OPINION: Generations of Hingham – Vote “Yes” for Town Pool Ballot Vote

May 10, 2022 Submitted by Patty Gilbert McDonald

My name is Patty Gilbert McDonald and I am the President of the Friends of the South Shore Country Club. I am also a lifelong resident of Hingham who enjoyed growing up with our town pool, and now live in a multigenerational household with my parents, my husband and 2 daughters. I am writing to urge the members of the Hingham Community to Vote “Yes” to Bring back the Town Pool at the South Shore Country Club at the Annual Town Election on May 14, 2022.

I want to thank the Country Club Management Committee for all their hard work and tireless efforts to “Bring Back the Town Pool” in Hingham. I enthusiastically support the proposed pool plan and want to share how the Town Pool at the SSCC will benefit the 3 generations of my family.

My parents would benefit from affordable therapeutic aquatic programs at the new Town pool: My mother (and I) will be first in line to sign up for any water aerobics, while my rhythmically challenged father could benefit from aquatic exercise that only the town pool can bring. More importantly the Town Pool would be a safe and accessible resource for all Senior Citizens and their families to be together on a hot summer day.

As a parent, my younger daughter will benefit from the affordable recreation and swim lessons at the town pool: I am not the only parent in Hingham who would benefit from these types of programs. I did some informal research on Facebook’s “Hingham Hub” site and I counted over 167 postings/responses of parents looking for swim lessons….in the past 2 months.

Brion O’Connor’s April 29, 2022 Boston Globe article “Making it safe for kids to take the plunge: Demand for swim lessons surges, even as pools and beaches strive to hire lifeguards” highlights the significant demand for swim lessons in the Boston area and the urgent need for all children to learn to swim. The article states that lack of access to pools and lessons, “may have contributed to a spike in drownings last year. In May 2021 alone, there were 18 drownings in Massachusetts, more than the previous three Mays combined.”

The article further highlighted data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which stated that, “more children ages 1 to 4 die from drowning than any other cause of death except birth defects. For children ages 1 to 14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes.”

All children of Hingham need affordable swim lessons and the Town Pool at South Shore Country Club would address this need.

As a child growing up in Hingham there are many benefits that the Town Pool at SSCC will bring: Like many children in Hingham, my older daughter swam at the SSCC town pool through Hingham Recreation summer day camps, with friends during the summer and trained in the pool with her regional Club swim team.

Through these experiences she fell in love with the sport of swimming. Being part of a swim team provided my daughter with self confidence, structure and lifelong friends. She went on to become the captain of the Hingham High School swim team, a certified lifeguard, swim instructor and swim coach.

Please join in VOTING “YES” on the ballot question at the Hingham Annual Town Election on SATURDAY MAY 14, 2022 so that the next generation of Hingham Families - Grandparents, Parents and Children - can all benefit from this incredible community resource.

Patty Gilbert McDonald, Ph.D.
President, Friends of the South Shore Country Club
45 Old County Road
Hingham, MA 02043

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