Sunday, February 25, 2024

Volunteers make good things happen


MANSON - Members of the Manson Grange ZUMBA classes and members of the "Manson Picklers” met in early August, at the Manson Grange, to honor Brenda Brooks-Gelwicks. They were there to show their deep appreciation with a surprise gift basket full of goodies.

 Since April of this year, Brenda has been offering ZUMBA classes and Line Dance Classes at the Manson Grange. She also hosts "Introduction to Pickleball" clinics at Singleton Park. The participants of these fun programs were there to show appreciation.

ZUMBA classes at the Manson Grange, are a fun mix of dance moves, fitness moves and high energy music. Brenda's fitness philosophy is "If it isn't fun, it won't get done".

She received her first ZUMBA certification in 2011 starting ZUMBA classes at the Birch Bay Activity Center in Blaine, Washington. Over the years she acquired certification in ZUMBA Toning, ZUMBA Step, ZUMBA for Kids, and Aqua ZUMBA.

In 2019 Brenda retired from her position as a fitness instructor at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine and moved permanently into what had previously been their summer home in Manson.

Not only has Brenda been teaching ZUMBA since 2011, but also very involved in promoting pickleball. These passions for ZUMBA and pickleball eventually led to opportunities in Manson. Spending a lot of time at Singleton Park, playing pickleball, she met Rob Campbell, Chairman of the Board for Manson Parks, and Robin Pittman, Director of Manson Parks. They discussed various options for growing a pickleball program in Manson.

Brenda was invited to a Parks Board meeting to present her ideas. “At the meeting Brenda laid out a very detailed plan for a project that would turn the basketball court at Singleton Park into three pickleball courts. The plan included materials and cost of this project. It was a no brainer...the Board voted unanimously to accept the project and cover the cost,” stated Robin. Brenda said, "It was a big job, lots of work, but well worth the efforts and I thank all the volunteers that assisted making the conversion." Shortly after the courts were completed, Brenda, began offering "Introduction to Pickleball" clinics, the goal, to grow a community of pickleball players in Manson.

Working again with Robin Pittman, Brenda offered a couple of ZUMBA classes to be held in the Manson Parks building on Pedoi Street. It was at those classes that Brenda and Robin met Phyllis Coleman, Debbie Conwell and KJ Cassidy, members of the Grange. They loved the ZUMBA classes and suggested moving the classes to the Manson Grange.

Discussions were held, and Manson Parks and the Manson Grange agreed to form a partnership. Robin said, "This was a gift from above as we had been looking for a facility to hold indoor classes for our community. We expect this partnership will produce many opportunities in the future."

Phyllis Coleman, from the Grange said, “The Manson Grange hopes to expand our outreach to our community because of this partnership. Our goal, to become a sustainable, affordable, community hall with more events as we gain volunteers.”

ZUMBA classes take place in the Manson Grange Hall Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. and are open to the public. Line Dancing will be returning in September. As of this writing, we are extremely proud to say that over 150 adults have participated and continue to participate in these fun new programs presented by Manson Parks and the Manson Grange.

Both Brenda and Robin are very impressed with the Grange and all the possibilities it offers our community, and they are now Grange members. We encourage you to check out the Manson Grange.

For more information you are invited to attend the Grange’s monthly meeting on the 4th Tuesday of each month, at 7 p.m. at the Grange Hall. You can also visit our website or contact Norm Manly at 509-293-0225.



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