The many kids and parents who were mourning the expected loss of the city of White Salmon's swimming pool have reason to celebrate this week.

When the city cut funding for the pool from its 2005 budget, there was hope that the $23,000 or so that was lacking could somehow be raised via private donations and other sources. Last week, that hope was realized, and a lot more swiftly than anyone could have hoped.

On Thursday, a newcomer to White Salmon -- John Gotts -- handed over a check to the city of White Salmon in the amount of $17,200. That gift, along with the $5,000 pledge from another newcomer to White Salmon, David and Leslie Ball, will provide enough extra cash to ensure that the pool will open as usual this summer.

These very generous gifts represent an almost miraculous start to the year 2005. How wonderful that there are people in this community willing and able to fill out a check in the amount needed to help make our community a better place to live.

Here's how Gotts described the reason behind his donation to keep the pool open: "Making this community as good a community as it can be is in our best interest."

That's pretty basic, and it's also very much appreciated.

Nevertheless, relying on gifts is no way for White Salmon to handle its business over the long term, and we hope the city does not one day find itself "over a barrel" because it has accepted gifts such as this.

The good news is, the kids of the community will have a safe place to play this summer, and a great place to learn how to swim. As a city and as a community, we owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Gotts and to the Balls.

Happy New Year indeed.

JB

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