Visit the Vaughan Center any day of the week, any week of the year, and you get the feeling that life is a 24/7 celebration.
That’s because it is – at least for the 11,000-plus members who utilize this fantastic facility on a regular basis. Being active and enjoying exercise not only makes for a healthy body, but a sharper mind as well. Each workout is an exercise in mood elevation.
Even though these folks are full of endorphins and in party mode all year, there’s always room for a little more excitement.
A three-day weekend is in order. Member Appreciation Weekend will be held next Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 26-28), with each day featuring an extravaganza of activities, fun events and giveaways.
It’s a tripleheader party themed around many of life’s most important pursuits – health, wellness and fitness.
Better yet, the entire weekend is free and open to the public, so even first-time visitors will feel welcome – as if they’ve just walked into a gigantic home gym with all the bells and whistles.
It kicks off with a day of complimentary (and healthy) snacks and refreshments next Friday. Be sure to enter the prize drawing to win a bountiful gift basket (winners announced Monday).
Friday’s night cap is a Zumba “Party in Pink” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A suggested donation of $5 or more gets you into this high-octane class and, more importantly, will help benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation supporting breast cancer research. Participants are encouraged to wear pink and/or dress up in their favorite Halloween costume.
But do pace yourself, because that’s just the warm-up to an action-packed weekend. From 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, the exhibits and information will be flowing with a health fair featuring several dozen vendors with beneficial insights and products.
The weekend’s showpiece event – Pump ‘N Run at noon on Saturday – will satisfy your appetite for fitness. This is where aerobic endurance meets mass and muscle. Participants will bench press a percentage of their body weight (based on age and gender), and then they’re off on a timed, two-mile run.
But it offers a unique twist - for each bench press repetition, participants earn 20 seconds off their official run time.
“Pump ‘N Run is not so much a competition as it is a measure of general fitness and aerobic endurance,” said fitness supervisor Brett Meier.
By Sunday, it’s time to make the party even bigger and allow members to bring their friends for Free Guest Day.
When it opened in 2005, the Vaughan Athletic Center was seen as spacious and inviting. It’s lived up to that billing. Now it averages more than 1,000 visitors every day, with 22,000 day passes sold on an annual basis and 15,000 participants who take part in various programs.
While it’s still a youthful seven years old, the Vaughan Center delivers lifetime benefits – and next weekend’s free party in the pursuit of fitness tops the list. Consider it a community-wide invitation to better health.
Fox Valley Park District
Friday, Oct. 19: Dad & Son Construct It Night, Eola Community Center, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20: Trick-or-Treat Walk (noon to 3 p.m.) and Halloween costume contest (1:30 p.m.), at Blackberry Farm.
Saturday, Oct. 20: Fall Festival, Red Oak Nature Center, 1 to 3 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 20-21: Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre: ‘I’m Getting Murdered in the Morning,’ Prisco Community Center, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 21: Pumpkin Weekends at Blackberry Farm, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 26: Halloween Family Fun Night, Prisco Community Center, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 26: Haunted House, Prisco Community Center, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Friday-Sunday, Oct. 26-28: Member Appreciation Weekend, Vaughan Athletic Center, daily.