Cardington Pool celebrates 50 years

By Evelyn Long - The Sentinel

The Cardington Swimming Pool on a hot day in July.

The Cardington Swimming Pool on a hot day in July.

Courtesy Photo | Angie Boyd Dendinger

CARDINGTON — The 50th anniversary of the Cardington Swimming Pool will be observed Sunday, July 28, when during a pool party, recognition will be given the pool lifeguards, concession workers, board members and manager.

The event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Visitors are welcome and will be charged $1 admission.

Excitement was the mood when the pool opened June 15, 1969. The original date for the opening, Memorial Day, was moved because of inclement weather. The event culminated several years of work by groups and individuals conducting financial drives to raise the money for the pool’s realization.

It was 1966 when the Cardington Rotary Club raised $14,000 in donations from the community and memberships which they sold in anticipation of the pool’s reality. When the Cardington Community Recreation, Inc. was organized, they filed for an FHA loan and were awarded $62,000 in July, 1968.

Two of the original board members, Jackie Winchell and Ann Goodman Heimlich, recall the effort they and other board members made to make the pool a reality. “I went door to door asking people for donations,” said Heimlich.

Winchell said working with the board and others serving “a lot of dinners, including dinners for the alumni association,” said Winchell. “We almost begged for money.”

The organization purchased 1.1 acres from the Cardington-Lincoln School where the pool would be built. Additional land adjourning the pool site was for the development of a tennis court. The court never came to fruition; but that site is today a basketball court.

The pool was to include wading pool, locker rooms, shower rooms and a canteen, The original 75 x 75 foot pool was later altered to an 85 x 35 foot pool. It was first filled with 180,000 gallons of water from the Whetstone Creek by the Cardington Fire Department.

The department has continued to clean the pool and empty and fill it every year, with no fee charged by the village for the water.

The first board members were Robert Akron and Dale Carsner, co chairmen, members of American Legion Post 97; Winchell, a member of the Morrow County Swim Club, Heimlich, representing Auxiliary Unit 97; Joyce Landon, treasurer, representing the Alpha Jeune Club; Donna Keil, representing the Mother’s Study Club; George Nash, school superintendent and Paul Drake attorney.

The first lifeguards were Dennis Roach, Beth McCutchen, Donita Baker, Frank Davis, Rita Squires and Jill Brandes was the first chief lifeguard. Wayne Bergdoll was manager. Family memberships were $35; single, $20; and student, $15.

Today the board is managed by a five member Cardington-Lincoln Joint Recreation Board whose members are Bryan Seymour, president and Kari Henthorn, representing the school; Scott Lester, treasurer and Charity Edwards, representing the village and Tom Garrison, at large. Pool Manager is Lori Vance.

Following is an explanation of the funding for the pool submitted by retired superintendent Pat Drouhard: “The Cardington Lincoln School District and the Joint Recreation Board are made up of the same political boundaries. While reviewing the unvoted village rates for the school district I noted that a small amount of unvoted millage was uniformly not being collected.

“This was brought to the attention of the Joint Recreation Board which then made a request to the Morrow County Budget Commission for that millage. The Budget Commission noted to allow for the collection. The approximate 3/10 of one mill continues to be a steady revenue source for the Joint Recreation Board and has assisted with the upgrades to the pool complex.”

This also funds the maintenance of the adjoining basketball court and the soccer program.

The Cardington Swimming Pool on a hot day in July. Cardington Swimming Pool on a hot day in July. Courtesy Photo | Angie Boyd Dendinger

By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel