Campaigners hand over ¤500,000 towards pool
GREYSTONES EIGHT YEARS RAISING FUNDS FOR NEW SWIMMING POOL
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.