KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Greater Kingsport YMCA got a special gift Thursday from the Kingsport Area Safety Council. They were presented with 100 new life vests for the YMCA’s aquatic activities.
The vests will be used by children and special needs adults.
“We were very excited to get to throw our old ones away,” said Camp Director Sarah Anne Walker. “They were thread-bare, you could kind of see the inside stuff from them.”
The cost of $850 came from the KASC’s Junior Godsey Memorial Award. The old vests were also awarded by the council, but that was years ago.
“We, of course, could not afford to buy these, so to have this will be life-changing for so many of our kids that have no idea how to swim during the summer and for our staff, who struggle to get the old ones on them correctly, this is going to be awesome,” Walker said.
Walker added, “Last summer, at the end of it, I think we had probably about eight usable ones left hanging on this rack. The rest of them had ripped or we had to just throw away.”
The safety council established an annual grant program in memory of Junior Godsey, a member of the Kingsport Lifesaving Crew who was killed during a water rescue operation near Roan Mountain.