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Volunteers get early start sprucing up Ber Vaughn Pool

The community pool near Berwick is run entirely by volunteers and work to get the pool ready for the summer has never started this early in the spring.

BRIAR CREEK, Pa. — At Ber Vaughn Pool near Berwick, work to get the place summer-ready has never started this early. Board members and volunteers are taking advantage of the mild weather, the soft ground, and all the help they have.

In less than two months, the grass will be green, flowers will be planted, and the water will be crystal clear as Ber Vaughn Pool opens for summer.

"Everything here has to be pressure-washed and cleaned up, drug back outside and put back together. It's a chore; it takes about two months to do," said Joshua Kishbaugh, Ber Vaughn Pool president.

This is why volunteers decided to get started now rather than wait until April like in past years.

On a hot day in the middle of the summer, the pool near Berwick usually reaches its max capacity of a little more than 500 people before lunchtime. So, volunteers want to make sure everyone is happy. New this year, folks can expect a splash pad. The water tank for it should be delivered one day this week.

But the main event, of course, is the swimming pool. Volunteers will scrape the entire pool, power wash it, then re-paint it. It is a big job that will take dozens of hours and hands.

Cathy Dambrosio has visions that go beyond the pool—she wants to create an atmosphere that makes people feel like they're on vacation.

"I want to paint the picnic tables. I want colors," Dambrosio said. "I want when you come in here, I want all different kinds of colors."

Dambrosio is a current board member at Ber Vaughn Pool and, back in 2012, was a big part in starting the fundraiser that got the facility back open as a nonprofit community pool.

And while board members are always looking for volunteers to get the pool ready for the summer season and keep up with it once it is open, something unique about this place is that it's not currently hiring. All 22 lifeguards from last season will return a testament to how special this place is.

"It makes me emotional because it means that they care about this facility as much as all of us volunteers care about the facility. Honestly, I think that's why we're so successful because we are all volunteers. We have had our heart and soul into this place since we opened and continued it through today," Kishbaugh said.

Opening day at Ber Vaughn Pool is set for Saturday, May 27, Memorial Day Weekend.

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