When the current Dallas Center Pool was built, it was said to have a lifespan of about 20 years. The pool has been in service for 35 years, and people in town and city officials are looking for ways they can finally build a new pool.
The Friends of the Dallas Center Pool recently held a “Polar Plunge” fundraiser, which led to three Dallas Center City Councilmen, David Bagby, Danny Bayer and Ryan Kluss, having cold buckets of water dumped on them on a cold December evening last Saturday in front of Memorial Hall as a small crowd gathered to watch.
Each councilman took a turn sitting in a small plastic pool while a volunteer stood above them on a ladder and dumped a bucket of water on to them.
After the plunge was over, Kluss said he was happy it was over, but it was worth it. He said that it was “nerve wracking” waiting for the water to hit him.
“So my wife asked me on the up, ‘are you ready for this?’ and I was until about a minute before when it sunk in that I’m about to get wet and it’s cold outside,” Kluss said.
Amy Lawton, President of the Friends of the Dallas Center Pool, praised the organization’s volunteers for helping make their first ever Polar Plunge a success. In two weeks, they raised “close to $5,000” for the project which brings their grand total to near $100,000.
When planning the event, Lawton said the organization was looking for a way to tie in with the holiday celebration and keep with the aquatic theme.
“Obviously we don’t want to go dunk them in our pool because it’s, you know, not pool worthy right now, so this is what we came up with,” Lawton said.
Raising $5,000 was a pleasant surprise for the group as Lisa Howell, the group’s treasurer said that they would have been “thrilled” if they had only raised $1,000. The $100,000 they have raised so far is still quite a bit short of the roughly $3.2 million they will need to be able to build the new pool.
“Our 20 year pool is now 35 years old and while our city crew does a phenomenal job trying to keep it going every year, it’s getting harder,” Howell said.
Jason Harris, the group’s Vice President says that they’ve been fundraising for quite a while and their efforts are starting to gain momentum.
“We’re going to start the grant writing process here very shortly so we expect that number to start compounding… pretty soon,” Harris said.
The City of Dallas Center hasn’t provided money for the project yet, but Kluss said that there are some options they are looking at.
“We’ve talked about a lot of different options,” Kluss said. “The Burnett Funds, certainly one option, potentially some of that money anyways. Obviously, the new LOST (Local Option Sales Tax) tax is an option as well as we start to think about the project, so different funding options, but we really want to see kind of what this group can do on their own, kind of get it off the ground, make sure that there’s some momentum behind it.”