Pool should be a priority


July 27, 2023

By Eric E. McKeirnan

Guest Columnist

I write this on behalf of the Knights of Columbus, the 1460 here in Pomeroy, and our Round Table brothers in Dayton and around Columbia County. We had a sausage, pancake, scrambled egg, muffin, applesauce, and fresh fruit benefit breakfast to support our local swim team as we have done for many years. Reading the EW, it seems that our dear neighbors in Dayton are struggling with a community swimming pool.

In Pomeroy, we are lucky. That hole in the ground is filled with the heartwarming chirps and screams and splashes that define summer bliss. Does a Swimming Pool pencil out? Probably not. Swim Team teaches discipline. A commitment started, and a job completed. If you win, it’s just a bonus.

One of my favorite hero’s is Shelly Slaybaugh. Coach Shelly teaches the youngest of the children the basic principles of how to stay on the top side of the water. Not only can they learn to protect their own lives, they may someday be beckoned to come to the aid of someone in need.

The Shepherd Foundation along with parents and swim team members, all pitched in with the Knights of Columbus. The benefit breakfast generated about $1,893 in ticket sales, combined with over $200 in donations. It goes a long way to help offset costs. We have some Columbia County team members, and they are most welcome. At the breakfast, I visited with friends from the Nazarene, Christian, Methodist, and possibly other Christian churches along with caring citizens with a willingness to help a noble cause.

Does a swimming pool pencil? Even if one life someday down the road is saved by the lessons learned from coach Shelly and other volunteers, I guess you need to pick your priorities. At a recent meet with Colfax, I talked with a local young man with a son competing. He grew up in Dayton and told me how the pool impacted his life. He lived in town and made use of the facility. It’s where you met with your friends.

I want to commend the children who have dedicated time and effort to Swim Team and not to be on a cell phone. I want to highlight and acknowledge Coach Shelly and all the great people who give freely of their time to do the right thing, in the past, today and in the future. BRAVO! And credit goes to the lifeguards who keep a watchful eye on our young swimmers. If you bought a ticket to the breakfast, we value your support. To my fellow Knights, keep in the fight. Let it not be us who allows this tradition to vanish.


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