RARE programs ready to go in 2024

By: Maria Allard | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 16, 2024


ROSEVILLE/EASTPOINTE — The Recreation Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe has its newsletter up and running for the spring and summer 2024 programs.

The newsletter is available online at rare-mi.org, and residents and nonresidents can sign up for enrichment opportunities, preschool programs, special events and more. The RARE building is located at 18185 Sycamore St., north of the 11 Mile Road service drive and east of Gratiot Avenue.

Because pickleball continues to grow in popularity, RARE has added more opportunities  to play the sport.

“I would say pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the world. We’ll have some pickleball lessons and leagues. We’re trying to keep up with the demand,” RARE Director Tony Lipinski said. “Pickleball is like a cross between pingpong, badminton and tennis. It’s good for all ages. It’s an addictive game. It’s a fun game. There are some skills and strategies.”

The pickleball offerings will include an adult beginner class with instructor Chip Fazzio, an adult intermediate pickleball drill lesson with Fazzio, and a pickleball ladder league. All pickleball participants must be 18 years and older.

The ladder league, offered from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays from Feb. 15 through March 21 and again from April 4 through May 9, is open to players 4.0 level and below. Because there are no referees, players must know how to serve, keep score and resolve conflicts amicably.

“It’s a contract program. Every game you will be with someone new for the most part,” RARE sports coordinator Adam Just said. He also encouraged players to bring their own pickleballs and their rackets if they can.

Some of the other new adult enrichment programs in 2024 include beginning copperplate calligraphy, “Am I Eating Enough to Lose Weight?” and an introduction to improv class. Budding photographers also might want to check out a beginning photography class and a flash photography course.

RARE is also offering a number of programs for the first time for youth and teens that include “Business Bonanza,” “Website Wizards” and “After-School at the Erin Park Community.” Information about all three is available on the website.

In 2024, RARE officials will continue to offer cheerleading, yoga, dance class and theater for individuals with special needs. Page 12 of the newsletter shows a QR code that contains a survey for the public to fill out regarding what kinds of special needs programs they would like to see.

And Taylor Swift fans, mark your calendars for the “T-Swift Social” set for May 17 for Swifties ages 7-17. The evening will be dedicated to the pop superstar, and those who attend are encouraged to dress in their favorite era of Swift’s career.

RARE is always looking for businesses to help sponsor events for its youth leagues and special events, including the annual Rockin’ Summer Night, scheduled for Aug. 14 at Kennedy Park, 24517 Schroeder Ave. in Eastpointe. The evening will include a concert with the Jerry Ross Band, kids attractions, food vendors and more.

Lipinski also wanted to remind people of scholarship opportunities available through RARE. The department will continue to offer its annual activity scholarships for residents of Eastpointe or Roseville who are in financial need.

In addition, staff added the Connor McMahon Scholarship this year in honor of McMahon, who worked for several years at RARE. McMahon, 23, was killed in a hit-and-run car crash June 13 while changing a tire on the shoulder of Interstate 94 in Harper Woods. He was a Fraser High School teacher known for his positive attitude, creativity and  thoughtfulness. The scholarship will help provide funding for the Summer Day Camp for families in need. Scholarship applications are available in person at the RARE building or on the website. Children may receive one scholarship per calendar year.

For a list of all the RARE programs, fees, class times and dates, call (586) 445-5480 or visit rare-mi.org.