CRANFORD - Chaz Desimone has been named the first ever 'Anne Salway Dolan Memorial Swimming Scholarship' winner.
Anne's husband, Aaron, presented the scholarship to Desimone at the Cranford High School Senior Athletes Virtual Award Ceremony held on June 10. Anne was the Cranford Pool and Fitness Center Facility Manager before passing suddenly due to complications from pneumonia this past December. She was a proud graduate of the University of Iowa with a degree in Recreation Therapy, and was passionate about teaching every child to swim and about drowning prevention.
"A little over five months ago, we all lost a remarkable person," said Aaron. "Someone we realized wasn't just important to us as a family, but to all of us as a community. My wife, Anne Salway Dolan, described herself on Facebook as 'just a girl from Cranford who loves her hometown and wants to give back.' She loved this town, and had a special place in her heart for all the teenagers. She loved listening to all their stories and being their first boss. Every Cranford teenager held a place in her heart. She cheered for them when they won the race, and she comforted them when they lost. She wanted to be there for 'her kids,' as she called all the Cranford kids who she watched and cheered for over the years.
The very first winner of the Anne Salway Dolan Memorial Swimming Scholarship was someone in whom she saw a lot of herself. This person was hard-working and strove to be their best. This person loved the Cranford Swim Team and loved the pool. Like Anne, this person wasn't perfect, but always picked themself up and tried even harder the next time. This person was constantly on the deck cheering for their teammates. In full confidence, we know that she loved this person's spirit and drive, and we hope this person knows how much she believed in them. We had an extremely hard time choosing this year's winner. Although all the applicants were incredibly accomplished and would have made Anne proud, this swimmer stood out to us because we know he would have been her first choice.
Chaz Desimone is this year's recipient. Anne would come home raving about Chaz and how much he drove her crazy, but also what a tremendous teammate he was and how much he truly reminded Anne of herself. She believed in Chaz, and was always so proud of him. We know she is smiling down on him now beaming with pride and anticipation of all he is about to accomplish. She always knew you could do it, Chaz."