Family carries on daughter's legacy through foundation - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Family carries on daughter's legacy through foundation

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Our Jefferson Award Winners for July suffered a great tragedy when they lost their daughter ten years ago.

But the Glovers turned to volunteering to help them heal, and lit a spark in their own community to help kids.

Shelley Glover was a gifted athlete.

She was a swimmer, soccer player and a member of the U.S. Ski Team.

She also had a passion for helping others.

"She said, 'Mom I wish all children could do the sports I get to do," says her mom, Carmella Glover.

Tragically, in 2004, Shelley died in a skiing accident, before her 18th birthday.

"We knew immediately what we wanted to do in her memory was provide access to sports for underserved children."

So her parents Rich and Carmella and her sister, Bonnie, started the Shelley Glover Foundation.

It provides free swimming lessons to hundreds of kids every year, along with equipment and transportation.

Rich says, "Very small , very humble beginning to something that's pretty significant right now."

"If we can help kids learn how to swim and develop a lifelong habit, we're going to keep them healthier for their whole life," says Carmella.

The foundation also teaches children to pay it forward.

They raise money through events like Kids Swimming for Kids.

"Really develops leadership skills and compassion for others," says Rich.

This year the foundation partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County to expand the swimming lessons to 220 more kids in Madison.

But it's not just at the pool the foundation is helping kids.

This is a year round effort, also teaching them life lessons on the ski hill and soccer field.

Races in Shelley's memory are held every year at Tyrol Basin and Marquette Mountain.

They raise scholarship money for students  to continue their skiing careers in college.

The foundation also partnered with the Millennium Soccer Club, providing money to train the coaches and give players a night of fun at Goodman Pool.

In total, this year the foundation is giving away $35,000 in scholarships.

"I can't imagine every other parent doesn't enjoy it or want their child to succeed just as much as we did," says Carmella. "Giving that gift is amazing."

It's a gift the Glovers say Shelley would be proud of.

"This was her dream. Shelley is right here with us and she's just saying 'This rocks," says Carmella.

Carrying on Shelley's legacy of giving back makes the Glovers our Jefferson Award Winners for July.

If you'd like to learn more about the Shelley Glover foundation, click here.


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