Philly pools are open for the summer

June 22, 2011 3:15:51 PM PDT
All 70 of Philadelphia's public swimming pools have opened with a big splash, thanks to some big cash from a group of donors.

Mayor Michael Nutter jumped into a city pool Wednesday to kick off the swim season. He says he's grateful to all the people who stepped up to keep the pools open.

"Pools, of course, are not just for those who are young but for those who are young at heart," Nutter said.

Leading the corporate effort was First Niagara bank, which rallied 25 companies to raise almost 90 percent of the $600,000 goal. Recreation centers, local companies and individuals came up with the rest.

"It's so much fun for them during the day and it doesn't cost them anything," said Camille Coccagna of Lawncrest. "I think it's good for them to have that for the kids."

Philadelphia is bucking a trend: The recession that has drained city budgets has also drained public pools nationwide.

From New York City to Sacramento, Calif., public pools are being shuttered, taking away a summer tradition for millions of Americans.


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