Your help is needed – urgently – to keep the a Bay Area fat tradition alive.  For 35 years, Making Waves Swim has been open to all self-identified fat women. The swim is now running a deficit and needs immediate financial support as well as your help to sustain the swim over the long term. Please keep reading and please help us spread the word by sharing this email with your own circle of friends.

The finances for the swim are rather simple – we need to bring in an average of $155/week to meet the costs for the pool and our insurance. ($139/week for the pool rental of 90 minutes plus required liability insurance. We don’t pay for weeks when the pool is closed.)

For the first quarter in 2016 we simply did not bring in enough money. We started with just under $900 in the bank, but because of Frances’ illness, the pool bill had not been paid for a few months. Total expenses thus far in 2016 are $2525. Income and other assets total $2349.13, leaving a shortfall of $175.87. Some members have generously agreed to subsidize the current shortfall on a one-time basis so that the March pool rental bill, for which rental expenses are already incurred, will be paid.

If the swim continues to run a deficit, the 35-year tradition of the Making Waves Fat Women’s Swim will end. Can you help us keep the tradition alive?

Payment for the swim has always operated on the honor system – we do not want to change that.

In order to assess whether Making Waves will be financially viable going forward, we plan to start having attendance sheets so we can track how many women come each week. Attendance has been quite low for most weeks in this past three months.

We also are committed to maintain the sliding scale of $6.50 – $20.00 (or more) per woman per swim. Frances White, who certainly knows this community very well, feels very strongly that it is important to keep this sliding scale in place to make the swim accessible to all self-identified fat women, and we agree.

In order for the Making Waves Swim to continue we need your help in several ways:

1. If you are in a position to make a donation of any size to keep the swim going, please do so now by sending cash or check payable to “Making Waves” to any member of the Coordinating Committee listed below. You can give them your cash or check donation at the swim, or send funds via Paypal to Elaine Lee at along with a note designating the funds for Making Waves Swim.


2. Please reach out to your friends and community to invite women to join the swim.  Perhaps offer a ride (or car pool) or offer to meet someone at the pool.  The idea of “each one bring one (or two)” would go a long way to alleviate our financial problems, increase attendance and also introduce or re-introduce fat women to a wonderful Bay Area fat tradition.


3. We need community members to volunteer to be on the Coordinating Committee.  All it takes is an interest in keeping a wonderful local fat community tradition alive, and a nominal monthly time investment each month for 6 months or 1 year.


4. We need community members to step up to organize or help organize fund-raisers for the swim.  You, the fat women’s community, must take active involvement/energy to increase attendance and fundraising efforts in order to keep our Making Waves swim alive. The Coordinating Committee does not have the capacity to organize fundraising, but might some Making Waves Swim members be willing to become an on-going Fundraising Committee to plan & implement some of the great fundraising ideas we think are out there? If so, please let any member of the Coordinating Committee know.


If we don’t bring in more money immediately, the swim will close within a couple of months. If we don’t find ways to sustain the swim financially over time, the swim will eventually close.  We are sad to think of Making Waves ending, but it is unfair to the Coordinating Committee members, Frances White, or any other community member to be obligated to subsidize a weekly fat women’s swim, wonderful as it is, that runs a deficit.


Yes, the situation is that dire.  We are asking for your help and telling you we need it.

Please, help us keep this 35-year resource for fat women alive and kicking. (Sorry, couldn’t resist a pun.)


The Making Waves Fat Women’s Swim Coordinating Committee

Judith Stein (, Lin Wilkerson (, Lynn Ellen Marcus (, Elaine Lee (

IMPORTANT PS – Actually very good news! On May 1 Frances White will be coming to the Making Waves swim. She’d love to see as many of you as possible.  Please come to the swim on Sunday, May 1 at 11:15 am at the Albany Pool and say hello to Frances!

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