Eau Claire (WQOW) - During the summer months a community pool can provide kids some relief from the heat. But, a season long pool pass is a luxury only some can afford.
Fairfax Pool scholarships, offered in part by Eau Claire's Parks and Recreation Department, are designed to help out. The idea began around 16 years ago when a group of concerned citizens noticed a common theme between several area drownings. The victims were children, from low income families who, unable to pay for a pool pass, chose to swim in unsupervised areas.
"In Eau Claire the alternatives are Half Moon Beach, Lake Altoona, anywhere down on the river and these places are un-guarded. Earlier this year we've had two drownings in the area," commented Chad Duerkop with Parks and Rec.
Scholarships allow families under financial strain access to the pool for the entire summer for around $20.00. This year community donations have supplied over 40 families with discounted pool passes. "Basically the passes become available as we get donations into our office. And as they become available we contact people on that waiting list," continued Duerkop "And there is still a need. There's 10 to 12 families every year that end up going without."
This year is no different. Right now around a dozen families are on the waiting list. The cost to sponsor a family pool pass is around $80.00.
To donate to the program or to apply for a pool scholarship contact the Parks and Rec Department's offices on Menomonie Street in Eau Claire. The number is 715-839-5032.