About Us

DeWitt Area Recreation Authority (DARA)

Our Mission

The DeWitt Area Recreation Authority promotes community and quality of life through leisure services provided for the residents of the DeWitt Area.

We Achieve Our Mission by...

  • Providing a variety of recreational and community services for persons of all ages and abilities at locations throughout the community.
  • Promoting partnerships within the community that leverage resources to meet the growing demands for recreational and community services.
  • Utilizing strong collaborative public processes to establish and focus priorities.
  • Practicing fiscal responsibility, innovative leadership and the highest standard of service to ensure a quality return on the residents' investment.
  • Promoting citizen involvement to create value in leisure, strengthen the social foundation of the community and enhance the enjoyment of life in our community.

Our Values

  • Customer Service
  • Quality service, staff, equipment and facilities
  • Variety of services to all ages and abilities
  • Avoiding duplication of services
  • Citizen involvement
  • Value of leisure services
  • Efficient services
  • Affordable services
  • Family involvement

DARA's Role in the Community

Formed in July 2003 by the City of DeWitt and DeWitt Charter Township, DARA is dedicated to providing quality recreation programs to residents of all ages. From its inception, DARA program offerings have grown to provide a large variety of youth and adult sports programs, special events, holiday-themed programs and annual shows. 

DARA sports programs are designed to benefit the participants by teaching sportsmanship and teamwork skills, building character and respect, practicing positive fitness habits and most importantly by having fun! Whether your child is just 3 years of age, learning about athletics and family events or whether you are a senior citizen looking to make new friends and be active, DARA has a program to fit your need.

As written in the inter-local agreement which formed DARA, parks and facilities have continued to be owned and operated by the local governments. DARA is allowed use of City and Township parks and facilities to carry out recreation programs, but is not responsible for the maintenance or scheduling of said facilities. DARA is housed within the DeWitt Township Community Center building located at 16101 Brook Rd. Lansing, Mi. 48906 and operates its general office administration duties out of this location.

To schedule use of a park, pavilion or athletic field please call the appropriate municipality for rental information. DeWitt Township Parks (668-1411), City of DeWitt Parks (669-2441)  

Our Staff

The DeWitt Area Recreation Authority staff is comprised of a full time Executive Director, full time Program Coordinator and part time Program Specialist.  DARA also employs a number of part time program supervisors and seasonal staff. The staff is governed by policies set by a six member Board of Commissioners.

Executive Director - Clay Summers, CPRP, CYSA

Clay has served as the Executive Director for DARA since December 2008. He is responsible for the overall administration of the DeWitt Area Recreation Authority under the direction of the Board of Commissioners. He holds a bachelor's degree in Outdoor and Environmental Recreation from Central Michigan University. Clay also holds his certification as a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP) through the National Recreation and Park Association as well as Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA) through the National Alliance for Youth Sports.

Program Coordinator - Chad Stevens, CPRP 

Chad has served as the Program Coordinator for DARA since July 2006. He is responsible for the planning, implementation and evaluation of all DARA programs. Chad holds a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology with a cognate in Community Recreation Management from Michigan State University. Chad also holds his certification as a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP) through the National Recreation and Park Association.

Program Specialist - Amy VanHuffel

Amy was hired in February of 2013 to become DARA's Program Specialist. She provides leadership in many different program areas including special event planning, enrichment programs, senior events as well as office support. Amy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Human Development - Sports Management from Bowling Green State University. She is also currently finishing her Master of Arts in Recreation and Leisure Studies - Recreation Administration from the University of Toledo.

Board of Commissioners

Doug Simon - Chairman (DeWitt Charter Township)

Maria Ostrander - Vice Chairman (City of DeWitt)

Dave Hunsaker - Member at Large (City of DeWitt)

Jim Lancaster - Member at Large (City of DeWitt)

Brian Ross - Member at Large (DeWitt Charter Township)

Mary Winegar - Member at Large (DeWitt Charter Township)