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The Observer Paper 12/22/14

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One life can make a huge difference.

Even though Frank McClure Goshorn of La Grande died May 27 at the age of 82, the inspiration he left at Veterans Memorial Pool could serve children for years to come. And it might even save a life or two.

Teresa Stein, who works at the pool, and Joanne Druist, instructor for the Gentle Aquatic Exercise Class, were inspired by Goshorn's presence and courage at the pool.

Goshorn spent a great deal of time swimming and exercising in the water. He was a long-time lap swimmer, coming regularly to enjoy the chance to move in the water, Stein and Druist said. The water was especially important to Goshorn after he got severe gout in his feet, which made walking painful.

Goshorn suffered a stroke, but returned to the pool to learn again how to float and swim. He had to start with blowing bubbles and bobbing, just like a beginning swimmer, but he persisted and would not give up until he was able to swim laps, Stein and Druist said.

The two want to remember Goshorn by giving children the chance to learn to swim. They've set up the Frank Goshorn Memorial Swimming Scholarship to provide that opportunity for several youngsters. The Gentle Aquatic Exercise Class has donated about $200 to get the fund started. Other contributions are being accepted. Call the pool for information.

Children who would like to apply for a scholarship can pick up an application at the pool at 401 Palmer Ave. In a short essay, children are being asked to explain what they think of Frank Goshorn's life and how learning to swim (or improving their skills) will help them. Applications must be returned by Friday for consideration by the awards committee for the current round of scholarships.

Several children will take swimming lessons because of the Goshorn scholarship program. One of them might learn the skills to keep them alive if they fall out of a boat in a lake or are caught in a river rapids.

Frank Goshorn, who lived in La Grande for 52 years after moving here from Hayward, Calif., would be pleased to know he had helped a child.

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