Free Lessons and Swimsuits Prepare Northside Citizens for Swim Safety

By Lynn Jones – According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the overall drowning rate for blacks was 1.4 times higher than rates for whites. Disparities were greatest in swimming pools, with swimming pool drowning rates among blacks aged 5–19 years 5.5 times higher than those among whites in the same age group. This disparity was greatest at ages 11–12 years; at these ages, blacks drown in swimming pools at 10 times the rate of whites.

The Johnson Family YMCA on Cleveland Rd will be able to assist in the fight to decrease the disparaging numbers with a receipt gift of $5,ooo from Grainger Supply Company to help teach Northside youth how to swim.

Grainger Executives previously attended an on campus nutritional class and was impressed with the testimonials and facility programs, which prompted the company to award YMCA the grant.

The funds were awarded to The Shawn D. Delifus Foundation, which was founded and named in his honor by his mother and father Daniel and Joyce Delifus.

Shawn was a 2003 graduate of Raines Senior High School and a swimming enthusiast who was among the top swim coaches in the nation. He passed away at the age of 30 in 2016.  To support Shawn’s passion, the foundation collaborated with YMCA to offer a swimming instruction course for families. The swim classes were dedicated to delivering quality professional instructions to low and moderate income families in addition to youth education and nutrition.

Another exciting part of last weeks grant award ceremony was the contribution of 1,000 swimsuits to the program. The swimwear was donated  by Presbyterian Social Ministries and provided to the community.  The public is invited to retrieve the 500 surplus swimsuits free of charge from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday August 3rd.

To receive swim lesson, swimsuits and for more information contact the Johnson Family YMCA at (904) 765-3589.


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