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Legacy Awards $10,000 to Help Kids Learn to Swim


mount rainier pool staff


A $10,000 grant to support Mount Rainier Pool's efforts to train new lifeguards and swim instructors was approved by the Des Moines Legacy Foundation in its 2022 annual budget.

It usually costs applicants $250 to attain lifeguard certification and another $200 for swim instructor certification. The Legacy grant allows pool staff to offer the classes for free.

Swimming is an essential life skill that has life-long health implications and benefits a child's education prospects, according to numerous studies. It also enhances a child's access to recreational and career opportunities while significantly reducing the chances of childhood drownings.

Unfortunately, there is a nationwide shortage of lifeguards and swim instructors.

"Legacy is particularly proud to help make sure there are enough swim instructors to support our kids as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic," said Patrice Thorell, foundation president. "The significant part about this grant is that having enough lifeguard/instructors increases the opportunity for both little kids to learn to swim while our young adults will be developing skills that can benefit their chosen careers."

Although the training comes with no strings attached, Legacy is hopeful that the recipients will seek employment at Mount Rainier Pool.

"With the nationwide lifeguard/swim instructor shortage, these young adults are going to be in demand. But we're hoping they will choose to support the community that is supporting them," Thorell said.

The Des Moines Pool Metropolitan Park District operates Mount Rainier Pool, and District Manager Scott Deschenes said the Legacy grant comes at a particularly significant time.

"The District is not only trying to assist our kids coming out of Covid, but we are also trying to make sure that swimming instruction is available to all demographic groups across the city," Deschenes said. "Increasing the number of guards/instructors is essential to achieving those goals. Thank you, Legacy."



Legacy Helps to Build the Robust Arts and Culture Community
The Foundation is extremely proud of supporting the visual and performing arts for more than two decades!

Art of Poverty Bay (AOPB), the brainchild of Nancy Stephan, former Des Moines Arts Commissioner and revered Des Moines Legacy Foundation member, provides our region with access to works by northwest artists. In 2014, with Nancy's leadership, the AOPB was established as Des Moines' first public art program with major funding by the Des Moines Legacy Foundation, business partners, family memorials, and the Foundation's Poverty Bay Arts Gala.

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A Legacy of Summer Cultural Programming for Families


A little-known fact is that the Foundation funded the first free Summer Concerts in the Park series at Des Moines Beach Park and Wooton Park for almost a decade prior to the re-establishment of the Des Moines Arts Commission. Led by former Legacy President and community advocate Clark Snure, the Foundation stepped up when City resources were not available to provide important community events. Recently, the Foundation purchased and donated the huge 30 ft inflatable outdoor movie screen and projection equipment for the Parks and Recreation Department to show its popular summer Outdoor Movies in the Park. The movies are now held each year at the Des Moines Beach Park and at Midway Park. This program makes family entertainment accessible to all citizens regardless of their ability to pay for a theater ticket.

Please Join the Legacy Arts Initiative
We are dedicated to our Mission to cultural equity in the Des Moines community. We hope you will join us as we work to reinvigorate the quality of life for our citizens and to create a robust business atmosphere for our community.

The Foundation is seeking support from interested citizens, businesses, and granting agencies to partner with us to match our dedicated Arts Fund of $20,000 to enhance the arts in Des Moines. With your support, Legacy will lead the initiative to make Des Moines a destination for great arts!

Visit Our Donations Page Here >>



2022 Community Services Donations Announced


The Des Moines Legacy Foundation board of directors at their annual January planning retreat voted and approved the 2022 Budget for community services that supports its mission statement.

$10,000 to Des Moines Metropolitan Park District, Mt Rainier Pool- Accessible Teen Lifeguard Training

$10,000 to Destination Des Moines Waterland Festival- Free Children's Arts Festival and Summer Events for Families

$5,000 to Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market- Capitol Purchase (Market Canopies) and Matching Funds (Food for Low Income Seniors)

$2,000 to Grace Lutheran Church- Medical Teams International Mobile Dental Van- Services for Low Income Seniors

$10,000 to Youth Experiential Training Institute- Outdoor Recreation Activities for Low Income Youth

$9,100 to City of Des Moines- Public Art Purchases including: American Venus by Karsten Boysen, Tail Slap by Pat McVay, and Harpoon by Ben Dye, and Summer Concert by The Beatnicks

$25,000 to City of Des Moines- Play Area Replacement at historic Des Moines Field House Park, TBD

$5,000 to Grace In Action- Build/Repair Residential Accessways for Des Moines Seniors

$10,000 to General Fund- Insurance, Licensing, Storage, Website, Administrative Costs, and $2,000 City Currents/Waterland Blog Marketing.

Please note that the release of funds may require further approval or grant requests prior to distribution.

The directors of the Des Moines Legacy Foundation thank our supporters, partners, and donors for helping to make Des Moines a better community through parks, recreation, senior services, arts, historic preservation, and human services.




Projects Supported by Des Moines Legacy Foundation


Des Moines Garden Projects
Des Moines Garden Projects
Sonju Community Orchard and Garden, opened in 2010, is a gathering spot for gardeners, elementary school kids, and our whole neighborhood. The garden offers annual p-patch rentals and grows food for the Des Moines Area Food Bank. Stop by and enjoy our garden paradise patch!
Des Moines Art Commision
Des Moines Art Commision
The mission of the Des Moines Arts Commission is to provide leadership in establishing cultural opportunities to improve the quality of life, enhance the aesthetic environment and to promote Des Moines as a center for great arts.



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