June 27, 2012 —
Six months ago, it looked as if this might never happen.“It looked pretty bleak back then since there was no money in the budget to open this pool,” said Michael Slish, Honesdale Borough parks and recreation chairman.
“But then, after Rick and Gary Linde, owners of Leeward Construction, jumped in with the offer to do all the concrete work at the pool free, and they offered a challenge to the rest of the business community to follow their lead, it happened.”
Slish added that not only the business community joined in, but also many groups and individuals followed suit with offers of money and volunteer time. He said, “This was truly a most remarkable community effort like I’ve never seen before.” Even more remarkable was the fact that people came with food for the workers while the work was being done, Slish reported.
“We’re going to put the names of donors on a plaque at the entrance of the pool,” Slish said. “It took me five minutes just to read the names.”
June 23 was declared Day of Appreciation. With free admission and free food, the young kids came in droves. Kids and adults crowded into the water all day long.
“The weather really cooperated,” Slish noted. “We had 400 hot dogs, but we had to go for another 200. We had no idea this would be so successful. We cut down the price of admission so that as many people as possible could come.”
Music at the event was provided free of charge by Triple “S” DJ Services, featuring DJs Nicky Nick and Kameron. First Alarm Security donated the hot dogs at the celebration.
“The list of sponsors is so long that you may not be able to print it,” he said. “That’s at a time of a poor economy. It didn’t seem to stop people. And money wasn’t the only thing that was raised. People donated their services and other items that added to the picture.”
“There are two pieces that stand out in all this,” said Scott Smith, the chairman of the borough finance committee. “One is the amazing response by the community that took us completely by surprise. The other is that we not only repaired the pool but literally restored the whole facility. The work was done by professionals and not by amateurs as had to be done in the past. We are finding out what we should be doing in maintenance, but also what we should be doing to insure the pool will remain in top shape over time.”
Smith announced that because the three banks in the borough – The Dime, Honesdale National Bank and the Wayne Bank – have donated $2,500 each, the total amount raised was over $16,000.
The pool is open Monday through Friday, from12 noon to 8 p.m. and on weekends from 12 noon to 5 p.m.