Hospital head expresses need for community center

Dear Editor,
Recently, news has come out the Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District has been conducting due diligence on the feasibility of building a community recreation center here in Rochelle. This is great news and something all residents should be excited about and support.
Before I moved to Rochelle - which is almost seven years ago now - I lived in a community that had the type of recreation center the park district envisions. I cannot overstate the impact this has on community pride, health and connection.
Many of you will say we haven’t had this before, why do we need it now? My response is since you haven’t had this, you don’t know what you and your community have been missing.
Having had the benefit of a community recreation center before moving to Rochelle, and being a consistent user of such a facility, I miss the opportunity to have an all-in-one place to use cardio equipment, weight machines and free weights, participate in classes and play team sports. A community center offers these choices for all ages and ability levels. Formal programs for adults and kids alike abound in centers like this.
Working for an organization that recruits professionals, a recreation center is almost a must have for a community to be considered by these individuals and their families. Children are active today with many more choices than even 10 years ago, so having a central location nearby to meet these activity needs is essential. Expecting families to drive 20 to 30 minutes for these activities today is not reasonable, when in most communities they are readily available.
I moved here to join the hospital staff and to do my best to bring valuable healthcare services to Rochelle and the surrounding communities. At the time, my younger daughter was playing college basketball, and much to my surprise I soon found out there wasn’t an indoor facility in Rochelle for her to shoot baskets. I don’t want any healthcare providers we are recruiting to Rochelle Community Hospital to have that same experience.
This recreation center needs and deserves your support, and give credit to the park district staff and board members for working hard to make this a reality. I guarantee it will make a positive difference in the Rochelle community.

Mark Batty
CEO Rochelle Community Hospital


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