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B.L.A.S.T.Thanks to the Madison Parks Foundation, B.L.A.S.T. (Beginner Lifeguard Aquatics Skills Training) completed its second successful year and is poised to assist the City of Madison into the future in recruiting and training new lifeguards for years to come. B.L.A.S.T. is a free program and it is open to everyone. The focus of the program is to recruit youth with identifiable leadership skills and then to work with them to develop strong swimming skills and the strength needed to be a certified lifeguard at Goodman Pool. The B.L.A.S.T. program matches these youth with volunteer mentors in a structured program to work on their skills. B.L.A.S.T. was created to encourage minority youth to achieve the certifications needed to be hired at the Goodman Pool. After successfully completing B.L.A.S.T., funding is provided as a scholarship to cover the enrollment cost for the youth to begin the formal certification process. In Madison, the class feGoodman Poole can be as high as $200 for a lifeguarding course which is a real barrier for young people looking for their first real job. There is no better first summer job than accepting the responsibilities of being a lifeguard at a busy pool. Special thanks for key supporters like St. Mary's Hospital and also the many successful professionals in Madison who have quietly provided financial gifts through the Parks Foundation who remember their "first" lifeguarding job way back when and all the valuable things they learned in their first summer job.



Goodman Pool 2The award winning Goodman Pool has completed its second successful year of operation. Through the generosity of donors to the Madison Parks Foundation scholarship fund, we were able to increase the number of participants in swim lessons from 930 children in year one to 1400 children in our second year. Over $65,000 in scholarships was awarded this past summer for lessons and reduced admission fees for needy families. To demonstrate the benefits of this scholarship money, we experienced almost a 20% reduction in lifeguard rescues in our second year from our first year. This is totally the result of being able to connect children with our swim lessons through the scholarship program! Our donors have facilitated a lifelong change in the lives of these youngsters by teaching them to swim. Our goal is never to have to turn someone away from our lessons because they do not have the money needed to sign up. We can only achieve this with the continued support of our donors.


Cypress SprayPark

The Cypress SprayPark had its grand opening in 2007. It features both wet and dry play areas for the neighborhood youth. Attendance averaged over 125 children per day and quickly became the neighborhood gathering spot for children and families. To keep this facility as safe as possible, the City provided an attendant at the spraypark during all open hours. This is a very special neighborhood in Madison with many large families and unfortunately, many of the children that we served had little structure or supervision during the summer months when they were not in school and both parents were working. Our staff quickly got to know most of the regulars which added to the positive benefits of the facility.

The Cypress SprayPark cost $235,000 to construct and was only possible because of the generous support of major donors through the Madison Parks Foundation. Our lead donors on this project were the Herfurth Family Trust, the Madison Community Foundation, Jerome Frautschi and the CUNA Mutual Foundation.

                                                       Madison Parks Foundation,   P.O. Box 2987,   Madison, WI 53701-2987,   (608) 266-4339       Contact Us
Madison Parks Foundation