Posted on 08/17/2016 at 09:56 AM by YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Participants in the 28th annual YMCA Bill Reichardt Golf Classic on August 22 are raising funds to support local YMCA youth programs – including one based at the John R. Grubb Community YMCA that teaches water safety to Des Moines public school students
DES MOINES, Iowa – (Aug. 17, 2016) – Summer is the season for fundraising golf tournaments. At most of these events, participants receive a shirt or a visor, maybe even a goodie bag filled with golf-related items they can use.
The 28th annual YMCA Bill Reichardt Golf Classic, presented by Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, is different. For one thing, the participant gifts at the August 22 event aren’t golf-related. They’re swimsuits – children’s swimsuits, to be exact. What’s more, the golfers don’t even get to keep them.
The swimsuits serve as reminders of the tournament’s purpose: raising funds to support youth programs at the John R. Grubb Community YMCA. One such program is Safety Around Water, offered in cooperation with the Walnut Creek Y, the South Suburban Y and several Des Moines schools. This free program helps elementary-aged students – some of whom have never been in a pool before – stay safe and feel confident in the water.
That’s where the swimsuits come in. Many of the children in the Safety Around Water program don’t own swim attire, which makes them feel intimidated by their surroundings. Thanks to supporters of the YMCA Bill Reichardt Golf Classic, approximately 200 swimsuits will be made available free of charge to kids participating in the Y’s Safety Around Water programs. Dressed appropriately for the pool, these students will be able to adjust to the water more quickly and focus on developing skills that could save their lives or the lives of others.
Each golfer taking part in this year’s Bill Reichardt Classic will receive a children’s swimsuit, a drawstring bag and a small note card as part of their registration. Golfers will be asked to write notes of encouragement to the children in the Safety Around Water program, affix the notes to the swimsuits, and drop the swimsuits in the bags. The bags containing the swimsuits will be collected by Y staff and distributed to kids in the program.
After hearing about plans for the unconventional golfer gift, the SHAZAM Network volunteered to sponsor the swimsuit project. Dan Kramer, senior vice president, government and community affairs for SHAZAM and a member of the board of directors for the YMCA of Greater Des Moines, said providing access to water safety instruction is in keeping with SHAZAM’s core value of always doing the right thing.
“We want to break down barriers so that the Y’s programs and services are available to anyone in the community who could benefit from them,” Kramer said. “Knowing how to stay safe in and around water is a critical life skill all children should learn. With the proper equipment and instruction, kids have the confidence they need to learn and succeed. Something as simple as providing swimsuits for kids who don’t have them is helping build a stronger community, which goes right to the heart of SHAZAM’s mission.”
According to data from the USA Swimming Foundation, 70 percent of African American and 60 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, compared to just 40 percent of Caucasian children. While fatal drowning is a concern for all children – it’s the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14 years old – African American children ages 5 to 14 are three times more likely to drown than their white counterparts. To address this disparity, YMCA organizations across the nation are making the Safety Around Water program available free of charge to thousands of children from underserved communities.
For more information about the 2016 YMCA Bill Reichardt Golf Classic, contact Samantha Watson, donor relations representative for the YMCA of Greater Des Moines: 515-471-8517 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the Bill Reichardt Golf Classic presented by Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Des Moines businessman Bill Reichardt was an ardent supporter of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines and programs to provide opportunities for underserved and at-risk youth. In 1988, Reichardt organized the first Partner With Youth golf tournament to raise funds for youth programs at the Y. Now in its 28th year, the tournament has been renamed the YMCA Bill Reichardt Golf Classic to honor its founder, who died in 2004. Proceeds from the tournament support children and families through the John R. Grubb Community YMCA in Des Moines.
What: 28th annual YMCA Bill Reichardt Golf Classic
When: Monday, August 22, 2016
Where: Echo Valley Country Club, Norwalk, IA
Details: Four-person best-shot tournament. Shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Dinner and a short program to follow golf (approximately 5:30 p.m.)
About the YMCA of Greater Des Moines
The YMCA of Greater Des Moines is a powerful association of men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life united by a shared passion: to strengthen the foundations of community. We serve over 65,000 members from communities throughout central Iowa and operate nine full-facility YMCAs, the YMCA Supportive Housing Campus in downtown Des Moines and Y Camp resident camp in Boone. For 148 years, the Y has been a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to building healthy, confident, secure and connected children, families and communities.
For more information contact:
Director of Media Relations and Marketing
YMCA of Greater Des Moines
(515) 471-8519 Office
(515) 868-2061 Mobile