SALEM — Area residents can help create some magic in the pool
by attending a benefit magic show for Piranha Aquatics at 3 p.m.
Sunday at the Salem Community Theatre.
“It’s really important for kids to learn to swim. (This
is) giving kids in the area an opportunity to participate in a
sport — keeps kids involved in something they can do for a
lifetime. Swimming is a healthy, lifelong fun
activity,” Piranha Aquatics Head Coach Caroline
The benefit magic show by The Alans husband and wife duo is in its
second year, with proceeds benefitting the Piranha Aquatics
Swimming Scholarship Fund which helps pay for free swim lessons for
swimmers with special needs and provides scholarships for families
in need to participate in the sport of swimming.
McDermott prefers the term swimmers with special abilities in
talking about some of her students, including children with autism.
There’s a grant through Autism Speaks to help pay for lessons
for her special ability swimmers. She noted that the scholarship
fund can help offset some costs for families on the Piranha
Aquatics swim team, which participates in swim competitions.
She and Jason Alan are both Salem High School graduates who knew
each other in school. Jason and his wife Stacy have performed all
over and have opened for such music legends as Chubby Checker and
Eddie Money. The description of the show promises
“an afternoon full of family entertainment. Jason, an expert
sleight of hand artist, will create miracles right in front of your
eyes, while Stacy, a psychological extraordinaire, will dive deep
into your thoughts.”
Tickets are $13 for children and $16 for adults online through
Eventbrite. To purchase the tickets, go to www.piranhaaquatics.com
and click on magic show. Tickets will be available at the door the
day of the show for $17 per person. Doors will open 30 minutes
prior to the show, with the concession stand available before the
show and during intermission. A 50/50 raffle also will be held.
Major sponsors for the event include Wally Armour Salem Chrysler
Jeep Dodge RAM and Farmers National Bank, with many other
businesses and individuals helping to sponsor the show.
Two events following the magic at the theatre are already sold out,
including an exclusive dinner at LiBs Market next door created by
Head Chef Don Ritenour with table magic by the Alans and then an
exclusive VIP private 20-minute show with the Alans after the
“I am very humbled by the community support. Word is getting
out about the good that we do for the
community,” McDermott said.
This is the 10th year for Piranha Aquatics, which was started by
McDermott when she returned to her hometown to continue her passion
of coaching swimming, taking advantage of the fact that the city
now had a pool facility at the Salem Community Center where the
team trains and lessons take place.
McDermott didn’t have the luxury of a pool for competition
nearby when she was growing up. Her parents had to drive her to
other locations out of town for training and swim meets. She swam
at the state meet when she was in high school and went on to swim
in college, eventually becoming a full-time coach.
“I love teaching kids to swim,” she said,
adding that she’s glad her childhood passion turned into a
The team which started out small now has 82 swimmers and she
teaches private swim lessons to 150 kids a year besides teaching
her special ability swimmers. The majority of the team lives in
Columbiana County but there are also swimmers from Mahoning County
who attend West Branch and South Range schools. She gives lessons
at the SCC where the team is headquartered and also in the therapy
pool at Salem Regional Medical Center, Firestone pool in Columbiana
and the Salem Country Club.
McDermott also serves as a high school coach for swimming athletes
at Salem High School, West Branch High School, Lisbon David
Anderson High School and Western Reserve High School.
She noted that she didn’t realize the magic show was the same
day as the Super Bowl, but said people can still attend and be home
in plenty of time for the big game.
To learn about Piranha Aquatics, visit the website at
www.piranhaaquatics.com or the Facebook page at Piranha Aquatics
From the Salem