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TREMONT - Friends of the Tremont Pool were successful in their first attempt at raising funds to renovate the Tremont Pool, making $22,000 in one day at their first money raising event, a chicken dinner December 10.

Volunteer Carlene Venovich said they had 450 dinners made and sold every single one for the dinner, along with making $1,000 from raffles, $500 on baked goods and $775 on a trip to Branson.

Friends of the Tremont Pool President Gary Riggs said they also made $18,000 in a donation jar at the event, that was a last minute addition after someone asked to make a donation right there in addition to the money spent on the dinner.

"I would have been happy making $5,000, so this is obviously better than we ever anticipated," said Riggs, "Based on Saturday's results, I think the community is behind us and hopefully will continue to support what we're trying to accomplish."

Venovich said their next fundraiser will be a chili dinner before the High School basketball game January 6 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Dinner includes all you can eat chili, a brownie, and beverage. Hot dogs will also be available for $1.00. Gift baskets donated by local groups will be raffled and a basketball signed

bythe Turks will be available via silent auction. Also offered via silent

auction will be a one-week vacation at a two bedroom condo in Keystone,

Colorado as well as an original oil painting.

"While we still may be recuperating from the last event, we're getting the ball rolling on the next one," said Venovich.

Riggs said they have asked the art department at Tremont High School to design a pool out of plywood that will then be colored in to look like water as goals for the $1.2 million project are met, which includes installing a new liner and filter system, a new concession stand that will also be used for the adjacent baseball diamond, a new bath house and a new concrete deck.

The Park District and the Tremont Betterment Association have each agreed to contribute $200,000 and they are waiting to hear about a $400,000 grant from the Department of Natural Resources.

"We're doing the best we can, and are pretty happy so far with how things are going," said Riggs, "This project has really been ongoing for awhile considering the previous two failed tax referendums, so we would like to see this happen sooner rather than later."

The Tremont public pool was built in 1968 and used to be where the money went from the Tremont Turkey Festival to keep the pool running, Venovich said. The pool, however, started getting older and older and then the health department shut it down because it was not in good condition. Two different tax referendums were voted on in the past two years to fix the pool but were both voted down, so this small group of 16 volunteers are now going to bat to try and fix it up.


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