Friday, May 12, 2017

Never underestimate the determination of a swim team

BRST Secures Funding For Much-Needed Pool Deck Shade

 By Sharon Robb

May 10, 2017---Never underestimate the determination of a swim team.

After six months of fundraising, Boca Raton Swim Team secured the funding needed to improve Boca Raton High School’s Aquatic Facility.

“I feel like we did something extraordinary,” said Boca Raton Swim Team head coach Allan Williams. “We are very proud of what we are doing for sure."

“To provide shelter and shade for school classes as well as current and future members of our swim team was something I didn’t think we could pull it off, but we did.”

Three years ago after the team was created, it was evident the facility needed shade on the pool deck for both school classes and high school and club teams. The money needed could not be allocated by the School District with so many other school budget costs to address.

Parents, coaches and swimmers decided to take matters into their own hands and raise the money themselves.
What seemed as a daunting task at first turned into an attainable goal after six months of fundraising.

Utilizing an agency called Snap Raise the team raised $7,000 (after Sanp Raise percentage) and another $4,000 on GoFundMe.

Eight-year-old club swimmer Meri Potts raised the most money among swimmers ($990) closely followed by teammate Savannah Carpenter ($840).

The icing on the cake was when SafeSun Foundation donated $5,500 to make the dream a reality.

SafeSun Foundation hosts the Run From The Rays 5K Run/Walk every April. SafeSun Inc. is a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of malignant melanoma and other life-threatening forms of cancer of the skin.

The Foundation’s mission is to raise public awareness, beginning in early childhood years and continuing until adulthood, as well as linking state-of-the-art skin cancer evaluation and care to those who cannot otherwise obtain it.

“Fran Nachlas of SafeSun was simply awesome,” said Boca Raton coach Allan Williams. “She came out to the pool, saw our needs and asked ‘how can we help?’ I was thrilled and floored by the offer. Fran’s effort put us over the finish line for sure.”

BRST parents were also instrumental. John Potts and Morgan Carpenter volunteered their time and efforts to spearhead the fundraising campaign.

“They were very instrumental in putting this whole fundraiser together and giving it life,” Williams said.

With the funding, Williams said BRST will be able to cover the entire bleacher section and possibly provide coaches and teachers movable shade that they can use as well.

“Covering the bleachers provides the pool the opportunity to be well-used into the future,” Williams said. “It will provide comfort and protection from the sun and rain for many years to come.
“To be able to provide shelter for the facility long after I have retired, allowing PE classes, swimmers and parents to enjoy the pool and all its offerings is humbling. It feels very good. I am so proud of what we did.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

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