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Gays Mills ‘Friends of the Pool’ making progress
GM Pool
THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT – the Gays Mills Swimming Pool on a hot summer day, making memories for young and old that last a lifetime, and teaching many to swim along the way. Join with Friends of the Pool and make a donation to help the pool continue to thrive.

GAYS MILLS - It’s the time of year to consider doing some charitable giving and while there are lots of worthy causes, a local favorite among many is the Friends of Gays Mills Pool.

The effort to repair and rehabilitate the village-owned facility is spearheaded by the Friends of the Pool. To date, this group has raised about $40,000 toward work on pool. The stated goal of the fundraising drive is to reach $100,000. 

Initially, the cash-strapped Village of Gays Mills took out an $80,000 loan to finance essential repairs. The money raised by the Friends of the Gays Mills Pool will be used to repay the loan. However, more needs to be done and the group is dedicated to reaching the $100,000 goal to repay the loan and create balance to pursue more needed work on the pool.

Recently, an anonymous donor stepped forward with an offer to match every donation that is made to the Friends of the Gays Mills Pool in the coming months. So, now is the time for anyone who has been thinking of donating money to pool to do it. It’s also the right time for those who have made a donation, but might like to make another during the season of holiday giving to do it. Essentially, every dollar given to the pool fund now will increase the amount in fund by two dollars when the matching grant is added.

There have obviously been some very generous donations made already to get the fund to the $40,000 level. However, it’s not just all donations. The Friends of the Pool have produced a number of successful fundraisers. 

The pool committee held a shoe drive collecting new and nearly new shoes. A company that remarkets the shoes overseas paid one dollar per pair and the group raised a substantial amount of money.

The Friends of the Pool also had a walking taco stand at Apple Fest this fall and sold tacos at the tailgater booth at the Sunrise Orchard on another weekend.

The group has held a painting party as a fundraiser. And, more events are planned. 

One of the most visible events planned for the near future will be the First Annual Mill House Christmas Lights. The display will start with a Grand Opening on Saturday, Dec. 14 in Robb Park. The Grand Opening will feature hot chocolate, hot cider and cookies. There will also be a couple of special guests on hand and fire truck rides.

The Mill House Holiday Lights will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, December 14 for the Grand Opening and the same hours on the following dates Sunday, Dec. 15, Friday, Dec. 20; Saturday, Dec. 21; Sunday, Dec. 22; Tuesday, Dec. 24; Wednesday, Dec. 25; Thursday, Dec. 26; Friday, Dec. 27; Saturday, Dec. 28; Sunday, Dec. 29; Friday, Jan. 3; and Saturday, Jan. 4 (the last night for the season.)

The Millhouse Christmas Lights is a free community event. The organizers are asking for a donation for the food pantry or a cash donation to help support the Gays Mills Swimming Pool fundraising efforts. 

The ‘Lights’ setup is scheduled to take place Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 8 at Robb Park in downtown Gays Mills near the dam. Any and all volunteers are welcome to assist with the setup and design. Please send a message so the organizers can plan tasks.

If you have any excess/extra/unneeded outdoor Christmas decorations, please message the Friends of the Gays Mills Pool Facebook page so they can plan on how to use these items in the design. Also if you are able to bring any tools and supplies for building, new ideas, or decorations, please feel free to bring them!

And to top it all off, the ambitious Friends of the Gays Mills Pool are planning another holiday event for children in the five-to-12 age range. It’s called the Kids Make & Take Event.

The holiday gift-making event is planned on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the community room of the Gays Mills Community Commerce Center. The children will be creating three-plus gifts, perfect for giving to loved ones for the upcoming holidays. Gifts will be completed and wrapped before pickup time. 

While the exact gifts they make will remain a surprise until they are unwrapped by the recipients. The event organizers can promise that the kids in your life will enjoy making these gifts for you as much as you enjoy receiving them!

Your $15 registration includes three handmade gifts, wrapping materials, and a snack. Please wear clothing that can handle a little mess! 

To register, please contact Rebecca with the Friends of the Gays Mills Pool group at, or reach out to the friends group through their Facebook page so they can send a registration form.

So, whether you decide to make a donation to the Friends of the Gays Mills Pool and leverage it with the matching grant funds or you participate in either or both of the upcoming events, you can feel good about helping a worthy local cause.