CLARENDON, TX (KFDA) - Splashing around and diving into the community pool is a summertime tradition for many.
However, one Panhandle city has been missing that.
"Most people don't know but Clarendon has never had a public swimming pool," said Sandy Skelton, Mayor of Clarendon.
Thanks to a challenge in July 2015, the city started on track to finally get that pool.
"An anonymous benefactor said he wanted to put up $500,000 for a public swimming pool," said Skelton. "And the only catch was that we had to match the $500,000."
Accepting that challenge, the city hit the ground running, getting nearly $1.7 million in funding from the benefactor, foundations, community members and more.
Most recently, Texas Parks and Wildlife awarded them $500,000, getting them much closer to their overall goal of $2.1 million to build the pool.
"It was a fairly lengthy application process to show that our project qualified for all of the requirements of Texas Parks and Wildlife grant proposal," said David Dockery, City Administrator in Clarendon.
The project has involved much of the community in Clarendon, from businesses and big benefactors to children, like 9-year-old Ella and 11-year-old Ben.
"I have two kids that are very excited about this project," said Roger Estlack, Secretary of the Clarendon Economic Development Corporation. "They had a lemonade stand and sold fruit and did some other things and contributed about two hundred dollars to the project. They were actually the first people to donate cash."
City officials say this public pool will be good for the community and economic development in Clarendon.
"It just overall improves the amenities we have to offer in Clarendon and that brings more people to town," said Estlack.
"Providing the community with recreational opportunities for people of all ages and all abilities," said Dockery.
To make a donation to the city's pool project, you can call the city at 806-874-3438 or mail a donation to the City of Clarendon at P.O. Box 1089, Clarendon, TX 79226.
The city hopes to have the pool completed and open by next year, or by summer 2020 at the latest.