Local News

Kassebaum swims to 30 years of service

This year will mark Bonnie Kassebaum’s 30th as manager of the Hebron pool.
She became the manager two years after serving as lifeguard.
Kassebaum raised three sons in the water and her love for swimming trickled down to at least two grandchildren, who swim competitively.
“I love swimming. I’ve swam all my life,” she said. “My kids lived at the pool and their kids live at the pool.”
Her younger fish want to swim in grandma’s pool. They think she owns the city pool, Kassebaum chuckled.
Each summer, Kassebaum said she has the best of both worlds in working with the older swimmers who serve as her lifeguards and the younger ones, who come to have fun.
Councilman Doug Huber, who was mayor when Kassebaum was hired, said the City of Hebron has been very lucky in retaining her.
“She’s always taken care of the pool and has done a fantastic job over the years. The city has been very lucky to have somebody as dedicated and manages the pool as well as she does,” Huber said.
Huber was involved in the addition of the slide at the pool.
“The city treats me well and the Hebron council backs me every time,” she said.
“People like her,” Huber said.
“The people in Hebron just really respect and appreciate you,” Kassebaum said.
She’s invested a lot of time in the past 30 years, including improving the facilities and adding the slide.
“More importantly, we’ve greatly increased our programming and offered Red Cross swimming lessons for not only Hebron, but also for surrounding communities,” Kassebaum said.
She estimated that in 30 years, she has taught over 2,000 youth how to swim.
Her most cherished memories are of the lifeguards.
“We were able to create a family environment, where we loved spending time at the pool,” she said.
Her “family” has several members now in their 40s, who bring their children to swim.
“For me, it was about working with children and families and getting to impact their lives,” she said.
She said they always try to have the pool ready by Memorial Day and this year is no different.
People don’t realize how much the lifeguards do, Kassebaum said.
She has guards returning from college who will prepare the pool for its season. As part of their prep work, they will paint and scrub and wax the slide.
Kassebaum said her guards will usually return after their first year of college, but some have come back every year until they graduate.

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