by Danielle Wagner
CHARLES CITY (KWWL) For 23 years, Don McInroy has helped Nashua-Plainfield second graders learn to swim.
Without an indoor pool in Nashua, the students take a bus to the Family YMCA of Charles City.
"I got involved because years back they had trouble finding somebody who could come over at the time for just one hour and my business is only a block and a half away, so I was able to take my noon hour. I thought I was going to do it for one year, that was 23 years ago," said Don McInroy.
McInroy runs a car repair business in Charles City. On Tuesdays and Thursdays during the school year, he gives up his lunch hour to be in the water with the students. His first goal is to get the students comfortable in the water.
"We try to make it as safe as we can, and an enjoyable experience for them," he said.
Then, he works on building skills.
"Everybody's around water at some point in their life whether they're there on purpose or not so if you're not afraid you can handle the water a lot better than if you're afraid," said Don McInroy.
Nashua-Plainfield second graders get this opportunity because of a tragedy many years ago.
"Betty and Clint Richards sponsor this. They put money in a trust fund to pay for any kid to learn to swim. Betty's brother died many years ago swimming in the river and they wanted all the kids to have the opportunity to learn to swim," said McInroy.
Each session runs about an hour. The students practice swimming, and then they get time for fun. McInroy's helped hundreds of students learn to swim, but they've also touched his life.
"Two really stand out. One was afraid of the water, but he did learn to swim. He wrote me a note he wants to be a swim instructor. And another girl had cerebral palsy," said McInroy.
Even though McInroy only planned on volunteering for one year, he's glad he stuck with it all these years.
Reporter: Danielle Wagner