Mynne Schmidt, who is simply known as Sis around the Y, is a sweet woman with a big heart and an even bigger passion for swimming.
“I’ve been a swimmer for most of my life,” Sis said. “I learned to swim at five-years-old in the DuPage River. It put me onto a lifetime of swimming.”
For more than a decade, Sis has been a generous donor at the YMCA, where she’s had a membership since 1998. Each year, she donates at least $1,000 to benefit those who need membership and program scholarships. Recently, Sis decided to add to her legacy by giving an endowment of $10,000.
While chatting in the lobby of the Galowich Family Y, Sis recalls a heartbreaking news story about an entire family who drowned in a motel pool because they didn’t have proper aquatic training.
“That really affected me,” she said. “I thought, ‘I’ve got to do something. People have to learn how to swim.’”
Because of her generosity, kids will be provided with swim lessons through Project SOAR (Smith Opportunities for Activities and Recreation). Children will have the opportunity to learn how to swim, to be safe around water and to experience the joy of the being in a pool.
To this day, Sis actively swims in the lap pool—up to a half-mile per day, she says. At 88-years-old, she is sharp as ever, despite battling through bladder cancer, and recently, shoulder surgery. While the surgery has put a temporary hold on her swimming routine, Sis keeps on moving. Three days a week, she participates in the Y’s Swimnastics program, which contributes to her rehabilitation.
“I’m having fun,” Sis said. “I’m very blessed to still be doing things at this age.”
Learning to swim has been a skill that has truly lasted Sis a lifetime. Thanks to her, local children will have the same opportunity to learn something that they’ll never forget.