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Sarris dives in during pool fundraiser

| Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:31 p.m.
A crowd of 325 people attended the “Dine in the Pool” event at Town Park Pool in Canonsburg to help raise funds for a new liner on Sept. 29.

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 rweaver@tribweb.com.

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