YMCA SPLASH Program

The Wapakoneta Breakfast Optimist Club (WBOC) has worked with the Wapakoneta Family YMCA on their “SPLASH Program”.  Long serving WBOC member Andy Carter is  the chairman of this project.

The WBOC’s involvement with the SPLASH program began in June of 2006. The program was begun to teach young kids how to be safe around water and also to teach them some basic skills such as floating, beginning strokes, etc.

A youth learning to swim. It's hard to tell if she's thrilled or scared!
A youth learning to swim. It’s hard to tell if she’s thrilled or scared!

The WBOC board at that time offered $1,000 to support the program. We also supply some volunteers to get in the water to help the YMCA instructors with the kids during that week. Our contribution has risen to $1200 for the 2015 session. Total funding for the SPLASH program by the club exceeds $10,000.

From the Wapakoneta YMCA page about the SPLASH program:

This week of free swim lessons in early June is for beginning swimmers only.  Children will learn basic swimming skills, water safety and character development values.  All children receive a T-shirt and a healthy snack after each swim lesson.  Open family swim and a cookout are offered on the last night of the program.  Look for information on SPLASH in the Spring Program Brochure.  This event is sponsored by the Wapakoneta Breakfast Optimist Club.

 

WBOC President Lonnie Pederson happily presents a check to the Wapak YMCA for $1,200!
WBOC President Lonnie Pederson happily presents a check to the Wapak YMCA for $1,200!

In 2014, sixty kids were part of the SPLASH program. Sarah Finkelmeier, senior program director, spoke about the importance of the program:

“A lot of people can’t afford swim lessons quite honestly, and it’s so important,” Finkelmeier said. “Drowning is, I believe, the fifth unintentional cause of death in the United States. There’s so many kids and adults that don’t know how to swim and it’s such an important skill that you know could be life saving and life changing. Having the funding from them and the extra hands in the water to help out is very important.” (Read full story at wapakdailynews.com)

The WBOC looks forward to continuing to work with the YMCA on this project!