Exchange Club Honors Lifeguards of the Year for 2020, 2021


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By C. Jayden Smith

The Exchange Club of San Clemente on Thursday, May 19, recognized two of the city’s lifeguards, Raselle Chetwynd and Jaden Blanc-Hall, for their service to the community, naming them each as Lifeguards of the Year for 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Chetwynd, who first joined the City of San Clemente’s Marine Safety Team in 2014 alongside Blanc-Hall, became the first woman to receive the peer-nominated honor in its 42-year history. price. Over the years, the two rose through the ranks to become ocean lifeguard supervisors.

Members of the Exchange Club gathered with city officials, dignitaries and fellow lifeguards of the winners at the San Clemente Community Center for the annual awards ceremony, which marked a return to normal traditions after an induced hiatus by the pandemic.

Both winners received a new custom Terry Senate surfboard bearing their name, a plaque from the San Clemente Exchange Club, and custom painted artwork by local artist Kelan O’Brien.

Mayor Gene James presented Chetwynd and Blanc-Hall with Mayor’s Challenge coins and delivered a speech in recognition of their achievement. James was joined by fellow council members, City Manager Erik Sund and Samantha Wylie, the city’s director of beaches, parks and recreation.

Maritime Safety Capt. Rod Mellot spoke about the two award winners, sharing that they are exemplary members of the Maritime Safety Division and bring valuable skills to the team.

“The City of San Clemente is honored to have these two extraordinary Ocean Lifeguard Supervisors on its Marine Safety Team who exemplify professionalism, an unwavering commitment to safety, and display bravery while protecting our San Clemente beaches,” the city wrote in a press release.

C. Jayden Smith

C. Jayden Smith graduated from Dana Hills High in 2018 before pursuing a bachelor’s degree in digital and broadcast journalism at the University of North Texas. After graduating in December 2020, he reported for the Salina Journal in Salina, Kansas. Jayden loves college football and bothers his black lab named Shadow.

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