Free third grade swim lessons return

March 1, 2021
Northern Lights YMCA Dickinson Center aquatic director Tanner Walsh (far right) instructs Niagara Elementary School students from Daniel Krznarich’s fourth grade class during a lesson at the NLYMCA pool Monday morning.

IRON MOUNTAIN – Northern Lights YMCA Dickinson Center’s annual third grade swim program has returned this month, with a twist.

With the pandemic cancelling the program in 2020, the YMCA this year is teaching all area third and fourth graders how to swim.

“Those in third grade in 2020 missed out on the program, so we wanted to make sure those children still receive their lessons,” NLYMCA aquatics director Tanner Walsh said. “We’ve doubled our programming, with the fourth graders swimming the rest of this month and the third graders coming during the normal time we hold the lessons in March and April.”

Teaching area children how to swim has become one of the most important programs the YMCA offers to the community. Now in its fifth year, the combination of third and fourth graders means the YMCA will provide free swim lessons to more than 500 kids during the next few months.

A grant received from Dickinson County’s 100+ Women Who Care two years ago along with money from the YMCA Annual Campaign help fund the program. The YMCA covers the cost of pool time, staffing and transportation for program participants.

Each class of students receive five 40-minute lessons as part of the YMCA program. In addition to the swim lessons, the YMCA aquatics staff also introduces the kids to boat safety, lifejacket fit, proper water attire as well as sun and heat safety.

 “This program is so important in our region of lakes and rivers, where water safety is so crucial,” Walsh said. “Participation in swim lessons greatly reduces the risk of drowning, and we feel like we are really making a difference for our community.

“And we’re also introducing kids to another activity for which they may develop a passion. Our program has been around long enough that we now have graduates starting to reach high school and joining the swim team.”

The children taking part in the program come from Woodland Elementary School in Kingsford, North Elementary School in Iron Mountain, Norway Elementary School, Bishop Baraga Catholic School in Iron Mountain, Holy Spirit Catholic School in Norway, North Dickinson Elementary School in Felch, Niagara Schools in Niagara, Wis., and Florence Elementary School in Florence, Wis.

With the cancellation in 2020, this year’s program is the first to occur in the YMCA’s newly renovated pool, which was completed in late 2019.

The YMCA’s Annual Campaign is currently underway. Supporters can stop by the Y or call 774-4076 for information on how to donate. Along with the third grade swim program, YMCA Annual Campaign dollars provide programming and membership assistance to hundreds in the community.

Donations can also be made online at:

www.nlymca.com/dickinson/core/#/donate/campaign/1/

Niagara Elementary School students from Daniel Krznarich’s fourth grade class enjoy some time in the water during Monday’s free lessons at Northern Lights YMCA Dickinson Center.

Record Participation for NLY Swim Team

November 29, 2017

Myah Gilroy of Norway, age 9, competes in the breaststroke at a recent NLY swim meet. IRON MOUNTAIN – A program-record 68 swimmers are on the roster for the 2017-18 Northern Lights YMCA – Dickinson Center Swim Team, a 50 percent increase from a year ago. “It’s very exciting to see so many new athletes…

Systems Control Donates $150K to Capital Campaign

November 17, 2017

From left, Systems Control President Brad Lebouef presents a check to Northern Lights YMCA Board Member Stephanie Brule and Dickinson Center Director Jonathan Ringel. IRON MOUNTAIN – Systems Control, North America’s leader in the design and manufacture of solutions that enable the delivery of energy to the world, has committed $150,000 to the Northern Lights…

Callaway Wins Packers Tickets

October 27, 2017

DARCY CALLAWAY Darcy Callaway of Florence, Wis., has two tickets to see the Lions take on the Packers Monday, Nov. 6, at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field. Calllaway, a YMCA member since 2010, had her entry selected in a random drawing held in conjunction with membership promotion for the month of October. Callaway and her husband…

Early Capital Improvements Begin at YMCA

October 20, 2017

Gundlach-Champion father and son duo Hawkins (left) and Robert Lordson of Perkins remove old bricks from the east side of the Community Center building as part of a job that will see more than 2,000 bricks replaced. IRON MOUNTAIN – Thanks to the generosity of some early Capital Campaign donors, the YMCA this month began…

CCI Systems Contributing $150K to YMCA Capital Campaign

October 13, 2017

CCI Systems President and CEO John Jamar and Senior Executive Assistant & Senior OD Administrator Patter Kelly present Northern Lights YMCA – Dickinson Center Director Jonathan Ringel with a Capital Campaign donation of $150,000 CCI Systems, a national communication network services provider headquartered here for more than 60 years, has announced a $150,000 gift to…

BOSS Snowplow and The Toro Company Pledge $125K to YMCA Capital Campaign

September 15, 2017

From left, Northern Lights YMCA Board of Directors President Katie Maxon and Dickinson Center Director Jonathan Ringel accept a Capital Campaign donation of $125,000 from BOSS Snowplow President and General Manager Jody Christy, Executive Assistant Justina Blazier and Digital Marketing Specialist Katie Schinderle. BOSS Snowplow, a leading employer and fixture in the Dickinson County community…

YMCA Swim Lessons Updated

August 28, 2017

  Updated lessons help swimmers of all ages and skills develop a lifelong love of swimming   As America’s Swim Instructor, the Y is the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming—teaching more than one million kids a year swimming and water safety skills. This fall, the Northern…

Fourth Annual Corks & Forks Expected to Sellout

August 10, 2017

IRON MOUNTAIN – Tickets for the Fourth Annual Corks & Forks are now available and going fast. Slated for Thursday, September 21, at Pine Grove Country Club, the Northern Lights YMCA – Dickinson Center’s largest fundraising event directly supports the Annual Campaign. Corks & Forks has grown in popularity each year and expected to be…

Our Corporate Lease Partners 2016 and Beyond

January 28, 2016

The Northern Lights YMCA – Dickinson Center is pleased to announce a new Community Lease Partnership with CCI Systems of Iron Mountain, Michigan, and Stewart Manufacturing, LLC of Hermansville, Michigan. The business lease partnership model was born out of the new lease agreement between the YMCA and Dickinson County, in which the YMCA agreed to…