Help save the YWCA Clinton pool

Periodically, YWCA members, staff and volunteers are featured highlighting the many facets of our community in which they’re a part of. This month, YWCA Clinton member Tom Whalen shares why he feels the YWCA pool is a necessary community resource.

My name is Tom Whalen, and I grew up here in Clinton on the “Mighty Mississippi.” My brothers, friends and I were all swimmers. Our father, Bill Whalen, taught us to swim and we also had lessons at the municipal pool. We soon earned a spot on the swim team, A.A.U. in the summer and YMCA in the winter. Howard Judd was my first coach. At this time, Clinton had six swimming pools. Clinton High School had two. The YMCA had a pool. There was a pool at the Schick Complex. These were all indoor pools and the Clinton Municipal Pool was an outdoor pool. Most of these pools had lessons for kids and competitive teams.

Currently there are only two indoor pools left in Clinton – one at the high school and one at YWCA Clinton. The YWCA pool, which is open to the public for a minimal fee, is struggling financially to keep the facility running. I swim laps daily and use the hot tub for therapy. There are many lap swimmers and even more people of all ages who use the pool for health and therapeutic reasons.

I am a firm believer in swimming in general for its physical and psychological benefits. Clinton is a river community with many recreational sports and boaters. We need to have the YWCA pool for swim lessons for kids and its many other uses for all ages.

How to Help

YWCA Clinton asks all those who use the YWCA pool and love having it in the community to please help support swimming in Clinton by becoming a YWCA member or donating to the YWCA “Save Our Pool” fundraiser. “Splash Sponsors” are those whose gift of $1,000 fully funds all pool-related expenses for one day. YWCA Clinton has an immediate goal of raising $100,000 by the end of June. To date, $54,000 in Splash Sponsorships has been raised.

To donate online, please visit: http://bit.ly/SaveYWCAPool, scroll to bottom of the page and click “donate.” You can make an even bigger impact by clicking “Start Fundraising” to set up your own online fundraising page. Share this page with friends and family and let them know how important the YWCA Clinton pool is to you and our community. You can also give in person at YWCA Clinton or mail a check to YWCA Clinton, 317 Seventh Ave. South, Clinton, IA 52732. Just be sure to note “Pool donation” in the memo. If you have more questions, please contact YWCA Clinton Executive Director Shannon Sander-Welzien at 242-2110 or via email at ed@ywcaclinton.org.