The Madison Valley Aquatic Center received $3,000 in donations from hole sponsors for the 11th Annual 3 Rivers Charity Golf Tournament held in July at Madison Meadows Golf Course.
Representatives from 3 Rivers Communications were on hand Tuesday morning at First Madison Valley Bank in Ennis as the large cardboard check was presented to the MVAC board members.
MVAC President Eileen White was enthusiastic about moving forward with the aquatic center and the contribution from 3 Rivers.
“We have some wonderful tentative plans, we have a lot of committee action and a lot of people who are helping long distance,” White said. “We’ve got a lot of steps in place, we simply need to now really focus on the capital campaign.”
Eight teams participated in the July 25 charity golf scramble, which was sponsored by several local businesses throughout the community
Currently, the MVAC wants to establish a facility for residents of Ennis and the greater Madison Valley to provide aquatic opportunities for recreation, education, fitness and rehabilitation. The project would be funded by private donations and grants from individuals, businesses and foundations.
White pointed out one of many benefits an aquatic center would bring to the community.
“It doesn’t matter if you swim well, it doesn’t matter if you’re old, young or whatever,” she said. “You can get in the water and when you come out you feel better.”
Board director Christine Thompson has watched her 12-year-old daughter Hannah swim competitively in Bozeman for the last two years. In that time Thompson has seen a transformation in her daughter, a direct result of being in the pool.
“Since I’ve watched her swim, I’ve seen a great amount of camaraderie among the swimmers,” Thompson said. “One of the reasons I got involved was because I’ve been sitting at the edge of a swimming pool for two and a half years going ‘This is amazing. This is really great.’”
“I’ve just watched her progress from a beginner into another whole realm of competing,” Thompson continued. “Which she learned at the pool, she learned by swimming, she learned by being around other kids.”
As she watched her daughter benefit from time spent at the Bozeman Swim Center, Christine Thompson couldn’t help wonder who else might be inspired to greatness by having access to an aquatic center.
“I think it’s an excellent way to get communities involved with each other,” she said.