Pratt to Match Up to $10,000 in Donations to Pool

By Jayna Smith

 

Ian Pratt, owner of Pratt Chevrolet Buick GMC, and Craig Morrison, Calais Recreation Director. (Photo by Jayna Smith)

Donations for the Howard Fox Memorial Pool poured in last week at Tradewinds Shop 'n Save where owner Chuck Lawrence matched up to $10,000.  In total, that fundraiser for the pool's necessary filtration system brought in $25,400 toward the $70,000 goal.  

Inspired by Lawrence's generosity, and also to encourage people to keep donating to the cause, Ian Pratt, owner of Pratt Chevrolet Buick GMC, has decided to also match donations up to $10,000.  Now through April 15th, Pratt Chevrolet Buick GMC will accept donations at its dealership to help get the pool running in time for the upcoming summer season.

"The pool is an integral part of the summer youth program through the recreation department," Pratt said, noting that kids from surrounding towns also use the pool.   "This isn't just a Calais project, it's a St. Croix Valley project.  It's really important that everybody gets involved with this fundraising." 

Pratt stated, "The pool provides tremendous opportunities for teenagers in this area to get their first job as life guards. Those are great learning experiences and great responsibility for kids to learn.  There's so many benefits that come from that pool that go beyond just the fact of having a place for kids to go swimming." 

According to Calais Recreation Director Craig Morrison, the pool has about 8,000 visitors throughout the summer months.  Built in 1957 with major upgrades done in 1987, Morrison explained that the current filtration system "has been in for almost thirty years."  He also reported that constructing an entirely new pool was also researched.  That, he said, would have cost "about a million dollars."  

"We want to get the whole thing done," Morrison stated.  "We need $70,000 for the filtration system just to get it up and running."  

Next on the list of priorities for the pool renovations will be the asphalt, which Morrison also hopes to fix for this season.  This would consist of the skimming and coping.  "The decking is asphalt, and other than the deep end (which is concrete), the bottom of the pool is asphalt...Three or four years ago, the asphalt would have cost us $75,000.  We can do it now for $35,000."   

The final phase of the pool restoration is sandblasting, repainting, and filling in the concrete.  This is expected to cost $51,000, and Morrison hopes to have it completed if not this season, but next.  

Morrison expressed great appreciation for the support provided by the community with regards to the pool project.  "It's been unbelievable," he said.  

Until April 15th, to be matched up to $10,000, donations can be made in person or through the mail to Pratt Chevrolet, 143 River Road, Calais, ME  04619 with checks made payable to Pratt Chevrolet and "pool fund" noted in the memo.  Donations are also accepted through the Calais Recreation Department at PO Box 413, Calais, ME  04619.  

 

Keep up-to-date with fundraising efforts and events by following "Friends of the Calais Pool" on Facebook.