BENNINGTON >> When Nicole Goswami began working at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center a dozen years ago, she never would have guessed that a friendship with a fellow coworker would turn out to be a blessing for her Bennington Marauders swim team.
That friendship was made with Beth Wennar-Rosenberg, the chief executive officer of the United Health Alliance and the chair of the board of the Battenkill Valley Health Center in Arlington.
After talking to Wennar-Rosenberg about the Marauders and how they were short on their mission of raising enough money for their own scoreboard, explaining what the team was doing to fundraise, including selling baked goods, Goswami got a reply she didn't expect to get.
"She said, Let me know how much you need for the scoreboard after you finish your fundraising and I will front you the money and I was in shock," Goswami said. "Beth doesn't have any ties to the team, besides knowing me, so it was very kind of her to give us the money to get the scoreboard."
Over the years, Wennar-Rosenberg has donated money to local youth sport programs and after hearing about the Marauders scoreboard, she knew it was the right thing to help pay the remaining fees to get the team their wanted prize.
"Seeing how committed Nicole is to this team and how the whole program has been working so hard to raise enough money to get the scoreboard, I know this was a cause to pitch in on," Wennar-Rosenberg said. "Nicole's enthusiasm towards the team is just so contagious that I told her I'm going to write you the check and you go get that scoreboard for those kids."
Once the Marauders finished fund raising this winter, Wennar-Rosenberg added the rest of the money the team needed to get their new scoreboard. It was dedicated last year in memory of Elizabeth "Betty " Goswami, Nicole's mother, who help start the Marauders back in 1986.
The scoreboard was revealed this past Tuesday when the Marauders hosted their first meet of the summer season. Wennar-Rosenberg was there to support the team, amazed by the packed house atmosphere that filled the pool area in the Bennington Recreation Center after she was honored in a ceremony before the meet.
"Everybody in the Bennington community needs to come to these meets and see the energy that is pouring through the kids and the people that come to support them," Wennar-Rosenberg said. "You can see the enthusiasm these kids have about swimming and it's such an honor to bring more joy to these kids with helping get them their scoreboard because they deserve it."
The scoreboard is not the only thing Wennar-Rosenberg is planning.
"I told Nicole we're not done here. There is more that we need to do for this team," Wennar-Rosenberg said. "We need more stands in the building for the kids and their loved ones that come out to support. There are lots of things we can do to make things better for these kids, because if they can put their heart and soul into it, then why can't we."
After three years of raising money, the dedicated Marauders coach got her team the prize they always worked so hard for through a friendship she made 12 years ago.
Now the Marauders have an official scoreboard that adds to their program that growing more and more by the year.
"With Beth helping us get the scoreboard, it was huge relief for me because as a we accomplished our goal," Goswami said. "Now the kids have something that can show off the hard work they have been putting in the pool. It will also help us continue to grow as a program. This is great step for our program and I can't thank the team and Beth for all their hard work for making this goal possible."