The Friends of the Mirboo North Swimming Pool are delighted to announce that they have now met their fundraising target of $1 million, with the $100,000 Challenge Fund from the Mirboo North & District Community Foundation having been matched in total last month.
While planning and fundraising for this redevelopment started in 2012, it was 2018 when the Friends of the Mirboo North Swimming Pool (FMNP) gave its commitment to make a ‘Community Contribution’ of an incredible $1 million towards the total cost of the Mirboo North Pool’s redevelopment.
Fred Couper, who is Treasurer of the FMNP, says it was an ambitious target, but that it was necessary in order to secure the redevelopment of the iconic pool, at a total cost of $5.5 million.
“At that point there had been fundraising and bequests over a number of years, but it was the support of some key organisations, including the Mirboo North & District Community Bank ($100,000), our success in the Pick My Project grant ($175,000) and a commitment from the Mirboo North & District Community Foundation (MNDCF) to grant $450,000 and match all donations up to a further $100,000, which gave us the confidence to sign up to the $1 million Community Contribution.”
Over the past two years the final $100,000 has been raised through the generosity of the whole local community, including individuals, businesses and community organisations, with each dollar being matched by MNDCF.
“It’s like a marathon, you have to push to get things done in the beginning, then to see the fundraising take off, receive such overwhelming support and now big things are happening everyday as we see the pool being built at the site on Bath’s Rd,” said Fred.
There is indeed a flurry of activity happening at the pool, with the pavilion building nearly at completion and works well underway on the main pool.
Fred says that now a major focus of the committee is to acknowledge all of the families and individuals who purchased a fundraising tile and the local businesses who helped by purchasing sponsorships.
“We are working on designing an aesthetically pleasing wall for the 300 plus tiles, that will fit with the design and features of the modern pool,” continued Fred.
Executive Officer of MNDCF, Ruth Rogan, congratulated the FMNP for the immense effort that has been put into fundraising.
“It’s quite remarkable that since May 2018 the FMNP together with the community has raised $100,000, all of which has now been matched by the Community Foundation. Thanks to the commitment, patience and hard work of this Committee, the $1 million Community Contribution target has been reached and Mirboo North’s pool will start a new lease of life for many decades to come,” said Ruth.
Fred says that the committee is gobsmacked that the community has been able to raise so much money together.
“It’s extraordinary to step back and realise that such a small community like ours has been able to raise $1 million. We knew there was support, but when the fundraising target was exceeded, it made us really proud of our community. And confident that the Mirboo North pool will continue to provide a space for us to connect, swim and socialise as a community for the next 50 years.”
The committee is now keen to see the pool finished, to get those fundraising tiles in pride of place on the wall, and are also beginning to think of opening celebrations.
“We will be planning to have a celebration gala when the pool opens for the first time. It will most likely take the form of a family day out, followed by an evening celebration. Not knowing how events are going to look post-COVID, we are waiting to see what happens during the next few months so we can make plans for a well-deserved celebration, where the whole community can kick their heels up!” finished Fred.
You can stay up to date with latest developments by following the Mirboo North Swimming Pool page on Facebook.