- Published on Monday, 18 March 2013 21:09
- Written by Sharon Robb
Two years after his death, the legacy of six-time Olympic and Coral Springs Swim Club head coach Michael Lohberg lives on.
The City of Coral Springs, Coral Springs Aquatic Complex and Coral Springs Swim Club will honor Lohberg on April 13th with a pool dedication ceremony and swim-a-thon featuring fun, food and music.
Coral Springs Mayor Vince Boccard, Vice Mayor Tom Powers, city commissioners and several other VIPs will be on hand to rename the 50-meter competition pool the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions.
Lohberg died April 4, 2011 at age 61 after a lengthy battle with aplastic anemia.
During Lohberg's seventeen years of coaching Coral Springs Swim Club, Lohberg built a world-class program.
Lohberg coached CSSC to nine Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympic titles in addition to coaching several Olympians including eight at the 2008 Beijing Olympics including Dara Torres. Lohberg was inducted into the 2009 Broward County Sports Hall of Fame along with Torres.
Coral Springs Director of Aquatics Mike McGoun said visitors that day will also be treated to renovations and additions at the world-class facility.
A 16-foot panel has been added to the scoreboard with the pool's new name.
The fitness center has added 700 more square feet for a trainers area. The front office has been enlarged and modernized to accommodate more people and computers. "We outgrew it in 22 years," McGoun said.
The swim shop has doubled in size. A refreshment bar that serves smoothies, gourmet coffee and juice has been added and will be open 365 days a year.
More renovations and refurbishing are scheduled for the near future including work on both the competition and diving pools and complex entranceway and landscaping.
"This aquatic complex is one of the jewels of the city," McGoun said. "We wanted the wow factor to attract people from all over the world."
McGoun and Lohberg were friends for 20 years and shared the same vision for the city's facility.
"We always said Michael could have gone anywhere," McGoun said. "The nice thing about Michael is he picked Coral Springs and brought quality to the program. I think it became a better place because of Michael and attracted a lot of attention."
Booster Club president Danica Schimansky said several people have been working on the activities for the day to make sure it's a success and fun for everyone. The fun events will have a circus-theme.
Behind the pool bleachers, there will be a 15-foot water slide and on the pool deck there will be popcorn and cotton candy-making machines.
There will be a dunk tank which CSSC coaches will participate in so the swimmers can take turns dunking them.
There will be a food truck by the water slide as well as food served on deck under a tent.
A company called partymelon.com has agreed to donate two large watermelons decorated with the city's logo on one and CSSC logo on the other. Both will be filled with healthy fruit.
Water and Gatorade will be available for the swimmers beside the pool. Publix donated $75 to help with the cost of water and Gatorade.
"We wanted the younger kids to have fun since they are raising money for scholarships they won't be able to get until they are seniors," Schimansky said. "We are so excited because the whole event will be to honor Michael."
Packets have already been handed out to swimmers. The competition has already begun to see which group raises the most money. The club goal is $20,000. A team achievement chart is at the aquatic complex to keep track of each group.
Money raised at the fundraiser will go to the Michael Lohberg Scholarship Fund, established to support the club's high school senior student-athletes and applaud their work ethic both in school and the pool.
Recipients will be announced at the club's annual banquet and funds will be deposited at the winners' designated colleges. This year's CSSC banquet is May 23rd at Kol Tikvah Temple in Parkland.
In addition to raising scholarship funds, five percent of money raised will go to the USA Swimming Foundation.
Swim-A-Thon sponsorships are $500 for gold level, $350 for silver level and $250 for bronze level. Those interested can underwrite or donate in-kind goods and services.