Nov. 11 2008 12:00 AM

Gives Back in Atlanta

THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY recently recognized the importance of the International Professional Pond Contractors Association (IPPCA) at its annual humanitarian event, “Ponditat For Humanity.” Since 2006, the association has awarded an “extreme pond makeover,” bringing the aesthetic and restorative properties of a water feature to a deserving pond enthusiast or organization.

This year had a special meaning. The three-day build took place at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite in Atlanta, Georgia, at the end of the summer.

The hospital’s existing pond, which had served as a place of comfort and tranquility for patients and their loved ones for years, was completely rebuilt using the latest technology and equipment to maximize performance and energy efficiency. The new 20'x25', 5,000-gallon pond is dedicated to Jeremy Swartz, a 17-year-old cancer patient, who has been in and out of the hospital receiving care over the last 12 years.

After reading about the Atlanta Koi Club in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jeremy’s father, Stewart Swartz, contacted IPPCA, never imagining that it would lead to the donation of a new pond for the hospital. “My family and I were totally surprised and thrilled to see what has been done with the koi pond. It was a quiet, peaceful place to get away from the busy hospital atmosphere where Jeremy was undergoing treatment, and now it will be even better for the kids and families who find themselves at the hospital.”

Thanks to sponsors like The Dow Chemical Company, The Pond Professional, Atlanta Koi Club and countless others, the hospital now has an intricate and exquisite koi pond, which features a 5'-tall waterfall, 16' spillway, and state-of-the-art performance pro pumps and filtration systems. The Dow Chemical Company donated cases of GREAT - STUFF Pond & Stone Waterfall Foam Filler, as well as hard hats and T-shirts for the volunteers. 03.jpg

More than 25 contractors and as many industry partners and well - wishers came from several states to help build the pond for the hospital. Also in attendance were last year’s pond makeover recipients, Linda and Tony Jones of Danville, Illinois. The couple’s pond was rebuilt to make the area handicap-accessible for Mr. Jones, who had suffered a stroke.

On October 3, the IPPCA donated 15 imported Japanese koi that were released into the pond by several of the children who will benefit from the new area. The new pond is only the beginning. Further improvements are being made to the site at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Plans call for a new courtyard, golf putting area and basketball court, all of which will be handicap-accessible.

“The Dow Chemical Company is honored to contribute to a cause that will bring patients, families and caregivers at the Children’s Health Care of Atlanta at Scottish Rite a place for quiet reflection and repose,” said Jeff Fancher, global brand manager for Dow Building Solutions.“This is our second year as a sponsor and we look forward to participating in future builds.”