The Salad Luncheon at the Minneota Senior Center presented a variety of salads, as usual (front) as guests enjoyed the event. The main topic of conversation around the salad bowls was how to pay for the repairs to the present Minneota Swimming Pool.

If you fund it, they will come; Pool's existence is vital

Fifty three years after the Minneota Swimming Pool was built following a major fundraising effort, another major fundraising effort is underway to keep it.

And the ladies of the Senior Center are the latest to dip their toes into saving the pool. Passersby may notice a new window display is currently underway at the Senior Center to draw attention to the pool and its need to raise $200,000 for necessary repairs.

At the annual Salad Luncheon last Thursday, over 100 people showed up over the two-hour event co-coordinated by the Senior Center and the American Legion Auxiliary, and many discussions centered on the pool.

If the repairs to the pool are not completed by next year, the State Licensing Board will not issue an operating license. The main repair is the resurfacing of both the kiddie pool and the main pool.

"This pool is a real asset and very important to the community," said Linda Nuytten, who came up with the idea to have a window display showcasing the pool's new for funding.

"A swimming pool, a golf course and an elementary and high school that are located in one town are big draws to people thinking about moving into a town.”

“We have all three right now and it's important that we keep them,” added Nuytten.

The Senior Center's board members — Nuytten, Joanne Myrvik, Carol Roles, Nancy Buysse, Kathy Wyffels, and Marie Kloos — are putting together the window display.

"We needed to display something to promote the pool," said Nuytten.

"And what's more summery than a swimming pool?” The display includes a small pool, beach balls and other items used in a pool. They are also attempting to get some photos enlarged to show a timeline of the pool its beginning to its current state.

And there will be a goal chart to show the progress of the fundraising.

"My dad worked on the original pool," Nuytten said.

"A lot of people in town remember the pool being built."

Amber Rodas and Steph Vlaminck spearheaded a successful Adult Prom event held on March 30 to raise money for the pool repairs. That event included a silent auction, prom photos, music, a meal, beverages, and dancing.

Approximately $10,800 has been raised to date. Several other fundraisers are being planned for this year, Tami Tolk of Pool Pals said.

One of those was a shared Spaghetti Feed with Summer Rec that was held this past Tuesday at the Fire Hall during sign-up for swimming lessons.

The citizens of Minneota saw a real need for a pool as far back as 1962, An 11-person steering committee was formed to implement the project.

John Geiwitz was named the chairman of the committee. When the committee was faced with a few setbacks, the MBA, Rotary, VFW, and American Legion joined forces and the project was then back to "full speed ahead" status.

A fundraising effort, headed by Don Dero and Lester Christianson, was then fully underway to raise the needed $60,000 (which amounts to approximately $475,000 in today's market) to construct the pool.

Through donations from individuals, businesses and organizations in and around Minneota, they reached the goal.

The Minneota School Board accepted the committee's offer of administering the pool's operation, and named Hanard Lien as the pool's first manager.

The pool was completed in the summer of 1966 and opened in August of that year. It was estimated that 4,000 individuals used the pool in the first week.

And the pool today is still an important part of summer fun to many children.

"My grandchildren use the pool a lot," said Nuytten.

"They would be devastated if the pool weren't here anymore."

It wasn’t easy to decide which salads to choose. Gene Verschelde looked over the variety. Staff photo by Scott Thoma.

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