Long Beach's Lifeguard Alumni Association gives out scholarships


The Long Beach Lifeguard Alumni Association recently announced its annual scholarship awards for deserving college-bound city lifeguards, today at the Carbona Family Lifeguard Pavilion. Chief of Lifeguards Rich Borawski and former chief and Alumni Association President Patrick Gallagher as part of the patrol’s annual awards ceremony, during which long-time Long Beach guards are recognized for their years of service, presented the scholarships.

Each summer, two first-year guards are selected for $500 scholarships by the alumni association based on the recommendations of the officers who supervise their work on the beach. Two additional guards who best exemplify the late Rosemary Daly’s commitment to community service also receive $500 scholarships. Selections for the Rowie Daly Scholarship are made by the patrol officers and former Assistant Chief Tom Daly, her husband.

“The association is a group of former lifeguards and we do what we can to help promote the patrol and lifeguarding in general,” said Danny Michaelis, vice president of the alumni association. “We’ve been granting scholarships now for about 10 years. We generally do it in conjunction with the patrol when they give out their service awards at the end of the summer.”

This year, the association also awarded a special scholarship in memory of Long Beach lifeguard Lewis Weiss. The Lewis Weiss scholarship was funded by his former beach partner Ken Dubey.

This year’s scholarships were funded in part by a donation from Burt Rapoport of Rapoport’s Restaurant Group Inc. Rapoport hosts the annual “Long Beach Day” every January in Delray Beach, which regularly draws close to 300 folks “with Long Beach sand in their shoes.” These people have relocated to or are wintering in the area. The attendees of the 2023 Long Beach Day donated more than $2,300 to the association’s college scholarship fund.

“The regular scholarships are based on the recommendations of the officers that work with them, their captain and lieutenants on the beach,” Michaelis said. “The second category is the Rowie Daly Scholarship and those are guards that best embody her commitment to public service. She was instrumental in starting the Junior Lifeguard program that the city still runs.”

The alumni association provided breakfast for this year’s awards ceremony in memory of Lou Ehrlich, who passed away in July at 103. Ehrlich joined the Long Beach Patrol in 1938 and was an active and enthusiastic member of the alumni association.

The alumni association formally started in 2014. They meet a few times a year, give out the scholarships and have reunion events. They’ve also been marching in Long Beach’s Memorial Day Parade every year since the group’s inception.