Friends in the news

$100,000 short of goal, fundraising campaign to open Grand Rapids pools extended

By Jim Harger | The Grand Rapids Press

king pool.jpg

Martin Luther King Park pool could open this summer if enough money is raised.GRAND
RAPIDS --

With more than $75,000 in hand, the Friends of Grand Rapids
Parks announced Thursday they will extend their fundraising drive to
open two city pools through Monday evening.

The group will announce its total contributions at the City
Commission meeting Tuesday morning, said Steve Faber, director of
Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

"The outpouring of generosity to save these pools for the summer is
amazing," said Faber, whose group is hoping to raise $175,000 to open
pools at Briggs and Martin Luther King parks.

"We want to give people every opportunity to contribute, so we asked
to extend the deadline until Monday evening. We believe we will be able
to make a positive report on Tuesday morning," Faber said.

The campaign began early last week after city officials announced
they lacked the resources to open the six outdoor pools this summer.

Inspired by businessman Bob Sullivan's offer to open the city pool
at Richmond Park, Faber's group quickly kicked off its campaign in
hopes of opening pools at Briggs and Martin Luther King parks.

So far, more than 325 individuals, along with businesses and foundations, have answered the call, Faber said.

"Even with the Memorial Day weekend in middle of the campaign, we've seen a steady increase in giving," he said Thursday.

Persons wishing to donate have three options:

• Donate through the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks website: friendsofgrparks.org

• By mail: Send checks to Friends of GR Parks, Box 3199, Grand
Rapids, MI 49501. Specify "Pool Fund" on the memo line of your check.

• Drop off donations at the city's drop box on Ottawa Avenue NW,
across the street from Calder Plaza. Specify "Pool Fund" on the
envelope and check.

E-mail Jim Harger: jharger@grpress.com and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JHHarger

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