Changing current brings happiness
By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of Tracey Ray
Tracey Ray is a wife, mother, daughter and business owner. She spent most of her life in Green River, Wyoming before moving to Denver in 2000. That was a big year for her. Tracey moved, met and married “the love of her life,” Scott, and became an instant mother, helping Scott raise his twin daughters.
When the girls were teenagers, Scott felt they needed to add a new baby to the family. Tracey thought Scott was crazy at first, but he won her over eventually. A son, Keaton, joined the family in 2010. “I thank God every day I didn’t miss that experience,” Tracey said of adding Keaton to their family.
Recently, the Ray family dynamic shifted again. Tracey’s parents were both living at Legacy Village of Castle Pines, her mother with advanced Alzheimer’s in the memory care side, and her father with milder Alzheimer’s, on the assisted living side. When the pandemic severely restricted residents’ ability to socialize and leave their apartments, Tracey moved her father home with her own family.
“He was going crazy, staying in his apartment 24/7. We knew it would be hard, but we decided living with us would provide a better quality of life for him until the pandemic is over.”
When Keaton was about 6 months old, he started swim lessons at SafeSplash Swim School in Lone Tree. The experience was so great, they decided to jump in with both feet.
“After a 20-year career in human resources and corporate America, Scott and I decided to buy land, build a swim school and start our own business, said Tracey. “I built and operate the SafeSplash Swim School in Colorado Springs.”
Tracey is passionate about her efforts at SafeSplash and about lifesaving skills they teach every day. “I love my business. I tell my instructors that they save lives every day and will never know it. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1- 4, and the third leading cause of unintentional death worldwide. I am passionate that no child should ever drown; teaching kids to swim is the very best defense.”
Tracey’s passion for swimming is strong in the community too. Keaton’s swim instructor told her that Keaton was very ready for swim team when he was only 5 years old. Keaton joined the Castle Crocs summer swim team and never looked back. Keaton swept championships taking a gold medal in the 25-meter freestyle, 25-meter backstroke, and 25-meter breaststroke in the 6 and under divisions that first year. “We were hooked. Keaton continues to work hard and is a solid swimmer,” Tracey said.
Tracey currently volunteers on the Castle Crocs swim team board. She shares her enthusiasm for the community and swimming with everyone.