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Roanoke City pools fundraiser surpasses goal, gives extra funds to YMCA for swim lesson program

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 3:53 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Only a few people took advantage of the splash pool at the Kirk Family YMCA Thursday afternoon, but starting August 3, it could be a much different sight.

“What that specifically looks like, well, first of all, we’re so thankful for individuals who have donated resources to make this happen,” said senior director of Kirk Family YMCA, Josh Yerkes.

The resources come in the form of a $20,000 check. The goal for the initial Roanoke city pool fundraiser was $32,500.

“It went quickly, within about thee weeks we had $50,000, well over $50,000,” said John Fishwick, a Roanoke attorney and organizer of the fundraiser.

The fundraiser was to keep Washington Park and Fallon Park pools open after the money for the pools was removed from City Council’s budget.

The pools won’t open this summer due to COVID-19 social distancing concerns, but are safe for 2021.

“Those pools are really a part of our community, they’re historical pools that have been here a long time and I think people, families and young kids, they should have that opportunity in the summer, so this isn’t exactly what we wanted, but the YMCA and swim lessons, and transportation is a pretty good back up,” said Fishwick.

The money will hit all three components: it’ll be enough for 125 kids to get swim lessons for three months, their families will have a membership to the Y during those three months, and there will be transportation vouchers, to get kids back and forth to the Y.

“These are different circumstances, we have to adjust our lives, and this is tough on all of us, but this can be a fun opportunity for kids and families,” said Fishwick.

If you would like to learn more about or register for the program, you can do so here.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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