BASKING RIDGE, NJ, -The Somerset Hills YMCA will host the fifth annual swim fundraiser for Saturdays in Motion on Sunday, Oct. 13; from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Y’s Mount Airy Road branch, 140 Mt. Airy Rd. in Basking Ridge. The pool will be available to swimmers for warm up at 12:30 p.m. Each swimmer is asked to donate a minimum of $20, raised either through pledges or a single donation. All donations are tax deductible. Saturdays in Motion is a two-hour recreational program for children with autism and their families. The program, which is held twice a month on Saturdays at the Y, is free and open to the public.
Swimmers will have the opportunity to choose between three lap swim lanes and three timed lanes that will be installed with a Colorado Timing System. Swimmers will be able to race against one another, or race their parents or coaches, in the three timed lanes. Each swimmer may swim up to 40 laps, or 1,000 yards, in the untimed lanes. It’s also a great opportunity for any swimmer to time one of his/her events. In addition, short mini-lessons will be offered to young swimmers, taught by members of the Somerset Hills YMCA swim team.
There will be food and drinks available for purchase, and all proceeds will go to Saturdays in Motion. Donations are welcomed, and greatly appreciated, from those who choose not to swim. The fundraiser will have a Halloween theme, so festive swim suits or full costumes (if you plan not to swim) are encouraged. Additionally, there will be music and fun prizes for participants.
More than 20 years ago, the program was started by Art Raynes of Basking Ridge. Today, it is the largest and longest running nonprofit program for children with autism in the nation. As a cause-driven organization focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y has proudly offered Saturdays in Motion for the benefit of the community. The program provides an opportunity for children with autism to play in the gymnastics room for an hour and enjoy an hour in the pools. Through Saturdays in Motion, the children have fun and stay healthy during the winter months when, otherwise, they might not get much exercise.
Families that participate in Saturdays in Motion have found that their children eagerly look forward to each session, and that the program has vast benefits. “Saturdays in Motion gives both the volunteers and the children a sense of belonging,” said Steve McKenna of Basking Ridge, who has been attending Saturdays in Motion for 10 years with his son. McKenna added that “the program serves the community of families affected by autism, which historically has been underserved.” He also noted that the volunteers who have worked with his son have been “fabulous…absolutely tremendous.”
Three high school juniors, Katie Corrigan and Bridget Morris, both of Basking Ridge, and Emilie Breslin of Morris Plains, are organizing the Saturdays in Motion swim fundraiser. They are all devoted volunteers for Saturdays in Motion. “All three of these volunteers took complete ownership of the fundraiser, and they made it extremely easy for me by doing all the work,” said Raynes, the program’s founder. “They worked well together in a professional manner, and produced high quality work during an extremely busy time in their lives. I’m very grateful for all their efforts.”
For more information or to participate in the program, please contact Art Raynes at (973) 539-1313 . For more information on the Saturdays in Motion swim fundraiser, contact Bridget Morris, Emilie Breslin and Katie Corrigan at firstname.lastname@example.org