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Donation Inches Camp Tuckabatchee Closer to Pool Payoff

August 1, 2012

Photo by Tom Sistak- Jon Sheridan (right), U.S. Silica plant manager, presents a $10,000 check to Kelly Bunnell (second from right), Camp Tuckabatchee executive director, Tuesday at the camp. The donation will help fund the new pool.

Kelly Bunnell has six months left to meet her goal — and U.S. Silica is helping her do it.

Bunnell, executive director at Camp Tuckabatchee, is determined to pay for the new pool by the end of the year. The pool cost $98,500, but the cover, lighting and a few last-minute expenses pushed the price tag to about $110,000.

"The camp has never had a debt before, so paying this off is a very serious goal," Bunnell said.

On Tuesday, U.S. Silica presented a check for $10,000 to slice away at the camp's pool debt. The donation leaves the camp with slightly more than $20,000 left to pay.

In 2010, changes to the state pool regulations required $20,000 in improvements to the camp pool, which was more than 50 years old. The pool also was costly to maintain, leading to a decision to tear it out and replace the swimming facility.

The new pool is more cost-effective for the camp to maintain. The camp electric bill has plummeted from about $1,500 to $587 or less because the pool is more energy-efficient.

Bunnell said the facility eventually will pay for itself, but she wants to eliminate debt as soon as possible.

Jon Sheridan, U.S. Silica plant manager, said the new swimming facility is a vast improvement upon the previous pool.

Several U.S. Silica employees visited the pool Tuesday after presenting the check to Bunnell and Camp Tuckabatchee staff. Sheridan indicated the children belly-flopping, cannonballing and flailing into the water, saying they were the reason for the donation.

"We try to partner with people who are making a difference in the community," Sheridan said.

Camp Tuckabatchee, Sheridan added, is one of the organizations making a daily difference.

Bunnell said the camp is grateful for "good neighbor" businesses such as U.S. Silica.

"We have projects that wouldn't get done without donations like this."


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