Auxiliary to Contribute $35K Toward Burchfield Cartwright Pool

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – A group of area women whose legacy had been to help others will help those who use the Burchfield Cartwright pool by making a $35,000 donation.

The East Liverpool City Hospital Auxiliary will present a check to the city at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the pool, located in Thompson Park. Officials said the contribution will be added to $23,000 remaining in the facility’s budget from last year, allowing it to open for the season.

Officials learned earlier this month that funding that the pool had been receiving for several years from the county Department of Job and Family Services to provide free passes for children is no longer available.

The announcement created concern that the pool – built in the 1930s – would not be able to open this year.

Since then, donations have been coming in. Mayor Bobby Smith said at this week’s council meeting that more than $2,000 in donations had been received, and an unidentified donor had offered $35,000.

The auxiliary announced Thursday that it will donate the money at Wednesday’s event.

The auxiliary was officially formed in 1938 and disbanded in 2020 during the Covid pandemic. Throughout the years, the organization operated a hospital gift shop and cafe, and members served as desk receptionists, surgical hostesses, magazine cart volunteers and fundraisers at luncheons and bazaars.

Their fundraising efforts helped toward building new wings, unit renovations and purchasing equipment.

According to Megan Hoffrichter Hernandez, the auxiliary’s final president, a large endowment remained when it disbanded, and former members meet annually to distribute funding to several charities, including Thompson Park.

She said although the pool is no longer part of the park board’s responsibilities, auxiliary members held a special meeting and voted to make the donation to enable continuation of the free pass program for children in grades six through eighth.

“This project is like their legacy,” she said of the auxiliary’s decision to grant the additional donation this year.

“Thompson Park is a gem. The pool is something [children] can do that’s active. It’s beautiful,” Hernandez said. “I think there is a lot of community support to keep the pool.”

The auxiliary also plans to have local artist Craig Wetzel design an illustration for the pool passes that will be raffled off as a fundraiser for the pool.

Hernandez said the hope is, by making the check presentation at poolside, they will have an opportunity to show those in attendance and the community things that are needed at the facility.

Smith said he is looking forward to a more “guaranteed” opening in future years through various funding sources, possibly a levy, which would mean the pool would have to revert to responsibility of the Thompson Park board.

“I grew up in Dixonville, and it means so much to me. I swam there every day. I know how much it means to a lot of people,” Smith said, referring to the neighborhood bordering the pool.

He said his hope is to make the facility more appealing to everyone. He said officials at the Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities have reached out about making the facility more disability-accessible for their clients, which Smith would like to see happen.

Smith said he would like to join forces with businesses and agencies to help fund the pool, and he plans on contacting other communities with municipal pools to discuss their methods.

He also plans to help keep the grass cut around the pool.

Smith said he would like to sell visitors on the park, making it more attractive. “To get to the pool, you have to come to the park,” he said.

Smith has assured the public that the pool will open as scheduled, although there may have to be scheduling changes based on available funding.

Pictured at top: The Burchfield Cartwright municipal pool.

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