By Christopher T. Matthews

With the beginning of summer also comes the annual opening of the City of Toledo’s swimming pools.  On Saturday, June 24 youth from all over the Toledo began flocking to The City’s seven swimming pools and splash pad, to begin a summer of healthy fun and exercise.

Council Man Tyrone Riley expresses his gratitude to the community and the contributors.
Council Man Tyrone Riley expresses his gratitude to the community and the contributors.

However this year the youth swimming at Wilson Park’s Junior Pool (for 12 and under) and Roosevelt Pool which is located at Smith Park were in for a pleasant surprise. Thanks to the efforts of a grass roots initiative called “Swimming Made Free – it’s all about Me!”,  all of the youth at Wilson Pool and those under 18 at Roosevelt Pool have been able to swim for free. The normal pool admission is $1 for youth 2 years and older.

“As a community, I can truly say that we have come together to help our young people do something that is healthy and fun but also involves exercise! “, states Gail Gant, chairman of Swimming Made Free – it’s all about Me!.

Erick , Arren and Donzhane, Roosevelt Pool Lifegaurds.
Erick , Arren and Donzhane, Roosevelt Pool Lifegaurds.

The effort has already donated $2000 to the City of Toledo, with a $1000 going for each of the two pools. Through July 4, 2017, a little less than 1100 youth have benefitted from this free admission. The 2016 attendance at these two pools was slightly less than 4000 admissions.

Mrs. Gant stresses the point, “That to make this a continued fun-filled summer for the young people, we need the assistance from churches, businesses and individuals!  With only four weeks left, we are a little over the halfway mark of our $4,000 fundraising goal.” Donations from businesses and individuals have ranged from $5 to $500, so it is all important.

(L.R) Contributors Kathy Streng, Business Development of DLZ, Engineering Consulting and Architect Firm and Deb Dernsthausen, Client and Community Relation Director of PNC Bank.
(L.R) Contributors Kathy Streng, Business Development of DLZ, Engineering Consulting and Architect Firm and Deb Dernsthausen, Client and Community Relation Director of PNC Bank.

The members of the initiative  are, very grateful to the community for their generosity and ask that you continue to show your support by going to the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union, gofundme.com/swimming madefree2017 or mailing a check to Swimming Made Free c/o GLG Construction Service PO box 140635 Toledo Ohio 43614 or to: Swimming Made Free c/o The Toledo Journal PO Box 12559 Toledo, OH 43606.

The efforts of Swimming Made Free – it’s all about Me! have not gone unnoticed by City of Toledo, as Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson and several members of city council, held a press conference on Friday, June 30, 2017 to acknowledge not only Swimming Made Free, but by McDonald’s Toledo Lucas County Port Authority and UAW, just to name a few of the contributors who play a part in keeping the various city pools open for the youth of the community.

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