Evanston/North Shore

24-Hour Relay for Oz

"In the U.S., there is a history of exclusion that keeps many African American children from the water. I find this so sad because we live beside a lake that could be as much fun as the beaches in Jamaica, but you don’t see many African American families at the beach. I am glad that we are working to change that, and I can see the results already in our great YWCA Flying Fish program." - Oz


Saturday, May 19 - Sunday, May 20 

Our 5th annual 24 hour Oz Relay, in memory of Oswald Roper, will start at 1 pm on Saturday, May 19th and end at 1 pm on Sunday, May 20th. Our goal is to fill all five lanes for the 24 hour period.

Oswald Roper died in 2013, but he taught swimming at YWCA Evanston/North Shore for 20 years, and shared deeply in YWCA's belief that all children should learn to swim. (Read his inspirational story here.) In his honor, the Oswald Roper Memorial Fund, the Oz Swim Meet and the 24-hour Relay for Oz were started to provide funding for aquatics outreach and scholarships so that all children could have access to swimming lessons.

In 2017, over 300 children whose families could not otherwise afford the cost learned life-saving swim instruction at YWCA Evanston/North Shore thanks to supporters like you. A number of those children now participate on the Flying Fish Swim Team.

How does the Oz Relay work? 

Each Oz Relay participant is asked to donate $108 for each 30 minute leg they swim. That $108 donation will support one full scholarship (7 lessons) for a child from our community. They'll receive life-saving, and potentially life-changing, swim instruction. You'll feel great.

The Oz Relay is open to anyone high school age and above. You can choose your relay time, and we'll provide life guards, cheerleaders, music, refreshments, kick boards, pull buoys, noodles -- whatever it takes to get you through the half hour -- we don't judge! Please join us.


Thanks for your continued support of YWCA Evanston/North Shore in memory of Oz!


Learn more, get safe, get involved, empower yourself.