Lions Club raising money for new pool in Rimbey

Rimbey’s Lions Club has stepped in to lead a $1-million community fundraising campaign for a new town pool.

Rimbey’s Lions Club has stepped in to lead a $1-million community fundraising campaign for a new town pool.

“We’re just getting off the ground here,” said Steffen Olsen, a Lions club member and an organizer of the campaign.

“The Lions are supposed to spearhead this whole campaign (but) it’s not a Lions project. It’s going to be a community thing. We’re just pulling the strings together.

“Every group and club, I expect them to be involved one way or the other in raising funds for this pool,” said Olsen on Monday.

By taking the lead, the Lions can help direct fundraising so efforts are co-ordinated and businesses aren’t approached over and over for donations.

Olsen said the community has about a year to reach its goal.

The pool must be built by March 2011 under the terms of the federal Recreational Infrastructure Canada program, which provided $750,000 towards the $2.25-million outdoor pool. The program is part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

Fundraisers are not expecting much trouble in reaching their goal.

“I think town council has gone a long ways to get this underway and I think the community should support it, both town people and rural people.”

Olsen said in coming weeks the fundraising group will come up with some ideas on how to reach donors. Those behind the campaign also encourage people with fundraising ideas to come forward.

“We’re very much in the preliminary stages,” said Lions Club president Michelle Oberhammer.

“We’re just trying to get ourselves organized and figure out what our goals are and the best way to go about reaching our goals.”

Rimbey’s existing pool is about 40 years old and needs to be replaced. The town is proposing to build a leisure pool, junior Olympic-sized pool, diving boards, hot tub, waterslide, spray park, change rooms and other spaces. A design will be considered that would allow a roof to be erected over the pool at a later date.