BORON, Calif — In April, 23ABC brought you the story of the small town of Boron and their goal to raise money to refurbish their community pool. With the help from cities throughout Kern County, Boron has moved closer to their goal, but they still have a ways to go.
“The community has rallied in a way that I have never seen before,” Mary Beth Garrison, External Affairs Manager for Rio Tinto U.S Borax said.
Over the past month, the small town of Boron has been raising money to refurbish its community pool, and thanks to the residents of Kern County, Boron is well on its way towards its goal.
“It means so much to us here in this little town,” Jerry Gallegos, a Boron Resident said.
The pool has been the center of the community for nearly 50 years but has now become outdated and un-swimmable for the children in Boron.
“For kids and teens, it has been really hard for all of us to get together in the summer because it is so hot out, and lately there hasn’t been any ‘oh hey let’s go to the pool’," Jason Richardson, Junior at Boron Junior-Senior High School said.
For many students, including high school senior Shayla Smith, the pool holds a special place in their hearts, as well as memories that will last the rest of their lives.
“Growing up, we spent every summer there, meeting with friends, hanging out, learning how to swim there, teaching kids how to swim there, so having this pool is very very nice for the town,” Smith said.
This is why the students of Boron Junior-Senior High School decided to hold their own fundraiser to help the cause, with the school's principal promising that he will shave his head if the students raised $1500 dollars. With just 250 students at the school, they raised over $2,000.
“The fact that we were able to raise that much money was truly inspiring for all of us and seeing our principal shave his head, that was definitely a great help for the cause,” Smith said.
And, the class that raised the most money, well, that title went to the 7th graders. With just 30 students in their class, they raised over $600.
“I thought the juniors were going to win but somehow we pulled through and we raised our money for this pool, it’s amazing,” Bella Job, 7th grade Class President said.
Boron has raised just over $40,000 and while Rio Tinto will be matching every dollar the community raises, the town still has a ways to go to reach its $65,000 goal.
“I hope next year we are swimming in that pool,” Gallegos said.
If you would like to help out and donate to help refurbish the Boron local pool, you can do so at boronalive.org.