Chairman’s Update – June 3, 2015

Bill began the meeting with several updates:

  • The City has started the process for the soil testing at both Warwick and Chinquapin.
  • Laura Durham, our contact with the City, has been assigned to work on the Patrick Henry Recreation Center project this month. She will continue on the aquatics project while helping with Patrick Henry.
  • We made the news twice: AAA was mentioned in Council Member Justin Wilson’s newsletter and also in Mayor Euille’s Today show broadcast with Laura Durham and Ralph Baird. Both were positive mentions.
  • The Make a Splash Program continues to progress. Carolyn updated the Board regarding the first progress report that was submitted. She offered some statistics that she and the City had developed showing more than 9,000 registrants for swimming lessons from January 1 through the start of June, with 77 of those being scholarship recipients.
  • Bill added an update on the meeting with the City and DASH about bus service to the Old Town pool. DASH is considering offering free bus service to all riders on the AT10 route (through Arlandria, Warwick, and Del Ray to the Old Town Metro) during July and August between the hours of 9:30 and 3:30.  This would allow swimmers and their families free transportation to the Old Town pool, as well as letting others enjoy the bus for other trips. DASH is evaluating any possible lost revenue, while Bill checked with the Del Ray Business Association about a possible sponsorship to make up for the lost revenue (DRBA may be receptive to a request for $5,000).  Hopefully, a decision will be made next week so we can get a notice out to ACPS families before the end of the school year.
  • Melynda and Bill met with School Board Memeber Chris Lewis. He is concerned that the permanent closing of the Ewald pool in the proposed Ewald park plan leaves the West End with no public pools. After considerable discussion, Chris requested that AAA include a West End pool in its goals. We explained that there was no money for such a pool and we were focused on our other priorities first. But we agreed that we would present the idea of mentioning a West End pool as a goal if Chris could introduce a School Board resolution in support of adding learn-to-swim to the elementary P.E. curriculum as soon as there is pool space available to accommodate that. The Board agreed to include “a long range vision” of a West End pool in our description of AAA goals.

The discussion then turned to fund raising. Craig was unable to be at the meeting, but Bill reviewed notes that Craig and Laura Fries had provided on ways to increase the visibility of AAA.

  • Speak to PTA’s
  • Speak to Citizen Associations
  • Booth at Farmer’s Markets
  • Booth at Art on the Avenue
  • Participation in the Halloween Parade
  • Table at the Old Town pool on weekends
  • Table at Movie night in Del Ray
  • Table at “Doggie Day” swims

Amanda added that we could also participate in the Scottish Walk Parade. Melynda suggested participating in the Health and Wellness First Thursday in Del Ray.

All of the suggestions are great, but we need more volunteers to actually staff these events. Melynda offered to set up an on-line sign-up through “Sign-Up Genius” that we could send out to the full membership and ask for volunteers to cover some events. We decided to start with the Old Town pool and the Del Ray Farmers Market on Saturdays throughout the summer to see what the response would be. She will set it up for one hour shifts with the Farmers Market from 8:00 and 10:00 am and the Old Town pool from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.   This would cover July and August. We would re-evaluate this approach at that time.

As part of helping us target our other efforts, Carolyn will provide a list of PTAs and citizen associations. Then visits can be scheduled with them as well.

Bill then went over some ideas that he got from a meeting with Pat Miller. Pat suggested grouping like type businesses together and setting a goal for that group. For example, create a health group with gyms, spas, and yoga locations in it. Then approach individual businesses in that group for a donation, with the total eventually adding up to $25,000 for the entire group. This could also be done for a car dealership group, a waterfront business group, swimming clubs, law firms, high-rise or condo associations, etc. The idea would be to generate funds, but equally importantly get more people involved with the aquatics movement.

Pat also offered to provide contacts at various businesses: Dominion Power, Pulte, the waterfront businesses, possibly Boat US, etc. Bill will follow up with the Sportsmen’s Club and the Old Dominion Boat Club. Melynda will contact the Seaport Foundation. Carolyn will see about setting up a meeting with the Safeway Foundation.

The discussion then transitioned to the large donor package. Melynda has gone back to the graphic designer and asked for a scaled back version of our original request – something in the $1,000 or below range rather than the $3,000 original range. She and Bill also mentioned two PowerPoint presentations that they are doing – one with an emphasis on participating in order to save lives and the other focused on investing in Alexandria (more geared to advertising interests). These can serve as generic presentations for anyone to use for any forum.   The operative thing is to have the graphic designs and the PowerPoints ready by our next meeting.

Bill reminded the members of the upcoming Family Fun Night at Chinquapin with Cora Kelly School on June 19th, as well as the one in July with Mount Vernon School.

He also indicated that he would ask a friend to get involved with the website maintenance since our members have so many other things going on.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m. with the closing of the Recreation Center.

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