GIFFORD — For the last Saturday before school starts, children flocked to the Gifford Aquatics Center for a Back to School Splash. The event runs until 4 p.m.
Early in the day, about three dozen children and their parents splashed in the pool, waiting for the opportunity to win school supplies in random drawings. Danica Perhacs, a member of the Gifford pool committee and co-organizer, said that the Back to School Splash serves two purposes – the first being an opportunity for children to get prepared for school by providing some school-related supplies. The other purpose is to bring people out to the Gifford Aquatic Center and remind them that the facility is there, waiting for them.
Perhacs said that the center has been targeted for reduced hours and is expected to shut down for three months in the winter due to a shortfall in funding.
That’s where the committee comes in, according to Perhacs. The members have been working to bring awareness to the Gifford Aquatics Center by hosting events such as the Back to School Splash and April Pool Day – on April 1.
Along with bolstering support for the center, the committee has also been active in promoting water safety.
“You can be safe in the water and not know how to swim,” Perhacs said. Children who learn early on about water safety carry those lessons on with them into adulthood, she added.
On Saturday, children splashed around in the fountain and pool and slid on the water slide, soaking up their last few hours of summer freedom before Monday. And though the sun felt especially hot, the wind helped keep it in check.
“At least we have a nice breeze,” Perhacs said. “Thank you Hurricane Bill.”
Anyone interested in joining the Gifford pool committee or learning more about the aquatics center should e-mail Pool Manager Larry Staley at firstname.lastname@example.org.