VALDOSTA — Thanks to a Valdosta city councilwoman and a local business owner, 50 youths are able to stay cool this summer.

Roy Taylor, owner of Jungle Jym’s, donated $500 to Mildred Hunter Center, which then used the money to buy 50 pool passes for the summer.

The pool, which is located near the Hudson Docket Housing Authority, was full of cheerful kids playing in the pool Tuesday afternoon. This was possible after Taylor reached out to Councilwoman Vivian Miller-Cody looking to help her and the community.

“I told him our kids don’t all get the chance to go to the pool,” Miller-Cody said. “A lot of these kids have never even been to Wild Adventures. What better way to cool off than playing in the pool?”

Taylor donated the $500 check to the Valdosta City Council during a meeting last week. He isn’t the only person who donates money for at-risk youth.

Roy Hunnewell, with the Valdosta Elks Lodge, said the lodge donates money every year for pool passes to the Mildred Hunter Center. The amount donated increases every year, and this year the lodge donated $1,500 for 150 kids.

He said the center likes to use the money for pool passes to give the kids something to do during the summer and keep them off the street.

“I’ve been working with (the center) for four years, and (they) have a passion for kids and wants to make sure the kids are all taken care of,” Hunnewell said. “Keeping kids in here, inside the pool, beats having them walking the streets.”

Thomas Lynn is a government and education reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be reached at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256

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