Retailer Spotlight: Poolin’ Around

When John Hayes purchased Goodman’s Jewelers from Bob and Irwin Goodman in 1998, he embraced
the Goodman brothers’ commitment to the community.
Retired and out of the
jewelry business, the brothers created the Goodman Foundation that same year to
fund special projects in Madison, Wisc., including a $3 million public pool,
named the Goodman Pool, which opened on June 10, 2006. This week’s Retailer
Spotlight shines on Hayes for continuing the brothers’ legacy.

A sign thanks Goodman’s Jewelers for letting 500 people swim free on
Goodman Day.

Last year, to
celebrate the fourth anniversary of the pool’s opening, and to honor the memory
of the Goodman brothers (both of whom died last year), Hayes declared June 10
“Goodman Day” (when the first 500 people swim for free). Public reaction was so
positive that Hayes decided to do it again this year. During a ceremony last
week to mark the pool’s fifth anniversary, Hayes declared “Goodman Day” an
annual event.  

However, unseasonably
cold and rainy temperatures in June forced Hayes to reschedule the event. “We
decided it would be best to postpone the June 10 free day to July 1,” says
Hayes. “As it worked out, there were clear skies and hot temperatures – perfect
weather for a day at the pool.”

Clear skies and hot temps: the perfect weather for a day at the public

The fifth
anniversary of Goodman Pool, the only public pool serving Madison’s
233,000-plus residents, was a big deal. Madison’s Mayor Paul Soglin was on hand
to commemorate Goodman Day as was Parks Superintendent Kevin Briski.

With the city’s mayor in attendance and local news outlets
looking for feel-good stories during the slow news days of summer, Goodman Day
received a lot of local media attention.

John Hayes addresses eager swimmers.

The pool opened
at 12:30 pm on July 1. Hayes estimates that roughly 1,000 people queued up for
a chance to swim for free. 

The Goodman Foundation
provides funds for many public park and recreations projects, including free
swimming lessons for underprivileged children to receive. The Foundation has
also funded the Goodman Campus, a 40-acre farm with an aquatic center. Foundation
funds were also donated to the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s women’s
softball team for their playing filed, appropriately named The Goodman

The Madison Swim Team sponsored by the Goodman Foundation.