I think swimming is an essential life-skill.

I thought I learned how to swim by watching Tarzan in those wonderful black-and-white movies. Just keep kicking and moving your arms!

I actually learned to swim at lessons offered by the Red Cross at my community pool. I got my beginners and intermediate card on the same glorious summer Saturday. Once I felt confident in a pool, I swam in a lake, river, pond, ocean and a gulf. And there was water-skiing, sailing, cruising and flying over oceans, all made safer because I could swim.

Once I opened my eyes underwater, I saw the wet half of the Earth, with all of its creatures. I saw amazing sea life up close while scuba diving and swam with some precious sea lions while snorkeling.

I saved a life of a panicked scuba-diving partner at 80 feet below in the Gulf of Mexico and that of a child who fell off a float.

I stood on a racing block at state championships and dove at nationals. Knowing how to swim helps me cope with high humidity.

I think a community pool is an essential community amenity. Most certainly since our town is surrounded by water.

Our community is an essential partner for raising the money for a community pool. The city of Galveston’s Families, Children and Youth Board has been championing this cause with the City Parks and Recreation Advisory Board under the amazing leadership of Anne Brasier.

Ms. Brasier has been an ambitious and successful grant writer. She has raised almost $1.8 million. One such gift is a Moody Foundation challenge grant for $1.325 million. If we (our community) can raise $1.9 million, they will give us the challenge grant funds to build the $3.7 million aquatic center (competition pool, waterslides, showers, parking). How incredibly cool is that!

As chair of the Families, Children and Youth Board, I am inviting all individuals and organizations to help us meet this challenge.

We are limited by our imaginations. It is time for kids, youth, teens, singles, young families, grandparents, sororities, fraternities, Rotary, the Chamber, schools, churches, civic clubs, social clubs, student councils and store owners to put on thinking caps and let’s have a storm of creative ideas to meet our match. The more, the better! Bake sales, carwashes, wine tastings, walks/runs, relay races, auctions — drown us with your ideas.

We need your help to raise $1.9 million this year. We will keep track of every penny and give you or your group credit for all efforts made. If you need help getting your idea off the ground, we are here for you. Wouldn’t you like to say, “I helped”?

We need your help to make the community pool a reality. Tax deductible gifts (checks and MasterCard or Visa) may be sent to Galveston Community Pool, c/o Barbara Sanderson, director, Parks and Recreation, McGuire Dent Recreation Center, 2222 28th St., Galveston, TX 77550. Phone: 409-621-3177. All cash donations must be delivered to Sanderson in person.

Kathy Tiernan is chairwoman of the Families, Children and Youth Board.

(2) comments

Don Ciaccio

Even if wealthy Galveston families help build the pool, we don't have the funds to maintain it. I drive down streets in deplorable shape. Until we can afford to fix the basic infrastructure we have, Galvestonians can't afford a luxury swimming pool. This is no different than any family wish. Everyone would like a pool in their back yard, but not many have the money to build or maintain one. Fix our streets and sewers first, then we can discuss luxury items that wealthy folks can afford.

GW Cornelius

We have a huge ocean to swim in not to mention a great pool at Central that can be used. Seems like a waste of money for something we do not need.

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