Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Water Safety Comes First This Summer at Williams YMCA

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Water Safety Comes First This Summer at Williams YMCA

Article excerpt

Byline: Rhonda Reese

It's been a fun, wet week at the Williams Family YMCA in Mandarin.

This past week was set aside as Aquatic Safety week featuring daily events such as a chalk art contest, junior lifeguarding class, tile painting and a talk of hurricane preparedness and safety.

According to Tukz Taaca, aquatics director for the Williams and DuPont YMCAs, the safety week he and Laura Burk began last year went association-wide this year.

"We do swim lessons and swim teams at the Y," Taaca said, "but we wanted to give the community yet another way to learn about aquatic activities and safety."

On June 29, head swimming instructor Jonathan Pound and fellow lifeguards Shannon Whitley, Elizabeth Hartman and Lindsey Teichert talked to children age 2 and older about the lifeguards' job and the equipment they use. Then children hopped into the drained kiddie pool and used colored chalk to draw guard stands, whistles, flotation devices, umbrellas and other items lifeguards use to keep people safe.

"We are using different mediums to get the word out on water safety," Taaca said, explaining how important it is to have children involved in this subject. "The kids of today will be the lifeguards of tomorrow."

Mandarin mom Suzanne Clark watched her son Eddie as he drew pictures with chalk. Once a swim instructor at the Mandarin YMCA, Clark said she was glad to have this new aquatics safety program being offered.

"We all live around water," she said, "so this is really important."


The crafty ladies of the Mandarin Garden Club took a field trip during June and returned a few pounds heavier.

When the women descended on Betty Harrelson's lake house in Interlachen, they were treated to a scrumptious Southern meal featuring creamed corn, black-eyed peas, speckled butterbeans, okra, sliced tomatoes, corn bread, cantaloupe, peaches, churned ice cream and boiled peanuts. …

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