Earlier this month, the YMCA of Springfield reduced operating hours at both of their facilities due to COVID mitigation. The reduction in hours also affected lap lane availability at Kerasotes. Arthur Steiner, Kerasotes Aquatics Director said, “We just didn’t have the certified staff to be able to provide lap swimming from 10:00 am -1:00 pm.” He was receiving feedback from members about opening the lap lanes during this time and reached out to Lynn Ehmen to ask for her help. Without hesitation Lynn said, “What do you need?”
Last week Lynn Ehmen and her two children, Peri and Bennett, started volunteering and taking turns lifeguarding so our members can swim. Lynn and her husband, Ryan, are parents of four kids with a long history with the YMCA. Members frequently request Lynn as a swim instructor. All four of her kids learned to swim at the Y and all four at some point, participated on the SPY swim team.
Peri is a Sophomore at Maryville college studying Pre-Occupational Therapy. She is currently taking remote classes to finish up the semester and Bennett is taking on-line high school classes. The online classes have created a bit of flexibility in their schedules, so they are able to help. When asked what they like the most about volunteering as a lifeguard, Peri says, “I love talking with the people who are using the swim lane. I have met some very interesting people doing this.” In their spare time, Peri is learning how to cook, and Bennett loves music. He plays bass, guitar, piano, and the French horn.
Lynn has been a shining example to her kids when it comes to giving back to her community. It is no surprise that her kids agreed to volunteer their time to lifeguard. Lynn dedicates her time ensuring those who need food in our community have access to food pantries. She has spent some of her time building, painting, filling, and maintaining various food pantries in the Springfield community.
When I asked Peri and Bennett one word they would use to describe their mom, they said, “Generous.” When I asked Lynn one word to describe her two children she said, “For Peri it would be kind and for Bennett it would be gifted.” I guess when you combine generous, kind and gifted you get something amazing. Thank you to the Ehmen trio for their gifts of time and talent.