Waterfront: June 2009

Start Your Engines

NASCAR's No. 33 gets a new look

Daytona 500 champion Kevin Harvick's No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet got a facelift recently, debuting a new "Hot Water Heaven" design. The new design is the first in a series promoting specific Rheem products throughout the racing season.

On Oct. 10, in Fontana, Calif., No. 33 will showcase a design featuring Rheem's line of high-efficiency swimming pool and spa heaters from Raypak. And a car touting eco-friendly Rheem solar water and spa heating products will debut on Nov. 14, in Phoenix.

The new paint schemes are a part of a larger national campaign to build consumer awareness of the economic and ecological advantages to be found in the whole suite of Rheem water- and air-comfort products, says the company.

Giving Back

APSP chapter donates pool

A bit over a month into his tour of duty, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Brian Brennan, a 24-year-old Howell, N.J., resident, was severely injured from an IED explosion under the Humvee he was riding in. As a result, both of Lt. Brennan's legs were amputated, and he has spent several months in rehabilitation therapy in Florida and Washington, D.C.

When the Metro Chapter of the APSP was invited to speak at a luncheon hosted by the Association of Code Enforcement Officials in Central New Jersey last November, APSP members were told Lt. Brennan's story and about how the association had built a 1,000-square-foot handicapped-accessible apartment at the Brennan's home.

The hosts asked the president of the APSP Metro Chapter if it would consider donating a pool to complete the project, and Bob Blanda said yes, appointing Steve Gorlin, president of Gorlin Pools and Spas in Lakehurst, N.J., as committee chairman.

"The outpouring of support from the Metro New York-New Jersey Chapter members has been overwhelming," says Gorlin. "Every day we are adding another member company to our list of donors, and the pool project that was first estimated at $40,000 has become a $70,000 donation. Anyone who hears Lt. Brennan's story is moved and motivated to become part of this exciting project."

The pool, which will be 4- to 8-feet deep, will include perimeter bench seats to allow Lt. Brennan to easily pull himself up from the water, as well as a lift for easier access, although he may not use it too much.

"Brian is not interested in having anything that symbolizes a disability," says Gorlin. "It is incomprehensible to imagine what he has been through, but he plans to use the pool as yet another tool to continue his rehabilitation, to help him strengthen his upper body to improve his ability to walk with prosthetic legs."

Lt. Brennan currently receives weekly aquatic therapy, learning how to swim with and without his prosthetics. He plans to work with a hometown aquatic therapist this summer in his own pool.

"I just want to be able to do everything with prosthetics that I was able to do before the injury," says Lt. Brennan. "I'm so excited and grateful that the new pool will help me reach this goal even faster.

"It's hard to put into words what this gift from so many people really means to me."

Visual Inspiration

Pool and spa project-themed book pulls out all the stops

The Al Fresco Life, by Joe Vassallo and Mary Vail of Paragon Pools, is a great resource to garner inspiration for perfect backyard oases. The book is filled with numerous photographic examples of pool design concepts Vassallo has incorporated into Paragon projects.

The book touches on such topics as timeless design with modern materials, nature-inspired design, home hydrotherapy and incorporating such features as vanishing edges, waterfalls, fire and complementing outdoor casual furniture.

The Al Fresco Life also dedicates a section to a backyard's "Culinary Corner," showcasing outdoor kitchens that could compete with any indoor design. And what makes any outdoor kitchen complete? The perfect recipe, of course. Vassallo and Vail included recipes from Master Chef Gustav Mauler and a few tropical drink recipes from mixologist Shawn Barker.

The Al Fresco Life is a great visual source of creative and inspiring project ideas. From simple to complex, it covers the gamut of designs.

Starry, Starry Night

New Zealand entrepreneurs bring Japanese onsen home

While a trip to New Zealand may be out of the question for many in the United States, this may make you want to put it on a list of "Life's To Do's." Hot Tubs Omarama in Omarama, Canterbury, New Zealand, offers guests the ultimate in relaxation: soaking in chemical-free, fresh mountain water in your own private tub overlooking the vast High Country sky.

The water comes from snow and glacial melt water from Mount Huxley that flows into the Ahuiriri River. Visitors have the chance to treat themselves to the "kiwi version of a Japanese onsen set in the midst of the South Island's iconic High Country," says Jan Thomas, co-owner.

Whether you like cool water in the summer or steaming water in winter, or soaking in some sunshine or under the moonlight, Hot Tubs Omarama is versatile enough for anyone's tastes.

The Canadian western red cedar tubs are located on private settings featuring their own changing rooms and showers. The Douglas fir wellness pods feature a tub and private sauna.

Hot Tubs Omarama is open year-round and well into the night. Got your bags packed yet?

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