Sunday, February 25, 2018 Medina 49°
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Local Medina County News

Group of friends gather to support Medina pool

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    City leaders were on hand to annouce Friends of Memorial Pool and Park on Wednesday morning at the city pool. Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell, left, speaks to the crowd. He is joined by, from left, parks Director Jansen Wehrley, Medina Ward 2 Councilman Dennie Simpson, At-large Councilman Bill Lamb, Medina Community Recreation Center Director Mike Wright and Friends of Memorial Pools Debra Hallock. Sitting in the front row are some of the founders of the pool from the 1950s, including, from left, Bob Hyde, Macy Hallock, Robert Riegger and Jane Riegger.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Owners Jeayna and Ben Schmid of iCandy Graphics of Medina show off the T-shirts they printed for the Friends of Memorial Pool and Park. The Friends will host a community picnic July 6, 2018.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — Debra Hallock wants to carry on her father’s legacy and raise money for the Memorial Pool and Park.

Toward that end, she will spearhead a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that’s aptly named, Friends of Memorial Pool and Park. She attended a ceremony Wednesday morning at the pool to announce the new venture.

“We wanted to become advocates to the pool and raise money for all families to participate in outdoor recreational activities,” Hallock said.

“We’re looking for sponsors to be a part of this.”

Her father, Macy, helped get the pool built in 1955.

“I was fortunate to grow up in a community that was dedicated to its kids,” Debra Hallock said. “We rode our bikes all over town back then.”

She said she was saddened when Medina almost lost Memorial Pool — it was closed for several years before its rebirth this summer.

“I was originally against the pool,” Medina Community Recreation Center Director Mike Wright said. “I thought it would cost too much money. We were able to build it for less than $900,000. I was wrong. We could break even (financially) this year.”

The pool will be open through Labor Day and then close for the season. It’s open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sunday and 1-7 p.m. Monday.

Medina Parks Director Jansen Wehrley said money raised would benefit the pool and the park.

“The pool will have ongoing needs updating the equipment,” he said. “We want to help low-income families get in the pool.”

He said the nearby JUMP playground equipment will need work in the next few years, as well as the pavilion.

“The funds will stay in this park,” Wehrley said. “It will be used for maintenance of the pool and the park.”

Ward 2 Councilman Dennie Simpson said he would have been one of the first kids in line to get his seasonal pool pass 50 years ago.

“The pool has been a jewel in this park for so many years,” Simpson said. “I’ve not heard one negative comment since it opened. I’ve heard comments like, ‘This community needs this.’

“I know the organization will be prosperous.”

It took several years for the pool project to gain City Council’s approval. Council President John Coyne voted against it.

“I’m shocked it’s going so well,” he said at Monday’s Council meeting. “I’m happy it’s doing well. I would have never guessed.”

Councilman At-Large Bill Lamb said it’s heartening the pool turned out so well after all the tribulations to get it built.

“(Council) did the right thing,” he said.

Three of the founding fathers were on hand for the ceremony — Bob Hyde, Robert Riegger and Macy Hallock.

“The pool opened in ’55,” Debra Hallock said. “The next year, the pool house was built. This was a seven-year effort by the Medina Jaycees.”

She said the 22 men in the Jaycees built it and ran it. The Jaycees disbanded in Medina in 2003.

In 1956, she said her father gathered all the plumbers in town and they worked on the pool house for free.

The Rev. Cornell Carter will be on the board. Deborah Katz will handle sponsorships, Melissa Eddy will take care of public relations and Hyde will be the archivist. Debra Hallock said she’ll do the rest.

The first sponsor for the group is Jeayna and Ben Schmid, owners of iCandy Graphics on Smith Road in Medina. They printed T-shirts reminding folks of the community picnic July 6, 2018.

Those interested in donating to the project can email Debra Hallock at debralhallockphd@gmail.com.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.



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