Wanting a community that puts forth the effort
To the Editor:
My name is Hannah Neusch, I am writing today to express my sincere feelings regarding the community center. I am not originally from here. My husband was born and raised here. We had our first child in 2018 while we were living in Sioux City, Iowa, and decided to move back to Fairmont six months after to be closer to family.
As a mother of a young family and being an out-of-towner I feel I have a unique opinion. Fairmont’s lakes are truly a treasure. People work very hard to live in communities that have the natural resources that Fairmont does, yet they aren’t coming here…why? There are very few things in Fairmont which cater towards young professionals. We want a living wage (wages in and around Fairmont are very low for comparable work), we want reliable safe childcare (or a plan to move in that direction), we want recreation (the lakes, hiking, biking, campgrounds), and we want a place to be together. This brings me to the community center.
The community center would provide a place where we can rent a space for parties, or where we can drop our kids off in the childcare center and get a decent workout in (currently not available elsewhere). A place where we can meet our friends and their families for a swim or teach our bodies to do something new and challenging. It would be a place where I could meet other parents and my children could meet other kids. A place to gather and greet, but also a place to work on ourselves. A place where our community would strengthen and grow.
I have extremely vivid and nostalgic memories of going to classes at the YMCA when I was a kid, and they had an excellent after-school program. We had our senior party at the Y (a lock-in), and I was scuba certified through a class there when I was a junior. When I was pregnant, I visited the Y for low-impact instructor-led exercise in the pool, and lots of stretching and slow movements in a yoga class. I cannot stress enough how nice it is to have a place where I know my children are safe and having fun while I get a moment to prioritize myself, in one building.
This, my friend, is what young families want. We want to see a community that is willing to take a calculated risk and invest in the people who live there. We want to feel like you want us here, that you are working to make your city better every year, for EVERYONE, not just those who are retired, or over the age of 60. We want a community that puts in the effort. We want to see that you are looking into the future.
Overall, a community center would, in fact, be a center for our community. The first step toward growth is right in front of you. Please, do not throw away this opportunity. The future of our community is in YOUR hands.