Mayor Michael A. Nutter joined Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental & Community Resources and Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and Susan Slawson, First Deputy Commissioner for Recreation & Programs of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, to kick-off the City of Philadelphia’s 2011 summer pool season by opening all seventy public swimming pools.
“Today, we’re continuing an important tradition in Philadelphia with the opening of our public pools,” said Mayor Nutter. “Swimming pools provide a safe and enjoyable way for the young, and young-at-heart to beat the heat during these warm summer months. Pools and recreation centers also provide summer job opportunities for hundreds of youth in Philadelphia every year. We deeply appreciate the generous donations made by our private and non-profit sector partners so that the city can maintain the amenities that our residents value.”
First Niagara led the corporate fundraising effort by rallying more than twenty-five public and private companies and foundations to raise nearly ninety percent of the 2011 Splash and Summer FUNd’s $600,000 goal. Recreation centers, local groups and individuals contributed the difference. First Niagara donated $100,000 to the FUNd and Bob Kane, First Niagara’s Eastern Pennsylvania Regional President chaired the campaign. These funds will support eight-hundred life guarding and facility maintenance jobs while providing recreational amenities for the expected one-million visitors this summer.
The 2011 summer season marks the third and final year of the City’s “Splash and Summer FUNd,” a public-private partnership that was established to raise funds for Philadelphia’s public swimming pools in 2009. In 2010, First Niagara made a $400,000 donation that closed the fundraising gap and kept all municipal pools open for the season during one of the hottest summers on record.
“The City of Philadelphia has one of the largest numbers of public-use, outdoor pools when compared to other major cities in the United States. We applaud First Niagara for its leadership role, and thank the neighbors and small businesses who responded enthusiastically to ensure that everyone can enjoy recreational opportunities during the sizzling summer months,” said Deputy Mayor DiBeradinis.
The City of Philadelphia’s pools offer a variety of recreational programs, including free swimming lessons and water safety instruction for thousands of city residents. City pools also serve as swimming sites for more than four-hundred area camps, including one-hundred and seventy camps run by the City’s Department of Recreation.
“Our pools provide a positive outlet for youth and encourage healthy lifestyles through exercise and physical activity,” said Commissioner Slawson. “The ‘Splash and Summer FUNd’ is an initiative that’s especially near and dear to this Administration, and we’re thrilled to see this year’s response.”
Beginning last September, First Niagara took the City’s message that funding was needed to keep public pools open again in 2011 to businesses and foundations around the region.
“When we committed to the pools with a $400,000 investment in 2010, we didn’t just want to open them and walk away,” said First Niagara’s Regional President, Bob Kane. “We wanted to make sure that the Recreation Department had the resources they needed to open every pool again this year. One of our most important goals as a local business is to continue the tradition of being a community bank and investing in the communities we serve.”
Residents also hosted a variety of community social events across Philadelphia to raise proceeds for the City’s 2011 summer pool season. Donated funds were collected and administered by The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Contribution commitments to the 2011 “Splash and Summer FUNd” were made by the following partners:
- *First Niagara: $100,000
- *Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest: $100,000
- *United Health Care: $60,000
- *Lombard Swim Club: $54,000
- *Shire Pharmaceuticals: $34,000
- *Philadelphia Parking Authority: $34,000
- *Keystone Mercy Health Plan: $25,000
- CHOP: $25,000
- Modell’s Sporting Goods: $12,000
- CIGNA Corp: $10,000
- Connelly Foundation: $10,000
- Cozen O’Connor: $10,000
- Health Partners: $10,000
- Members of the Union League: $10,000
- Urban Outfitters: $10,000
- Citizens Bank: $5,000
- Day & Zimmerman Group, Inc: $5,000
- St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children: $5,000
- Stradely Ronon: $5,000
- Beech Interplex: $2,500
- The Philadelphia Phillies: $2,500
- Boathouse Capital: $1,000
- Kreishcer Miller & Company: $1,000
- Newspring Ventures: $1,000
- The Philadelphia Eagles: $1,000
- Merion Fund Management: $500
- Zarwin, Baum, Devito, Kaplan: $500
- Other contributions: $33,000
*denotes multiple-year sponsors of the “Splash and Summer FUNd”
The following businesses and organizations provided the City with support services during the “Splash and Summer FUNd” campaign:
- United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania
- The M Agency
- Modell’s Sporting Goods
- Clear Channel Radio