Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - Society Scene - Palm Beach - - Special Feature - BY MERED­ITH CLE­MENTS, So­ci­ety Scene As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor Pho­tos by KARA STARZYK

Shouts echo against the tiled walls, swim­ming caps bob smoothly down the lanes, wa­ter splashes over the edge, as the smell of chlo­rine over­whelms your senses. Kids scurry into the locker rooms with tow­els wrapped around their shoul­ders, par­ents keep a watch­ful eye on their chil­dren, as the el­derly work­out with wa­ter weights or splash around with their grand­chil­dren. The whis­tle blows and class is called to or­der as the Boca Ra­ton YMCA Aquatic Swim team lines up to the di­rec­tion of Coach Christo­pher Laudato.

Orig­i­nally from the Mid­west, Laudato and his wife, Hope, have lived in Boca Ra­ton for 17 years. With a daugh­ter in mid­dle school and an­other daugh­ter in med­i­cal school, Laudato keeps up with the youth­ful com­mu­nity of Boca by spending time at the YMCA as the vol­un­teer swim coach. Who (in­spired you to be in­volved): My late best friend Dave Bobeck who was al­ways in­volved as a vol­un­teer, head over heals, with kids and their sports. What (led you to vol­un­teer): I al­ways wanted to try to help oth­ers in the hopes that what I can con­trib­ute, could help to make the world a bet­ter place for every­one now and into the fu­ture. Where (do you find the drive to vol­un­teer): The youth of to­day are the fu­ture of to­mor­row. Help­ing them grow in a pos­i­tive man­ner in their lives en­sures a bet­ter fu­ture and world for all. When (did you be­gin to vol­un­teer): I started out of high school as a youth ac­tiv­i­ties di­rec­tor for the Jaycees and have con­tin­ued in dif­fer­ent youth re­lated groups ever since. Why (do you find this re­ward­ing): My count­less en­coun­ters with the suc­cess­ful young peo­ple who have grown to ex­cel to their dreams and as­pi­ra­tions and have moved for­ward to give back to oth­ers.

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