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Join the $10K Match Challenge for the Lopez Swim Center!
Nov 30, 2022
By Friends of Lopez Island Pool
One thing remains clear: The Lopez Swim Center will be so much more than a pool. From the start, the vision has been that it will be a year-round, all-ages place for gathering and connection, a place for healing and rejuvenation, a place for fun and celebration. That hasn’t changed.
What has changed in the last two years of COVID is that skyrocketing costs of materials and construction have necessitated re-assessment, re-budgeting, and some creative solutions for more cost-effective construction. Certainly, we aren’t the only ones encountering challenges due to the economic climate, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Groundbreaking has been our singular driving force this year and greatly anticipated by you�"our donors, our supporters, and our community. That’s why it’s so disappointing to share that we still don’t have the permits needed to move forward with Phase One groundbreaking in a meaningful way. After exploring many possible paths, the onset of wintry weather means we just called off groundwork in 2022.

Yes, this year FLIP has encountered challenges. And while we couldn’t check the permit box in 2022, look at all the other boxes we’ve checked:

Re-confirmed long-term sustainability: This year, we engaged a nationally recognized aquatics expert to take a new look at our five-year projections using current aquatics centers' best practices and exploring many revenue and expense scenarios. The result: The financial strength of our future is clearer than ever. Look for an executive summary on our website in January.
Ensuring access for all: As a nonprofit, we must be both financially viable and serve the community. And that means ensuring everyone who wants to swim, can swim, regardless of income level, while still being financially sustainable. After running several financial models, we established an affordability framework for low-income households that includes discounted / sliding-scale fees.
Youth Recreational Facilities Funding: This month, the Washington Department of Commerce gave us the green light to apply for funding for the air-supported dome for indoor swimming during cooler months. Wish us luck!
Volunteer Leadership: Motivated by his belief that all kids should learn to swim, Brian Goff (LISD third-grade teacher) joined our board this month. Two talented CPAs, Sandra Buchanan and Kim Herrenkohl, are working on the Finance Committee. Former Camp Nor’wester Director Paul Henriksen is tackling lifeguard/swim instructor recruitment and training with nationally recognized attorney Kathryn Tucker. Long-time FLIP supporter Mark Herrenkohl led the effort to ensure access for all in our community. Countless other volunteers, including Basia Belza, Susie McDonald, Perry Heffelfinger, Carey Chenoweth, Nance Hall, Leora Willis, and Suz Trebnick, are helping to stuff envelopes, staff the farmer’s market info table, input survey data, and so much more. We couldn’t do it without you! More than 40 volunteers are working hard to bring the Swim Center to Lopez.
And you�"our donors�"have increased support. In the last two years, 250 new donors have joined the effort. That’s great growth and a sure sign that nothing will stop us! We know how important this pool is to all 1,100+ of our donors.

Thank you for all your hard work, dedication, and support. You’ve all helped us “dig down” to find renewed patience, determination, and vision.

We are inspired by the extraordinary resilience and commitment to building a Lopez Swim Center. Whether you’re a pool supporter or simply want to make this community a better place to live, we give thanks to your collective passion to improving the lives of all in our community.

H20 Yeah! Lopez Will Swim!

Anne Marie MacPherson
FLIP Executive Director

P.S. As a symbol of their commitment, Christine Kerlin and Tim Madison are diving in again to support the Lopez Swim Center with a special year-end $10,000 matching challenge for gifts received by December 10. They’d like other donors to join them; if you’d like to be a Challenge Donor, please contact me at director@lopezislandpool.org or lopezislandpool.org/donate. And thank you!
It's gonna be so much more than a pool!