The Mittleman Jewish Community Center therapy pool has helped many people ease pain and discomfort, made exercise easier and served as physical therapy for injured bodies. Now it is the therapy pool that needs help.

A Silent Auction to benefit the Mittleman Jewish Community Center's therapy pool program is scheduled for April 22, in the center's recently remodeled auditorium. A key part of pool users fund-raising drive to sustain pool operations, the event will feature music by June Howell and the Deadbeat Daddies, with guest singer Rita McDonagh.

In preparation for the event, organizers are asking for donations of auction items such as gifts, services, artwork, trips and packages. All donations are tax-deductible.

Since 1924 the therapy pool has been a place for Portland residents with a disabling condition or injury to maintain health and physical conditioning in the pool's warm waters.

Financial setbacks threatened to close the MJCC in 2004, putting all programs, including the therapy pool, in jeopardy. As a new board of directors worked to restore the building and attract new memberships, pool operations were underwritten for two years. Those funds were exhausted last year, and the pool was again slated for closure. Pool users rallied, raising funds to keep the pool open through August of this year. They are now working to build a sustaining fund for future operations. The auction in April will be an important part of that drive.

Tickets for the event are $36 and include hors d'oeuvres and desserts. All food and drink served will be kosher.

To donate items to the auction or buy tickets, please contact either June Howell, auction chairperson at 503-698-1535 or Pam VanderVeer at 503-246-6526. As auction items are collected they will be posted at

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