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South Bend pool at risk of closing after six decades

A member enjoys the pool at the Twyckenham Hills Community Club. // Photo provided

A local community pool is in danger of not opening for the the first time in 60 years because of the lack of membership. Usually by this time the Twyckenham Hills Community Club has almost all of the members it needs to open.

That's not the case this year.

They need about 150 memberships to have the finances to run the pool, and by late March there were only about a third of the way there. They have until the end of April to get more members. If not it will remain closed all summer

For those six decades, the Twyckenham Community Pool has been the destination for family friendly fun on South Bend's south side.

“It's been a bedrock of this community for family fun for many, many years, but there's so much competition now for folks with their summer and what families are doing that we've kind of run into a lot of competition with what people can do all summer long, so it's getting harder to get members these days,” said pool Board Member Todd Lotridge.

Lynnette Alexander was heartbroken when she learned that there was a chance the pool may not open this year. She says she used to have above-ground pools in her backyard for her kids, but maintenance got to be too much for her.

A few years ago her family was invited to Twyckenham as guests. Alexander and her family immediately felt welcome there and loved the family oriented atmosphere.

That's when they decided to become permanent members.

"When it's open we're here every day, and then on weekends we come and hangout, and we also have grills, and we just grill and have potlucks,” said Alexander. “Everybody brings something to share, and we're one big happy family during the summer.”

Board members say you can't beat the value of a Twyckenham membership. For $300 for a family and $160 for individuals members get the use of two pools, a basketball court and a playground, not counting the friendships that can last a lifetime.

"We have to push. We have to get this pool open for these kids and for the families,” Alexander said. “It's a safe place to enjoy and have fun, and you can't beat the membership value for the whole summer.”

For more information, see the pool's website or Facebook page.

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