News 4 Lifesaver

May 31, 2012 9:00 PM

Catalina Rotary helps keep city pool open

TUCSON - The Kristi's Kids News 4 Tucson Lifesaver program is making a huge splash this summer and we are teaming up with the City of Tucson.

We are partnered with Tucson Fire Department, Tucson Police Department and the city Parks and Recreation Department to get kids off the streets and into swimming pools this summer.

Jacobs Pool, and 5-other city pools, would have been closed all summer if not for local groups and their amazing donations. And that's just the beginning.

"I like to play tag water and all you do is play tag inside the water."

Justin loves to spend summer days at the pool. Little does he know a number of city pools are closed.

Sharyn Chesser is President of the Catalina Rotary Club.

"And she said ‘you know that Jacob's Park Pool is closed'. And I said really? She said, ‘and it's slated to be closed again this next year.'"

Her group worked all year to make sure that wouldn't happen. Over the past three years Parks and Recreation has lost a staggering $10,000,000. The aquatics program lost about $600,000.

"We raised $25,000 to open the pool to keep it open for the month of June," says Chesser.

Most of the cost to keep the pools open is for staff.

"That cost that, amount of money represented the staff time," says Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation, John Sefton. "The life guards, the teaching of swim lessons, the guarding of the pools. That reduction meant that the pools could not be open."

With help from groups like the Rotary club, local businesses and individual donors, lifeguards are on duty.

"I think it is important to set an example that when they some problems with budgets and so forth, that why can't service organizations do some seed money," says Chesser.

Catalina Rotary Club is hosting a Grand Opening at Jacob's pool on Friday June 1st

However 11 city pools remain closed. We want to have more of them open next summer but we need your help. To see which pools are open and the one still closed click on this story for a map.

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