Pot of gold at the bottom of YMCA’s pool
Updated: April 22, 2013 10:08AM
NORTHBROOK — Okay, so it was three days before the 10 a.m. traditional dyeing of the Chicago River on March 16, a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee of Chicago annual spectacle.
But here in Northbrook, the dyeing of the North Suburban YMCA swimming pool, which had been slated for 1:30 p.m. March 13, near the west fork of the north branch of the Chicago River was just as exciting.
“We are the only indoor pool facility that I know in the country that dyes their pool green (for St. Patty’s Day).” said Frank Lenardi, proudly, who also says it doesn’t cost a lot of green to fund the event.
The pool dye is donated. And the materials for events with the green-tinted pool are affordable.
Party Pool! LLC donated 16 bottles (dye can be used in fish tanks), which is basically like a lifetime supply since you don’t need much to dye a pool for a few days.
Lenardi started off with eight ounces of Emerald Green pool dye, (back in 2007) when he first started this Irish jig and gig.
“Yes,” said Lenardi, who finally admitted to the world that it was he who gold coined (in 2007) the idea to dye the NSYMCA swimming pool green.
“We started a mileage club for lap swimmers and we called it the Chicago River Challenge.”
Lenardi, who was recently promoted to NSYMCA senior director of aquatics, camp, and facilities, isn’t one who likes the spotlight.
But when you’re humbly standing at the end of the pool, at the end of the rainbow where kids insist on plastic gold coins to dive too, well, the ending reveals itself.
Fast forward to Sat., March 16 when the “Dive for Gold!” event takes place at 2705 Techny Rd. from 2 - 3:45 p.m. Plastic gold coins will fill the pool to provide some wet fun for participants.
Lenardi will likely add more green before Saturday to deepen the Emerald Isles hue.
The blue pool tone returns naturally as the green filters off after the Dive for Gold! event.
“Everyone has a little bit of Irish in them on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Lenardi, who feels fortunate.
“Very lucky to have this wonderful job and work for this great community,” said Lenardi.