JAWS Effort to Expand New Aquatic Center
The “Just Add Water Soon” (aka JAWS) effort to expand the Aquatic Center of our new Family Y has succeeded! Thanks to the generous support of many dedicated Y members, we have raised sufficient funds (more than $340,000 since September) to proceed with plans to enlarge our 25-yard competitive lap pool to 10 lanes and to increase our warm-water teaching/recreational pool by an additional seven feet in width and more than 70 percent by water volume. The lap pool will also now include an aquatic climbing wall, an innovative play feature that is proving popular at other new Ys.
What’s more, our campaign leaders are delighted to announce that the new swim facility and home of the Water Rat Swim Team will be named The Strittmatter Family Aquatic Center
, in honor of Board President Bonnie Strittmatter, her husband Bill, and their children, Laura and Alex. Bonnie’s tireless efforts and her family’s philanthropic leadership are an inspiration to us all as we continue to build what truly matters — a modern new Y facility on our Mahackeno campus that will serve our members and the entire community for generations to come.
The “Just Add Water Soon” expansion of the Aquatic Center will allow the Family Y to provide more space for lap swimming, swim instruction, water-safety lessons and recreational play and will significantly increase space and flexibility for aqua exercise and other fitness programs. It will increase our opportunities to serve special-needs populations as well as the many fellow nonprofit groups with whom we partner.
Adding two lanes to our competitive lap pool will give our Aquatic staff greater programming flexibility. Additionally, having a 10-lane lap pool will allow us to add an aquatic climbing wall (a new play innovation that is proving popular at other Ys).
Our work is not done
: To make the Strittmatter Family Aquatic Center the best it can be, we need to raise the remaining $660,000 to complete the funding of this exciting addition to our new Y.
Your charitable contribution, tax deductible and payable in the form or a one-time gift or multi-year pledge, will help finance essential features and equipment, from the Splash Pad area for pre-swimmers, to high-tech touch pads for racers.
To make a donation to the "Just Add Water Soon" effort
to expand our new Aquatic Center, please click here
to go to our online giving page of our website. Select "Building What Matters Capital Campaign" in the drop-down menu, and include "for JAWS" in the Comments section of the donation form. Thank you!
Overview of Aquatics at the Family Y
Aquatics is a tremendously important part of the Y’s mission to develop youth, promote healthy living and foster a sense of social responsibility, not only for the 8,000 Members we expect to serve at our new Family Y at Mahackeno, but for all who live and work in Westport and Weston.
The Family Y has long been our community’s leading provider of swim instruction and water-safety education. In partnership with the American Red Cross, each year we train, or re-certify, scores of lifeguards, given them the tools they need to help ensure water safety throughout our towns, not only at the Y but our beaches, schools, backyard pools and both public and private clubs and facilities. Our Parent-Child swim classes introduce infants and toddlers to the water, our Hafaday Swim Lesson Program teaches young children the basics and additional swim classes and private instruction helps ensure that all are comfortable and accomplished in and around water.
What’s more, the Family Y is proud to partner with groups such as the Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities and The ZAC Foundation to host water-safety camps, clinics and special events throughout the year. And our pools are also welcoming places for many local nonprofit groups, from Boy Scouts and Brownies, to students from Bridgeport hosted by the Greens Farm Academy’s Horizon’s program, to Al’s Angels and others.
Our Family Y is also a vital center for water fitness, offering people of all ages and capabilities a place to swim laps, participate in a wide range of AquaFit classes or to use our pools for personal exercise. And, of course, whether it’s swim time with a toddler or teenager, the entire family, or with friends young and old, the Family Y’s pools are great places to have fun.
Last, but certainly not least: We are the long-time home of the Westport Weston Family Y Water Rat Swim Team, with its distinguished coaching staff and some 200 young athletes, who each season make us all proud of their accomplishments in the water and, perhaps more important, their development as dedicated, disciplined and caring young people beyond aquatics at the Y.