Andrea Salmi (left) and Isa Ferris display the $750 check from the Rotary Club of San Rafael Harbor. Pictured from left to right: Helen Abe (behind Andrea and Isa); Bev Shwert, Immediate Past President; Carola Detrick, President Elect; Susan Lundy; Barbara Weldon, Public Service Chair; Stacie Strassberg; Tom Sutton; and Hugh Murphy, President. 

From the Rotary Club of San Rafael Harbor “Make a Splash” Graduation for 4 – 8 year olds! “Our” swimmers graduate!

In 2016, the Rotary Club of San Rafael Harbor decided to sponsor the transportation of children from the west end of San Rafael (Canal District) to central San Rafael High School so they could attend swimming lessons provided by “Make a Splash”, through its non-profit teaching center, “Pacific Coast Marlins Learn to Swim”.

Our commitment to “Make A Splash” was inspired by 14-year-old Isa Ferris (pictured above), an instructor with “Make A Splash” who spoke to our club about the program and how she wanted to help expand it to include more children. During her inspiring talk, Isa told us:  “I’ve been swimming with the Pacific Coast Marlins for 6 years and realize how fortunate I am to swim.  I believe everyone should have the same opportunity to learn to swim and that is what ‘Make A Splash’ offers”.

During her talk, Isa shared a personal story of how she turned six-year-old Kelven from a relunctant to an enthusiastic swimmer. To encourage Kelven, a big fan of “Batman”, Isa created a “Batman in the Water” game; she set up tables at the pool’s shallow end and gave Kelven a “Batman mission” for him to do for the City of San Rafael to save people stranded on the tables. The only way for Kelven to save them was to use “ice cream scoop arms and a strong kick” to swim. To Isa’s surprise, Kelvin’s anxiety vanished and swimming fast, he swam to the tables and saved the day! Kelven was the hero that day, but better yet, Kelven was given the gift of confidence!

Such success is why we, the Rotary Club of San Rafael, support this special program right here in our community!