News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, June 10, 2021
Fishermen’s Wives donate $10,000 to Blue Hill YMCA
Safety programs, swimming lessons on tap

All about safety

Island Fishermen’s Wives Association representatives present a check for $10,000 for safety programs at the Lawrence Fitness Center. From left are Suzy Shepard, president of IFWA; Matt Montgomery, operations director; Debbie Robbins, an IFWA member; and Joy Bragdon, wellness and fitness director at the fitness center.

Photo by Eli Forman Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Leslie Landrigan

The Island Fishermen’s Wives Association donated $10,000 to the Lawrence Family Fitness Center last month to pay for safety programs—especially safety at sea.

Suzy Shepard, the group’s leader, called it a dream come true.

In 1989, two fishermen died at sea within a month of each other, so local women formed the Island Fishermen’s Wives Association to help fishermen and their families stay safe. For more than 25 years, they’ve been raising money for an island swimming pool through raffles, Fishermen’s Family Fun Day and public support.

Then the Lawrence family built a pool at their Blue Hill fitness center.

“This is as close to the island that a pool of this magnitude is ever going to get, so we asked the pool committee if they thought it was OK for us to collaborate with the Y and they said yes!” Shepard said in an email. “We are very proud of all of the hard work that everyone has done.”

Several programs are under consideration, including a fourth- and fifth-grade safety swim program, safety classes using survival suits and family swim time.