In the News - Brevard County Life Guards Qualify
for National Competition
County lifeguards who qualified to
participate in the United States Lifesaving
Association National Lifeguard Challenge
will be able to compete thanks to donations
from Melbourne PAL and the Local Community.
Four Brevard County lifeguards have
qualified to participate in the United States Lifesaving Association
(USLA) National Lifeguard
Challenge August 7, 8, and 9 in Manhattan Beach, California.
The qualifiers are Austin Moore,
18, of Melbourne Beach, Charles Ballou,
17, of Malabar, and Trevor Lindt,
20, of Melbourne, who finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the 2-mile beach run at the
Southeast Regional competition the week of 13 July in Siesta Key,
Also qualifying was team captain Eisen Witcher,
22, of Cocoa Beach, who won the beach flags competition.
Brevard County Ocean Lifeguards
show the medals they won at the recent competition. From left to
right: Charles Ballou, Austin Moore and Trevor Lindt.
winning the Southeast Regional event and qualifying for the National
Challenge, the team was confronted with the problem of raising
enough funds to pay for the trip to California. The cost of the trip
was estimated at $2000.00 and there were no funds available to pay
for it, said Ocean Rescue Chief Wyatt Werneth.
"I'm very proud of them, I want to see them get out
there," Werneth said.
Brevard County Ocean Lifeguards at
Spessard Holland South Beach Park in Melbourne Beach with Melbourne PAL Event
Coordinators. From left to right: Austin Moore, Charles Ballou,
Donna Bollinger, Greater Melbourne PAL Executive Director Delores
Pryce, Matt Linden, and Eisen Witcher (front).
Life guard Austin Moore, a
local athlete with ties to the South
Beaches Basketball Association(SBBA)
as both a basketball player and a youth referee, along with father
Tom Moore who also serves in the
local community as a basketball referee are well known within the
Greater Melbourne PAL Police
Athletic League (PAL).
Donna Bollinger, a PAL parent
and active volunteer is a local community leader and founder of the
Legacy Sports and Life Skills
Ms. Bollinger also works with
the youth of the Melbourne Police
as the local coordinator of the School of Skills Youth
Developmental Basketball League.
Due a near ocean drowning incident of her son who participates in
the Melbourne Police Athletic League Basketball Program, Ms.
Bollinger has become an active supporter of the
United States Lifesaving Association (USLA).
Life Guard Austin Moore provides
Ocean Safety Instruction to the youth of the Greater Melbourne
Police Athletic League.
When Ms. Bollinger
approached the Melbourne Police
about helping to fund the Eisen Witcher Team
to permit them to compete in California, an arrangement was made
where in return for a donation from PAL in support of the trip,
Witcher and fellow lifeguards
would host an outing for about 45 youth from the inner-city
communities of Booker T. Washington, Carver Park, and the Grant
Street Community, along with local beach-side athletes participating
in the Melbourne Police Athletic League.
provides instruction on Rip Currents
Mr. Brian Wetzel,
Greater Melbourne PAL President, saw this as an opportunity to bring
together the beach-side and inner-city communities in a cooperative
effort that would be a "win-win" proposition for the already very
diversified Melbourne PAL program. The event was held on Tuesday, 5 August
Holland South Beach Park
in Melbourne Beach and included sessions on open water and beach safety.
Melbourne PAL Youth, Life Guards and
Volunteers Having a Good Time in the Ocean
going to talk about everything from what to do if you see a
jellyfish, to what you do if you get in a rip current, and some of the
hazards of actually going out and swimming,"
said Melbourne Police Officer and Greater Melbourne PAL
Executive Director Delores Pryce.
"We're looking forward to them [Witcher and fellow
lifeguards] doing that for these
kids. A lot of them are not beach goers. If they don't know
about these possible dangers they could get seriously hurt or
worse. I call it invaluable information,"added Officer Pryce.
Tuesday's event was well organized and an overwhelming success,
thanks to Greater Melbourne PAL Executive Director Officer Delores Pryce,
Melbourne PAL at Carver Park Director Marthenia Jones,
Melbourne City employee "Ms. Mary" Bailey,
and volunteers Donna Bollinger, Matt Coelyn, Vanessa Ziade
and Jim Lutz.
Vanessa Ziade and Jim Lutz take
time out to pose for a photo at the Melbourne PAL Ocean Safety Day.
owner of Long Doggers
restaurant with locations in Indialantic, Satellite Beach,
Melbourne, Palm Bay, and South Daytona, Florida ensured that
everyone was well fed with his own special variety of hot dogs, a
favorite of the local beach-side community, and even manned the grill
and did the cooking himself.
Al Steiginga, owner of Long
Doggers restaurant prepares "long dogs" for the Melbourne PAL youth
In teaching the beach and ocean safety course, our lifeguards made
use of a memorization technique approved and endorsed by the USLA
wherein awards were provided to our children when responding to a
question with the correct answer. Thanks to
representative Kenny Kozack for providing T-shirts, hats, wallets,
and school binders, and Hurley representative
Josh Redd for T-shirts and
hats utilized as the awards in our beach safety competitions.
Melbourne PAL Youth Responding to
Questions on Ocean Safety
Thanks also to Ocean Potion for providing us with an ample supply of
suntan lotion, and to
Beachside Produce for the more than ample
supply of refreshing cold watermelons.
Finally, our thanks go out to our lifeguards Austin Moore,
MattLinden, Trevor Lindt,
and Charles Ballou
for the on-the-water and beach-side water safety instruction.
We wish the team well in their competition at the United States Lifesaving Association
National Lifeguard Challenge
in Manhattan, California this week.