Swimming pool dedication held
Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner, on behalf of the city council and the community, thanked the family of Janella Dunkin Wall Caraway for allowing the city to acquire the land for the water park/pool. The dedication ceremony was held Saturday morning just before the pool opened for its first full season.
The land where the new Dunkin-Wall Water Park was built has been in Ms. Caraway's family for many years. The location, across from the city park and ball fields, makes a very convenient site. A portion of Lake Street will be closed connecting the pool and park area making it more safe for children.
On hand for the ceremony were members of the family, Rande Wall and Linda Donovan, Ms. Caraway's children, and granddaughter, Tammy Walker.
"We are proud of your family and what you all have meant to the community," Mayor Wagner said. "Allowing the city to acquire this land gives the kids today the same opportunities we had growing up."
Rande, who now lives in Ft. Smith, said he remembers his years growing up and the pool the young people enjoyed.
"I want to commend city officials for keeping the '60s dreams alive making Manila a great place to live," Wall said. "You have a new clinic and the water park and you are moving in the right direction looking forward with a vision. I want to thank you for all. We had a pool and I am glad the young people now have one, too. We were the only town around who had a pool. The young people came from Leachville, Monette, Dell and other areas giving us a chance to get to know them and make new friends. I would start on my family early to get my season ticket. I had a running record of having the number one season pass for several years. We were there on that first day each year. We didn't think it was too cold."
Ms. Caraway said the pool is beautiful and there is room for expansion as the city grows.
It will be something for the young people to enjoy for many years.
In addition to the recreation, the pool offers summer job opportunities for teenagers.
The family enjoyed a tour of the facility including the inside heated therapeutic pool. Wall even took a walk up to the top of the water slides and said he was tempted to come down the slide.
The pool has been open on weekends since Memorial weekend and will open full season on Thursday, June 5. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. It is available for private party rentals from 6-8 p.m. except on Wednesdays and Sundays which are reserved for area churches.