(Cumberland) — Today’s KMA Fitness Tour stop takes us to Cumberland–where residents in the small town are touting one of their best-kept secrets.
Five years ago, local leaders in Cumberland heard from a group of young people about the need for an area to exercise. One year later, following the awarding of grant money from the Cass County Community Foundation, the Cumberland Fitness Center opened inside a location at 109 Main Street. Deb Brown is among the community members overseeing the center’s operations. Brown tells KMA News the center filled a void for the town of about 240 of an indoor recreation center closer to home.
“We love Atlantic, but they’re about 20 minutes away,” said Brown. “Anita’s about another 15–they also have exercise facilities. In this little part of Cass County, we’re all you got.”
Donations allowed for the purchase of treadmills, free weights, elliptical equipment and stationary bicycles. Most recently, the Cass County Board of Supervisors allocated funding for stair step machines. Brown says the goal is to make the fitness center as accessible to local residents as possible.
“We do not charge,” she said. “We are run strictly on donations, and the efforts of our wonderful volunteers. We will, of course, accept donations. We’ll discuss expectations and guidelines for the center. You sign a liability release form, and you’re good to go.”
Brown, however, stresses you don’t have to be a Cumberland resident to use the facility.
“Anyone who is willing, who has an interest in improving their fitness level, their overall health, or just find a warm place to exercise, is welcome,” said Brown. “So, we have people outside of Cumberland. You do not need to be a Cumberland resident to take advantage of the fitness center.”
Though the center is small, Brown says supporters have mighty big plans for its future, including an expansion of its back portion to allow for exercise classes and social activities.
“One of the main things was expanding this back part,” she said, “and opening that up for some social opportunities, because, again, that’s kind of limited, too, in your smaller communities. Where can kids come together to watch a movie? Where can kids come together to maybe learn about sports nutrition, and maybe bring a specialist in? Where can adults like myself, and older individuals come together to play cards, and just do some things socially?”
Brown says donations are always welcome. The Cumberland Fitness Center’s operation hours vary. It’s open Mondays from 5-to-8 a.m., Tuesdays from 9-to-10:30 a.m. and 7-to-8 p.m., Wednesdays from 9-to-10:30 a.m. and 2-to-3 p.m., Thursdays from 7-to-9 p.m. and Fridays from 9-to-10:30 a.m. Anyone with questions can contact Deb Brown at 402-657-3622 or any Cumberland Fitness Center board member. A video version of this story is available with the webstory at kmaland.com.