MORRILL — Even when they’re at the swimming pool, young children aren’t well-protected from the hot summer sun. For one Morrill resident, it was a project worth taking on.

Shawnae Case brings her young grandchildren to the Morrill Community Pool to cool down on hot summer days. But she saw a problem with the kiddie pool.

“Parents and grandparents have to sit on the edge of the pool while holding their children’s hands and that can get extremely hot,” she said. “Plus, with small children, there’s the risk of sunburn.”

So last year, Case came up with a plan to install a canopy over a portion of the kiddie pool.

Once in place, the canopy would cover one-third of the west end of the kiddie pool and extend over the patio to the fence around the pool, providing additional shade.

The majority of the kiddie pool will still be exposed to the sun, as well as the west side of the pool for sunbathing.

“We’ve gone to Rotary and are getting the word out this is a community funded project,” Case said. “It’s not affiliated with the town and no tax dollars are being used. We need to raise the cost of the project through fundraising. It’s going to cost just under $16,000 to complete.”

Because the group doesn’t have 501(c)3 nonprofit tax status, they’re seeing what can be arranged with a nonprofit group so they can apply for grant funding.

Some of their fundraising events have included a night swim and a raffle. They’ve raised funds during the recent Horse Creek Rendezvous Days event. A night swim fundraiser for the adults is being planned in the near future.

“We’re getting a lot of positive feedback from the public,” Case said. “They tell us this is an important project, but it’s going to take some time to raise the funds we need.”

Pool manager Erin Reisig said the canopy project is the largest of its kind they’ve done for several years, and staff is also looking toward replacing the fence and other improvements around the pool.

The Morrill Community Pool Improvement Project has set up an account at Platte Valley Bank for donations to the cause. Donations may also be made at the pool and loose change is encouraged.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Jerry Purvis is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9046 or emailed at jpurvis@starherald.com.

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