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Family creates Vale pool fund aims to help area youth

Olympian Bella Sims stands with her grandmother Sherri Hironaka (right) and close family friend Ruth Harada at the Vale City Pool on Aug. 10, 2021. Sims was visiting to talk about her Olympic experience with young swimmers. (The Enterprise/FILE)

VALE – Sherri Hironaka said the idea to start a fundraiser to help youth in town began shortly after her granddaughter, Bella Sims, visited the Vale Pool last summer.

Sims, 16, a member of the U.S. Olympic women’s swim team and a silver medalist, swooped into Vale last August to sign autographs, pose for photos and interact with young local snorkelers.

The event was a success, and not long after Hironaka wondered what she could do to promote swimming.

“We got to thinking about that, about helping kids with swimming passes or lessons,” said . . .