The Fernie community is keeping local swimmers afloat with the Elk Valley Dolphins receiving two donations totalling $6015 in one week.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 36 raised $2500 for the club through its weekly meat draw, held every Saturday from 4-6 p.m.
Executive members Jeannie Watson and Sherri Shaw presented excited young swimmers with a giant cheque at the Fernie Aquatic Centre on February 20.
“There’s four draws, three prizes per draw and a 50-50 every Saturday,” said Watson.
“We’re here to look after veterans, seniors and youth, so if anybody out there is a veteran, a senior or a youth that needs help, any group, we’re willing to help out if we can.”
For the past four months, the Dolphins have also been selling meat draw tickets at The Fernie Hotel, which donated $3515 to the club on February 14.
Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club President Emma Dressler thanked the community for its generosity.
“This is a community swim club, we call ourselves the best little swim club in B.C. and we want our children, just because they live in Fernie, we want them to have opportunities,” she said.
“We’ve got swimmers who are qualifying for things like westerns and nationals, we want them to be able to go.
“Yet we do not want to send swimmers to the detriment of the other children in the club, so fundraising is really key for us. It allows us to offer a quality program for all the children as well as allow those children who need a little bit more to be able to travel.”
This year, the Dolphins have over 100 swimmers, ranging in age from seven to late 60s, with a growing waitlist.
Dressler said the club is trying new things this year, such as holding more than one meet a year.
“… that’s why it’s super important that we get money that can allow us to improve our infrastructure and, as well as that allow our children to get new opportunities for training,” she said.