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Pool Pals return to Palmerton festival with lunch bag raffle

Published September 06. 2018 12:31PM

Dive into some lunch bag raffle fun at the Pool Pals of Palmerton Memorial Park’s stand during the 29th Annual Palmerton Community Festival, Sept. 7-9, in the park.

“The lunch bag raffle, previously called the Chinese auction, has approximately 300 prizes donated by friends of the pool, members of the community and local businesses,” said Susan Arner, president of Pool Pals.

It is an organization of people who fundraise and support the special events that are held annually at Palmerton pool. They also help with improvements and repairs at the pool.

“Pool Pals members can be anyone who wants to join us and volunteer to put smiles on people’s faces who come to the events at the pool and are proud to support Memorial Park,” Arner said.

Raffle prizes include a family season pass to Palmerton pool, tools, holiday decorations, two bicycles, kids’ toys, jewelry and items donated by the crafters, she said.

Festival guests can purchase tickets throughout the weekend in their tent next to the craft tent, which is near the bandstand. The drawing will be held Sunday at 4 p.m. Winners need not be present. Someone will notify the winners the week after the festival.

“The Palmerton Memorial Park Board appreciates and supports the fundraising efforts of Pool Pals,” said Bill Smelas, vice president of the board for over 20 years.

Pool Pals hosts special events every two Sundays at the pool.

Without this organization, “pool fun days throughout the season would not be possible,” Smelas said.

They hold an annual community Easter egg hunt, as well as donate funds to the town’s Halloween Parade and Santa in the Park.

In addition to her role as president, Arner is the chairwoman of the organization’s special events, with assistance from her husband, Larry. He will retire as the general manager of Palmerton Memorial Park at the end of this calendar year.

“We support the community where we can,” Arner said.

In the past, Pool Pals has paid for basketball courts at the pool, purchased freezers for the concession stand, helped pay for a waterslide and other repairs to the pool.

Smelas considers the new waterslide “one of the top projects supported by the Pool Pals.”

Pool Pals is one of 29 nonprofit organizations returning to the three-day festival. There will be food, entertainment, crafts, rides provided by Nonweilers Amusement, free parking, games and various displays.

“I look forward to volunteering for several service groups and also sampling the great variety of food available,” Smelas said.

For more information and events scheduled at the pool, go to

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