“The vison for the Forest Park Aquatic Center is finally coming into fruition and fulfilling the original mission of the Friends of Central Pool’s dedication to maintaining this treasured community asset.”
It’s been a labor of love for volunteer extraordinaire Randy Crutchfield. In 1996, he was one of the pioneers who saved the Forest Park Aquatic Center from being shut down. Crutchfield, along with a group of passionate Noblesville swimmers came together to form the Friends of Central Pool in order to do the work needed to keep the facilities and pool open. For him, his work with the Forest Park Aquatic Center (FPAC) is not simply volunteering, but rather “doing something he loves, for something he loves.” He’s been an integral part of the FPAC’s success and has served in many roles through the years. Currently, he serves as the board secretary.
Crutchfield explains the vision that has guided the Friends of Central Pool over the last couple decades was to commit to the mission to get the pool back to the way it should be for the community. As someone who has been enjoying the pool for over 30 years, he recalls watching the slow deterioration of the facilities. His passion and interest in keeping the pool open for all to use was personal. Crutchfield is a member of US Master’s Swimming and is part of a group called the Noblesville Adult Swim Team (NASTIs) whose members have been using the FPAC as a home-base for their swimming workouts for decades.
“Selfishly, we didn’t want the pool to close back then,” Says Crutchfield. “Various clubs that use the FPAC facilities, such as NASTIs, felt a responsibility to the pool and we all had the desire to help it thrive. The Friends of Central Pool has done whatever was needed to allow the FPAC to remain a usable and historic treasure for the city of Noblesville and an asset that the whole community can take advantage of.”
Made possible through a gift from the city, Crutchfield shares he feels the recent improvements and renovations to FPAC are finally bringing to fruition the visions that lead to the creation of the not-for profit Friends of Central Pool.
“The renovations are going to enhance the visitor experience at FPAC and not just from an aesthetic standpoint,” Crutchfield says. “We are continuing to make improvements behind the scenes that will help to ensure that FPAC will be a facility that stands out in the state of Indiana.”
To maintain that stand-out reputation, the Friends of Central Pool sponsors an annual BrewFest to raise funds to manage and maintain the pool throughout the swim season. Currently, the 2020 plans for Brewfest are in a holding pattern waiting to announce whether or not their annual community-wide fundraiser will be happening this September based on safety guidelines from the government.
“This year would mark the 11th year of Brewfest,” Crutchfield says. “The community has really invested in these efforts and what started as a gathering of 300 now exceeds 1500 attendees each year. Over the life of it, it has raised a significant amount of money for the pool and is typically enough to maintain operations until the beginning of the next year’s pool season.”
Events like Brewfest require a robust volunteer base and Crutchfield raves about the volunteers that commit their time to the FPAC. He knows that to be a volunteer they all must have a passion for the pool. Something that he recognizes in himself.
“I’ve been swimming with the same people for over 30 years,” says Crutchfield. “We have a mini-community of our own and I am so thrilled to work with a group of volunteers where everyone has a responsibility and where everyone shows up and just gets it done.”
When asked why he’s been volunteering for the FPAC for so long he is quick to answer that when he is passionate about something, he tends to stick around. That is a good thing and the FPAC and the Noblesville community are very lucky to have such a dedicated volunteer in Crutchfield.
Crutchfield is thrilled to engage with more members of the community in the volunteer efforts of the Friends of Central Pool. With lots of excitement happening at the FPAC this summer, there is much to be done. If you are interested in volunteering with the Friends of Central Pool at the Forest Park Aquatic Center, please contact Randy Crutchfield by email.
With your help, the FPAC can continue to survive, improve, grow, and flourish.