EVEN BEFORE THE Crofton Swim and Tennis Club had a pool, the club had a swim team. Local Realtor Sam Powell was the team's first coach and remembers practicing at the Waugh Chapel pool until the Crofton facility was finished in August 1971.
Launching a new team, Powell remembers, was sometimes difficult. But it was a rewarding and enjoyable experience. The young swimmers had a lot of fun and were dedicated to building a strong team.
This year, the Crofton Aquatics Team, affectionately known as CATS, is celebrating its 30th year of competition.
Coach John Wagner, whose wife, Jane Ann, was a CATS swimmer, thought it would be fun to celebrate the traditions and accomplishments of the team over the years. With that in mind, he has organized a swim team reunion at the Crofton Swim and Tennis Club pool from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday.
Alumni swimmers, parents and families are invited to join in the fun. Former swim coaches Ken Barsa and Gary Carpenter plan to attend. And several other "old-timers" plan to come and share memories. Just bring pictures or other memorabilia, and an appetizer to share - keeping in mind that the pool does not allow glass containers.
The event will begin with a social hour, followed by water activities and a chance to reminisce.
One memory is sure to be brought up:
In 1985, after winning the Central Maryland Swim League championship, the team organized a time capsule, including such items as swim caps, the yellow time cards recording swimmers' performances and the swim meet results.
The capsule was buried on the club grounds, commemorating the team's defeat of its arch-rival, the Padonia Swim Club Poohs.
For a long time, a "gravestone" marked the spot, with the legend, "Here lie the Padonia Poohs, coming to Crofton only to lose."
Even the youngest swimmers used to love to walk over to that site and giggle at the spooky sign, while they dreamed of their own days of swimming glory to come.
Unfortunately, a few years ago, the "gravestone" was leveled during grading of the club grounds. Ever since then, the rumors have flown. Is the time capsule still there? At the reunion party, CATS alumni will find out.
For more information about the CATS team or the party, contact the pool office at 410-721-0699 or Rosemarie Goodwin at 410-721-0447.
The Lions meet tonight
The Odenton Lions Club will meet at 7 p.m. at Perry's Restaurant in Odenton, planning some programs, including a Peace Poster contest for children.
Vision-related programs are a primary focus of Lions Club community service activities. Membership chair Marlene Stivers reports that the club is organizing a used eyeglasses collection campaign to help provide them for needy people in developing countries.
In our own area, many people find it difficult to afford proper eye care, which may not be covered by their health insurance. The Lions Club works with local businesses to help provide eyeglasses to children whose families cannot afford them.
To raise money for such efforts, the Lions Club is organizing a spaghetti supper and silent auction fund-raiser for July 22 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Becknel Avenue in Odenton.
The silent auction will begin at 4 p.m., with bids closing at 6 p.m. Among the items being offered are free nights at local hotels, free restaurant meals, an autographed picture of Baltimore Oriole B. J. Surhoff, and tickets to area attractions including the Maryland Science Center. Dinner will be served beginning at 5 p.m. with a cost of $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 11-16. Children under 10 years of age will eat for free.
For more information about the Lions Club or its fund-raiser, call Stivers at 410-672-6032.