Valley Swim Club Bankrupt After Racial Controversy

By Karen Araiza
|  Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009  |  Updated 8:05 AM EDT
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"I'm Going After Them!"

NBC Philadelphia

The campers from Creative Steps did get offers to swim from other area pools.

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Swim Club President Talks: Gives Apology

"We deeply regret this whole situation," said Valley Swim Club president John Duesler to throngs of reporters on July 10.

"I'm Going After Them!"

The mother of a day camper threatens to go after two teachers -- also swim club members -- who mom claims accused her 12-year old of stealing.
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The Valley Swim Club says it's bankrupt. If the name rings a bell, it's the all-white private suburban swim club accused of discrimination this past summer after telling a group of city kids -- most of them black -- that they could no longer use the pool.

Valley Club president John Duesler filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Those court documents show  the club's assets are between $1 million and $10 million. Liabilities are estimated at $100,000 to $500,000.

"Despite our most ambitious efforts and countless hours of dedication towards the club, we have been unable to grow our membership enough to sustain The Valley Club any longer,” Duesler said in an email last week to members.

Children from the Creative Steps day camp paid to swim at the Huntington Valley club each Monday during the summer. During their first outing, two children told their camp director that they overheard racial comments by women at the pool who both happened to be teachers at the same Philadelphia school the children attended.

Duesler refunded the money to the group after explaining to the camp director that there were concerns about overcrowding -- not enough lifeguards to keep a safe watch over all the kids.

When the camp director pubhlically challenged the club about the reason the children could no longer swim there, Duesler issued a statement with the comment that catapulted the story into the national spotlight -- "There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion...and the atmosphere of the club."

The state's Human Rights Commission is investigating discrimination complaints.

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