Finishing Touches

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 24, 2004

Once again the Greenville YMCA is working for its members.

For the past week, workers have been vigorously working to improve the look of the pool area and adding something that will hopefully make it more appealing n a slide.

"The diving board was taken out last year because it was over 20 years old and it was crumbling," YMCA Executive Director Amanda Phillips said. "We needed to add something back to the pool that will be fun for the children. Since everybody's into water parks and waterslides, so we found one for a good deal. It's not a great big slide, but it will be fun for the kids and the adults to ride."

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The Y has also been working to clean and paint the bottom of the pool before it is filled with water on April 27. A colorful checkerboard pattern is also being painted on the deck around the pool along with several tropical fish on the bottom.

"It will be something that will add color and dimension to the pool," Phillips said. "The kids will enjoy it too."

The YMCA will hold a luau on May 15 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the pool. For a $10 donation, people can swim and enjoy hamburgers, hotdogs and all the trimmings. There will also be door prizes given away. Phillips hopes enough money will be raised to purchase a second slide.

The pool is scheduled to open for the weekends beginning on May 1 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

YMCA officials have also been hard at work collecting donations from businesses, churches and individuals throughout the Camellia City for its Partners With Youth campaign. All the money collected will be used for scholarships for children who parents can't afford to send their children to the Y for various summer programs such as swim lessons and day camp.

The YMCA also offers family memberships with the scholarship money.

Phillips said the YMCA's Partners With Youth campaign is essential because she believes every child should experience what the Y has to offer.

"Not only do the kids have fun at the Y, but they learn," she said. "We do daily devotions with the children and we also teach them our four core values, which is caring, respect, honesty and responsibility. We also work with them on how to handle situations when you have a problem instead of jumping up and wanting to fight. We teach them reasonable ways to handle situations. Plus, we offer all the sports programs and our four core values are taught through everything we offer, even swimming lessons."

Since January, the YMCA has already collected $23,000 for Partners With Youth surpassing its goal of $20,000. Phillips said the community's generosity is what has helped keep the program alive.

"The community supports the YMCA," Phillips said. "Our goal for Partners With Youth goes up every year and it goes up every year because of the amount of financial assistance that we give away. Last year our goal was $15,000 and we raised $15,400, but we gave away nearly $19,000. Most people, businesses and churches are willing to help."

The YMCA's swim program is also hoping to grow this season. Last year, 25 children made up the Tiger Sharks. This year, Phillips hopes to have 50 swimmers signup.

"We want to be more competitive with the other Y's," Phillips said. "A lot of the Y's in Montgomery, Wetumpka and the surrounding areas have larger swim teams."