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The Millbrook Independent

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Jul 25th
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Tragedy leads to triump for disadvantaged children
Written by News Desk   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 15:05

1-9campryne1Children at Camp Ryne learn to swim thanks to donations of volunteers.

Photos: Special to The Indy

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In 2010 Ryne Odom of Millbrook joined the U.S. Navy with aspirations of becoming a rescue swimmer. Odom loved swimming and trained vigorusly for the job. After training for months Odom was finally awarded a contract to take a position on a Special Warfare Combatant Craft Crew (SWCCC) or 'swick team.' Tragically while on a break just two months before his departure Ryne drowned in the Alabama River.

1-9rynePhoto left: Ryne Odom

Ryne's family and friends committed to a fundraising effort that supports a swim camp for children named, Camp Ryne, in Odom's honor. The family partnered with YMCA Camp Chandler in 2011with the goal of sponsoring at least 40 children for swim class. These children come from families that would otherwise not be able to afford summer camp to learn to swim at Camp Chandler. The cost to send a child to the camp is $135. Thanks to the efforts of Odom's family, friends and generous donors 57 children were able to participate in Camp Ryne. Last year that number had climbed to 127 children at the camp. So far more than 280 children have participated in Camp Ryne, many of whom left with not just knowledge but a passion for swimming.

"Ryne loved the outdoors and swimming and he would have wanted every child to have the opportunity to discover this passion," said Randy Odom, Ryne's brother.

Donors can even visit the camp and enjoy a campfire meeting with the children helped by their efforts.

If you are interested in helping to sponsor a child for Camp Ryne, all donations are tax exempt and can be made out to YMCA Camp Chandler c/o Camp Ryne. Donations of any amount are accepted and appreciated. For more information or to donate with a credit card please contact YMCA at 334-229-0033 or mail donations to PO Box 2339 Montgomery, AL 36102.

 
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