Senator Harckham Recognizes Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester Aquatics Program Excellence and Announces $100,000 in Capital Funding

Senator Harckham Recognizes Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester Aquatics Program Excellence and Announces $100,000 in Capital Funding

Alyzza Ozer, CEO; Athenia Lee, Director of Programming, Senator Peter Harckham; Eric Mitchell, Director of Aquatics; Dennis Munson, Legend; Zachary Hojnacki, Head Marlins Coach; Connor White, Head Age-Group Coach

Mount Kisco, NY, Wednesday, September 28, 2022, – Senator Peter Harckham visited the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester (BGCNW), presenting the Club with a proclamation recognizing the BGCNW Marlins Swim Team receiving USA Swimming Bronze Level status, teaching more than 65,000 children to be water safe, and announcing $100,000 in funding for capital improvements to enable the Club to serve more children.

Harckham congratulated the staff, saying “Thank you for everything you do. This is an incredibly inclusive program where kids are learning to swim who would never have had the opportunity if not for all of your work.” In the US drowning is the second cause of accidental death for children under age 6.

Club leadership is extremely pleased with the achievements and resulting recognition. Long-standing board member, volunteer, and donor Bonnie Tisi (Trotta), for whom the pool facility is named, said “We are all so very proud of this recognition from Senator Harckham on behalf of the State of New York. All children must be water safe, develop an appreciation for the fun of swimming and it is an invaluable tool to serve as a pathway to secondary education.”

The BGCNW Marlins Swim Team includes 250 athletes and is an ethnically diverse program with more than 52% of athletes identifying as non-white. The coaches are committed to offering age-appropriate training, geared toward challenging each athlete to personal growth both in and out of the pool. For the first time in its 52-year history, the Marlins have earned USA Swimming Bronze Medal Club status. This is given to less than 3% of the 3,000+ national swim clubs. In the past 30 years, Marlins alumni include over 500 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Hall of Fame college graduates from the world’s most prestigious institutions including the Ivy League; and for 22 consecutive years, BGCNW Marlins have held the Boys & Girls Club of America National Championship title. 

Director of Aquatics, Eric Mitchell, himself a Marlins alum, expressed his gratitude and pride saying “Our athletes dedicate countless hours of their time and effort to the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester Marlins. Their achievement of USA-Swimming Bronze Medal Club recognition is an outstanding accomplishment and to be recognized by Senator Harckham today is truly remarkable. We are all extremely proud of our youngsters and grateful for this distinct honor.”

Zachary Hojnacki, PhD, Head Coach of Marlins, added, “Most importantly, our athletes, staff, and parents have fostered a community dedicated to inclusivity and service to others, the impacts of which far outweigh the outcome of any competition.”

“We’re thrilled to be on the board at a time of so much growth and progress for the Club”, said new board members Erin O’Donnell and Kim White. Pediatrician, Erin, a graduate of the BGCNW preschool school program, and a Marlin alum has 4 children currently on the Marlins team and has been a member of the Marlins Parent Committee for the past 5 years. Kim, a licensed Social Worker, is also a Marlins parent who began swimming at the age of 8 at the Boys & Girls Club of Garfield in New Jersey.

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