A Campaign Apart

By Jim McCloskey

For several years now, one of the people in the watershaping realm who has impressed me most is Tom Lachocki.

He’s the guiding spirit behind the research programs at the National Swimming Pool Foundation, a mover and shaker with the annual World Aquatic Health Conferences, the ambassador for the Certified Pool Operator system and, by the way, a very approachable, very bright guy.  In the years since he accepted his current position, he has raised NSPF’s profile, burnished its reputation and made it a distinctive voice in the industry.

All of this is by way of pointing you toward Tom’s recent blog:  “Do You Hate Presidential Politics?”  He starts by railing against the carpet-bombing of the airwaves by both parties in the swing state of Colorado (where he lives), and it immediately struck a chord for me even through I live in California, which is about as non-swinging a state as there is:  Even here, the flood of broadcast ads and the near-daily bursting of my mailbox is just too much.

But as I said, Tom’s a smart guy, and he deftly turned his rant about money in contemporary politics into a pitch for diverting a portion of donations away from the Obama and Romney campaigns and toward the truly worthy cause of teaching more children to swim.  As he puts it, “The money donated to Obama and Romney is the equivalent of what it would cost to give every three, four, five, and six year old (about 16 million kids) $125 each for swim lessons.”

This is not an entirely inartful suggestion on his part, as NSPF has just launched “Step Into Swim,” a program dedicated to improving national health, combating obesity and reducing dramatic increases in healthcare costs as well as the number of drowning incidents.  The 10-year campaign will work with organizations that teach children, adults and minority populations to swim. 

I won’t steal any more of Tom’s thunder:  There’s a link to his blog just below, and I urge each of you to read it and respond as you see fit.  I’m hoping that his message can be spread far and wide enough (and fast enough) that it might even go viral and catch the eye of people outside the watershaping industry who are so weary of this year’s presidential race that they will happily, gratefully donate to any different cause.

My hat’s off to Mr. Lachocki:  Well done. 

To read his blog, click here

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