayor Wigglesworth reiterates that it is entirely possible to shop, dine and play right in Daleville, never having to leave for busier, larger places.*In the next edition of the Sun-Courier, the “Dine” aspect 
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740 S. Daleville Ave * Daleville, Alabama 36322 * 334.598.2345

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