[Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Monday, 6th July 2015] – The YMCA on Grand Bahama received yet another major donation from Hutchison Port Holdings Business Units on Wednesday. According to Karen Johnson, Executive Director of the local facility, the Hutchison Group has proven to be a “real blessing” over these many years. “The recent check comes at a critical time to support our Swimming For Ocean Survival program. The goal is to teach as many kids as possible how to swim for the least amount of funding. Prior to 2009, kids had to pay for swim lessons and as a result participation was limited. Thanks to the likes of Hutchison, a genuine and generous corporate giant, we are now able to offer the program free of charge. Our donations cover the salaries of instructors;” noted Johnson.
The Swimming For Ocean Survival program dubbed SOS has three levels; introductory, control breathing, and the ability to handle a 25 meter swim comfortably. Johnson says at the end of this year’s swim season, 25,000 kids would have learnt to swim since 2009. “This accomplishment would be near impossible without the support of Hutchison and others. We are truly appreciative of Hutchison’s commitment to our programs;” Johnson remarked.
In a statement issued by Godfrey Smith, CEO Freeport Container Port (FCP), Freeport Harbour Company (FHC) and Grand Bahama Airport Company (GBAC), late Wednesday following the donation presentation at FCP; ” We have been pleased to identify with and support the dedicated efforts of the YMCA here on Grand Bahama over these many years. At HPH Business Units we share the YMCA’s mission to positively transform and mold the lives of young people to build stronger communities. We operate a marine oriented business that is on an island, and by extension a country, that is surrounded by water. It just makes sense to lend support to a program that teaches young people how to swim. While survival in the water is most important, swimming is a wonderful skill for fitness, professional careers, competition and recreation. We take this opportunity to applaud the work being done at the YMCA and offer our congratulations on the outstanding mark of 25,000 students benefitting from the SOS program. We are so very proud to have played a significant role and pledge our continued support. At HPH, we remain committed to the growth and development of Grand Bahama Island and wish the leadership and passionate volunteers at the YMCA ongoing success.”