Alumni encouraged to reflect on swimming pool days

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Amy (Eglseder) Clefisch, former lifeguard, is leading almuni efforts for the Wave of the Future Campaign. Her late brother, Dustin, was also a lifeguard and is pictured here with members of a Guttenberg diving team. From left are the late Travis Bolsinger and former lifeguards Ryan Eichten, Coach John Schutz, Nick Sadewasser and the late Dustin Eglseder. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Former lifeguard and Guttenberg High School graduate Amy (Eglseder) Clefisch is leading alumni efforts for the Wave of the Future. From its opening in 1970 to 2016, the Guttenberg Swimming Pool has employed 94 youth in its basket room, concession stand and guard chairs. 

“During our high school years, [the Guttenberg pool] taught us the value of hard work, starting our days before 8 a.m. for swim lessons and finishing after 11 p.m. for pool parties,” said Clefisch, describing the experiences she and her late brother Dustin Eglseder had as life guards. “It gave us friendships to last a lifetime, friends that later in life stood up for us at my wedding. It kept us out of trouble – for the most part,” she grinned. 

Clefisch now lives in Ely with her husband, John, a Garnavillo native, and their two children, five-year-old Nolyn and two-year-old Gracie. Both take swimming lessons in Guttenberg, either privately or during time spent with one of their three local sets of grandparents. John and Amy also have a second home in Guttenberg where they spend many weekends. 

“We want our kids to spend time here with their grandparents and have the opportunity to experience the small-town feel. They’re going to go to a school in Cedar Rapids with 6,000 students in the district,” Clefisch explained.

The pool that has served so many families like hers in its 40-year life-span is now losing 10-12,000 gallons of water a day.  For comparison, a single gasoline tanker holds 8-9,000 gallons. “A household using 10,000 gallons of water a day would pay $2,510 per month, and for 12,000 gallons would pay $3,000 per month,” said Debbie Eulberg, General Government officer for the City of Guttenberg. 

“The pool is a community asset, it’s a county asset, and if we don’t do anything Guttenberg will not have a pool and that’s a sad thing to think about in a river town,” said Wave of the Future committee co-chair Bec Knudtson. 

For that reason, Clefisch is reaching out to fellow swimming pool alumni through social media to share information, answer questions and work on fundraising. Her alumni Facebook page can be found at, and she also plans to use Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other forms of social media to make contact with alumni near and far.  

“A lot of people have asked us to do an alumni event,” Clefisch told The Press. Those interested in planning such an event or helping the cause in any way should contact Clefisch via the Guttenberg Pool Staff Alumni – Wave of the Future Campaign Facebook page. 

Clefisch works for Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, where she manages community relations and corporate charitable giving. “I review grants that we receive both on a national scale in addition to grants for the communities where we have facilities. Having this direct connection to our communities helps me see the power of both volunteer efforts that we can provide and the importance of investing in our communities for the future financially.”

She reminds people that meaningful donations are not always financial. “I always encourage individuals to think of three ways they can give back or pay it forward; they can give the gift of their time, the gift of their talents, or the gift of their treasures,” she said. “I also encourage fellow Guttenberg pool staff alumni to reflect on the memories built, work ethic gained, and friendships they built and consider investing in the future of this community.”

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