Industries has donated $150,000 to the city of Newark, N.J. The
funds will keep all six municipal pools open through the third week
of August, allowing residents to enjoy free swimming through the
end of the summer season.
After hearing a radio news story about Newark’s financial
struggles, Hayward’s CEO Robert Davis contacted the city to
determine the overall cost of keeping the pools open.
Hayward’s executive board agreed that the company was in a
position to help. The donation was announced at a public press
conference on July 29.
“We were very pleased to help out,” said Stuart Baker,
vice president of business development at the Elizabeth, N.J.-based
firm. “Swimming pools are our core business, so there was
some alignment there. We were very happy to help give the kids
another month’s worth of swimming.”
One of the East Coast’s major manufacturing and
transportation centers, Newark has seen its share of financial
struggles in years past. With the 2006 election of Mayor Cory
Booker, the city’s economy began to show signs of revival,
but the recession brought its share of new challenges.
“They had really been forced into some ‘unfortunately
creative’ decisions, as Mr. Booker put it; and part of that
included early closure of the pools,” Baker explained.
This isn’t the first time Davis has pitched in on a
charitable gift. “The Davises are — very quietly
— big givers to various organizations,” said Mike
Massa, Hayward’s vice president of sales.
Massa hopes this donation will make the summer heat more tolerable
for Newark’s residents, many of whom have come to depend on
the pools. “On a hot summer day, people line up before they
open the doors,” he said. “They get as many as 10,000
people coming through [one facility] in a day, and they’ll
spend their entire day there because it’s their only way of