Government studies show that one in every 10 Americans over the age
of 12 is addicted to alcohol or drugs — a number roughly
equal to the population of Texas. Yet only 11 percent receive
Ken McKenna Sr. was one of the more fortunate ones.
In 2006, he realized he needed help for a three-year alcohol
addiction, triggered by a nasty divorce. A month later the founder
of Tampa Bay
Pools, a Pool & Spa News Top Builder in Florida, emerged from rehab
feeling renewed and ready for a new approach to life.
“The day I sought treatment was the day my personal war with
alcohol ended,” McKenna says. “I finally surrendered to
win. I see things entirely differently now; my resentments are
gone. ... My marriage could not be better. I’m thankful to
God for all He has given me.”
To show his gratitude for the help he received in his time of need,
McKenna now sits on the board of directors for the Women’s Resource
Center of Tampa. The organization provides counseling, shelter,
food, clothing and assistance, all free of charge, to anyone who
needs a helping hand.
“It’s important to give back to those people who need
our help now, especially in this down economy,” McKenna
Currently, the center serves more than 150 families a month, a
number that continues to grow.
“I have met many of these individuals, and my heart goes out
to them,” McKenna says. “I even accompanied a woman to
court to get a restraining order on an abusive husband, solely to
calm her fears.”
With so many demands on its resources, WRC is in need of help
itself. Approximately 80 percent of the center’s budget comes
That’s where McKenna comes in. Besides being the chairman of
the board at Tampa Bay Pools — his sons now run day-to-day
operations — he chairs WRC’s annual fund-raising golf
Last year, there were 108 golfers and $19,000 was collected. The
2010 event was scheduled for Oct. 29, and McKenna hopes to top the
previous year’s figures.
He also participates in other benefits for WRC. Last year, it was a
dinner mystery show. “People said I should play a don because
of the way I talk and look,” McKenna says with a laugh.
“So I played a mafia godfather in the 1940s, and my wife was
a gun moll.” His firm sponsored two tables for $1,500.
But that’s not all. “As a company, we feel the
community has been very good to us, and it’s only fair that
we give back a little wherever we can,” McKenna says. So
Tampa Bay Pools also sponsors Little League, a junior football
team, a soccer team and even a cheerleading club — and it
donates money to other civic groups.
“I cannot tell you the feeling you receive when you help your
fellow man,” McKenna says, “especially when your
motives are right.”