Evergreen Pool in White Center holding ‘Parents Night Out’ fundraiser Saturday

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Highline’s Evergreen Pool in White Center will be holding a “Parents Night Out” fundraiser from 6 – 9 p.m. this Saturday night, Dec. 14.

For a minimum donation of $30 per child, parents can give their children a fun evening of swimming while they go Christmas shopping or to a dinner or a movie.

To reserve a spot, email [email protected].

The White Center pool faces a Jan. 15 deadline to raise $15,000 to keep the facility open.

“Larger donations at “Parents Night Out” will be gratefully accepted,” said WhiteWater Aquatics president Brian Hastings, who recently told Burien City Council members, “it costs a lot of money to heat a 250,000 gallon pool.”

By Jan. 15, “either we will have the money to pay our utility bill or we won’t,” Hastings warned the council members.

This prompted high school senior Megan Kawaguchi – a member of the Evergreen Community Aquatics Center swim team, who has earned a swimming scholarship to the University of Utah – to urge the council members, “Please help us keep our doors open.”

More than 3,800 children – and adults – have learned to swim at the Evergreen pool in White Center since it reopened under the new nonprofit management three years ago. It serves the greater Highline area, with 56 percent of the children who swim there coming from Burien.

Since WhiteWater Aquatics took over the pool from the Highline School District, when it ran an annual deficit of $170,000, the shortfall has been reduced to a $50,000 annual deficit in just three years. “We are looking for sustainable funding,” Hastings added.

This reversal amounts to a 40 percent reduction in energy costs achieved through grant-funded improvements, including purchase of a new boiler and a pool blanket to cover to cover the water and maintain temperature when the facility is closed.

In addition, new filters paid for with another grant and recently installed are reducing chemical purchases by 15 percent.

But for now this isn’t enough. “It takes a lot of effort to help the pool break even,” Hastings also told Burien council members. And most of the $15,000 in outstanding utility billings and related expenses, incurred before these upgrades were made, have put the Evergreen pool on the brink.

Tax deductible donations can be made at the website www.evergreenpool.org.

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