Berkshire South Regional Community Center
15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230
413.528.2810, ext. 22
CONTACT: Shannon Amidon Castille
Associate Director of Marketing and Communications
2/27/19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Berkshire South Regional Community Center
Swim-A-thon Fundraiser for Adaptive Needs Announces Ambassador

Great Barrington, Mass- Berkshire South Regional Community Center (BSRCC) is honored to announce Kathy Hamick as this year’s Swim-A-Thon Ambassador. A critical fundraiser for Adaptive Needs programs at Berkshire South, the Swim-A-Thon will be held on Saturday, March 2, in the Norris Aquatics Center. Swimming begins at 8 a.m.

“Kathy’s ability to put a smile on everyone’s face is the exact reason we have the Swim-a-thon,” said Mac Wallace, Aquatics and Youth Development Manager.

“Hamick has been swimming at the community center since it opened,” said Ruth Hanley, staff development manager at Riverbrook Residence, a residence for women with intellectual disabilities, where Hamick lives in Stockbridge. “Berkshire South is really part of our community, and an important part of Kathy’s community experience.”

Hamick is one of over 16,500 patrons who use the therapy pool annually, more than 50 each day. It is the only warm-water therapy pool of its type in South County. Berkshire South’s adaptive needs initiatives include free swim lessons, class modifications, fitness classes and specialized equipment for individuals of all abilities.

“Without Swim-A-Thon there is a whole population that might not be able to use our facility. This is an event in which we focus on the spirit of the participants,” said Jenise Lucey, BSRCC Executive Director.

Hamick’s joyful spirit is clear when she is in the water, said her mother, Carol Kiendl. “Kathy swam before she could walk.”

Her caregiver, Jeanne Bassis added, “Kathy finds great joy in the ease and freedom of movement she feels in the water. She is proud of her swimming and especially loves relaxing in the warm pool at Berkshire South.”

Berkshire South’s Adaptive Needs programming teaches valuable life skills. Those who cannot walk independently on land are taught to navigate without restriction in water. Individuals with autism often find the water very calming, and after spending time swimming, are better able to focus and interact. Aquatic exercise improves range of motion and balance, while simultaneously increasing strength. All instruction is geared towards the unique strengths and challenges of each participant in our individualized classes which are taught by highly trained staff.

Lucey, a participant in the Swim-A-Thon every year since its inception, encouraged community participation both by swimming and sponsoring those that are swimming.

“Sign up to swim as an individual or as a relay team,” she said. “Just come and swim. Help us continue to offer critical programming to those who need it throughout our region. Your involvement makes such a huge impact.”

Minimum participant donation this year is $20. Swimmers have up to 2 hours to swim up to 200 pool lengths, but they are able to choose to swim any shorter length or timeframe they wish. Swim-A-Thon is open to swimmers of all ages and abilities. Register at the Berkshire South Front Desk, located at 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, or register or sponsor a swimmer at www.berkshiresouth.org/swim-a-thon. For additional information, contact our Aquatics Manager at 413.528.2810 ext. 12 or aquatics@berkshiresouth.org

BSRCC strives to address the needs of all their members. At the Center you will find a specially trained team that offers classes and individualized trainings for all abilities. The adaptive member base is a priority, and we continue to educate ourselves in order to address the needs of these members while staying focused on keeping programs accessible and adaptable to everyone.

Berkshire South Regional Community Center is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization open to all, regardless of ability to pay. Our mission is to build a sense of community and common purpose throughout the region, and to enhance the recreational, educational, cultural, health and social well-being of the residents of the Southern Berkshires.