This week and last week, community members were offered free swimming lessons thanks to the efforts from Ascension Parish twins Torrence and Thurman Thomas - The Thomas Brothers. Through their program, Tankproof, hundreds of children have been able to learn how to swim.

The program first began six years ago as an idea inspired by the Thomas Brothers. They teamed up with church organizations to coordinate the program at Crawfish Aquatics in Baton Rouge.

After much research, the duo decided that the way to give back to their community would be to teach low income children to swim, as 70 percent of African-American and minority children don’t know how to swim. In the United States, 10 people drown daily, with at least two of those victims being children.

“Our mission is to give underserved kids the gift of swimming,” Torrence said. “We feel like swimming is a life skill and through swimming we will be able to build confidence not only in the individuals, but through the individuals and to the rest of our community locally here in Gonzales. We fee like it is an essential life skill that needs to be offered to these kids. If they can’t afford it themselves we will provide them the opportunity."

The two-week session began the last week of July and concluded this Friday.