GALVESTON — In an effort to raise money for the city’s first public swimming pool, the Better Parks for Galveston Committee is turning to the children to help spread the word.

Members of Ball High School’s student council are taking an active role in promoting the Lasker Park Community Pool project.

“Most of us have grown up here,” said Madison Walser, 16, an incoming senior at Ball High School. “People nearly drown all the time, and for people to have a pool, it’s something that’s almost logical. People should know how to swim.”

The student council already has jumped into the project with enthusiasm. Soon after being recruited into the effort, members started preparing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for a social media push. At a brainstorming session Monday afternoon, other ideas were thrown around, such as the possibility of starting a crowdfunding campaign and the creation of an informational video.

The date for a rally in support of the pool was also finalized. On Sept. 13, a concert and a family day will be held at Lasker Park.

B.J. Herz, who led Monday’s meeting of the Better Parks for Galveston Committee, said the involvement of teenagers helps elevate community awareness of the push for a pool. “Once the young folks are involved, the parents are involved. It’s a way to get the message out.”

The committee, a subcommittee of the city’s Family, Children and Youth Board, is aiming to become a nonprofit agency that will raise money to support Galveston parks, starting with the Lasker Park pool.

The Lasker Park project would include two pools, one for lap swimming and another for wading. A bath house and covered picnic area would also be constructed at the park on the corner of 43rd Street and Avenue Q.

Committee members said in addition to providing a community gathering place, the pool will provide a venue for young Galvestonians to learn how to swim in a controlled environment.

The pool supporters plan to make presentations to the City Council and the school committee in the near future, and appear on cable access television to stump for more funding.

The group will also go to local businesses to try to drum up more money.

The committee has until Dec. 1 to raise $1.9 million. After that date, the Moody Foundation could choose to rescind a $1.3 million matching grant that was made to the city last December to pay for the pool, Herz said.

“We are really in our crunch mode,” she said.

The biggest key to raising that much money could simply be letting people know about the possibility of a community pool in Galveston.

During Monday’s meeting, the idea that the group could use T-shirts to promote itself came up. Galveston Island Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis, who has promoted the pool as a way to increase knowledge about water safety, said he might know a business that’s willing to pitch in.

During the meeting, Davis called the business and got an answer.

“He said ‘yes,’” Davis said. “But he wanted to know what pool I was talking about.”

Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or john.ferguson@galvnews.com.

(2) comments

Jarvis Buckley

Ms. E. Beeton was always in support of this pool and helped it gain support while she was a council member. I hope the new folks will see it through for our kids on the island.

Don Ciaccio

If my roof is leaking or I need to rewire my home, I wouldn't even think about putting in a pool. While some foundations are offering seed money to get a pool, the maintenance and upkeep will be taken from the city. Last time I checked, our infrastructure is in horrible shape. Our streets are pathetic. If we can't even pave our streets, we sure as heck can't afford a pool. Absolutely not!

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