Northwest NEWS

August 17, 1998

Valley Special

Valley Recreation Association receives gift from church

   CARNATION--The Valley Recreation Association received a $500 gift from Tolt Congregational United Church of Christ this summer. The VRA is working to build a swimming pool and recreation center in the Lower Valley.
  
   Acccording to Joan Sharp, Tolt's Mission and Justice Committee chair, half of the gift is to help finance a "needs assessment" and the other half is for eventual construction.
  
   Nona Diediker, VRA president, says this first step toward building the pool is showing that the need for one exists.
  
   "The need may seem obvious," she says, "but we must be able to statistically show there is a local need and population that will use and support such a facility before we can raise the money to build it."
  
   Based on similar facilities constructed recently, Diediker expects the pool and recreation center to cost some $4 to $6 million to construct.
  
   "The church's gift is a good step toward starting the process and showing there is local support," Diediker says.
  
   The Valley Recreation Association started as the Eastman-Rush Memorial Foundation some 20 years ago when local residents John Eastman and Steve Rush drowned in separate swimming accidents.
  
   Out of these tragedies, a dream was born--a community pool and recreation center.
  
   During the last 12 months, the dream has been reclaimed. The VRA is currently rebuilding its Board of Directors, increasing community awareness and planning the process for carrying out the needs assessment.
  
   Anyone who is interested in helping out can contact the VRA at P.O. Box 522, Carnation, 98014, or call Nona Diediker at 425-333-6252.