John-Kearney-Chairman“We need to say what we want and what we want – or rather, what we need – is €200,000,” said John Kearney, who is one of thirteen volunteers tasked with raising enough money to safeguard the long-term future of Baltimore Pool and Leisure Centre.

“Everyone knows the purchase price is €110,000 and that €35,000 has already been raised, but the €200,000 fundraising target is all-inclusive,” said John, “it covers the cost of totally refurbishing the complex.”

Anyone who uses the pool and leisure centre on a regular basis will confirm that it is a good facility and really rather attractive, but the fact remains that the equipment does need to be replaced – not today or tomorrow, but long-term and for the future viability of the centre.

“What we are hoping,” said John, “is for people with real money to row in behind this project and recognise the fact that it is a noble cause and give it anything from €500 to €5,000.”

More Creative

Speaking as chairman of the Baltimore Community Leisure Centre, John Kearney said: “A coffee morning might raise €500 and that is all to the good, but we need to get a bit more creative if we are to raise the substantial amount of money that will be needed – not just to improve the equipment and renovate the leisure centre, but also to extend the pool to 25 metres.”

Everyone on the committee – including Annette Cadogan, Carol Noonan, Jim O’Donnell, John Kearney, Michael Octigan, Michael Walsh, Sandra Carthy, Sekeeta Crowley, Sheila O’Sullivan, Stephen Black, Katrina O’Callaghan, Steve Redmond and Christy Thornhill – have got their thinking caps on and already there are three fundraising events lined up for March and April.

On March 16th next, there will be an ‘Only Pools and Horses’ race night at Jacob’s Bar, followed in April 11th with a dance in the West Cork Hotel and another race night on April 13th.

Become a Member

“We are appealing to people to support this initiative in any way they can: people can support us by becoming a member of the Baltimore Community Leisure Centre, which costs €44 per month per individual, but can be as little as an additional €12 per month for a person under the age of 16.

“People can also support us by attending any one of the fundraising events that will be held throughout West Cork this year and by giving generously to local collections.

“But we would also be hoping that people will invest in the community initiative – which is without parallel – and go the extra mile. Maybe they could sponsor a piece of equipment or make a sizeable donation that we would be happy to honour on a patron’s plaque.”

John, or any of the baker’s dozen on the committee, can be contacted by calling the centre on 028 20622.

This article was originally published in the Southern Star on March 8th, 2014. Author: Jackie Keogh.