Wheeling Family Spearheads Summer Swim Pass Program for Kids

In memory of their parents, the Calissie family is once again spearheading a Summer Swim Pass program which will provide pool passes for children who could not otherwise afford them. 

With support from the community and Wheeling’s Department of Parks & Recreation, The Calissie family hopes to provide passes to many kids in need. Last year, the program funded more than 300 pool passes.

“Our parents, Maggie and Lou Calissie, enjoyed their summers at 36th Street pool. They always made sure anyone without money would not be turned away, so we wish to continue that,” said Chip Calissie, the couple’s son. “If you have any fond memories at one of the city pools, I encourage to you buy a pass for a kid so they might have similar memories on which to reflect. We want kids to enjoy a safe and fun summer in our city pools!”

Director of Parks & Recreation Rochelle Barry said she is excited the Calissie family is once again leading this initiative. 

“The program has been a great success and we are looking forward to, once again, sharing the joys of summer with the youth in the community,” she said. 

A new component to the Program this year is a Community Block Party at the Pool. Barry explained that from noon-2 p.m., on various dates in different Wheeling neighborhoods, a Community Block Party at the Pool will be held with special activities including free food, games, crafts, door prizes, face painting and more. There will also be free admission to the pool until 6 p.m. on the respective dates. Neighborhood shirts will be available to order on the Parks & Recreation Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wheelingrec. All proceeds from shirt orders will benefit the Summer Pool Pass Program. 

The schedule for the Community Block Party at the Pool is as follows: Wheeling Island, June 18; Warwood, June 25; Grandview, July 16; and South Wheeling, July 23.

Those wishing to make a contribution to the Summer Swim Pass program can do so by sending a check to Wheeling’s Parks & Recreation Department at 1500 Chapline St., Wheeling, W.Va. 26003. Please be sure to indicate Summer Pool Pass Program in the memo line. Donations can also be made online by visiting www.wheelingrec.com. Once there, click on programs and pool pass. Donors will have to set up an account before the donation can be completed. Those wishing to specify a family or individual to receive the passes can do so by advising Calissie or the rec department. 

Those with questions about the Summer Swim Pass Program or the Community Block Party at the Pool should contact Barry at 304-234-3641 or Calissie at 304-559-5385.

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