Genevieve Hollis has taken a new role in Whitehall as the Recreation Center leader and, at the young age of 22, she is ready to continue the legacy that her mom, Mayor Julie Eagan, built with the Whitehall Rec.
The first thing Hollis took to was approaching the town board for the purchase of a handicapped swing, which the board approved in its July meeting.
“That felt, oh my gosh, I can’t even describe how gratifying it was,” she said.
As a mother of a two-year-old and sometimes babysitter of her young niece, Hollis has traveled to almost every park within Washington County and hasn’t seen a handicap swing at any public parks and most swings only accommodate 120 pounds. This is where Hollis saw the opportunity to add one to the Whitehall community.
“I think all of these options will benefit the town,” Hollis said during the board’s review of the swings presented to them. “I really like the one that’s meant to adults.”
With the board’s approval of the swing, and due to long shipping times, the swing will be hung next spring. Mattison’s Sport Shop raffled a riffle at their annual fishing derby and donated $800 to the Rec for the swing as well.
“Three years ago, the rec was in its hey-day when my mom was in charge,” she said. “There was like at least 10 kids down here at any given moment from open to close. It was this awesome sense of community like all these kids had a safe and fun place to be.”
Hollis’ goal is to continue the legacy that her mother started with the rec and wants to see it become a popular place among the community once again. With the addition of the handicapped swing, she is hoping this will draw in new folks to Whitehall.
“There we’re always classes going on, there were always tournaments like dodge ball, pool, tennis, we always had something going on,” she said.
Some of the events on Hollis’ list is the starting of family movie nights, bingo, and arts and crafts classes.
“Those are what’s set and stone and are going to happen. I’ve been reaching out to certain people to see if they would be interested in teaching some different classes. Julie taught a compass class one time, it didn’t get a huge turnout, but it was really cool,” Hollis laughed.
Hollis is currently working on putting together a dinner program for community members. It is all based on donations and she looks at this as an opportunity to give back.
“We have a donation box at Fort Ann Antiques on Route 4,” she said.
The antique shop might be a donation box stop for the rec, but Stephanie Safka has also contributed to the rec with craft supplies and more.
“I just put together these Ziplock bags and it’s called the creativity challenge… It’s a creative way to get kids excited about using their imagination,” she said.
The Rec is currently open after 2 p.m. to the public due to the Whitehall Central Schools renting out the Rec for their summer program. All community members are invited to use the facility and can contact the rec at 518-499-1280.