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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019
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New Tampa YMCA plans 3rd annual Swim-A-Thon

NEW TAMPA - In Elisha Busby's opinion you can't put a price tag on the value of knowing how to swim. She finds that especially true in the Tampa Palms community where she and her husband recently moved from Missouri with their two children - Grace, 8, and Jacob, 6. "There's water everywhere," Busby said. "I learned quickly that not even knowing how to float was not an option for my children." With that thought in mind she wasted no time in signing up her youngsters for swimming lessons at the nearby New Tampa Family YMCA, 16221 Compton Drive.
The fees, she said, are very affordable and her children's entire learning-to-swim experience has been "wonderful." "It's a place where parents don't have to break their wallets and the program, including the staff and the facility, is incredible," Busby said. Unlike many other such programs that often come with higher price tags, the Y's status as a nonprofit organization keeps the cost of swimming lessons reasonable for most families. In an effort to bring more awareness to the program and have it reach more kids in the area, the New Tampa Y is hosting its third annual Swim-A-Thon on Friday. The first one-hour session starts at 6:30 p.m. followed by the second at 7:30 p.m. Check-in begins at 6 p.m. Participants are asked to collect sponsorships, either as flat donations or based on the the number of pool lengths he or she completes within the allotted time frame. For every $55 raised, a child is given a chance to take a series of swim lessons and learn how to be safe in the water, said Jennifer Berenyi, the New Tampa Y's community development coordinator. "Like with all our programs at the Y, everyone is welcome. There is no specific age range," Berenyi said. In the past two swim-a-thons, ages have ranged from 6 to the late 60s. "This year we even have some water aerobics participants who want to contribute and will be jogging in place for an hour in the pool to raise donations," she said. Jordan Shollenberger, a junior at Freedom High School where he's a member of the swim team, will be returning for the third year in an effort to help raise funds so more children from needy families will have an opportunity to learn to swim. "I really love swimming and I think everyone should get the chance to learn how to swim," Shollenberger said. "It's a wonderful sport that keeps you healthy and out of trouble." Email Berenyi at [email protected] to register for the event and for more information call (813) 866-9622. Joyce McKenzie can be reached at [email protected]
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