Each year, operation of the Watkins pool has cost about $35,000 more than it takes in from user fees. The City of Watkins has been footing the bill to make up the difference.
This year, the Watkins council hired a new pool manager, Nora Rohrbeck, to help turn things around.
A pool committee was quickly formed. Before the snow melted, they were already hashing out ideas for fundraisers.
The pork chop feed Saturday, June 8, was the first.
In spite of temps in the low 60s, and the threat of rain, about 250 meals were served in McCarthy Park. Pork chops and hot dogs were available, complete with beans, cole slaw, and chips. The beer garden was busy too.
A beanbag tournament added to revenues; it went on all afternoon.
There was an inflatable obstacle course, provided by Pump Up Your Party, and games and face painting for kids.
The benefit was a community effort, said pool director Nora Rohrbeck. The Fire Department grilled pork chops and hot dogs, Lions ran the beer garden, Lioness served the food, and the Legion sponsored the raffle tickets. “Everyone pitched in to help,” she said.
There were a number of sponsors as well, and many of them approached Rohrbeck first.
As the event was closing up for the evening Saturday, Rohrbeck said they surpassed their goals for food sales.
The pool has been open since June 3, and lessons began Monday, June 10. There may be spots open in some of the classes yet this summer. Sign-ups are at City
Hall, and classes are $35.
Everyone is invited to swim during open swim hours: weekdays 1-8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays noon-8 p.m. It’s $4 per person, with candy and pop available for sale at the pool.
The newly formed Watkins pool committee worked hard to put on the pork chop feed benefit for the pool Saturday, June 8. Pictured are, left to right, Brianna Miller, Emily Piccarillo, Brenda Carlson, Pat Risberg, Nora Rohrbeck, Molly Schlangen, Chrissy Tschumperlin, and Teresa Carlson. Not pictured are Jen Unterberger, Roxy Geislinger, Tootz Tschumperlin, Mary Loch, and Lisa Mackedanz. Staff photo by Jean Doran Matua.