New Castle News

September 13, 2013

Photos, Story: United Way kicks off Cascade Park pool project

John K. Manna
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The signs posted at the Cascade Park pavilion said it in a nutshell.

“Please Support The United Way Campaign — Help Bring Back Cascade Swimming Pool.”

Renovating the pool, which has been dormant for 13 years, has been added as a United Way project along with 17 agencies it currently funds.

The United Way kicked off its 2013 fundraising campaign yesterday at its annual Day of Caring at the park pavilion. In addition to signaling the start of its annual campaign, the event also recognized Patriot Day, an annual observance of 9/11.

More than 200 volunteers representing various area businesses and organizations participated in Day of Caring at 13 non-profit sites throughout Lawrence County — painting, cleaning, weeding and landscaping and organizing projects for agencies.

Gayle Young, United Way executive director, said the volunteers included about 60 students.

The pool project is seen as a natural for the United Way, which has had a relationship with the city and the New Castle Community Y, and sponsored swimming programs throughout the summer.

J. Fred Rentz, who has been an advocate for restoration of the pool for several years, is chairman of the project and Wayne Alexander is co-chairman.

Young said funds will be raised annually by the United Way for maintenance and programming at the pool.

Noting that the city doesn’t have the money to restore the pool, she said the United Way — in addition to fundraising — is looking for in-kind contributions from companies, plus some “sweat equity.”

“I’d like to get this up by next summer,” she said.

Some Penn Power employees were applying their sweat equity to the pumps and motors for the swimming pool. Brian White of Penn Power said the workers were in the process of removing a large motor and pump to have it looked at by Servedio Electric to see if it is salvageable.

Chuck Jackson of Penn Power said it appears that the controls for the motors in the pump house will have to be replaced and that the bath house will need new electrical service.

Other volunteers were working throughout the park, either weeding, picking up litter, painting or helping to install a new swing set at the playground.

Kimberly Cuba, a Liberty Mutual employee, was one of several people applying new paint to a playset.

“We do it every year, for the community,” she said of volunteering.

Dale Turner, vice president of PNC Bank, was helping out at the playground.

“When we get together, we don’t play,” he said of the volunteers. “We work together. We get it done. We need people to look beyond themselves and make a difference for the future.”

Turner, who moved from Sewickley to New Castle 11 years ago, had high praise for the community as well as Cascade Park.

“Our company really encourages us to do these things. I have all of my managers here.

“This is fun. It’s not how much money you can make, but how much you give.”

Employees of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania were using their equipment to dig holes in preparation for installation of a new swing set.

Brian Heichel, city recreation director, said the city and Westminster College purchased the swings and that Columbia Gas is lending its equipment.

Major sponsors for the Day of Caring were Ellwood Group Inc. and  Columbia Gas.

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)