Dick Brewer Receives 2001 Dorothy Donnelly Award
Volunteering came naturally
Dick Brewer of Florida Gold Coast Masters wasn’t a swimmer until he retired from a career as a school teacher. Since that day, he has not only been a swimmer but one of U.S. Masters Swimming’s most valuable volunteers. According to Brewer, “As soon as I started swimming, I started volunteering. It is a great way to make friends and stay busy.” Brewer uses his skill and training to volunteer his time as a webmaster to his club team as well as other club teams in the area.
Brewer has also created a series of maps in PDF form to most of the competition pools in Florida. He has made his “Minnow Maps” available to pretty much everyone in Florida and the surrounding states. The maps are often linked to meet information sheets by Masters and age group clubs hosting meets, which makes getting to the meets a lot easier for participants and attendees. Since joining U.S. Masters Swimming in 1996, Brewer has served as an LMSC newsletter editor and webmaster as well.
This retired English teacher not only volunteers his time to USMS, but also to a local Audubon society and to USA Swimming teams in his area. “I would encourage anyone to volunteer with kids. It keeps us young. I love showing young swimmers that swimming can be fun at any age.” Brewer participates in bird census activities, requiring long hours in nature preserves and wild areas. He also organizes and leads field trips into the wildlife sanctuaries for schoolchildren in Naples, where he currently resides.
Brewer says, “Volunteering for USMS is great. Where there is something to be done, I am happy to do it,” but don’t let this worker-bee attitude fool you; Brewer is also an innovator. Brewer is currently working on further developing the Florida Open Water Championship Series. FOWCS is a postal event created (in 2008) and operated by Brewer. The Masters event is based on a cumulative score for open water swimmers, based on previous open water event performances. Brewer’s postal event is currently in its second year (in 2009). Participants receive a t-shirt and patch designed by Brewer for their efforts. Brewer hopes to grow FOWCS to 30 swimmers. Brewer, who considers himself primarily a breaststroker, views this open water series as a “new challenge.”
Dick Brewer, school teacher turned swimmer, Audubon and wildlife expert, open water series creator and USMS volunteer, epitomizes the passion, drive and commitment that USMS not only appreciates but credits for its success.
Dick Brewer was the recipient of the USMS Dorothy Donnelly Service Award in 2001.
(From article written in 2009 and posted on January 26, 2010, in the USMS Streamlines For Volunteers)