Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

June 10, 2014

‘Pool Lady’ returns for summer swimming

VALDOSTA — With summer underway and temperatures creeping into the mid 90s most days, it’s that time of year when children are wanting to find ways to cool off.

Gwen Register-Thomas, better known as the “Pool Lady,” works again to make summer fun a reality for area children.

At the Mildred Hunter Community Center, children can swim in the pool, as long as they can afford the cost. For the second year in a row, Thomas is taking donations to cover the cost for those children who cannot afford to swim at the center.

Last year, Thomas received an outpouring of love and donations from across the region in response to an article in The Times. She collected $650 in donations, allowing every child to enjoy not only a day at the pool but a season pass allowing them to swim the entire summer.

Crying tears of joy, Thomas explained, “There was just an outpouring as a result of the article. All of the children were able to get in the pool. And not only that, but at the end of the season, I ended up being able to buy back-to-school supplies for some of the children as well.”

Thomas knows first-hand the importance of having something fun to do during the summer.

“It’s just so important. As a school teacher, at the first of the year all of the students are asked the same question, ‘What did you do this summer?’ If the children can’t say that they went to Daytona Beach or Wild Adventures, then at least they can say they went to the swimming pool and had fun.”

By allowing these children to use the swimming pool and keeping them off of the streets, Thomas believes she protects them from possible dangers.

“I’m doing what God has put on my heart. If they are at the swimming pool, then that drug dealer on the corner can’t get to them,” she said.

Tickets to swim at the center are $1 a day, or $7 for the whole summer. Children are encouraged to meet Thomas at the center, 2 p.m. Wednesdays and do water aerobics. Children meet at the Fry Street Pool located directly beside the Mildred Hunter Community Center, 509 S. Fry St.

In addition to swimming, the YMCA offers swimming lessons on Fridays and Saturdays at the center. The cost for swim lessons are $20.

Anyone interested in donating to help children swim this summer, can send donations to Gwen Register-Thomas, P.O. Box 5664, Valdosta, Ga. 31603; or they can take their donations to the Mildred Hunter Center. Just let the attendant in the center know what the donation is for and it will be kept for distribution. Specify on your donation whether you would like it to be used for swimming passes or swimming lessons. Donations are not tax deductible.

Text Only
Local News
  • Brown Johnson Solis Cardiovascular Surgeons.jpeg Cardiac, Vascular, Thoracic & Endovascular Surgeons Join South Georgia Medical Center

    The three surgeons will operate a full-time medical practice and professional office named the SGMC CardioVascular Institute.  The medical office, which is located in Suite 230 of the Professional Building which is adjacent to SGMC, will be open 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140729-Gas_Leak002.jpg Roadway closed after second gas line break

    For a second day in a row, workers from Valdosta’s Utilities Department struck a natural gas service line causing a leak that shut down a portion of Forrest Street, officials said.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • dump truck arrest photo.jpg Deputies nab stolen dump truck suspects

    The search for suspected dump truck thieves ended Tuesday afternoon with the arrest of two men in the same area officials searched extensively Monday.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bears sighted on Baytree

    A pair of bear sightings along Baytree Road this week could indicate a growing black bear population in Lowndes County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Johnson family files second suit against school

    Two months after filing a civil suit against Lowndes County Schools, Kendrick Johnson’s parents have filed a second suit against the school system which again claims that negligence and bullying led to their son’s death.

    July 30, 2014

  • Teachers Harvest

    With students and teachers returning to the classroom in the coming days, the need for school supplies is at the top of numerous priority lists. For teachers, this often means spending their money to ensure classrooms are fully stocked.

    July 30, 2014

  • Lake Park holds millage rate hearings

    Lake Park City Council held two public hearings Tuesday to discuss raising Lake Park's millage rate from 5.052 to 6.552, an increase of 1.5.

    July 30, 2014

  • 140729_celebritywaiter004.jpg Celebrity waiters raise $14,000 for CAC

    For local leaders, wearing aprons, counting tips and taking drink orders is quite the change from their day jobs. When it's for a good cause though, these “celebrities” didn't mind stepping out of their comfort zones to help.

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Jim Zachary Mug shot.jpg Zachary named The Valdosta Daily Times’ editor

    Veteran newspaper editor Jim Zachary has assumed the editor’s chair at The Valdosta Daily Times.
    During the past two decades Zachary has been one of the most decorated community newspaper journalists in Georgia and Tennessee.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140728-griner001.jpg Griner takes oath

     Surrounded by family, friends, and fellow commissioners, Clay Griner took the oath of office Monday morning as the Lowndes County Super District 5 commissioner.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results