The North Carolina Mason

May/June 2018

North Carolina Mason

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Beth Grace photo The Mason Official Publication of e Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Volume 143 Number 3 Oxford, North Carolina May/June 2018 NORTH CAROLINA ■ see SPLASH page 2 Oh, swimming pool! So cold and blue Are you aware That I love you? Your diving board, Your lovely slide … Which is best? I can't decide. On sunny days that never end Oh, swimming pool You're my best friend! By Beth Grace Mason Editor With that recital of a poem from PBS's Arthur show, Grand Master Speed Hallman and the board of the Masonic Home for Children kicked off the official "Make a Splash" pool fundraising campaign to get the kids at Oxford back into the swim of things. e 30-year-old pool has passed its prime (and its dotage) say the experts, and must be replaced. An inspection last year of the pool built in 1988 shows that the shower and pump houses had aged beyond repair, decking was broken, and ladders were permanently discon- nected. It just wasn't safe anymore for the kids and the sad order came: Close the pool. "Nothing is more important to us than the safety and happiness of our kids," says Admin- istrator Kevin Otis. "It was a no brainer – a sad no brainer – that the pool had to be closed." But it won't be gone forever. e MHCO board of directors, led by Chairman Dewey Preslar, joined with MHCO staff and kids on May 11 to kick off the "Make a Splash" campaign to raise $725,000 toward a new pool, a pool house, and add some fun new attrac- tions – including a giant mushroom, a security fence, and a safe new slip- pery slide. Plans call for construc- tion of a six-lane pool with a "beach-type" zero-entry feature, meaning swimmers wade in rather than jump from the shallow end. ere also will be a "splash pad" that takes the place of an old-school baby pool, complete with a mush- room-shaped shower, bubblers and fountains. e new pool house will have an upgraded lifeguard office, disabled- accessible showers and an updated concession stand. e biggest change? e pool itself will be in a new location, closer to parking and administration buildings, which will give swim- mers quicker access to other campus activities. Past Grand Master Preslar, who chairs the MHCO board, says a great effort has gone into planning for the pool to ensure that the home builds the best pool for the best price – and all with safety in mind. "We have been talking about this project for a long time," Preslar told board members, friends and a handful of giggling tiny MHCO residents. "I hardly have words now to say how thrilled we are to launch this campaign and get our kids back into the pool! I give thanks to God for everyone who brought us to this place." Making a splash for a cool pool The kids at MHCO are so excited about their new pool they have already started digging! Make a splash and help make their pool a reality!

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