Summer is just around the corner for the city of Ashland, and with it comes the opening of the Ashland Optimist Club pool. Soon, kids and parents will be escaping the hot sun with a refreshing swim and impressing friends with their jumps off of the diving board as if winter had never happened.

But, fall and winter came and went, forcing the pool to be shut down and opened back up again. The work to get the pool up and running for the start of summer is left to the pool board, run by members of the community. Missy Warner Bonderer, a pool board member and Ashland resident, was charged with the task of making the pool look better as to attract more people.

Matthew, her 20-year-old son and graduate of Southern Boone County High School, recognized the number of projects needed to be done at the pool. A month’s worth of work had already been put into the various projects and more still needed to be done.

He reached out to friends and members of his campus ministry at the University of Missouri, Chi Alpha, to enlist help. On May 15 and 16, a group from the ministry got their hands dirty.

Over the two days, Matthew and his friends, accompanied by his brother Chris and even some lifeguards, completed various projects, such as draining rain water out of the pool and power washing and repainting the bathrooms. They put in an afternoon of work each day, and while they didn’t complete every task needed for the pool opening, they significantly lightened the load on the lifeguards and pool board members. None of them had a previous connection to the city of Ashland.

“Just Matt. Love him and love his family,” Aaron Banks, a member of the ministry, said.

~ Find out more in today’s Journal ~

By Briley Eilers