Graduate ‘cooks up’ idea to help save city swimming pool

Casey McCoy has cooked up a good idea to assist the Minneota Pool Pals in raising money for much-needed repairs to the community swimming pool.

The Minneota native with a culinary background has offered his services to the highest silent auction during the Adult Prom scheduled for March 30 at the American Legion.

“I will cook a meal for 10 people at their house or a location of their choice, as long as it has a kitchen,” McCoy said.

“They can pick the theme and I will prepare a menu based on that.”

“They can choose something like Caribbean, Italian, classic French, barbecue, or whatever they want. It will be between four and six courses. And I will check with them before preparing the meal to find out everyone’s likes and dislikes, or whether they have any allergies.”

McCoy will also provide the recipes of the items he prepares in case those enjoying the meal want to replicate it.

McCoy, a 2007 Minneota graduate, cooked at the former CJ’s Restaurant in downtown Minneota and built a good reputation among those who dined there. Even though McCoy now lives in Sioux Falls as a single father with his daughter, he feels a need to help the Minneota pool raise money.

“I have a lot of good memories at that pool when I was a kid,” he said. “I spent a lot of time there and met a lot of my friends there.”

McCoy’s parents, Lois and Vern Heald, still live in Minneota. So, after hearing that the community pool and the adjacent kiddie pool need to be resurfaced at a cost of approximately $235,000 in order to maintain an operating license, McCoy decided to revert back to his culinary skills. He attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York City and has been am executive chef, a general manager, or has designed restaurants or planned menus for several restaurants in Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa.

“Even though I’m not in the culinary business now, I still love to cook,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to preparing this meal for a good cause.” McCoy estimates that if 10 people were ordering a similar meal at a nice restaurant, it would cost them around $2,000.

“This isn’t going to be soup and a salad, steak and a dessert type of meal,” he said.

“It won’t be anything crazy where the people are afraid to eat it. It will be something fun and creative.” McCoy said he has noticed Minneota rebuilding recently and doesn’t want to see anything close. “We now have a gym, a coffee shop, a new restaurant and some other businesses,” he said.

“Minneota is on the upswing. And the last thing you want to see is to lose something important like the pool.”

Tickets for the Adult Prom are $25 a piece, which includes a pork loin meal at Bethel Fellowship Hall from 6:30-7:30 p.m., followed by a dance at the Legion from 7:30 p.m. until midnight.

Entertainment will be provided by Rob Anderson, a DJ from Marshall. Tickets can be purchased at Prairie Winds Wellness or Gislason’s Hardware.

Tickets will be entered into a drawing for a family pool pass.

Casey McCoy cooking

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