It’s going to take a community to keep the Millheim Pool in operation.
Mike Culver, president of the Penns Valley Parks and Recreation Association, said some recent financial setbacks have led the association to reach out to municipal leaders and community members for help.
“It’s more of a long-term responsibility to keep the pool open and viable,” Culver said. “There is no immediate threat, but if the trend continues financially, then we may be out in two or three years from now.”
He said there have always been fundraisers because the pool isn’t supported by tax dollars.
The Millheim Pool is owned by the Millheim Lions Club, and run by members of the Penns Valley Parks and Recreation Association.
Culver said that when a longtime volunteer “who did a bulk of the work” moved out of the area, the association needed to fill a void using other volunteers, and may have to pay someone for help.
Potter Township secretary Brenda Burd said the township received a letter in July requesting participation of all municipalities in Penns Valley to support the pool.
Culver added that reaching out to townships was a collective way to brainstorm ideas to help fundraise.
“It’s not a whole Penns Valley comprehensive plan at this point, but there are strategies from individuals,” Culver said.
Information has been released to the community about the help the pool needs to stay afloat, which Culver said “got tremendous support.”
“It’s been so positive,” Culver said. “We get help from everyone from the Lions Club to township donations, and there have been other fundraisers.”
Some fundraising efforts included an event at Oktoberfest where a quilt was auctioned and proceeds went to the pool, Culver said.
Other upcoming fundraising efforts include proceeds that will be donated from Merry Millheim, Millheim Festival of Trees and a volunteer-organized bingo night.
Culver said that it costs about $55,000 to $65,000 each year to run the pool. But that number can vary based on maintenance.
Each year, general repairs are administered to the pool due to “wear and tear,” Culver said. In the winter, the pool is drained.
The Millheim Pool is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and it includes free swim, and swim leagues and lessons for kids and adults.
Located at Soldier’s and Sailor’s Memorial Park in Millheim, the pool was first built by volunteers in 1970, according to information from the pool’s website.