Bluffton Swim Team Donates to Village

   The addition of a new heating unit to the Bluffton pool last summer was less expensive than expected, according to Mayor Augsburger, but still was in the $20,000 to $30,000 range. The swim team, whose president is Jennie Wilson, wanted to show its appreciation to the village for making their mornings in the pool a less numbing experience. On behalf of the swim team, Wilson and vice president Nicole Mikesell, presented the village council a check for $1000 with a promise of more this coming year. Treasurer for the organization is Jason Diller.
   Wilson has worked with the swim team for the last 10 years and has managed the pool for the last two summers. Her goal was to build the swim team into a thriving organization.
   Apparently, she was successful. Last year there were 140 children on the team, each paying a registration fee of $65. The registration fee covers a T-shirt, enrollment in the championship meet and staff pay. Also, when Bluffton hosts the Champs meet, which is attended by 5,000 people, concessions will earn them $3,000 to $4,000.  Additionally, local industry often makes donations to the swim team.
   Help to make things run smoothly comes from the parents. Wilson, a fourth grade teacher at Columbus Grove, pointed out that for children to be successful, parents should be present. The swim team parents are strong believers, as they handle everything at the meets.
   Members of the Western Ohio Aquatics League (WOAL) besides Bluffton are Wapakoneta, Shawnee, Westside, Ada, Kenton, Van Wert and Sherwood. The Champs meets, which includes all of these, usually are held at Wapakoneta, Bluffton or Kenton because they are the only teams with a large enough facility to handle the teams and the crowds.
   The season runs for six weeks from June 1 to about the middle of July, a big bite out of summer for the children and the parents, but 140 participants indicate that it is time well spent.