Friends in the news

$175,000 fundraising goal met to open two additional Grand Rapids pools

By Jim Harger | The Grand Rapids Press

king pool.jpg

:  Martin Luther King Park pool is one of three that will open this summer.GRAND
RAPIDS — Three city swimming pools will be filled and operating this
summer, thanks in part to a successful fundraising drive by the Friends
of Grand Rapids Parks.

Steve Faber, the group’s director, said a series of large donations
put them over the top of their $175,000 fundraising goal Friday.

“We’re calling it closed, we hit our marks,” said Faber, whose group
started the 10-day campaign after city officials announced they could
not justify opening the city’s six outdoor pools in the face of the
ongoing budget crisis.

The $182,227.50 raised will be used to open swimming pools at Briggs
Park and Martin Luther King Park. The Richmond Park pool also will open
thanks to a $100,000 pledge from businessman Bob Sullivan.

Faber noted 85 percent of the campaign’s individual donations were for less than $100.

Large donations from Amway Corp., the Wege Foundation, the Dan and
Pamella DeVos Foundation, the David and Carol Van Andel Foundation and
Crystal Flash Energy put them over the top, Faber said Friday.

Other large donors included the Klopcic Family Foundation, Sidney J.
Jansma, Jr., Tim Sullivan of B&B Beer Distributors, the Secchia
Family Foundation and Mercantile Bank of Michigan.

City Parks and Recreation Director Jay Steffen said the pools are
likely to open on July 5 and operate on a six-day-a-week schedule for
seven weeks.

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