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MVAF celebrates ten year anniversary

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POLSON — Mission Valley Aquatics and Fitness (MVAF) will be celebrating 10 years in the community on June 10. 

Though their official anniversary is May 21, having the celebration on June 10 not only gives the board more time to prepare a fun and family friendly event, but also makes for a fun tie in for both the decade and the 10 for 10 Campaign the MVAF has been conducting. 

The fundraising campaign was created to try and gain $1,000,000 for a maintenance and operation reserve fund to ensure the sustainability for the pool for the next 10 years, taking into account upcoming maintenance and operational needs. As the pool ages, Treasurer Jim Oates explained, maintenance gets expensive. Between basics like replacing filters and refinishing the pool in the next few years, costs will add up to several thousands. 

“We’re trying to stay ahead of it as much as we can,” Oates explained. “Our fees are pretty low; we could never survive on just our aquatic revenue. We need other support. A lot of our programs are not very cost effective, and we hope a lot of our members recognize that and step up to help us keep it affordable.” 

If the 10 for 10 Campaign ends up successful, the organization will be able to begin putting money towards facility expansions that will benefit the community, such as a multipurpose gymnasium and shallow entry pool for younger kids. So far, the MVAF has been able to raise over half of their goal. 

For the last decade, the MVAF has become a staple in the community through what Oates considers their biggest accomplishment: water safety lessons. Free for Polson second graders, the swim lessons consist of important, live-saving techniques including back floating and what to do if they spot a friend in danger in the water, vital skills for a lake community. 

“That’s pretty well received by the teachers, and the kids love it too,” Oates commented. “The Greater Polson Community Foundation and Polson Rotary have been big supporters of that program because we don’t charge anybody for that, so we get donations from those two organizations primarily, and the school provides the transportation for the kids. We’d really like to extend that further in the future, maybe another grade or even Pablo or Ronan if we can solve some of the logistical problems.”

The ten year anniversary will be a celebration of all the organization has accomplished, as well as the community that helped make it all happen. To find out details about the party as they’re announced, as well as learn about the upcoming vacation raffle the MVAF will be offering, visit their social media at: 

“There’s a surprising number of people that have never been to the pool and don’t even know about it,” Oates said. “But right now, with what we’ve done so far, I sure feel a lot better about the next ten years.” 

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