Lions report on next steps for Pinney Pool

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Lions report on next steps for Pinney PoolA mural donated by the family of the late artist Scott Sayer is sold to Desert Valleys Federal Credit Union for $700 at last weekend’s fundraising auction for Pinney Pool, hosted by the Ridgecrest Lions Club. Pictured at left is auctioneer Steven Morgan, along with staff and family of Desert Valleys. — Photo by Ian M. Terry

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The collaborative endeavor to revive Pinney Pool got a shot in the arm Saturday night with the Ridgecrest Lion’s Club’s fund-raising auction, which raised an estimated $11,500 toward the cost of fixing the community’s only public pool.

“This wonderful community effort just shows how special the Ridgecrest community is,” said Lion Steven Morgan, who served as auctioneer and emcee for the event. “The Lions believed in this effort for our community, and we have received nothing but support along the way. Thank you, Ridgecrest!”

The event attracted about 80 participants, who had lively bidding wars on dozens of items ranging from desserts to paintings to vacations to gift baskets and more.

The highest bid of the night — at $1,000 — was for a getaway to Lake Arrowhead, donated by Dr. David Ostash.

Morgan said the Lions were pleased with the turnout. He noted that they are now turning their attention to finding matching funds for the project.

“Foundations like to see ‘skin in the game,’ in other words funds raised for the effort through community support,” said Morgan. “I believe we have a good case to make here, since we are close to $75,000 raised.”

In addition to the latest fund-raiser, the Lions have been raising money, with the help of corporation sponsorships and other donations, since the club got involved last June.

“We should be able to ‘leverage’ all of this support to gain foundation donations, and the Lions will work toward a letter of request showing the support and the community need for the only public swimming opportunity in Ridgecrest.”

Morgan thanked Mayor Peggy Breeden for attending, and City Manager Ron Strand for donating to the cause. Table sponsors included Gary Charlon-State Farm Insurance, the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, Cordell Construction Company, AltaOne Federal Credit Union, Desert Valleys Federal Credit Union, Friends of Mayor Peggy Breeden and Jan Bennett.

“Without, question our small club membership all pitched in, and continue to do so,” Morgan said of the Lions.

“We always understood our efforts, and the goal was to raise awareness and show citywide support for finding a way to reopen the Pinney Pool.

“We believe we have done just that.”

The ultimate goal is to raise $250,000 — approximately 10 percent of the funds needed to repair, replace and upgrade the facility.

Story First Published: 2019-03-01