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Pool in the Park makes fundraising push

by MONTE TURNER
Mineral Independent | September 13, 2023 12:00 AM

The old saying goes, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

A colossal task was recognized by the Pool in the Park Committee (PIP) when they banded together a few years ago.

Pool in the Park is a fundraising committee under the umbrella of the Mineral County Community Foundation’s 501C (3) IRS designation. The volunteer committee grows in size as does the fundraising efforts and recently a burst of enthusiasm came from the generous pledge/match from Reep, Bell, and Jasper in the amount of $50,000.

Earlier this year, John Morrison, who is an attorney in Helena and former Montana State Auditor/Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, donated $6,000.

These larger donations are a shot in the arm for total dollars and fundraising morale. Pool in the Park will continue to contact local businesses to determine what level of support they might be interested in providing to the pool project and they certainly understand that money cannot always be spared and, in those cases, in-kind products and services are genuinely appreciated.

Examples are Superior Paws donated all the power for their fundraising efforts at the River Street Festival & 406 Paddleboard Sprint on Aug. 19. Superior Meats contributed the refrigerated trailer holding the burgers and dogs and ice for the slushies where the team netted $1,911.

In today’s dollars, this project comes to around $2.3 million and right now the town’s capital gains fund is at $268,805. The balance is $110,000.

The pledge drive/challenge has a tentative date of Sept. 30, and they will know how it was matched by the end of October.

Pool in the Park includes Liz Gupton, Trish Donovan, Cheryl Crabb, Patti Pickering, Denyse Traeder, Drew Hanson, Gaylene Borden, Elaine Sedeora, Angie Hopwood and Kaylee Richards. Tom McCloskey is their representative from the city council.

“We believe the pool will be used by members in all Mineral County communities and we invite anyone interested in supporting this project to contact us,” said Hopwood. “In fact, we have invited volunteers from both the east and west ends to join our committee. However, if we haven’t contacted you and you’re interested, please let us know!”

The pool will be in the Eva Horning Park and it will be relatively the same dimensions as the previous pool except rectangular. It will follow high school regulations in order to facilitate swim teams. The pool may be in Superior, but this pool is for everyone so the three schools might be looking at developing a swim squadron.

Water aerobics was a big hit at the old pool and people can be sure that it will return along with fresh ideas and new programs.

The dedication of the volunteers has amassed 50,000 hours and those have been submitted to be used as a match in an application to the county’s American Rescue Plan Act committee. The grant application was for a preliminary engineering report to update the cost estimate.

Pool in the Park has been asked several times regarding an indoor facility. While they, and everyone, would love to have a facility that is open year-round at this point they are looking at building an outdoor facility with the goal of enclosing it in the future.

“All of the pool projects we have contacted (Glasgow, Big Sandy, Red Lodge) have taken years to raise sufficient funds to get to construction. With the recent boost from the Jasper Challenge, PIP events, our Capital Campaign, and upcoming grant opportunities, we are making progress to get this across the finish line!” beamed Gupton.

Visit online at poolinthepark.givesmart.com.

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