Grand Prairie Recreation Center Caters to Baby Boomers

First-of-its-kind facility draws hundreds of visitors

By Christine Lee
|  Thursday, Mar 22, 2012  |  Updated 6:19 PM CDT
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Grand Prairie's new award-winning multimillion dollar recreational facility is drawing national attention.

Christine Lee, Grand Prairie Reporter

Grand Prairie's new award-winning multimillion dollar recreational facility is drawing national attention.

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Grand Prairie's $23 million recreational facility for baby boomers is drawing national attention and acclamation.

The Summit offers everything from a theater to water aerobics for adults ages 50 and older. Hundreds of visitors from across the country have visited the facility.

"A lot of them are taking notes and coming back to their communities," said Michael Levy, assistant manager. "They're wanting to do something like that in their community."

Levy said the city's goal was to do something different that could help its community.

Voters passed a 1/8 sales tax to fund the center in 2007. It opened in June 2010.

Member Janie DeLeon, 62, said she lost 95 pounds over the past three years. She lost 52 of those pounds while attending The Summit.

"I couldn't even get from one end of the room to the other end," she said.

Now she plays pickleball with friends and does just about anything to keep herself active.

"I run daily," she said. "I even won a race past October. I came in third place. I never even thought that I'd be able to do something like that."

DeLeon carries around pictures and video of her old self to inspire herself and others.

The Summit also has a gift shop run by volunteers that sells merchandise made by members. Volunteers also help keep the rest of the facility up and running.

"It keeps me out of the house, and it keeps me from getting in trouble at home," said volunteer David Marvin.

Marvin shuttles members ages 50 to 102 around the parking lot. He said he's seen miracles unfold before his very eyes.

"I've seen people that have started out here in walkers and go from walkers to crutches to canes, and then to nothing," he said.

The Summit will be open to guests of all ages during its summer concert series every Friday in April.

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