Public pools in Montour County are reaping the benefits of a hot summer.
"Attendance has been very good this year," said Linda Zeager, president of the Northern Montour Recreation Association, which oversees the Exchange pool.
If the weather is good, the pool averages 50 swimmers a day.
Head lifeguard Maddie Blickley, 17, said the pool draws people from the Turbotville, Washingtonville, Millville, Jerseytown and Milton areas.
Lisa Loner, of Washingtonville, and her granddaughter, Avery Loner, 4, come every day.
"This is the first summer since my kids were little that I have been here," she said. "It's very nice and family-oriented. There's a shady area where people can sit to watch the kids," she said.
Blickley said she swam in the pool as a child. She and Maddy Blakeney, 16, became certified lifeguards last year and began working at the pool then. They both will be seniors at Warrior Run.
"Four of us took the guard course together," Blakeney said of lifeguards that work at the pool.
There is a large pool, a baby pool and a concession stand.
Zeager said they were able to buy 17 new lounge chairs through a grant and donations from the community. They also received a grant for swim lessons to help them offer more lessons at a reduced rate "and get more kids" involved in swim lessons, she said. The pool offers morning and evening sessions. Avery Loner was among those who took lessons.
The pool will receive approximately $54,000 from Montour County's Community Development Block Grant Program to make its bathroom facilities accessible to the handicapped. This will include a sidewalk to the bathhouse and renovating the bathrooms in the spring.
Association members plan to do work next year, such as painting in the spring.
"We are looking to do more fundraisers," Zeager said.
The Montgomery House Library will hold a free pool party, with prize drawings, open to anyone from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
For the first time, the pool will hold a puppy pool party with dogs allowed to swim after the pool closes. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 24. Owners will be asked to pay a fee for their pooches to enjoy the water.
The pool, which dates to the mid-1980s and is next to the Anthony Township Community Center, is open every day through Aug. 21. Hours are 12:30 to 7:30 p.m., except Mondays, when it closes at 7 p.m. for Zumba classes.
The cost is $5 daily for adults, $4 for ages 17 and younger and free to 2 and younger with a paying adult. After 5 p.m., the cost to swim is $2.
'The kids really love it'
On a recent hot day at Sunnybrook Park's large pool and small pool near Danville, 38 kids from the Danville Child Development Center were swimming.
"We come here every Thursday," teacher Lauren Boyle said of the group, ages 5 to 12. "This is my fifth summer here with the kids. The kids really love it. Everyone who works here is accommodating. It's always clean and they always have fun. It's a great pool."
Isaac Bankert, 6, said he likes to swim in the shallow end of the large pool and also comes there with his family.
"I like to swim and dive and play pirates in the water," he said.
Karen Kruleski, of Danville, comes to the pool at least once a week with grandchildren Hayden and Haylee Gemberling, 11-year-old twins, their sister Khole Gemberling, 8; and Ayla Kurzawa, 12, and brother Tarron Kurzawa, 8.
"It's very relaxing and very inviting," Kruleski said.
Danville resident Kelly Bromwell said she has been going there since moving from Maryland eight years ago.
"I grew up in White Hall," she said, on a day she was with her daughter Amelia, 3. They also have daughters Samantha, 8, and Mollie, 10. "The kids really like it and their friends are here," she said.
Olivia Poe, 10, said she likes to jump off the diving board.
"Once I found $5 in the pool," said Olivia, who was with her sister Ava Poe, 9. "We have a lot of friends here."
Besides the pools, the park has a large playground at the entrance, a small playground next to the small pool, cabins, pavilions and a concession stand.
Abby Foster, manager and lifeguard, said they are busiest on weekends. This is her fifth year working there.
"This is definitely the busiest year since I've been here. We've gotten a lot of new families coming," said Foster, who is majoring in early education and special education at Messiah College.
Bonnie Burke, president of the Sunnybrook Park Association board, said this season has been very good.
"Myself and other board members are constantly making trips to pick up products for the concession stand and especially for water, which I'm glad that the people are buying a lot of water," said Burke, who has been president about 10 years.
This season, they purchased new tables and chairs made of composite material that will last a long time. They are also installing new rubber mulch on the small playground.
"The Mooresburg Presbyterian Church collected money and donated it to the park and asked that it go to families who can't afford to come in," she said.
Since the park just received the contribution, it will be set aside to be used for the 2020 season.
The pool, which has a long history, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The cost is $5 per person. Ages 2 and younger are admitted free.
Pool dates back to 1927
The park and original pool opened in 1927 along Jerseytown Road and slightly more than a mile from Danville. Charles and Jennie Lewis bought the land in 1919 for the facility to fulfill Jennie's dream of providing a place for children to enjoy themselves, according to the pool history.
In 1955, their son Robert Lewis and his wife, Ruth, and Charles and Jennie Lewis sold the park to the nonprofit Danville Playground Association for $20,000.
Hurricane Agnes devastated the park on June 21, 1972. By July 1, the playground resumed operations and the pool reopened on July 2, 1972.
The playground association, in 1975, began looking into replacing the pool. Construction started in May of 1977 for an L-shaped Olympic-sized pool. The new pool opened on July 6, 1977.
The pool was named for the late Dorothy Bonawitz, who served as playground secretary, championed the idea of building a new pool and raised money for its construction.
The playground association ceased managing the park in 2003. The Sunnybrook Park Association board of directors formed to manage the park and pool.