COMA runs an event called Beautiful Lake Juniper Buoy Swim once a year. This year it was conducted on May 21. The lane lines are removed, the center pontoon is moved to the end, and one buoy is anchored near each corner of the pool. The race is a USMS sanctioned event run by our Coach Bob Bruce. It is a 1200 meter race via 12 laps of the pool swimming around the buoys. It is a fun race for us. After the race is completed we (COMA) provide a breakfast of eggs, pancakes, and sausages. COMA buys the breakfast food. The Chef is Kevin, from the homeless shelter in Bend called Shepherd’s House*. Kevin has cooked for us for the last four years; each time we have held the race. Any left-over food goes back to the House with Kevin. I have been Kevin’s mentor** during his time at Shepherd’s House. I meet with Kevin once a week to coach him in life skills. Kevin enjoys cooking for people who love to eat after an event. He has also cooked for us at the Elk Lake Swim. He thoroughly enjoys the event.
*Shepherd’s House Ministries provides meals, and overnight housing. Services include hot showers, clothing, and medical care. The individuals who come to Shepherd’s House Ministries vary in age from 18 to 70.
**One of the cornerstones of the long-term program are the mentors from the Central Oregon community who are friends walking along side those who are served. Lifelong relationships are built based on time together, trust, and authenticity.