EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- Tamarack Wellness Center pool, a unique community resource helping people with disabilities, injuries and other ailments, is opening its doors this weekend in hopes of raising money to keep it going for years to come.
The pool hosts its third annual Pool of Lights fundraiser on Sunday, November 11, at the Tamarack Wellness Center in South Eugene.
Over the years, the pool has become a go-to resource for people recovering from various mobility problems. The pool is the only full-size, hot water pool. The water is kept clean through the use of salt, instead of chlorine. Many people who use the pool cannot handle the harsh chemical smell or feel of chlorine.
12-year-old Jay Bouwman is one person who hass benefited from the pool. Jay has cerebral palsy, a condition that limits his movement and keeps him in a wheelchair.
When he started, Jay’s caretakers say he couldn’t move himself around the pool.
Now Jay can swim lengths back and forth. The exercise has given him new strength, allowing him to become more mobile when he’s out of the water.
"It allows me to free up my muscles a little bit more. I think it allows me to relax a little bit more,” says Jay Bouwman, a Tamarack Pool user.
Sandy Rodgers is another person who’s benefited from the pool. Rodgers was diagnosed with a collagen disorder in mid-life, requiring her to have multiple brain and neuro surgeries.
Before using the pool, she was living in pain and mostly bed-ridden on oxygen. Sandy could only stand with the aid of walking sticks. She also needed a service animal and a caregiver. Today, she is free of that and able to walk and move on her own.
"It gave me back my life, it gave me a life in which I'm confident that I can move. I can interact with people. I can be a volunteer. I can give,” says Sandy Rodgers.
The Pool of Lights fundraiser is on Sunday, November 11 from 4:45 to 6:30 PM. It’s free and open to the public. The fundraiser is one of the primary resources the pool has to keep itself operating.
The pool is also introducing its first Veterans Swim on Sunday from 2 to 4:30 PM. It’s open to veterans and their families free of charge. The pool is located in South Eugene at 3575 South Donald Street.