Wheeling Family Spearheads Summer Swim Pass Program for Kids

The Calissie family has fond childhood memories of spending summers at the City’s 36th Street pool and they want other children to have the same type of fun regardless of economic status. In memory of their parents, Maggie and Lou, the Calissie’s are 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, we hope to provide pool passes to many kids in need. My parents always made sure anyone wanting to swim would not be denied entry to the pool, so we wish to continue that,” said Chip Calissie, the couple’s son. 

Director of Parks & Recreation Rochelle Barry said she is pleased to, once again, be working with the Calissie family on this initiative. 

“This program has been very successful throughout the years, and we are looking forward to sharing the joys of summer with the youth in the community,” she said. 

Donations for pool passes will be accepted now through April 28. Barry said the Parks & Recreation Department will work with Ohio County Schools to identify the children who will benefit from the free swim passes. Those wishing to contribute 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 via Paypal at https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8SOPlbJsS7     

Barry said donations of specific items are also being accepted to support and benefit the pools and community in other ways.

“Our goal is to be able to provide a better experience for children using the pool and playground areas in each community and to also provide support to those who might need it,” she said. 

Some examples of items being accepted include swimsuits, towels, sandals and sporting equipment such as wiffle balls/bats. Donations of such goods can be dropped off at Public Market, 1401 Main Street, during regular business hours or you can shop Parks & Recreation’s Amazon Wishlist at bit.ly/pool2023 to have the items shipped directly to the Rec Department. 

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

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