Lifeguards honored at conference

Lifeguards honored at conference

February 14, 2013

Two lifeguards with Shawnee County Parks and Recreation received the Outstanding Lifeguard award at the annual meeting of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association that was held Jan. 28-31 in Manhattan. Tayler McCullough and Nick McKenzie were recognized for their dedication and perseverance to the Rossville swimming pool.

Rossville did not have a swimming pool as Tayler and Nick were growing up. Their dream was to have a place where kids could hang out and swim. So Tayler and Nick started a recycling campaign to raise money for a pool. The community realized how strong their desire was and in 2003 formed a community task force with the purpose of raising money. Tayler and Nick were core members of the task force and with $400,000 and bond money from the city; a pool was built in 2007. Tayler and Nick’s dedication did not end there. When they were old enough, Tayler and Nick applied and were hired to be lifeguards.

Jennifer Wegener, Recreation Program Coordinator who nominated the two, said “Not many grade school students have a goal of the magnitude that Tayler and Nick had and fewer still accomplish such goals. Tayler and Nick helped build a pool and then still had the desire to be employed at the pool. They went above and beyond the call of duty even before being lifeguards. Then as lifeguards they go above and beyond just because of how much they want the community to be the greatest. Everything they do is to ensure that the pool is a success for the kids.”