County Fair Swim Club
For the past eight years, Missi Pfeifer has managed to open the County Fair Swim Club pool in time for Memorial Day weekend.
But not this year.
The money simply isn’t there. That’s why she’s now counting on the community to offer a life preserver.
“Every year we try to make improvements that you can make,” Pfeifer said. “But you’ve got a pool that’s 50 years old, something is always breaking down.”
Pfeifer is the president of the pool and spends much of her time fundraising for the east Lawrence nonprofit fixture.
It’s a labor of love. When she was young, Pfeifer lived in the same neighborhood where she lives today. She recalls spending countless summer hours with friends at the pool.
The pool was donated to the neighborhood 49 years ago. Since then, it’s been up to families who live nearby to keep it open. It costs $15,000 per year for maintenance, life guard fees, filling the pool and other costs.
“I still have a lot of people who volunteer, who buy memberships,” Pfeifer said. “It’s just not near enough to support the pool.”
The cost to enter the Lawrence city pool is about $5 per day. Pfeifer charges $2 per day, and cuts that cost in half after 5 p.m. According to pool volunteer Jessica Hansen, “a lot of kids come at 5 p.m. because they can’t afford $2. Some kids pay with pennies to get in.”
An event in April helped raise about $2,000 for the pool, leaving $13,000 still needed for the summer season.
A yard sale starting at dawn is scheduled for Saturday at the pool. Organizers are hoping to raise enough to open the pool by Father’s Day weekend.
“I believe we will definitely open this season,” Hansen said. “It will be late, but worst case is we won’t raise enough money to make it to next year.”
For more information on the pool, and to make a donation, visit the County Fair Swim Club website at cfswimclub.wordpress.com.