The sport of swimming is often said to foster tight-knit communities, and sometimes those communities stretch around the globe.
That’s certainly the case for Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics in California and Nadadores Ponce Leones in Puerto Rico – two teams now tied together after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. The PASA program was moved by coverage of the hurricane’s destruction, and chose to band together to raise money to help a now-sister program in Puerto Rico.
This message comes from Jesse Vassallo, a legendary American and Puerto Rican swimmer who has helped connect the two clubs. The e-mail itself has information on how SwimSwam readers can pitch in and help out:
Hope this finds you all doing well, I for most want thank you all for the great support you have all showed for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
I am writing to all of you because I wanted to share with all of you a couple great news and heart warming stories.
As you know I’ve been looking for a way to help my family, friend and fellow Puertorican, after the devastation from Hurricane Maria.
A couple of days ago I received a call from Elizabeth K. Hutter, Psy.D. from The New Ballet School, San Jose who I did not know she was reaching out to let me know that a group of swimmer led by Sylvie Hutter from PASA-DKS Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics coached by Dana Kirk were touched by the situation in PR and wanted to help and wanted my guidance.
They decide to adopt a team in Puerto Rico in need, Nadadores Ponce Leones (my old team) and help them direct by making them the recipient of 100% of the funds they are able to raise. The team organize a quick swim-a-thon type of event and raise over $3,000 for NPL, in a short wile. WOW
I was able to make contact with Linda Ramos the team’s president in Ponce and she was moved beyond words. I could tell by her voice she was definitely emotionally touched by such beautiful gesture. Her first comment, “really that means we can get chlorine for the pool when the electricity comes back”.
I’m reaching out to all of you in hope that you can help me help others by growing this idea and get other teams to do the same, adopt a team in Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands that need help, it would be amazing! Swimmers helping swimmers.
There’s only 27 teams in the island of PR and a couple others in the US Virgin Islands and they all need help in one way or another.
The idea is to help these team’s to survive this period of hardship, with a bit of help and lots of hope that some day soon things will be back to normal and back in the pool training.
All teams info can be found in the Federación Puertorriqueña de Natacion web page http://natacionpr.org/equipos/
I hope you can help in some way or another, It would be truly appreciated. And hopefully this will also help to grow more interaction between the two swimming communities and future swimming exchanges and travel opportunities.
Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you, help me to help others.
Our team will host a meet November 4-5, will not charge at entrance but will ask for donation of non perishable good to send down to Puerto Rico.