Community pitches in for pool passes

Members of PAX, the Madison County Vineyard Church and the London Municipal Pool held a PAX at the Pool event for children Friday night. Front row from left: Cindy Taylor, Vicky Sparks, Lin Wagner and Nathalie Johnson; back row from left: Matt Colvin, Doug Huff, Lori Thomas, Kelly Boyd, Linda Granger and Diana Padruig.

Leaders in the London community have recently come together to help purchase summer pool passes for children who cannot afford them.

The George and Diane Byers Foundation recently donated a grant of more than $2,500 to the cause through Madison County Future, Inc., a local nonprofit economic development organization.

London Municipal Pool manager Linda Granger said the money would provide 20 family passes and 35 five-pack daily passes for children in need. The passes were purchased at a discount pool.

“That obviously was the whole thrust behind saving the pool,” Granger said. “There’s not much for kids to do in the summer.”

Friday night, the PAX pool party was held for local families. The event featured food from the Madison County Vineyard Church.

PAX is a local program focused on nurturing healthy environments and instilling good behavior in children.

The Madison County Vineyard Church organizes a free lunch program five days a week in the summer from early June to August that provides families in need with hot meals. Granger said the kids attending that could not afford passes would now have somewhere to go on a hot summer day.

The church also helped to buy $1,000 of items on the pool’s wish list.

Additionally, the organizers of the London Rib and Jazz Fest have donated $1,000 toward pool passes. The funding was brought in from the dunk tank last year.

The passes were distributed to London High School, the London Police Department, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and some to the pool as well to give away.

“We just wanted to help out and give the kids a place to go,” said London City Council President Pat Closser, an organizer of the Rib and Jazz Fest.

He said this year the proceeds from the tank would go to PAX.

Brandon Semler can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1615 or via Twitter @BrandonSemler.