By Katya Yefimova Herald writer
LYNNWOOD — Thousands of people use the Lynnwood Recreation Center every week to swim, visit the gym and take classes.
Some of them wouldn’t be able to do so without the Recreation Benefit Fund.
The fund provides scholarships to children from low-income families, seniors and adults with disabilities who live within the Edmonds School District. It’s sponsored by the city, local businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Those who qualify get a 75 percent discount on fees. The maximum annual benefit per person is $200.
The city starts accepting applications at the beginning of each year on a first-come, first-serve basis, while money is available. The annual fund budget is $18,000, said Sarah Olson, a marketing supervisor with the city.
Last year, the city gave out $33,687, serving 250 families, 460 kids and 26 seniors.
“The 2011 total award far exceeds previous years due to the demand we are seeing with the reopening of the facility,” Olson said. “We were able to do that because we had reserves.”
More than $16,000 in scholarships was awarded so far this year to 159 families, 291 kids and 22 seniors.
To keep up with the demand, the city launched a number of fundraising efforts, like the Parks Foundation’s annual PaR 4 Kids Golf Tournament, Olson said. The golf tournament has raised more than $25,000 since it started in 2009. This year’s tournament is scheduled for July 27 at the Lynnwood Golf Course.
The recreation center also raised $855 for the fund last week during a rubber duck race, aquatics supervisor Bill Haugen said. About 100 people participated.
Children who qualify for the scholarships include those who receive federally subsidized lunches through the school district.
Adults who want to apply need to provide a letter from the Social Security Administration proving their permanent disability.
In addition to the regular scholarships, the Randy Terlicker Memorial Aquatics &Life Safety Scholarship is available each year to a student or professional seeking training in aquatics or life safety.
The scholarship was established in 1995 to honor the memory of a former Lynnwood aquatics supervisor and Seattle firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty.
The PaR 4 Kids Golf Tournament fundraiser is scheduled for 1 p.m. July 27 at the Lynnwood Golf Course, 20200 68th Ave. W. Check-in and lunch start at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $90 per player or $360 for four. To register or for more information, go to www.ci.lynnwood.wa.us/RBF.
Donations to the fund are always appreciated. To make a contribution, call 425-670-5732.