VOLUNTEER JENNY Schmuhl works with kids in the pool including, from front to back, Jayden Carlton, Caroline Reabe, Mica Sherman, Henry Walheim, Cyan Volkmann and Collin Rieder.   Craig Tebon photo
VOLUNTEER JENNY Schmuhl works with kids in the pool including, from front to back, Jayden Carlton, Caroline Reabe, Mica Sherman, Henry Walheim, Cyan Volkmann and Collin Rieder. Craig Tebon photo

     DON’T MISTAKENLY think that because the Ripon Community Swim Club is called a “club” that its members consider it a place to relax.

    Not by a mile.

     “These kids are fish,” head coach Paul Walheim said, joking that his youngest son, Henry, “after spending a whole day in the pool at a meet, what does he want to do? Spend another couple hours at the pool.”

     One can guess then what happened when the kids were challenged to swim as many laps as they could at the annual “Splash for Cash” fund-raiser held Jan. 9.

     Over the course of two hours, these youth kicked, stroked and splashed their way to $2,796, which will help the club purchase new lane lines for the Ripon High School pool.

     That’s a lot of green for 25 kids splashing in the blue.

     “People learn real quick that you probably want to do a flat rate [donation instead of a per-lap gift] because some will swim 200 laps,” Paul said.

     The cash is nice, the gift even more so. But the real benefit of the group?

     Giving local “fish” a bowl in which to grow.

     “The club has been around since the ’80s ...,” said Craig Tebon, past president and assistant coach for the club. “For the last 20 years or so, it’s been Al and Pat Brink coaching and guiding the club. Then, this last year it’s been under a new direction with a bunch of parents.”

     That coaching has helped the young athletes swim to great success over the years.

     To read the entire column, see the Feb. 15, 2018 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.