Galen Scott

gscott@weatherforddemocrat.com

It’s not coming from new taxes and it has nothing to do with government grants. The Horseshoe Bend Pool renovation is coming straight from the hearts of regular people.

The summer hot spot for kids in Horseshoe Bend was scheduled to close this year. After 35 years of wear and tear, the pool is in bad shape and no longer considered safe for children.

Horseshoe Bend resident Katherine Brown loves the pool and the kids who used to play in it. With parents at work, Brown said the pool was the only safe place for kids on summer vacation. She was told a new pool would cost $100,000, but the Waco transplant didn’t let that stop her.

“We know what Horseshoe Bend could be,” she said. “This is just a way to show the people out here that if we all pull together, we can do so much.”

In February, Brown organized a casino night to help raise pool repair funds. Horseshoe Bend residents turned out in numbers and around $5,000 was raised, which was more than anyone expected.

But the money was only enough to cover the pool’s most pressing problems.

“We really thought we were going to have to put that money toward the tile and coping as a bandaid,” she said. “There are a lot of things that need to be done, but we just didn’t have the money.”

John Caldwell, the general manager at Claffey Pools’ new Weatherford office, read about the problem in The Weatherford Democrat online.

“One of my guys showed me the article and said, ‘what do you think about this?’” Caldwell recalled. “Once I read it, I was kind of like, well, shoot, we need to help these people out is what I think about it.”

Caldwell started getting in touch with contractors who might be able to help out. He lined up new tile, coping and plaster for the pool for just the cost of materials and labor. He did the same thing for plumbing and tear-out.

“These folks agreed to do it for cost,” he said. “They’re basically donating their profits.”

After several on-site visits from Caldwell and the contractors, estimates for a complete renovation were approaching $20,000. Word got around to Paul and Barb Claffey, the Southlake founders of Claffey Pools, and the family is working out a plan to get the rest of the money.

When she heard about the Claffey’s generous offer on Wednesday, Brown was taken aback.

“That is so much more than I ever hoped for,” she said. “I had to thank my higher power. I’ve really and truly done a lot of praying over this because nothing like this has been done out here in over 20 years.”

Caldwell said the Claffeys are just trying to give back to the community.

“Things have been very good for them and instead of just taking the money and running, they’re giving thanks for their blessings,” he said. “That’s why we do things like this.”

With the Claffey’s help, Brown hopes to pay for the pool’s renovation this year.

“We’re willing to help ourselves, but we just needed a little extra help,” she said.

Caldwell and Brown will be collecting donations at the grand opening of Claffey Pools’ new Weatherford location Saturday, April 5. The office is on U.S. Highway 180/Fort Worth Highway next to Stuart Nursery.

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