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Willapa Harbor Herald
Lewis County News
Traveler's Companion
(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577

Pool Board Members Asking for Help

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Fellow residents of Raymond, South Bend, Old Willapa, Menlo, and all those who reside in North Pacific County: I am writing in support of the swimming pool in downtown Raymond to let people know something of the benefits is has provided, the people who have helped it survive and thrive, and the needs that must be met to keep providing safe, healthy, educational, and fun aquatic activities to members of our local community.

The Nevitt Pool was first inspired of by a resident of the area (whose delivery had been assisted by Dr. Nevitt) who enclosed $5 in an envelope along with a letter to the editor or the Raymond Herald in 1946 challenging other "Nevitt babies" to build a center for youth activities in honor of Dr. Nevitt. This challenge grew into the formation of the Nevitt Memorial Swimming Pool Association in 1948. Efforts led to the opening of the pool in 1955 and for 26 summers young people enjoyed themselves and learned to swim in a safe environment.

In 1981, in the face of a variety of economic challenges, the pool closed its doors. In 1992, certain individuals took it upon themselves to get the pool "afloat" again, and raised money, sought grants, recruited competent and committed individuals and, after years of efforts, reopened the doors of the pool we have known for over ten years.

I thought of thanking those individuals in this letter, but one of them suggested not because it would be virtually impossible to give credit to all those who have dedicated a great deal of time over the past several decades. Let me just say that the efforts of those who first took on this project, who have done the fund-raising, the grant writing, the facilities maintenance, the note-taking at meetings, the treasurer reports, the training and hiring of life guards, and all who have helped facilitate and encourage those activities (and any others that I have forgotten), are deeply appreciated.

Some of the benefits of the pool include: the opportunity for swim lessons for many more young people than could ever travel to Aberdeen or Astoria (the nearest other swimming pools); the chance for older people to have (locally) the healthy exercise and low impact workouts that are often very therapeutic; the opportunity for young people to earn wages while learning the valuable skills and responsibilities of a lifeguard; the chance for competitive swimming; the chance to simply enjoy a sunny day in Raymond (we do have them now and then) around the water without undo anxiety for safety.

All these benefits have been real and substantial for a number of years. There is the possibility of additional opportunities for such activities as kayak training and preliminary scuba diving training. Such things are possible if interested and qualified people are determined to make them happen.

This leads me to the last part of this letter: the part where help is requested. Many of those individuals who have worked so many years to make the Nevitt Pool a success, have had to cut back on their work with the pool to deal with other challenges in their lives. There is a need for individuals who would be willing to share their skills as a fundraiser, grant writer, treasurer, secretary, finder and trainer of life guards, and maintainer of pool facilities. All these tasks together can seem daunting but they can be done (and have been done) by enough individuals working together.

The pool has been open and running for many years. This can be maintained, but it will require help from more than those currently attending the meetings. The next meeting is Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 5 pm at the Raymond City Hall. Keeping the pool going will be easier than restarting it after a lengthy period of closure. There is still time to be fully geared up for the summer of 2015, but it will require some help. Please consider what help you can offer and join us at that meeting. If you are interested in helping but can't make the meeting send an email to: jimc@willapabay.org"jimc@willapabay.org or call 942-5662 and leave a message. Thank you for your consideration and your support.

Signed the current Pool Board Members:

Jim Carney,

Lisa Carney,

Lisa Olsen,

Sandy Moser and

Michael Spencer

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WHH - Letters to the Editor
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