Text and photo by Heather Lee

January 26, 2014 – It was an amazing event with a few hundred people in attendance to benefit a wonderful cause…It is an annual fundraiser to benefit the YMCA of MEWSA Annual Support Campaign, The Ryan Patterson Memorial Scholarship and the MEY swim team. It is an all day event held at Raritan Bay YMCA in Perth Amboy and run mostly by volunteers. The spectator stands were filled and there were more swim teams present then I could count. Smiles abounded, team spirit was everywhere.

It started a few years back as a tribute to honor Ryan Patterson, the Metuchen YMCA swim coach who passed away at a very young age. She was clearly loved by so many, as her memory was honored everywhere. Countless backs of swimmer were adorned with RMP in ink. Her motivational quotes and sayings could be found all over. Tee shirts in every color, along with special ones worn by the MEY Swim Team honored her legacy. Her parents, Mike and Marie Patterson, who are loved by so many in Metuchen, as owners of the towns very own little ice cream shop, “Whats the Scoop” were present, as well as some of her family members, who also help to coach the team now.

The day was a beautiful tribute to honor a wonderful woman. I am honored to have photographed it.