Cam­paign­ers hand over ¤500,000 to­wards pool


Bray People - - Bray People - Mary FOG­A­RTY

HAV­ING CAM­PAIGNED and fundraised tire­lessly since the clo­sure of the Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege Pool in 2000, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Grey­stones Swim­ming Club were de­lighted to hand over a cheque last Thurs­day for a breath­tak­ing al­most ¤500,000, gen­er­ated within the com­mu­nity.

The cam­paign to bring a pool to the sea­side town was ini­ti­ated by the club eight years ago.

‘The club is a teach­ing club,’ said Vice-Chair­per­son Mark Mitchell. ‘It is run on a to­tally vol­un­tary ba­sis and when pupils get to the mid-teens they are sent on train­ing cour­ses and in turn be­come teach­ers.’

In 2001, a pe­ti­tion of over 6,000 lo­cal sig­na­tures was for­warded to the Min­is­ter for Sport and meet­ings were held with all elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives lo­cally and in Dail Eire­ann.

In April 2003, Wick­low County Coun­cil com­mit­ted to build­ing a state-of-the-art pool but in­sisted that the com­mu­nity of Grey­stones and its en­vi­rons must show its com­mit­ment to this project through lo­cal fund­ing.

The tar­get for the lo­cal con- tri­b­u­tion was set at ¤400,000.

¤ 100 was ini­tially sought from each house­hold, or what­ever they could af­ford. ‘One lovely ex­am­ple, and there are many, is that one OAP in the area gave ¤2 per week for 50 weeks un­til he do­nated his ¤ 100. And he didn’t even swim,’ said Mark.

A Gala Ball was held in the Mar­riott Ho­tel, nu­mer­ous bag pack­ing events in Anne Daly’s Su­per­value and Tesco, a quiz show ‘Who Wants to be a mil­lion­aire’, and many other fundrais­ing events.

A build­ing firm also con­trib­uted to the fund, as did the Grey­stones bridge club and other lo­cal groups. The com­mit­tee of Grey­stones Swim­ming Pool Pro­jected fundraised al­most ¤500,000, which was in­de­pen­dently au­dited, with not a sin­gle penny go­ing on ad­min­is­tra­tion costs.

Af­ter a suc­cess­ful eight-year cam­paign, with Chair­per­son Mar­garet Gille­spie at the helm, a brand new ¤17.7 mil­lion state-of-the-art swim­ming pool will open in Grey­stones on Oc­to­ber 12.

Other sources of fund­ing in­cluded ¤3.8 mil­lion from the Depart­ment of Arts, Sports & Tourism and ¤3.25 mil­lion from Zapi as well as al­most ¤5 mil­lion from Wick­low County Coun­cil.

The Grey­stones Swim­ming Pool Project com­mit­tee presents a cheque for nearly ¤500,000 to Wick­low County Coun­cil that they helped raise to fund the build­ing of the pool.

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