Lighten up, Five Points

Times-Reporter editorial board

It is OK to think outside the box.

It is OK to be a creative thinker.

Kristy Howell proved that when she decided Peoria was not the only city that could capitalize on the “Amazing Race” craze.

After planning and working with Washington Chamber of Commerce director Carol Hamilton, Howell sent about 14 teams to various businesses in Washington in the fall.

At each stop, team members had to complete challenges before they could receive the clue to the next stop on their trail.

The race ended at C-Note Pub.

There was an electricity in the air that night as laughing Washington residents raced, safely, around town solving clues and completing challenges.

Business owners who offered their places as destinations also got a few laughs that night.

Kristy Howell displayed her creative thinking again when she brought Howl at the Moon to Five Points Washington Saturday night.

Tickets were sold out within weeks of scheduling the popular rock-n-roll dueling pianos.

Howell first came upon the idea when she was in Chicago not too long ago.

Although Five Points staff took care of the food and beverages, Howell stayed involved, making sure there would be enough to drink for the adults-only evening.

That is part of the reason she was named Washingtonian for this year. She does not leave things to chance.

Howl at the Moon was a roaring success.

Very few people left early.

And, it seemed as if everyone had a great time.

The event not only provided an evening of good music and dancing, it also proved what can happen when Five Points Washington and the Washington Park District work together.

Howell proved what successful cooperation can do for the community center.

Five Points Washington has the potential to offer great things to the community besides being an indoor pool and fitness center.

The theater has so much potential to be booked more than it is.

Howell proved the banquet facility can also be used for more than formal dinners and weddings.

The programs that have been there are good, but there is so much more out there if we are just willing to be open to the possibilities.

Family entertainment is great, but there is so much more.

With the closing of the comedy club in East Peoria, there is the opportunity to bring comedians here.

Why should Peoria get them all?

The theater is not the only part or the facility that is under-utilized.

The gym stands either empty of partially used many days.

With two full-sized basketball courts, there is no reason why Five Points management cannot partner with the park district and have leagues play there.

Take a page from Howell’s book and start thinking outside the box, Five Points.

The center, and Washington, will be that much better for the effort.