MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Boys & Girls Club West End Branch held a grand opening celebration Friday for its new pool made possible by your donations during our telethon in March!
The club has always had a pool, but it's been 5 years since it was in good enough shape for the kids to swim in it.
“A lot of the equipment that we have inside the pool house is outdated,” explained West End Director Tobarie Burton in March. “So they have definitely a hard time finding parts when we need maintenance done to the pool.”
The work that was needed was not affordable for the Boys & Girls club until WSFA 12 News viewers stepped up. A telethon in March raised nearly $30,000, enough to get the work started.
“Basically, it’s a brand new pool. We got two new pumps, a whole new lining system, new concrete all around, they painted the concrete, plastered the inside of the pool, re-did everything, re-did the pipes and the wiring, new ladders, new steps. The law required us to get new steps, we didn’t have steps when we first came in,” said Rick Jackson, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the River Region.
“It cost us close to $75,000 to get it done,” Jackson estimated. “It probably would have been close to $90,000, but we got donations. Mays Pool Company donated a lot of things to make that happen.”
So the money raised during the telethon didn’t cover everything, but Jackson believes it might be worth more in the long run than the dollar amount.
“That $30,000 did do a lot, that was the bulk of it, that was huge. but it also brought awareness to what we do and what we are.”
The West End Boys & Girls Club serves 250 kids, 6-years-old to 18-years-old, after school and all day during the summer for just $5 a year. It has a clear mission.
“Academic success, character and leadership, and here's the thing - healthy life skills,” Jackson said proudly. “As a part of a being healthy life, swimming and getting exercise in the pool, and getting new experience.”