The school year is ending and the coolest place to spend the hot summer months is the Marana Pool. When the thermometer hits 100 degrees, people want to hit the water.
Unfortunately, many local families are unable to pay for their kids to seek relief from the heat. It’s a sad reality for those who have been hit particularly hard by bad economic times. But that doesn’t mean those youngsters are stuck outside the pool gates all summer.
Thanks to a unique partnership between the town and the Foothills Optimist Club, more than 100 kids every year are given passes for unlimited trips to the Marana Pool during the summer. The club holds numerous fundraisers throughout the year and will often team up with local businesses to gather the support needed for the program.
Every June, members of the club come to the pool and hand out passes to grateful kids and families who might not otherwise be able to pay. This summer marks the eighth year of the program during which time the Foothills Optimist Club has contributed more than $15,000. Watching excited kids and parents receive the free passes makes those of us who serve the town proud to have great community partners such as the Foothills Optimist Club.
According to its website, Optimist International is an association of more than 2,900 clubs around the world dedicated to bringing out the best in kids. Volunteers join Optimist Clubs to conduct service projects in their communities aimed at providing a helping hand to youth. The pool pass program is a prime example of great things taking place on a local level.
The town enjoys working with the Foothills Optimist Club. When the members come to town on June 13 to present more pool passes to deserving kids, I’ll happily be there to watch those youngsters start their summer of fun at the Marana Pool.
The Foothills Optimist Club is one of 26 in the Tucson area. For more on the organization, visit www.foothillsoptimistcluboftucson.com.
(Editor’s Note: Ed Honea is the Marana Town Mayor)