Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.
By Rachel Weaver
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:30 p.m.
While dining in Canonsburg's empty Town Park Pool as part of a unique fundraiser for a pool liner, Bill Sarris had an epiphany.
“Me and my mom (Athena) were sitting at the dinner and she said, ‘If your dad were here, you know what he would do,' “ said the son of the late Frank Sarris. “I said, ‘He would buy the liner.' ”
In that moment, they decided to help the town do just that. Bill Sarris stood in front of 325 people and announced Sarris Candies Inc. would donate $100,000 toward purchasing a pool liner.
“I grew up there,” said Bill Sarris of Town Park Pool. “I learned to swim there. My dad learned to swim there.”
The $135,000 liner is expected to be installed this fall, which will allow the pool to open as planned Memorial Day weekend. Work to remove the old one began this week.
Velma Jeffries Youth Activities also gave $25,000. The “Dine in the Pool” event held Sept. 29, where people paid to enjoy a meal and dancing in the pool, raised about $25,000.
The extra money will go toward buying a cover, said Denny D'Orazio, Parks and Recreation Board chairman.
Canonsburg Council approved buying the liner and accepted bids in September. The Parks and Recreation Board planned to host a series of fundraisers to recoup the cost.
D'Orazio said community response to fundraising efforts made him realize just how important the pool is to Canonsburg.
“When Bill made the announcement, it was like the Steelers just scored a Super Bowl-winning touchdown,” he said. “The place erupted.”
The liner was last replaced 15 years ago. The pool opened in 1935.
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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