Waynesboro Family YMCA announces new aquatics scholarship honoring Kelley, Hill
The Waynesboro Family YMCA has announced the formation of an aquatics scholarship, the Kelley/Hill Fund, in honor of former aquatics director Nancy Kelley and retiring aquatics director Denise Hill.
Kelley served the YMCA for more than 25 years teaching hundreds of Waynesboro’s youth how to swim, including current Executive Director Jeff Fife.
“I have fond memories of looking up at Nancy as she held my head between her hands and taught me how to float,” said Fife.
Kelley continues to visit the Y several times a week participating in water aerobics programming. At age 87, she also substitute teaches for aquatics classes.
Hill has served the Y as aquatics director for more than 10 years. She recently announced her retirement. While stepping back from her full-time duties, she will continue to serve the Y as a lifeguard instructor, swim Instructor and outdoor pool manager.
Under Hill’s leadership, the Y has expanded its learn-to-swim programming – with a creative partnership with Waynesboro Public Schools and the water aerobics participants as volunteers – to teach every second-grader in Wenonah and William Perry elementary schools to be water safe.
Hill has also increased the water aerobics programming and adaptive programming for teens and young adults with disabilities. In her time at the Y, Hill has certified more than 120 lifeguards and taught hundreds of people CPR/first aid skills and helped them earn certifications.
Honoring Kelley/Hill with scholarship
Fife said he’s excited to honor the legacy of Kelley and Hill with the creation of a scholarship fund that will directly cover the costs for youth and adults that normally could not afford swim lessons or water safety instruction.
Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 14 in the United States. Research has shown that formal swimming lessons reduce the risk of childhood drowning by 88 percent.
A $6,000 seed grant from YUSA will jump start the Kelley/Hill Fund.
Community members wishing to contribute to the fund can do so through our website at https://www.waynesboroymca.com/donate or by writing a check to the Waynesboro Family YMCA, 648 South Wayne Ave, Waynesboro, VA 22980 (attn: Kelley/Hill Fund).