This fund was established in memory of Donovan Kessler. Donovan Kessler was a vibrant three year old boy who loved the water. He was drawn to water in all seasons of weather and greatly enjoyed his time at his Grandma’s house on Big Lake. While on vacation in North Carolina, Donovan found his way through a locked gate on a fence surrounding a covered swimming pool and didn’t think twice before climbing onto the pool tarp. Despite heroic rescue efforts, Donovan drowned.
The greatest sadness in losing a small child this way comes with the knowledge that drowning can be prevented. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that most children who drown in swimming pools were last seen indoors, had been out of sight for less than five minutes and were in the care of one or both parents. While drowning rates tend to be higher in warmer climates, our own Whitley County is not exempt from the potential for this heartbreaking loss.
Determined to prevent this to happening to other youngsters in our community, Donovan’s grandmother established this fund which will provide scholarships for children under five who would like to attend swimming lessons at the Whitley Count YMCA or the Russel and Evelyn Fahl Aquatics Center in Columbia City.