Splash 4 Life program at Morning Optimist

The Marshalltown Morning Optimist Club held its weekly meeting Tuesday at The Brew House. Co-President Linda Moore opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of reflection.

Ray Helland reported that the new meeting bell has arrived for the youth club, the Optimist Bobcat Club, but their gavel and banner have been delayed.

Helland also said that he has talked to persons in the Fire Department about properly burning the damaged flags for the club.

Member Leigh Bauder presented the program about the Splash 4 Life project with which she is involved. The project idea began five years ago when four youth drowned in the Iowa River during the heat wave in the summer of 2012. Bauder and friend Misty Smith discussed that a possible solution for helping local children cool off in all parts of town would be to place splash pads around the city. Bauder cited statistics indicating that drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages one to four, the second leading cause for children five to nine and the third leading cause for children 10 to 13.

Bauder proceeded to get permission from the Marshalltown City Council, and then obtained the 501c3 to begin fundraising efforts for the project, together with co-chair Anna Wolvers. They are working with the Vortex Company to design and plan possible locations around the city, with Anson Park being a possible location for the main splash pad. Bauder showed preliminary designs that use a fish as a central theme. Bauder would like to see Anson Park become a “safe place to play” and a “destination park” where the splash pad will promote free family activity.

Bauder has visions of the splash pads becoming multidisciplinary, with children being involved in creating art for the splash pads design. Another possible theme she discussed involves a walk of fame history game to include local historic figures.

The projected cost of the project is $250,000, with a six-week build timeline, once the funds have been raised. According to Bauder, if each household in Marshalltown donated $24.20, the funds would be possible. She is hopeful the building can begin in the spring of 2018.

Moore announced that the next week’s program speaker will be Adam Goodvin, Marshalltown High School football coach.

Moore closed the meeting by leading the recitation of the Optimist Creed. The Marshalltown Morning Optimist Club meets Tuesdays at 6:30 a.m. at The Brew House. Guests are welcome.


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