Mayor John Hickenlooper and Kaiser Permanente President Donna Lynne announced today that Denver youth ages 17 and younger may use City recreation centers, including swimming pools, for free this summer.
The City waived fees last year and was unable to do so again this year until Kaiser Permanente offered a generous $150,000 donation to help support the program.
Free admission begins Saturday, June 27, and will run through Saturday, Aug. 15. Standard fees will continue to apply for programs and activities that typically are offered at an additional charge.
“It’s time to have some fun in the sun,” Hickenlooper said. “We are delighted to open our recreation centers and swimming pools so kids in Denver can take advantage of the City’s many facilities and programs and stay fit at the same time. We are fortunate to have a great community partner like Kaiser Permanente to make this happen.”
“In this challenging economy, it’s not always easy for families to send their kids to the pool,” said Donna Lynne, DrPH, President, Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “By supporting this free admission program, we want to keep kids healthy and active. Our mission is to improve the health of our community, and we can help by supporting swimming pools and recreation centers.”
Last year, the City offered free access to recreation centers and swimming pools from June 2 to Aug. 17. There were 214,740 visits by youth during that time – an increase of 108,240 visits (98 percent) from the number of visits in 2007.
“We have great programming and events planned for the summer,” said Kevin Patterson, manager of Denver Parks and Recreation. “We look forward to opening our doors for kids to have a safe place for fun and exercise.”
Area recreation centers offer a variety of summer activities, including open swim, basketball, game room and a Food Bank of the Rockies program that offers free food for families. Programs available for a nominal fee include Hoopin’ with Hickenlooper, baseball, t-ball, volleyball and swim lessons.
Opening the recreation centers to all Denver youth this summer complements the My Place program launched in 2008. This program this gives Denver Public Schools students the opportunity for a free one-year membership to their neighborhood recreation center. To date, more than 15,000 kids have taken advantage of that program.
About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state's largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Denver, Boulder, and Southern Colorado area residents for 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to 480,000 members through 17 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. The health plan was recently named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates. It is also the top-ranked commercial and Medicare health plan in Colorado, according to U.S. News & World Report/National Committee for Quality Assurance. In 2008, Kaiser Permanente directed more than $50 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/newscenter.
Mayors Office, Eric Brown
Kaiser Permanente, Lori Call