VRA awards 'swimmerships'

The Valley Recreation Association (VRA) is pleased to announce that

it awarded $488 in "swimmerships" to lower Valley residents earlier

this month.

"We believe everyone in the Valley should have the opportunity

to swim safely," said VRA board president Jeff Spencer. "That's why we

offered these swimmerships."

He added that opportunities for swimming are plentiful in the

Valley, "but river swimming isn't very safe, and when fall and winter roll

around, residents of the lower Valley need to drive to North Bend,

Issaquah, Redmond or Bellevue for swimming opportunities."

According to Spencer, the VRA hopes to build a swimming pool

and recreation center in Duvall or Carnation if the marketing research shows

a pool can support itself.

Between now and the opening of a local pool, the VAR

offered swimmerships to encourage Valley residents to swim. Examples

include a donation of $100 to the Sno-Valley Senior Center to support their

aqua-aerobics program for Valley seniors.

Two and one-half-year-old Jonathan England also received

a swimmership to pay for lessons at R&R Swimming. His mother,

Kacie, said she is passionate about two things: "No one should litter, and

everyone should know how to swim."

The three McCaig children - David, Frances and Bethany -

each received swimmerships. David and Frances swim competitively

and coaching and swim meet entry fees add up quickly. Their younger

sister, Bethany, is likely to follow in their footsteps as her swimming

improves this year.

Their mother, Carol McCaig, also received a $100 award; she was

the only adult to apply for a swimmership. The McCaig family swims at the

Pro Club in Bellevue.

"In our opinion, the association is striving for something for the

Valley, which is desperately needed," Carol wrote in thanks to the VRA. "To

know how to swim is a lifesaving (yours or someone else's) skill that no

child should be denied."

"A swimming pool can only benefit our community. It gives

something for everyone - be it a 2 ½-year-old learning water skills or an

octogenarian swimming laps to stay supple and balanced."

"We hope to provide swimmerships again next year,"

said Spencer. "And we hope more people will join us in our effort to create

a safe, healthy swimming facility here in the Valley."

For more information about the Valley Recreation Association,

write to P.O. Box 522, Carnation, WA, 98014, call Spencer at (425)

333-4254, or e-mail

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