Teen offers ‘Olympic experience' via fundraiser|
Saturday, August 04, 2012
By Wendy Lynn Brion Staff Writer
The Clearfield Community Pool has been planning a renovation project for a while and fundraising efforts have been underway to garner support from the community, including a capital campaign and other events. The plan is to upgrade facilities to make them more welcoming and accessible for future generations.
Local community members have been helping out with donations and one teen, who has found her life calling at the pool, reached out recently to hold a fundraiser that involved community kids in a time of fun competition.
Krystal Wriglesworth of Curwensville learned to swim during her sixth grade year and fell in love with the sport. She said she learned at the Clearfield YMCA that winter and it became an ongoing activity for her.
"It's a year-round thing for me," she said, noting that she swims for her school, at the Y in the winter and then at the Clearfield Community Pool in the summer.
For the past three years she has been a lifeguard at the community pool, as well. She said her dad would talk about his years as a lifeguard and getting his certification and decided she wanted to be a lifeguard just like he was.
"I've always looked up to my dad," she said, adding that she loves being a lifeguard.
Wriglesworth is about to enter her senior year of high school and said she was considering her senior project. She thought of a way to benefit the community by having a fundraiser for the Clearfield pool, where and thought about the upcoming Olympic games. She decided to have an Olympic Invitational themed event to give kids the opportunity to live the Olympic dream, because most of them won't have that kind of opportunity in their lives.
The participants got to swim in Olympic style competition divided by age groups and first, second and third place winners were determined. The age groups involved were age 8 and under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15 and up. Depending on their age group the kids had the option of four events including 25-yard free style, back, breast and butterfly strokes and also 50-yard and 100-yard events, relays, etc.
The meet was held July 22. Wriglesworth said they had a good response with about 40 kids participating. They were able to sign up through their swim teams and also many signed up on their own.
Money was raised through the fee for the event and also the cost for a T-shirt. Additionally, there was a 50-50 drawing and she said they had really good concession sales that day, ultimately raising about $1,500 to help the pool.
Wriglesworth said she had so much fun with the project that she's looking at doing it again next year, adding that she thinks they could raise even more money.
"I'm excited for the renovation," she said.
The people at the pool have been a big influence on her life. She says she loves everyone there and counted Jackie Morrison as one of her inspirations.
"I love that woman!" she said, adding that Morrison is like a mother to her. Other people who have greatly influenced her are her parents, who have pushed her in her endeavors and supported her throughout and also her grandmother, Darlene Wriglesworth, and her great-grandmother, Lela Ogden.
Swimming figures into her future plans as well. She said after graduation, she wants to swim at California University of Pennsylvania with coach Ed Denney. She plans to major in athletic training because she wants to stay involved in athletics and help people.
"It's been a dream of mine for a few years," she said. After college, she hopes to move to North Carolina and work at a hospital or for a sports team or a big business and, "Start my life at the beach! I just want to be near the water," she said.