We are very grateful to have experienced the success we’ve had with Midwest Sports Fans. And even before the infamous Raul Ibanez post, we set out to give back to the community on behalf of the blog. As we began to brainstorm the idea, we knew one avenue would be enabling more young people with access to sports.
As we began a sponsor search, one referral we were given was Generational Equity of Dallas, TX. Generational Equity is a company rich in philanthropic activity which includes the funding of an orphanage in Nigeria, a Belize faith-based mission, and support for fighting colon cancer. Generational Equity also has several ex-collegiate athletes including a member of the 1989 SMU Mustangs football team (the first year after the death penalty). Though Southern Methodist University doesn’t qualify as a Midwestern team, we couldn’t deny the inner passion the company has for sports.
When Generational Equity agreed to sponsor our initiative, we began to evaluate organizations that could help us connect with the right child athletes. One on our shortlist was a local YMCA. Upon reviewing their scholarship programs, we were introduced to an eight-week swimming program they offered that helped provide essential swimming skills to kids who, for a variety of reasons, couldn’t swim. Though the exposure to a swimming program at the YMCA could serve as inspiration for a child to take up the activity as a sport, we were more convinced that the donation would be put to good use as 100% of the participants would leave the program with essential skills that could mean survival in the right situation.
Town North YMCA Swimming Out Reach
On June 18th 2009, I had the pleasure of spending the morning with Diddy Fullbright and Micaela Gomez on site at their swimming outreach program at the Sierra Vista apartment complex. Sierra Vista was one of the two apartment complexes they selected to reach out to this year.
“Our residents are primarily Hispanic and 95% have children”, commented Margo Rodriquez, manager of the Sierra Vista apartments, “We have found that a large percentage of our resident adults do not know how to swim and do not have the ability to teach their children. This summer, we set out with the YMCA to do something about it.”
The YMCA program conducts four daily swimming classes at the apartment complex’s pool. The classes began this week and run Monday through Thursday until August 9th.
“Between our 2 separate outreach programs, we have over 50 kids learning vital swimming skills. The parents are responsible for a $15 fee for the entire program and the rest is paid for by a donation from Generational Equity,” commented Micaela Gomez of the YMCA. “Each child starts the program with a skills evaluation and finishes the program with a follow up evaluation to measure progress.”
The class that I attended had participants ranging from 3 to 14 years of age had little to now swimming skills. One very young child had downs syndrome and it was very touching to see the smile on her face as she made progress in one of the water exercises.
Swimming: Support and Survival Skill
Swimming is a sport that has been put on the world sporting radar screen by the greats who have represented their countries in the Olympic games of the modern era. In a 2006 post, though dated with regards to Michael Phelps, the Top 10 swimmers of all time are highlighted. Swimming is also a sport accessible to all via community and school programs that take transform young people into competitive athletes. However, in addition to being a sport, swimming is a fundamental skill that can be a means of survival for children and adults alike.
Program Sponsor: Generational Equity
Generational Equity is based in Dallas, TX and is the leader in Merger and Acquisition Services, Business Evaluation, and Exit Strategy Planning for middle market businesses worldwide. Generational Equity provided sponsorships through MidwestSportsFans.Com and DallasSportsFans.Com for the 2009 Summer Swimming Outreach Program by the Town North YMCA of Dallas, TX. Generational Equity has offices in Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Connecticut.