Alexandria children raise money to save pool

Children in Alexandria raised money to open their pool this summer.
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Emily Longnecker/Eyewitness News

Alexandria - The summer's been saved for kids in Alexandria, who had been facing a summer without a pool.

The latest fundraiser to save the city's pool was a hamburger and hot dog sale Saturday afternoon.

"We're a little short yet and so that's what this day is about," said Penny Stevens.

In March, city officials announced they didn't have the $50,000 it would take to replace the pool liners and hire summer staff. They said it was either close the pool for the summer, or start cutting jobs.

"The kids have no place to go in this little town and they need it," said resident Velma Bowlin.

"I couldn't believe it. In 30 some years, I would have never thought that would happen," said Margot Schatt.

Now, it won't have to.

Three women who call themselves "The Pool Ladies" organized children in Alexandria to raise the money needed.

"We wanted to save ourselves, not someone rush in and save us," Stevens said.

They kicked off their efforts in March with a parade through the streets. Kids went door-to-door asking for donations. Some saved their own money, like M.J. Hosier, who contributed $39.

Alexandria residents and businesses came through with most of the rest.

"We're about [$38,500] We're still counting pennies," Stevens said.

Still, it's enough to get the summer started with a splash. The pool is expected to be ready to go in two weeks.

"The park board is in the process of hiring the staff, so we are a go," Stevens said.

Just like the children dove right into raising money, come June 6 at 11 a.m., the diving they'll be doing is into a newly-renovated pool. Admission on opening day will be free.