HAC Foundation launches campaign to increase access to swim programs

The Holland Aquatic Center (HAC) Foundation’s newest campaign is intended to make the state-of-the-art public pool facility more accessible to lower-income residents.

The Brick-by-Brick Campaign will raise money for financial assistance to Holland residents who wish to take part in HAC’s swim lessons and support membership scholarships. These scholarships are available for families who qualify for free or reduced school lunch programs.

HAC, at 550 Maple Ave., charges $6 for a visit per person for those who live in the pool’s district, which subsidizes the facility with a millage. Those living outside the district pay $11 for a daily pass. A monthly membership ranges from $30 to $95, plus a joining fee, depending on whether it's for an individual or a family and where the applicant lives. 

The campaign also aims to supplement some of HAC’s operational expenses. 

Engraved bricks, benches for sale

Over the next two years, engraved bricks will be at the center of this campaign. Donors may purchase a brick, or bricks, for $150 each that will be engraved with the name or phrase of their choosing. The bricks, about 1,800 in total, will be placed in one of four seating areas along HAC’s front walkway. In these areas, patrons and guests will also find benches, available for purchase at $3,500, to enjoy the outdoors. 

Each brick donated will help provide solid ground upon which the Aquatic Center can continue to empower healthy, connected lives in Holland and beyond.

“The HAC Foundation is committed to enhancing HAC’s offerings and operations through philanthropic efforts today and for years to come,” says Dr. Randall Miller, chairperson of the HAC Foundation. “Like so many in our community, we value the work of HAC and how it positively affects the safety, health, and well-being of our community of those who enter its doors. So many of us personally benefit every week from these new facilities, and we hope to see many more people do so because of this campaign.”

The campaign is intended to support both people and programming at HAC, according to Jack Huisingh, executive director of the Holland Aquatic Center. 

“Our HAC Foundation members have envisioned a way for supporters of HAC to leave a legacy here and assist members in our community at the same time,” Huisingh said. “Once these four areas are complete, we plan to also create a new public patio space near our front lobby entrance with additional named pavers and picnic tables providing a beautiful new public and family outdoor patio.”

Continuing effort

Made up of a 10-member board, the HAC Foundation’s mission is to aid HAC as a leading example of excellence in aquatics and community wellness. This is its second campaign in the last three years.

From May 2019 to July 2022, the foundation successfully completed its $3 million “Happy Families, Healthy Communities” campaign, which funded additional features in the recent $26.3 million expansion and renovation of HAC. Those donor-funded features include a second-floor indoor track and wellness room, the expanded lobby area, and the front-entrance canopy. 

“The work of the HAC Foundation over the past three years has created so many wellness opportunities and aesthetic experiences here,” Huisingh says. “We are extremely grateful for their work on HAC’s and Holland’s behalf and are thrilled with how the first campaign provided significant improvements to our publicly bonded project.”

Ordering and installation of the legacy bricks is in four phases. 
  • Phase 1 - Brick ordering runs now through January 2023 with installation in April 2023.
  • Phase 2 - Brick ordering will be from February to July 2023 with installation in October 2023.
  • Phase 3 - Brick ordering will be from August 2023 to January 2024 with installation in April 2024.
  • Phase 4 - Brick ordering will be from February to July 2024 with installation in October 2024.

You can learn more about the Brick-by-Brick campaign at hollandaquatic.org/brick-by-brick-campaign/.

Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.