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Friday November 17th 2017

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Hannah Lieder, One of “Eleven Who Care”

Hannah Lieder having been honored at the 11 Who Kare Award Banquet and pictured with swimming advocates Javon Sledd and Andrew Njogu

Hannah Lieder having been honored at the 11 Who Kare Award Banquet and pictured with swimming advocates Javon Sledd and Andrew Njogu

By Brad Pass

Our neighbor and friend, Hannah Lieder, was honored by KARE11 and, new partner, 3M Corporation for her commitment and dedication to the children of Mpls. and her tireless effort to save and renovate the Phillips Community Center Swimming Pool. The gala celebration was held on July 17th at 3M headquarters with a beautifully catered reception and an inspiring program featuring the stories and work of all eleven winners of this years’ prestigious “Eleven Who Care” award.

Hannah pointed out that Mpls., the “City of Lakes”, has never had an indoor public swimming pool. The Phillips Community Center pool used to be a Mpls. Public School pool but it has been empty for many years. Indeed, it was slated for demolition until Hannah created Minneapolis Swims and joined together with neighbors to save the pool. Her motivation arises from the tragic and unnecessary incidence of inner-city youth drownings and the inability of our youth to participate in water-based recreational activities because they can’t swim.

Through Hannah’s efforts, a coalition of swimming professionals, potential users, neighbors and Park Board supporters have come together under Minneapolis Swims to successfully lobby the Minnesota Legislature, Hennepin County Youth Sports and others for a barebones pool restoration which includes a new shallow warm water pool for teaching and therapeutic use.

Hannah is mindful of the necessity to make this facility sustainable in the long run and for that reason is proposing a more comprehensive facility which will draw more paying users while at the same time better serving the aquatics needs of the City. The larger facility would add two swimming lanes to create an eight-lane competition pool with a diving well and a larger shallow warm water multi-purpose pool. Hannah’s Minneapolis Swims team has completed preliminary design work and their business plan shows the desirability of this more sustainable vision.

Hannah’s awards presentation included an invitation to participate financially to make the dream of the Phillips Aquatic Center reality. Info on “Eleven Who Care” awards or the Phillips Aquatic Center, http://tinyurl.com/11whocare or www.mplsswims.org

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