Kamiah Crab Feed set for Jan. 24-26; Event raises money for community pool

Facebook photo A previous Kamiah Crab Feed event drew a fun crowd.

KAMIAH — Grease lightning and crab galore! Friends and neighbors are invited to come out for the 42nd Annual Kamiah Crab Feed Jan. 24, 25 and 26, with its theme of the 1950s-inspired movie, “Grease.”

“This is a long-going event and our goal is to one day soon open back up the Kamiah swimming pool,” said volunteer Joanne Ketchum.

The “Save the Pool” story started 17 years ago. In 2002, then-Kamiah City Council member Fran Woods approached members of the Kamiah water aerobics class to ask them to help raise money to fund operations of the community swimming pool. This group became the Save the Pool committee.

Throughout the years, the group held many fund-raisers to help cover pool operations. In 2003, the group helped with the Kamiah Crab Feed as a major fund-raiser, and the following year took over the feed.

Between 2004 and 2013, Save the Pool played a major part in financially supporting the pool. These costs included, but are not limited to, paying for the lawn upkeep, chemicals, equipment, supplies, tools, fuel, electric, building and maintenance upkeep, wages for the lifeguards, manager and maintenance workers, a new boiler, a new ADA chairlift and steps for the pool. Additional items purchased by Save the Pool included tables, chairs, umbrellas and toys.

Unfortunately, the pool closed in August of 2013; however, the crab feed profits continued supporting the pool until 2014, by paying for shutdown costs after it was deemed unusable. After the shutdown costs were covered, Save the Pool continued to raise money with the intent to repair and reopen the pool. Money raised since the pool was shut down has been placed into a CD at Freedom Northwest Credit Union, which will mature this spring.

In 2018, the Upper Clearwater Community Foundation (UCCF), which is a nonprofit arm of the Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Kamiah, identified a Community Block Grant that would help to fill the monetary void and subsidize the overall expenses to repair and reopen the pool. Clearwater Economic Development Association (CEDA) wrote and administered the grant. The city was awarded a grant, in the amount of $150,000, to be used in conjunction with what has been saved through the efforts of Save the Pool committee. While the $150,000 grant won’t cover the entire cost to reopen the pool, this will allow the City of Kamiah, UCCF and the Save the Pool Committee to initiate phase I of the overall plan to repair and reopen the pool and surrounding park, with hopes of initiating this phase this summer.

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