Pathways Health Centre for Children received a $600,000 donation as the second phase of its $1.6 million campaign to rebuild its therapeutic pool kicked off Tuesday morning.
Rotary Club of Sarnia President Alison Mahon said members were immediately interested in helping when they heard about the need.
"We recognize that the pool is such a vital component of rehabilitation and recreational therapy and also play for the many children and youth who use the services at Pathways," said Mahon. "It's also a valued community resource as an accessible pool to support our seniors and others who require a heated pool for therapy."
Pathways Executive Director Jenny Greensmith said she hopes the donation encourages other groups and upper tier government to support the campaign.
"We're doing a lot of talking with the provincial government, seeing if there's any infrastructure funds available," said Greensmith. "We also had a word with [Sarnia-Lambton MP] Marilyn Gladu -- just in case the Liberal government had some infrastructure funds through their route."
Greensmith said they've received interest from local foundations as well.
"People are not thinking, 'oh, they've got $600,000, they'll easily get there,'" she said. "They're thinking, 'they've got $600,000, let's help them get to the goal.'"
Greensmith said they hope to stage the work over three or four years, doing as much work as possible when the pool is regularly closed for maintenance.
The therapeutic pool was closed last Christmas when it was discovered that it was losing water beneath the main drain.
Pathways was able to make urgent repairs and reopened the pool after eight months for fall programming.
Meet 2 year old Amelia. She’s had two open heart surgeries. During the second in 2017, she suffered a stroke that paralyzed her from the belly button down. pic.twitter.com/QVuTmcz3EC— Melanie Irwin (@MIrwinCHOKNews) November 27, 2018
Amelia comes to Pathways for physical therapy a couple times a week. She uses the pool once a week. Doctors said she would never crawl or walk. pic.twitter.com/rjJYTpP9bL— Melanie Irwin (@MIrwinCHOKNews) November 27, 2018
The heated pool at Pathways helps Amelia stretch, as she recovers from her spinal cord injury. pic.twitter.com/UOqff5VEyj— Melanie Irwin (@MIrwinCHOKNews) November 27, 2018
Amelia can now now do this. pic.twitter.com/d6nD3hbh1h— Melanie Irwin (@MIrwinCHOKNews) November 27, 2018
In addition to kicking balls in the pool, Amelia can also crawl now. Her grandmother is confident she will walk on her own one day too. Amelia’s progress is just one of many success stories Pathways shared as it kicked off today’s campaign to rebuild its therapeutic pool.— Melanie Irwin (@MIrwinCHOKNews) November 27, 2018