"We have been thinking about closing for about a year," Elaine Bork, co-owner, said. "A place needs to be busy every weekend to stay open. The numbers weren't there anymore. We did a lot of soul searching about this decision," Elaine added. The activity center which is located on Highway 124 next to the Calvary Baptist Church has been up for sale for about a year.
The center has never been a money maker for the Borks. Elaine said with the place just open Saturdays, they couldn't afford at least $800 in insurance premiums every three months.
In February 1993, when the center opened, activities were planned for Friday nights, all day Saturday, Saturday evenings, and Sunday afternoons. Teen Night (Fridays) was dropped over a year ago. Eventually, the center's hours were cut back to Saturday afternoons only.
"There would never have been an activity center if it had not been for the generosity of the Paynesville businesses. We received donations from many different people in the community," said Elaine. Donated items will be returned to the donors, Borks said.
Activities Alive was designed as two sections. Borks held their preschool on the south side of the facility and the activity center on the north side. In the fall of 1998, the preschool returned to their Punkin Patch location on Mill Street. The preschool side has since been remodeled into a private apartment.
The activity center has been used by many groups over the years: Crow River Trail Guards, area 4-H clubs, church groups, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, middle school exploratories, sixth grade homecoming party, Halloween parties, and private birthday parties.
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