October 2, 2014
Race Swami to Host Benefit, Celebration
ROSE PARK/SLC -- On Saturday, October 4th, Race Swami will be hosting it's first community fundraiser to benefit it's underserved youth who reside in Salt Lake City's west side communities including Rose Park, Glendale, Poplar Grove, and the surrounding neighborhoods. More than 60% of Race Swami's athletes are on free or reduced lunch, meaning they live below the poverty level. The money raised from the Benefit will go directly towards scholarships, lane rental costs, and meet fees.
The benefit will be held at Frida Bistro, from 6-8pm, located at 545 West 700 South in Salt Lake City. According to Julie Lu, Race Swami Board Member and Co-Chair of the Race Swami Event, the USA sanctioned swim club is expecting a little over 100 guests. They'll be treated to some of Frida Bistro's famous cuisine, along with a video presentation, produced by Pat Thompson.
"The focus and the highlight will obviously be the kids," Julie said. "This is what the program is all about... great kids, who despite some of the challenges they face, are accomplishing great things---and will continue to do so, so long as they have the ongoing support from the community."
Race Swami is a nonprofit organization serving primarily ethnically diverse, low-income families. Ages of the athletes range from 6 to 17, and the majority--about 75%--are female. Because the organization trends towards serving underprivileged youth, Race Swami relies on annual gifts from foundations, corporations, associates and individuals. The founders believe Race Swami is more than just a swim program, but a place for kids to build character that will last a lifetime.
"For most of these kids, if Race Swami didn't exist--who knows what they'd be involved in," Julie said. "Affordable programs in Salt Lake City are scarce, and perhaps moreso around our west side communities."
Team president Leslie Motley added, "Many parents have personally shared with us that if not for Race Swami, their kids would most likely be at home, sitting on a couch, watching tv. Or worse--out getting into trouble! This program offers them discipline... focus... and goals to work towards. These are positive and empowering qualities and they learn them right here at the pool--whether they can afford the program or not."
As Executive Director and Head Coach Matt Finnigan put it, "We just want to continue making a difference for our kids and for those kids we will serve in the future. And the only way we can do it is with the continued support and help from our community."