Even for a small magazine publishing company, we have been unusually busy over the last 90 days. In addition to our bimonthly publications of Evansville Living and Evansville Business, we also have produced custom content magazines for others as well as the 2016 issues of Evansville City View and Social Datebook. I am especially proud of our staff, who continue working tirelessly, while tired, to put our city’s best possible foot forward. This is not a business that is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., where you can leave, go home, and forget about the day. So as I look at this well-supported-by-you Evansville Business that I feel justifiably proud of, sometimes a simple thanks, along with a lot of food and various perks still does not do justice for their efforts. Thanks, guys, for all you do. It is appreciated.
I just saw a national news report on the Carmel High School girls winning their 30th consecutive Indiana State Swim Championship. This is an amazing feat of the hard work and consistency of an absolutely stellar program. As the parent of two swimmers, I pored over the finishes of the schools and a clear pattern emerges. We have a disproportionately small number of Evansville-based young ladies at state representing our local city, private, and parochial schools. The two teams in our region with the best results? Castle and Jasper High Schools, both which have outstanding swim facilities. Carmel, of course, as well as every other competitive high school swim team, has its own pool. Evansville? We have a tired, dirty, run-down facility on its last legs with seven swim teams sharing lane space. I would encourage local government, school systems, and the private sector to get on board to make this a reality. Overnight stays. Meals. Shopping. These are all big winners when you are able to host large meets. Lloyd Pool? It’s unable to do so because it does not meet USA Swimming standards. In a city where we have said something is “good enough” for too long, the lack of a natatorium simply is not “good enough.” Teach kids to swim, let seniors have a great place to exercise, and let kids have fun at play. It will be a shame when we have a non-working pool (a certainty) and no place to swim because the subject has been all talk. And we will be reactionary.
The offices of Tucker Publishing Group are located in the heart of Downtown. I have never been so pleased in my life to take so many detours while driving Downtown because of all of the economic development taking place. I find it difficult to believe that in a community the size of Evansville we are unable to get our act together to even give the idea of a natatorium any real study. Anyone who thinks the former neighborhood pool study of several years ago addressed this need is mistaken. I will be traveling to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend a USA Swimming seminar put on by Myrtha Pools in October to determine how to marshal the collective forces here to help make this happen. I find it a bit ironic that in a community touting itself as a youth sports destination, the only pool equipped to hold a USA Swimming meet is in Warrick County, where they collectively figured out a way to build a beautiful facility … and then built it. I welcome anyone’s responses to this letter. And if you think I’m coming off a bit heavy-handed? Ask the other well-intentioned folks in Evansville who, like me, have been shut down at every turn in this endeavor to gain some traction. If anyone knows anything different I would welcome the opportunity to apologize, I can assure you.
On a really positive note, the Men’s Fund started in October 2015 by some local businessmen who, like me, have time on their hands, has raised more than $150,000 since the inaugural meeting. Administered by the Vanderburgh Community Foundation, the fund is expected to have generated over $200,000 by March 31, 2016, the initial fund drive. Between the enormously successful Women’s Fund of Vanderburgh County that was co-chaired by my wife and Jan Davies the first two years, many private dollars are directly going to where the need is. The Women’s Fund Endowment now sits at right around $550,000. Congratulations to all who participate. For more information on either fund, please contact Scott Wylie.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Todd A. Tucker