The Spirit of the Season

By Jim McCloskey

Just a month ago, I wrote in this space about the generosity of a group of watershapers and landscape designers who planted a park in a Rochester, N.Y., neighborhood that definitely needed a boost.  Ever since, it seems, I have kept running into reports of genuine, aquatically related community spirit.

In many cases, for example, threatened closures of public swimming pools have been averted through donations by individuals and businesses in their communities.  Local governments, strapped for the cash to pay for anything other than essential services, have seemed all too willing to save money by closing down pools (or shutting off fountains or idling interactive waterfeatures), thereby making cool fun harder to come by during the hot summer months.

Wherever and whenever this bureaucratic thickheadedness can be overcome, by whatever means, it is truly great news.

And speaking of great news, on July 3 as I prepared to head out the door for a long holiday weekend with my family, I received a call alerting me to the imminent arrival of a press release about a program by the Greater Houston Chapter of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP).  Called “Dive into Recovery,” it is an annual award that uses the resources of member firms to build swimming pools for families in need. 

The first recipient was the family of Daniel Ebarb, a wounded veteran.  After he graduated from West Point, former First Lieutenant Ebarb was on duty in Iraq when he was shot by an armor-piercing bullet that penetrated the base of his neck and lodged near his spinal cord, causing paralysis. 

According to Ebarb, being able to exercise in a pool gives him a new outlook on life. “One thing that is harder to do is to get a good cardio workout.  My body doesn’t regulate heat anymore, so being able to get into a pool to exercise is an amazing experience for me,” he says.  “It also makes me feel more like myself and mobile.”

Congratulations to those in the APSP chapter who make this worthwhile program possible with donations of time, products and labor. They include Adams Tile and Coping, Advanced Concrete Designs, AquaCal, Best Clean Up, Custom Electric, GDL Services, Hayward, Jandy, Muniz Decking, Age Rebar, Pentair, Platinum Pools, Prestige Gunite, R.D. Pool Plumbing, Statewide Contracting, Rainbow Construction and Uno Pool Plastering.  (This list was provided by the chapter; if any names have been left out, my apologies.) 

Here’s hoping these companies and all the other individuals and businesses associated with this type of charitable effort will continue to support such programs for many years to come!

Are you involved in efforts of the charitable variety?  If so, why not let others know with a comment or note below?

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