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New recreation director shares fresh ideas

She’s only been on the job a month but the idea factory is up and running and cranking out product.
Haley Morrissey accepted the position of Richmond recreation director last month and moved to Richmond from her hometown of Macon, Mo., which is about two hours northeast of Richmond. Morrissey replaces Rob Kinnard, who accepted a full-time position with the Richmond Fire Department in August. Kinnard has worked with Morrissey through the transition and will continue to assist her on a part-time basis on special projects.
Morrissey, fresh out of college with a degree in recreation from the University of Central Missouri, already has a lot of plans for future projects and activities.
Morrissey told members of the Richmond Kiwanis Club on Tuesday that next summer she would like to try a summer day camp for kids and would like to coordinate with area schools to offer programs for kids who have early dismissal or in-service days. She said it could offer parents an alternative to having to find a babysitter or just worrying about their kids being home alone with nothing to do or any supervision.
Morrissey said she wants to get adults and senior citizens more involved in recreation activities. She said she would also like to see more city park assets fully utilized, like a having horseshoe tournament. The city recently finished new horseshoe pits with the help of some Boy Scouts.
Morrissey talked about adding events, such as a fishing tournament, elementary-aged track meet, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, dance lessons, yoga and even a dodge ball tournament.
Morrissey has an extensive background in recreation and organized activities. Kiwanian and City Council Member Scott Marshall, who introduced Morrissey Tuesday, said the city did a good job in finding a replacement for Kinnard
“We’re fortunate to have someone of the caliber that we have,” Marshall said. “She has a pretty strong background.”
Morrissey said her background started when she was a kid heavily involved in youth sports and Girl Scouts. She said she learned values that she carries with her today.
“Pretty much whatever it was, I was involved,” Morrissey said. “These opportunities taught me a lot as a young kid. They taught me how to be dedicated, get along better with others and that winning isn’t everything.”
She said that recreation activities brought her closer with her family, and said that recreation is important for kids to teach them some of the same things.
“It teaches them determination and dedication that they need everyday,” she said.
Morrissey said she didn’t always think she was going to be a recreation director. She said while going into college, she was interested in art but changed course one semester into school. She said recreation combined all of the things in life that she enjoys so much.
“Recreation is whatever makes a person happy,” she said. “Who wouldn’t want to do that as a job everyday?”
While in college Morrissey worked for the Warrensburg Department of Recreation and helped coordinate campus activities at UCM. She also worked for the Macon Baseball Association and interned for the Longbranch YMCA in Macon.
She has also worked with children as a park counselor.

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