Students propose a plan to promote safe swimming

    A small group of Clear Lake teens have taken steps to make a positive impact in the wake of tragedy.
    Lainey Arians, Darby Betz and Carter Garrington are working to make the lake safer for swimmers.  The three

Clear Lake Middle School students have raised funds to pay for a child’s swimming lessons and next they hope to be able to place life rings on public docks.
    The ideas came about as the result of a language arts and social studies assignment which challenged the students to make a positive impact in their community.  The three friends recalled the drowning of 16-year-old Jerrad Ramon in Clear Lake last summer.  In addition, two of the the students’ families have experienced the loss of a family member by drowning.
    Arians said her mother’s cousin had drowned.  And while vacationing in Michigan last summer, she recalled seeing and talking about the life rings one community had placed at the end of public docks.  When she and her friends, who all say they enjoy spending time at the lake in the warm weather, brainstormed for an idea to make a positive difference, they thought of the life rings.
    Garrington, whose uncle Richard Pinheiro drowned in Clear Lake in July 2007, said he hopes their efforts will raise public awareness and hopefully prevent further drownings. 
    “I didn’t know (Jerrad Ramon), but I know drownings can be prevented,” said Garrington.  “Things like swim lessons and learning what to do in an emergency are something everyone can do.”
    The three planned to sell a special T-shirt, with funds going toward swim lessons and life rings.  Response to the T-shirt idea was not as well received as they had hoped, so instead they switched gears and began soliciting donations. 
    Arians and Betz also made a presentation to Clear Lake City Council members and received their endorsement of the life ring idea. 
    “They liked the idea and hoped we would follow through,” explained Betz.  The city representatives also encouraged the students to contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources about their plan. 
    “The life rings turned out to be much more expensive than- Read More Via e-Edition

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