Prepared by Rich Burns
Swimmer Gives Back – and Gets Recognized!
United States Masters Swimming (USMS) is a membership-operated nonprofit organization of
over 60,000 swimmers from across the country. USMS’s mission is to encourage adults to swim.
From beginners who enjoy the camaraderie of fellow swimmers to those who like the challenge of competition there’s a place for everyone.
Masters Swimmers don’t just confine their participation to the pool. There are many volunteer
opportunities for the talent, expertise and generosity of its members. USMS recognizes the
commitment of those who give back with the Dorothy Donnelly Service Award, honoring one of
USMS's outstanding volunteers. The award recognizes those whose contributions stand out in
service to local, regional, and national programs. Up to 15 people are selected each year with
nominations coming from LMSCs, clubs, and individuals.
Bill Meier is an early crusader for the adult Learn-To-Swim programs promoted by USMS’s
Swimming Saves Lives Foundation.
Based on the success of Bill's program over the last two years at the Bard College PaceMaker
Swim Club, he received a $5,000 grant from the Foundation to develop and support adult swim
lessons throughout New England. He created New England’s "April is Adult Learn-to-Swim
Month" campaign. Under Bill's leadership, eight New England Masters teams will be conducting
Swimming Saves Lives programs during the year, using Masters Swimming volunteers to teach
over 400 people how to swim.
The Swimming Saves Lives Foundation has officially adopted Bill’s "April is Adult Learn-to-Swim
Month" concept as a national campaign. At Bill's urging, the governors of Massachusetts, Maine,
New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont have proclaimed April as "Adult Learn-to-Swim
month." Bill’s dreams and vision have greatly expanded awareness of U.S. Masters Swimming’s
program for the lifesaving benefits of swimming for adults.