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
  • 072514-MoodyComp007.jpg Moody AFB crews race in load competition

    Moody Air Force Base hosted a weapons load competition Friday morning, a maintenance group tradition in which two 23d Maintenance Group A-10 munition load crews raced against the clock to load munitions onto an A-10C Thunderbolt II.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • moonshine bust.jpg Police close illegal drinking house

    After receiving numerous complaints, the Valdosta Police Department shut down an illegal alcohol sales operation Friday.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • election.jpg Black earns most votes in runoff

    State Rep. Ellis Black led the votes for state Senate District 8 Friday with seven of seven counties reporting certified results, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140724-LAT1.jpg Little Actors Theatre ready for summer show

    Since 2004, the Little Actors Theatre has provided a place for children ages 6 to 19 to express themselves through acting.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072414-MichelleNunn003.jpeg Michelle Nunn visits Valdosta

    The day after learning that her Republican challenger would be David Perdue, Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn kicked off her Common Sense and Collaboration Tour Wednesday by meeting with business owners in Atlanta, Athens and Macon and continued her tour Thursday morning by visiting the David S. Waller Unit facility of the Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • lunch.jpg Valdosta One Lunch feeds summer-hungry kids

    Hunger is a concept that many people associate with third-world countries, not their hometown. However, in Valdosta, hunger is real. To combat this hunger, a group of Valdostans have created Valdosta One Lunch, a program that distributes bagged meals to children in need.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up.jpeg Moody squadron commander reaches milestone

    The 75th Fighter Squadron commander hit a career milestone July 17, by surpassing 3,000 flight hours in an A-10C Thunderbolt II.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • water.jpg New equipment expected to deal with Lowndes water violations

    The Lowndes County Commission’s recent approval of $1.6 million for water-treatment equipment is expected to counter a past series of water-quality violations within the county.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 142314-Goodwill.jpg Goodwill hosts the Mexican Consulate

    Mexican citizens living in South Georgia have spent this week lining up at the Valdosta Goodwill to meet with the Mexican Consulate to obtain Mexican government issued identification.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723-Tree001.jpg Chamber plants 100th centennial tree

    Founded in September 1912, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest chambers in the state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results