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Pool Opened to Give Kids Safe Place to Swim in Danger of Closing

MODESTO-

A popular community pool may have to close because of money woes.

It’s a big splash in town with a big formal name – the Stanislaus County Regional Water Safety Training Center. But, most who keep their cool here just call it the Empire Community Pool.

“I think it’s good community fun,” said Raul Cortez of Modesto.

Either way, all the laughter makes it easy to hear what a good time can be had here.

And it’s all a triumph out of tragedy.

“Now we have a facility that can hopefully help others avoid that, that bad incident that took place,” said Alfredo Guerra with the Stanislaus County Police Activities League.

That “incident” was the death of the three Yepez brothers in 2003; Daniel, Jose and Eloy.

For lack of a safer place to swim, they drowned in the Toulomne River.

Now, from a plaque, their faces watch over the center built in their memory.

The trouble is, the center is now in jeopardy.

The Police Activities League, which helps run the facility, is struggling to find the donations needed to meet the $40,000 annual cost of operations so that families don’t lose out.

Right now it costs just $5 for a family of four to dive in.

“We’re to the point that we need the community to come together to help  us keep this open for the community,” Guerra said.

The Modesto Irrigation District has already stepped in and become a corporate sponsor of the pool.

Additionally, the district’s pledged money goes toward discounting swim lessons for families who need the help.

If you and your business would like to support the center, contact the Stanislaus County Police Activities League. Find them online here