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Work behind renovation of Red Shield pool is celebrated

Red Shield pool celebration

Event at Salvation Army community center recognizes the work that went into raising money for major swimming pool renovation. Deke Farrow/jfarrow@modbee.com
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Event at Salvation Army community center recognizes the work that went into raising money for major swimming pool renovation. Deke Farrow/jfarrow@modbee.com

A celebration of donors and fundraisers who made possible the renovation of the swimming pool at the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Center took place Thursday afternoon.

The 3,578-square-foot pool opened for the season July 8. In June 2015, Stanislaus County Environmental Resources ordered the Red Shield Center to close the pool for a few days to do some plasterwork immediately needed, Salvation Army Corps Lt. Quinton Markham said. Work done this spring – at a cost of about $156,000 – was required before the pool could open this year, Markham said.

“We added some facilities, like a waterslide, that took it up to $238,000,” he said. Among other improvements is a trench drainage system that will prevent problems the pool has had.

“We were able to do this through our own funds we set aside and generous donations from corporations and individuals,” Martin said.

At Thursday’s celebration, Markham thanked the Red Shield Center’s “best friend,” U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, who organized a fundraising basketball game in April that pitted a team composed of himself and other community leaders against a team of Red Shield youth. The game alone raised more than $40,000 for the pool, Markham said.

“Because of the publicity that event inspired,” he said, “in subsequent weeks more donations came in, little by little, eventually totaling over $269,000.”

Denham on Thursday thanked other community leaders who assisted with the effort, including Jeremiah Williams, chairman of the Community Action Coalition of Stanislaus County; Modesto City Council members Mani Grewal and Doug Ridenour; Stanislaus County Supervisor Terry Withrow; Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen; Assemblyman Adam Gray; and Merced County Supervisor Daron McDaniel.

Before the pool gate was opened Thursday to let eager Red Shield youth cool off, Markham told the audience that the center is far from finished with improvements. Work ahead will include a safe and controlled entry point at the main gate, expanded restrooms that will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, expanded kitchen and food storage areas to improve the quality of food service to youth, and improvements to the recreational fitness space, the child care area and the teen drop-in center.

Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327

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