Edgar May recieves grant from Flutie Foundation

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Edgar May Health and Recreation Center is pleased to announce it has received a $10,000 Community Impact Grant from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. These funds will be used to provide adaptive swim lessons, and support individuals with physical or developmental disabilities and their families as they learn how to be safe in and around water. With the support of the Flutie Foundation, Edgar May will now be able to support hundreds of individuals in our region as they learn how to be safe, comfortable, and confident in the water.

Edgar May believes swimming is an important life skill for all individuals to learn. A person who learns how to swim has the ability to build a lifelong skill and an enjoyment of the sport. Whether the individual is a child, an adult, or even a senior, swimming can help them improve their overall health and wellness.

“Our facility’s warm water therapy pool offers a tremendous opportunity for individuals with developmental and physical disabilities to acclimate to a water environment in a calm, quiet, safe environment,” says Zoe Lirakis, Adaptive Swim Coordinator. “In addition to the therapy pool, Edgar May offers a competition-sized swimming pool and a beach-entry wading pool. Both the therapy and swimming pools are equipped with ADA-compliant lifts.”

The Flutie Foundation Community Impact Grant allows Edgar May to offer free adaptive swim for families of adults or youth that have a physical or developmental disability, to help integrate them into the water environment while they receive basic water safety skills from a certified water safety instructor. Adaptive swim for adults begins May 9, and will be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month from 2:30-4 p.m. Adaptive swim for youth begins May 13, and will be held on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Interested participants will need to reserve a time for adaptive swim by emailing Zoe Lirakis at zlirakis@edgarmay.org.

Starting in July, Edgar May will also provide adaptive swim lessons for small groups. These lessons will be provided to a wide range of abilities. For more information on adaptive swim lessons, go to www.edgarmay.org/adaptive-swim.

“We are very excited to begin our adaptive swim program with support of the Flutie Foundation. Edgar May is committed to creating an inclusive environment in our facility and our programs, and this initiative will allow us to expand our ability to help everyone access water in a safe and enjoyable way,” says Christian Craig, Executive Director of the Edgar May Health and Recreation Center.

“The Flutie Foundation Signature Grants help our partner agencies address a variety of significant needs in the autism community,” says Nick Savarese, Executive Director of The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. “Programs like these are helping people on the autism spectrum live life to the fullest, and we are proud to support their efforts.”

The Edgar May Health and Recreation Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to improving health and wellness of all in our region. In addition to three swimming pools, a fitness center, and an outdoor climbing tower, Edgar May offers a wide range of programs and opportunities to live an active and healthy lifestyle. To learn more about Edgar May, visit www.edgarmay.org.

The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, based in Framingham, Mass., awards grants annually through a competitive application and review process. The signature grants that the Flutie Foundation distributed this year support traditionally under-served, under-funded, culturally diverse communities reflected in the Foundation’s areas of interest – providing a path for educational and vocational skills, supporting recreational and active lifestyles, and ensuring people with autism are safe, supported, and informed. For more information about the Flutie Foundation, visit www.flutiefoundation.org.

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