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Swim team receives great support

September 12, 2014
Estherville News

When I was a little girl in Kansas City, one of our Girl Scout activities was a debate on whether we wanted to live in a small town or a big city. The vast majority of the girls wanted to live in a bigger city, similar to size as we lived in. There were a few of us that firmly believed that we wanted to live in a small town. I was in that group. In my young girl's dream, I just wanted to belong, to walk around and know people, to feel safe, and to know that when something important needed to be done, I would know the people to talk to. I had no idea that I would someday get that dream in the form of Estherville, IA.

Greg and I moved here in the summer of 2005 with a 7 month old James in tow. We were welcomed into the community. The next summer we completed our family with Leah and felt that were home. I had begun to understand how attainable my dream was. However, it wasn't until this summer that I was truly overwhelmed by the community of Estherville and saw my dream to completion.

Both of our kids are on the Estherville Eels Swim Team. It is a team of 60 kids ages 6-18 that spend November-March in winter swim season. These swimmers dedicate their time to two practices a week and often have two swim meets a month on Saturdays. Any of the swimmers over the age of 8, has to practice at least one day a week from 6:15-7:15 am and then head to school. The commitment of the kids, the coaches, and the parents is amazing. Our team has had two successful years and we are looking forward to many more.

Last year, we held our first winter swim meet at the RWC. It was run very well, but we lacked the equipment to provide the best experience for the swimmers. We did not have a scoreboard to show times or an electronic timing system to more accurately record the times. We made do with stop watches and the kids had to wait for their times and places.

This summer, it was decided the swim team would need better equipment to continue to grow our team. I was the co-chair of a committee the approached businesses to donate to our needs. We needed to raise $18,000 to reach our goal. We raised the money in 2 1/2 weeks!!! I could not believe how willing the businesses were to help and was overwhelmed by the kindness of each owner. The businesses of Estherville helped me when something important needed to be done!

I would like to thank everyone who donated and those who gave it consideration. I would like to ask the community to continue to support these businesses as they support our community. Finally, I invite any kid interested in swimming to join the team and everyone in the community to come to a swim meet.

Gwen Williams,




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