Westmoreland Town Pool fundraiser ruled a success

Published Jun 13, 2018 at 4:00pm

WESTMORELAND — The fundraiser on June 2 for the Westmoreland Town Pool was the most successful test in terms of attendance and in money raised, according to the organization’s founder and president, Scott Tarkowski.

“Support and momentum for our town pool is building,” said Tarkowski. “The people of this town are as eager as we are to reopen the pool.”

The Westmoreland Summer Activities Association, the non-profit organization that is working to restore and reopen the town pool, has held a chicken barbecue and craft fair fund-raiser every June for the past three years. This was the first time that the event included entertainment.

“When Scott asked me to head up the craft fair, I didn’t hesitate,” said Nadine Zeller, one of the event’s coordinators. “My heart and soul went into this one. When I moved to Westmoreland my children were young. The pool became a summer sanctuary to my children.  They took swimming lessons and would stay all day at the pool.”

Attendees enjoyed the music of the Pride of Westmoreland marching band, the Westmoreland Select Chorus, and performances by local musicians John Lauber, Brian Mulkerne, Ty James, Matt Gee and Ben Christensen.

“It’s exciting to see this grow each year,” Patti Tarkowski, the organization’s co-founder said. “My son, Cody, who is helping out at the event had such great experiences at the town pool. He learned to swim there and enjoyed summer fun with his friends. That is really what inspired Scott and I to start this group and work to reopen the pool.”

“This turnout shows that the town feels the same was we do,” added Scott. “Everyone has been incredibly generous. They share our determination to have our pool available to the children of Westmoreland. It is a legacy that’s been passed down from generation to generation starting with Anna Kunz, who founded the pool in the late 60s.

It’s estimated that the event and other fund-raising efforts throughout the spring have raised $8,000, in addition to the $70,000 raised in previous years. Tarkowski said the Westmoreland Summer Activities Association is optimistic about the future of the pool.

A post on the organization’s Facebook page stated, “With the help of Ken Eisnor, Westmoreland Town supervisor, we have submitted a grant request to Sen. Joe Griffo’s office. This would provide the remainder of the funds needed to reopen for business. We are very close to giving you the chance to swim in the Westmoreland Town Pool.”

For Westmoreland residents like Nadine Zeller, she said that can’t happen soon enough.

“Other than sports, that pool was the heart of this community. We need it back,” she said.