Dayton Raiders Swim Club launches fundraising campaign

The group is scheduled to occupy the building by May 1.

The club hopes to raise $150,000 during the initial year of their three phase fundraising plan.

“That’s ($3.5 million) for everything,” said Dave Listerman, a past president of the Raiders and chairman for long-term donations. “This first year, we just want to do some upgrades to the HVAC system, deepening the small pool and (reworking) the chlorine disenfectant.”

For the long-term, Phase III, will include a 50-meter pool. Listerman said Dayton is the largest metro area in the country without a 50-meter pool.

In making the sale, the YMCA of Greater Dayton said the facility was no longer viable for them and had asked the Raiders if they wanted to buy it. The Y did not want to just close the facility, but said it was losing too much money to keep it open. It has 12 other facilities in the Greater Dayton Area.

The Swim Club raises money through fees, donations and memberships. Listerman said it was not the intention of the club to shut out former YMCA users, high school swim teams that use the facility or others in the community. The group wants to make accomodations for times at least one of the two pools at the club will be used by community members.

Throughout the years, the team primarily has used the pool at Wright State University for its training, and rented other pools around the area as well. Listerman said the mortgage on the Beavercreek building will be less than the cost of renting those other pools, and with their own pool, the Raiders will be able to determine their hours of use.

The fund drive includes money for the undisclosed purchase price and upgrades to the facility, which he hopes can be made this year.

Phase two includes expanding aquatic programming and phase III includes the 50-meter pool, allowing the club to host local, regional and national meets as well as Special Olympic aquatic events.

As a 501c(3) non-profit organization, the Raiders can accept donations that are tax deductible.

USA Swimming has designated the Raiders as a Gold Medal Swim Club with a ranking of No. 8 among 3,000 clubs nationally. Twelve current or former members of the team have competed at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

For information on how to make a donation, contact Listerman at (937) 313-0025.

“Our goal is to keep a pool open, not to close it,” Listerman said.

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