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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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The community is invited to come celebrate as the Village of Pemberville and Freedom Township, along with friends and supporters, gather July 3 for the rededication of the Pemberville Community Swimming Pool, 50 years to the day from when it was originally dedicated.

The pool’s storied history dates back to a meeting of the Pemberville Civic Club held Dec. 15, 1965, when a Swimming Pool Research Committee was formed, according to a history of the pool compiled by Pemberville Councilman James Opelt.

Harland Hale headed the committee, which included volunteers Clifford Blausey, Robert Bruning, Thomas Coakley, Bruce Ehmke, Lee Geisbuhler, Hugh Graffice and Dan Reddin III. Bruning, Coakley and Ehmke survive today.

The committee gathered ideas and held a community meeting to detail the plan for a swimming pool. After visiting several area pools, the committee opted for a Z-shaped pool style, which remains today. The board of directors of the then Citizens Bank of Pemberville approved the use of contribution notes over a five-year period, which would permit the immediate use of funds for construction of a pool.

Volunteers went door-to-door throughout the community, seeking $100 pledges, with emphasis on the five-year note plan. In total, $42,000 was collected from the campaign, and additional pledges increased the amount to $45,000.

The contract for the pool shell was awarded to Louis C. Boehnk and Associates, Inc., of Maumee. Ground was broken for the pool project on Saturday, April 2, 1966 and construction started April 11.

Except for the pool shell and filter system, all work and construction was completed with donated labor, with volunteers lending their time and skills. “Many volunteers employed their vocational talents, while others showed hidden talents. The group worked with the model, ‘From small acorns, mighty oaks grow,’” according to historical accounts.

Over the past 50 years, thousands of children and adults have benefited from swim lessons, recreational swimming, swim team, and summer employment and despite continual maintenance and upkeep over the five decades of operations, numerous leaks made it imperative for the liner to be replaced, according to Pastor James Miller, of First United Presbyterian Church in Pemberville, chair of the pool liner committee.

The committee, which also includes members Councilman Opelt, Julie Price, Heidi Bisbee, Dottie Rapp and Natalie Decker, began a fundraising campaign last year to help defray the city’s cost of approximately $62,000 for a new liner. Over $31,000 was raised during the first half of the year.

The new liner was installed in April in anticipation of the summer swim season.


Rededication
The July 3 rededication celebration will begin with a chicken barbecue by the Pemberville American Legion and the Sons of the Legion beginning at noon and running until sold out. Half of the proceeds raised will be donated to the pool.

An hour-long program set to begin at 2 p.m. at the pool will include the Eastwood High School Band; Boy Scout Troop #444; State Sen. Randy Gardner; Bob Bruning, Pemberville Pool Corp. chairman; Jane Garling, synchronized swim coach and first head swimming instructor; Jim and Diane (Arnold) Meyers, of Midland Michigan, pool life guards who met at the pool and are now celebrating 49 years of marriage and Calvin and Jasper Price, current swim team members.

The committee is still accepting donations for chairs and other items at the pool. Donations can be sent to, Pool Liner Project, Village of Pemberville, P.O. Box 109, Pemberville, OH 43450. Donations can also be made online at www.pemberville.org (click on the Pool Info Button at the left).

In addition there will be a garage sale fundraiser to benefit the project at 218 W. Front St. Saturday, July 16 during village-wide garage sales.

Pemberville Water Superintendent Nathan Schultze reviews the care and maintenance of the village’s new pool liner with the installation crew from Indianapolis-based RenOsys Corp. (Photo by Pemberville Mayor Gordon Bowman)

 

 

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