Courtesy Whitewater Aquatics Board of Directors President Ed Marrs comes this update on the status of White Center’s Evergreen Pool, which closed Sept. 1st:
Negotiations between King County, Highline School District and Whitewater Aquatics Management, LLC (WWAM) continue regarding pending repairs and maintenance to the Evergreen pool, and takeover of the management of the pool by WWAM. King County has agreed to make renovations to the pool, but asked WWAM to have access to $100,000 in seed money to absorb the costs of re-opening the pool.
To date, WWAM has contributed $30,000 and last week they received contributions or pledges from WhiteWater families for another $8,000. Some families are pursuing corporate gifts or grants from their employers (they are a non-profit, so any contributions are tax-deductible).
Whitewater’s goal is to have the necessary funding in place so they can take over and re-open the pool on January 1st, 2010.
Aside from avoiding the problems of pool closures faced by other swim clubs (including Des Moines’ Mt. Rainier Pool), Whitewater has a unique opportunity to assume complete control of the operation, a position rarely afforded other clubs. As such, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll continue to offer the same family-friendly schedules and practice frequencies.
According to Marrs, Whitewater has two issues that they need help from the public with:
- “The king county council has said that in the Executive budget to the rest of the council there is money for some capital improvement projects. It is imperative to us that this money is approved as is. In past pool transfers, capital improvement money has been passed along to the group that has taken over the pool. We need to get the public to e-mail the King County Council and let them know that this money in the budget needs to passed. Here’s a link to a page where people can give input to the council: http://www.kingcounty.gov/council/budget/Testify_Online.aspx
- WhiteWater Aquatics is in a unique position. We are the first group to take over operation of a pool without the backing of a city. The county is asking us to have approximately $100,000 in reserve to re-open the pool. This money will be used for advertising, payroll, and supplies to get us going until we get money coming in from our programming. To this end we are going to need financial support directly from the community. We are asking citizens and businesses to donate to our management group. We are a 501(c)(3) so all donations are tax deductible. If for some reason we are unable to reopen the pool we will return all donations. I have attached a letter we are sending out to the public:
Dear Friends of Evergreen Pool,
As you know, the Evergreen pool was closed on August 31st. Due to budgetary shortfalls, King County has decided to mothball the pool. We are very fortunate to have a second pool in Tukwila for the communityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s use; however, it too is slated for closure in December, 2010.
A team of dedicated Whitewater Aquatics members have been working hard evaluating all of the possible solutions for keeping the Evergreen pool open and available to the community. When comparing the Evergreen Pool to successful pool management plans, it became apparent that there was unrealized potential with the Evergreen Pool. Our plan would be to operate it as a community pool with a more efficient business plan by:
- Utilizing streamlined swim lessons
- Efficient group usage and special groupsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ access that maximizes staff time.
- And most importantly, an ongoing advertising and marketing outreach
Together, these operating strategies would generate a profitable revenue stream that other successful pool management plans have achieved.
We have formed a non-profit company Whitewater Aquatics Management, LLC (hereafter known as WWAM) to try and save Evergreen! We presented a detailed business plan to King County and the Highline School district where WWAM would assume management of the Evergreen Pool no later than January 1, 2010. The King County council is requiring WWAM to have access to $100,000 in seed money to ensure the long term viability of the pool.
We have secured a $30,000 loan but we need to raise $70,000 more to meet our goal. We are currently exploring several fundraising options including community fundraisers and grants but these things take time and will be utilized for ongoing operational costs in the future. We are faced with a short time line to get the pool up and running for January 1, 2010 so we are asking our membership and the community for donations to help achieve this goal. We ask that you share this letter with any other potentially interested parties.
We would ask that you donate as generously as you can and have the following giving levels:
- $100-$250-Friends of Evergreen
- $250-$500 -Patrons of Evergreen
- $500-$1,000 -The Evergreen Circle
- $1,000 and above Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The Evergreen Gold Club
By giving at these levels, you will be acknowledged by name on a giving wall that will be on display at Evergreen. In addition you will be invited to a reception and re-opening event.
Clearly we understand that these are difficult times, but our hope is to encourage everyone to give at whatever level they are able. No donation is too small; if everyone can give even a small amount we will be able to reopen this pool. This donation is tax deductible as Whitewater Aquatics is a non-profit organization. Each person is encouraged to review our business plan which is available upon request. In the event the Evergreen Pool management transition does not occur, the money will be returned to you promptly.
Please make all checks payable to WWAM and mail all donations to:
PO Box 46517
Seattle, WA 98146
Please include your name, mailing address, phone number and an email address. If you would like your donation to remain anonymous please indicate that along with your donation.
You will promptly receive an email confirmation of your donation along with a receipt for tax purposes.
Any questions can be directed to Bryan Hastings at (206) 291-7141 or Head Coach Joel Schweiger at (951) 218-1790.
WhiteWater Aquatics Management