The SOS Executive council is made up of local volunteers who are concerned about the safety of children in and around the water. There is no paid staff.
Kristen Graf Aronson
Mary Tidings Smith
Deanna Prater Van Skiver
SOS Sink or Swim began in 2014 under the Miles River Yacht Club Foundation, with the help of the St. Michaels Community Center and Talbot County Parks & Recreation. Working with local organizations such as Critchlow Adkins, Talbot Mentors, churches, schools, local police and others, information about the program brought SOS swimmers to the Bay Hundred Pool that first summer. Talbot County Parks & Recreation provided pool management and certified swim instructors, with the community center overseeing registrations and management of the sessions.
Since the summer of 2014, SOS has provided more than 3,000 swimming lessons at both community pools in St. Michaels and Easton. More than 2,500 students have been registered in our program, and each summer SOS swimmers and their families have celebrated their success at end-of-the year pool parties.
The SOS program continued to grow and be recognized as an essential component in saving lives in our area. After a record-breaking swimming season in 2016, the Miles River Yacht Club Foundation determined that the program was now serving needs in numbers and geographical direction beyond the scope of its mission; the Foundation and SOS agreed that the program should seek a fiscal sponsor that could provide the basis for its independent growth.
SOS Sink or Swim is now docked at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. SOS maintains its independence in program development and fundraising and is grateful to have a safe harbor within the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s non-profit status. Both organizations, with a love and respect for the water, believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn to swim, so they may safely benefit from all that our waters have to offer.