nova power header2
at a

adds $50K
Goal is
by 3/8
thanks to
our donors

Goal: $600,000

Pledges/Gifts through 3/1:

Amount to raise by 3/31: $195,000

% of Goal: 67%
From Drew Hirth, Coach and Manager of Operations

Pay It Forward

I would like to touch on this week's NOVA Power theme of "Pay it Forward" with a unique perspective. 25 years ago, as a 15-year old NOVA swimmer, I helped to play a small role in the collective effort to realize the dream of the NOVA Aquatic Center at Gayton. The relentless level of work that the entire team of parents, staff, and swimmers put into building Pool 1 is a long-lasting and enduring chapter in NOVA's history -- we all continue to reap the benefits today. At the time, my NOVA teammates and I had no idea that everything we saw our parents doing to raise funds, and everything that was asked of us to help the cause, would directly benefit those of you reading this letter - but here we are in 2021!

We are standing at the doorstep of opening a transformational 2nd facility that will carry NOVA into the future. Back in 1996, NOVA needed its own water without the constraints of others dictating when or where the team could practice, and more convenient options. We also wanted a location that was closer to our families and the ability to host meets. All familiar themes today! As a smaller team, investment was needed from all to make this happen. Here is an excerpt from an email I sent to my group last month.

"Through hard work and a lot of fundraising, we opened "Pool 1" at Gayton when I was 16. I remember slapping Pizza Hut menus on apartment doors, checking parent's coats at Silent Auctions, yard sales, wrapping paper... you name it, we did it. My parents served the team and construction effort through Board membership and bridging community connections. We were all on the journey together."   

We are a different organization today but our needs remain the same. NOVA Power is continuing the pursuit of excellence. The benefits that the NOVA family and the community will realize upon Regency's opening this summer will be immediate. My mind wanders to 2046 - 25 years from today. The effort to build, open, and program Regency will touch lives for years to come. The support of NOVA families today will be the foundation for another 25 years of growth - and the next chapter will begin.

Capital Campaign Materials from 1993: Pool of Dreams
Don Farmer
Norman Downey

Pool of Dreams

NOVA’s first Capital Campaign in 1993 was themed “Pool of Dreams.” After losing practice space at local pools, a group of intrepid parents of the 90-person team decided to take charge and build NOVA its own facility. There was no site, no savings, and no credit history – no problem. Many parents stepped forward with their time, talent, and enthusiasm. Don Farmer led the charge and Norman Downey managed design and construction, as well as contributing to fundraising and long-range planning efforts. Gary LeClair opened the doors to potential lending markets. 

NOVA’s efforts to partner with a private school fell through. Don Farmer stated, “As crazy as it may sound, our early failures were blessings in disguise, as they were key in getting us to the pool we ultimately built. If we had been successful early on, NOVA would be sharing pool time with a local school or college. Instead, the club has pools all their own.” In 2005, the second pool on Gayton Road was built.

The most outstanding feature of the Capital Campaign for the first pool at Gayton was 100% parent participation. Everyone was invested in NOVA’s future and gave what they could. Don Farmer said, “When going out to potential contributors we wanted to be able to tell them that 100% of our parents had donated. We felt that we could not ask for someone not directly affiliated with NOVA to contribute unless 100% of our parents were on board. Everyone eventually made a donation.” The effort was boosted greatly by a $50,000 pledge from Ukrops.

Dreams do come true. We thank all of the people before us who made the Pool of Dreams a reality. Now it’s our turn to Pay it Forward.
The Pool of Dreams was dedicated in July 1997.

Janet Evans, the first Olympian to visit NOVA, enjoyed a day-long visit at NOVA and participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Check out the picture on the left: Janet Evans (center) with Clay and Betsy Downey, Meri Page Downey (Melson), John Farmer, and Emily Farmer (Patterson)
First practice at Pool 1: February 1997
We want YOUR NAME on the
NOVA Power Donor Wall
Donate Today!
NOVA donor wall

285 NOVA families and organizations have paid it forward and will be recognized on our NOVA Power Donor wall at the Aquatics Center at Regency. We have 315 spots in total remaining. Don't miss this opportunity to invest in the NOVA natatorium pool and be forever commemorated as a donor.
Ashley and Austin Peat won the drawing for three volunteer hours!

The next drawing will take place on March 5 for $100 to the Virginia Swim Shop. All First Off the Block members, and contributors since February 1, are eligible!