In 1906, George Corsan, an instructor at the Detroit YMCA, invented group swim lessons. Swimming provides a fun form of exercise for children and is an important tool in the fight against rising levels of youth obesity.
YMCAs, across the country, are the largest provider of swim lessons in the United States. The local YMCA Branch, the Betty Pullum Family YMCA, has been offering lessons in the Navarre Community since the summer of 1998.
Navarre residents Bill and Martha Pullum saw a need in the community to provide swim lessons in the late 90s, with the rising number of people drowning in the area. A YMCA was their answer to the problem. Until the YMCA was built with their lead gift of cash and land, they offered their own home pool for area kids to learn how to swim. Their leadership spurred other families to donate their pools for lessons, like the Whites and the Fixs.
“The safest thing that you can put next to a body of water is a child or adult who knows how to swim,” said YMCA Branch Director Dottie Thomas. “With all of the bodies of water we have in the area, it is so important to teach children and adults to swim. All of our instructors are YMCA trained or certified, as well as our pool lifeguards.”
For more on this story, see the May 19 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe online.