Youth dip, dive in new pool
The Desert Sun – Palm Springs, Calif.
The Desert Sun
A horde of small children kicked their feet in the water and tossed around beach balls while chanting “swimming rocks” during a pool dedication Friday morning at the Boys & Girls Club of Palm Springs.
The 75-by-25-foot indoor heated pool, originally built in 1958 from money raised during a party hosted by Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, Dean Martin and Danny Thomas, closed in 2006 for repairs.
“The only thing still in good condition in the pool was the hole in the ground,” said John Brewster, Chief Professional Officer for the Boys and Girls Club at 450 S. Sunrise Way.
It was declared open again Friday and dedicated to Jim Coston, who retired last year after serving 28 years as the club’s director.
Among the donors for the $158,000 it took to refurbish the pool: the trust of Velma Dawson, who helped invent “Howdy Doody.”
The pool will cost about $50,000 a year to operate, including at least two lifeguards for every 10 kids, staff, heating, chemicals — and water, Brewster said.
“Every kid that leaves the pool takes one pint of water with them,” he said. About 150 kids are expected every day.
Linn Fontana of Rancho Mirage came to the dedication to support her 21-year-old daughter, Kathryn Fontana, a lifeguard for the pool. “We used to use this pool a lot,” Fontana said. “Now that they’ve redone it, it’s a lot nicer.”
The club has made it a goal to teach 100 kids a year to swim to help avoid drownings. Already, 50 children are signed up for swim lessons. Membership is $15 for six months. Eight swim lessons cost $40. Free swim time also is offered, and adult classes are being planned for the fall.
Information: (760) 322-7393