Swim center remembers Gardnerville's diamond cutter

They're dedicating the indoor pool at the Carson Valley Swim Center to former East Fork Swimming Pool District Board member Leonard Ludel 11 a.m. May 17.

Fellow board member Garry den Heyer said he has been working on the getting the pool named after Len, who died July 13, 2008, in honor of the center's 20th anniversary.

Leonard was a key figure in the construction of the center, located in Minden.

Garry said he is proud to have known Ludel.

"I was born in Amsterdam, and it made me proud to know there were only two diamond-cutting schools in the world, one was in Gardnerville and the other was in Antwerp," he said. "That always made me very proud."

Len opened the American School of Diamond Cutting in Gardnerville in 1967.

In addition to Len and Garry, Cliff Grady, Judy Williams, Skip Pardee and Andy Burnham served on the board that built the center, director Kirk Ciapella said.

The swim center will be having a big party for their 20th, with free admission all day and free hot dogs. Kirk said there will be a free masters workout in order to build an appetite in the morning, tours of the center, including the new fabric sun shelters and picnic tables in the back. They'll have kayak, water polo, dive demonstrations and a big splash competition.

Both Gov. Jim Gibbons and County Manager T. Michael Brown have issued similar challenges in these hard times. Gibbons told Valley residents that his 3,000-page budget is online and suggested people go through it and make suggestions.

The county's budget is online as well, at www.douglascountynv.gov. County commissioners will talk about their budget for the last time on May 18. The governor's budget is at http://budget.state.nv.us/.

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