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Pool improvements highlight YMCA’s year

March 4, 2011

PARKERSBURG - Last summer, the Parkersburg YMCA unveiled improvements to its pool, the result of a capital campaign fundraising drive that surpassed its $20,000 goal by almost $10,000.

The Y's pool has six new Kiefer Exceptional TS starting blocks and an eight-line Colorado Time Systems Scoreboard with a new control console and digital pace clock.

What began as a suggestion took on a life of its own at the YMCA swimming pool.

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The Y’s pool has six new Kiefer Exceptional TS starting blocks.

The idea to organize a capital campaign began when parents of swimmers started asking about the possibility of replacing the existing blocks, which were installed in 1974. The fundraising moved with lightning speed and in less than four months the committee, consisting of Tom Phillips, Don Snider, Jerry Wareheim, Don Bailey, Dave Hines, Charlie Burd, Deborah Gold and former senior program director Patrick McHugh, had surpassed their goal of $20,000 by $8,000.

The surplus of funds was used to purchase a new control console and digital pace clock.

Phillips, who is a longtime swim coach and currently acts as a consultant to the Parkersburg YMCA Sharks swim team, used Facebook to post details about the pool project. Over 30 swimmers donated to the campaign.

The process was volunteer-driven from day one. The Ironworkers Local 787 had apprentices and journeymen donate their time and labor to install the starting blocks. Bosley Rental and Supply donated the scaffolding to install the scoreboard and the equipment to drill the holes for the blocks. Local retired electrician Charlie Gragg donated his time to run the electric and install the scoreboard.

With the modernization that has taken place in just the past two months, it's possible the pool could play host to a future YMCA state meet, Y officials said.



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