Splash into summer at the Kathy Davis Memorial Pool

photo of boy at pool

For many of us who grew up in rural communities, the community swimming pool is part of our coming of age story. It’s where we learned to swim, gaining a bit of independence as we graduated to deep end. It’s where we learned to face our fears, as we leapt — for the first time — off the imposing high dive. But, more importantly, it’s where we spent our summers laughing and playing with our friends, plunging into the clear, blue water or  eating ice cream by the fence. It was a simpler time, and life was good. And for many, it’s those little moments that helped define them.

Opened in 1973, McClusky’s Kathy Davis Memorial Pool has been a part of many coming of age stories. Every summer, kids from McClusky and the surrounding communities flock to the swimming pool to beat the summer heat. They pinch their noses and dive for pool toys. They glide down the pool’s slide. And, they take the daring leap off the pool’s high dive.

“Everyone has good memories of the pool,” says Shirley Murray, McClusky Park District. “The kids just love to swim and float around and spend time with friends,” says Murray. “One of my granddaughters is like a fish. She loves being in the water more than being out [of the water] it seems.”

On a typical summer day, 30 to 40 people visit the Kathy Davis Memorial Pool to take advantage of its amenities. The only pool in a 45-mile radius, it draws visitors from McClusky, Anamoose, Drake, Turtle Lake, Goodrich
and Mercer.

“We have a low and high dive and slide. There are some games, and we have a rope that you can walk on like a tight rope. So, the kids really enjoy those things,” says Murray. “We offer swimming lessons. And, we’ve also held water aerobics classes for adults.”

The swimming pool is important to McClusky and the surrounding communities. It provides families with entertainment and exercise. It brings money into the community. And, it also provides jobs. For many students,
working as a lifeguard is their first real job experience.

“Last year, we hired six lifeguards and a pool manager. As long as they’re 15 years of age and pass the lifeguard class, they’re eligible to work here,” says Murray. “It’s a great learning experience for them. They learn about responsiblity and how to work as team. They learn how to take care of others and save lives in the event of a drowning. There are a lot of good qualities they can get out of being a lifeguard.”

Recognizing the value of the Kathy Davis Memorial Pool and the joy it brings to many of Capital Electric Cooperative’s (CEC) members, the co-op recently provided the pool with a $2,000 Operation Round Up grant. These
dollars will be used to purchase commercial steel doors for the electrical closet and filtering room. The new doors will replace the original doors, which no longer close properly, ensuring a safe environment for families visiting the pool.

“The Operation Round Up program is funded by CEC members who have elected to round up their monthly electric bill and donate those pennies to a charitable trust that is overseen by representatives of CEC's Member
Advisory Committee. That money pools and accumulates, allowing us to support our communities, families in need and local nonprofits,” says CEC General Manager Paul Fitterer. “By giving families a place to gather and swim, the Kathy Davis Memorial Pool provides our members with a sense of community and affordable access to one of the best forms of exercise. We appreciate all the swimming pool provides to McClusky and the surrounding areas, and we are glad to help.”

This summer, as temperatures rise, take some time to reminisce about the summers of your youth and the time spent laughing and swimming with friends. If you find yourself feeling generous, consider making a donation
to a community pool or park district. And, if you feel the urge to create new memories, hop in your car and head to McClusky, where there's a spot for you poolside all summer long.

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