Grant supports USASF’s efforts to offer free or reduced cost swim lessons
[MARION, IL] – The HUB Recreation Center was recently chosen as one of 151 Make a Splash Local Partner programs in the U.S. to receive grant funding from the USA Swimming Foundation in 2018. The awarded money will go toward the Foundation’s continued efforts to provide free or reduced cost swim lessons to underserved communities around the country.
The USA Swimming Foundation awarded a total of $702,819 to programs across the country that will help provide swim lessons to an estimated 27,239 children, the most distributed since Make a Splash’s inception in 2007.
This was The HUB’s first year applying and receiving the grant. “This funding will allow us to teach more children in our community such an important, life-saving skill at no cost to them,” explained General Manager Chris Georgantas. The HUB is excited to partner with Boyton Street Community Center and Autism Society of Southern Illinois to provide swim lessons for up to 100 Marion children during the month of November.
The HUB Recreation Center offers private, semi-private and group swim lessons to people of all ages, as well as children with cognitive and physical disabilities. “More than 650 individuals learn to swim in our state-of-the-art facility annually,” said Georgantas. “We are also now the proud home of a USA Swim Team, The HUB Marion Manta Rays,” he added. “Our growing aquatics programs continue to be successful under the direction of Aquatics Coordinator Jared King.”
The USA Swimming Foundation vetted over 200 applications through a competitive annual review process and chose 151 programs to receive funding, many of whom are first time Make a Splash grant recipients.
“We are thrilled to be awarding this funding and so proud that it will be used to create a valuable swimming experience for thousands of children who may not have had the opportunity to learn how to swim,” USA Swimming Foundation Executive Director Debbie Hesse said. “These exciting and lifesaving opportunities would not be possible without the support of our USA Swimming Foundation partners and donors, who continue to help us make a difference across this country.”
More than 850 Make a Splash Local Partners in all 50 states promote water safety education in their communities and provide scholarships and transportation for children to participate in their swim lesson programs.
You are invited to attend a press conference on Wednesday, October 24th at 4 p.m. presented by The HUB Recreation Center in collaboration with Marion Mayor Anthony Rinella, Boyton Street Community Center and the Autism Society of Southern Illinois regarding the importance of this grant to the children in our community.
**It is also important to note, the recipients of this grant have already been selected through Boyton Street and Autism Society. We are NOT asking for applicants for the swim lessons.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE USA SWIMMING FOUNDATION’S MAKE A SPLASH INITIATIVE
The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative is a national child-focused water safety campaign, which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. Through Make a Splash, the USA Swimming Foundation partners with learn-to-swim providers and water safety advocates across the country to provide swimming lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim.
The USA Swimming Foundation has invested millions of dollars to provide grants to qualified Local Partner learn-to-swim programs (like yourself), to spread national awareness, and to bring together strategic partners to end drowning.
To date, more than 6 million children have learned the lifesaving skill of swim lessons through the USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partner network, comprised of more than 850 qualified lesson providers across the nation. To learn more, visit www.usaswimmingfoundation.org.