BALTIMORE — Tucked away on the edge of the city county line is a community swimming pool that has served as a shining example of diversity and family for more than 60 years.
There was no season for the Lochearn Community Club in 2020 after they suffered a devastating fire on opening day.
Setback after setback they are still confident that they are going to be able to splash into that pool at the beginning of the season.
To do that they are holding a four day fundraiser that starts Thursday to celebrate graduating students.
“We had the fire on opening day and than we also had to deal with COVID,” said lifelong member and volunteer coach Brian Pinkney. “The spirit of this place it exists in the alumni members. We have a very strong alumni and the people that are currently members here. We don’t give up.”
The Lochearn swim team is no stranger to keeping their head above water when times get tough.
For sixty years the community based pool has provided a safe place for kids of all races and backgrounds to learn to swim and compete.
11-year-old Jayla Durn started swimming here when she was just 3-years-old.
“I really love this place,” Durn said. “It’s a fun happy place like everytime I’m sad or something this place will give me happiness.”
The team and community were devastated when they learned that a fire ripped through the buildings that once stood here.
16-year-old Neri Scott calls the pool a place where people can feel safe and life a family.
“I see how sad it is that everything all the memories went up in flames but I also see what can become,” Scott said. “How much better and stronger we can come out of this.”
This club has always operated off of alumni and community donations.
Pinkney said insurance hasn’t covered nearly enough of the costs to get back where they need to be.
“Delays with construction and cost, we may have to push it back a couple weeks,” he said. "Hopefully we can get this fundraiser going and construction so our folks will have some semblance of a normal summer.”
The buildings may be gone and the money might not be there right now, but there is an infinite amount of love history and hope that these kids will be back in the pool soon.
“Kids grew up here just spending their whole day at the pool,” Pinkney said. “It was a great place to be a kid. Just a great place, hopefully we can get back to that soon.”
The first meet is expected for the end of June and they are hoping to get the pool open a couple weeks before that.
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