Bethel fitness center to receive over $20K from endowment fund

The Bethel pool opened November 1, 2014. (Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK)
The Bethel pool opened November 1, 2014. (Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK)

The YK Regional Aquatic Health and Safety Center, more commonly known as the fitness center, is expected to receive more than $20,000 from an endowment fund, by the end of this year.

The YK Delta Lifesaver Endowment fund sponsors a variety of programs, including beginning swim classes, daily passes and swimwear–benefiting more than 1,000 people, according to a press release.

Bethel resident Bev Hoffman, was a part of the original group that started the fund.

“It was our hope that if we started this fund, it would grow beyond my lifetime and other’s lifetimes and would always be supporting pool programs once the facility was built,” Hoffman said.

The endowment fund began more than two decades ago. Through small, but dedicated fundraising efforts–a Halloween dance party in the 80s, annual holiday cookie sales–community members set aside money for a future community pool. Last November, those efforts paid off and the fitness and pool center opened its doors for business.

“People have worked so hard to make this happen, and then for this to happen–in my lifetime–it’s like, oh my gosh,” she said.

She says about five years ago, the money was placed into an investment fund, and now sits at more than $200,000. Some of those funds are placed in an endowment fund. Until endowment funds are open for next year, this year’s remaining funds will be used for half-price pool fees on Fridays and Sundays–some of the facility’s busiest days. The fund is replenished with donations.

She says fighting for the pool has been a lifetime effort. When speaking about finally having the pool available for the Delta community, she became a little emotional.

“We watched our children volunteer for this, and then they grew up,” Hoffman said, “and then it happened, we got it built. So it’s overwhelming sometimes when I walk into the facility and see how it’s changing lives already.”

Outside of regular donations, the 22nd annual Cookie Extravaganza will take place at the YK Fitness Center next Sunday, Dec. 13.