Theunis Van Aardt
STC Dive Center would like to extend a great big thank you to all of our helpers with the I Tried SCUBA events this summer at camp Mitigwa! We truly could not have done it without you. Many of the scouts said it was their favorite thing about camp this year! You were wonderful with the kids and helped create memories that will last a lifetime for all that were involved.
Theunis Van Aardt
Last month I gave thanks to the STC Dive Center community but as the year comes to a close I want to give 2 more people a special tribute because without them there would be no STC Dive Center.
Let's start with a person that some of you may remember from back in July 2012 when the new Matt Leyden's Dive Shop opened, Diana Smith, my mother. For those of you who don't remember, she is the lady that always wore a heavy coat, even in the summer! She loaned us the money for the building sign and the first Aqua Lung order (we paid her back in only 1.5 years). She also greeted everyone that came in, kept track of sales, answered the phone, relayed messages, handled correspondence, and kept me informed of what was going on in the shop while I was at my full time job. She did all this for 3 years without pay because she believed in me and in the Dive Shop. Even when she was no longer able to make it in she continued to encourage me and inquire about how things were going at the shop until her death in May of this year. Though she is gone, her memory will continue on in the shop and with those who knew her.
The other person I would like to mention is Matt Leydens. He was one of my instructors back in 1975 at the YMCA. He was also my dive partner and most recently, my business partner until May of this year. Matt was one of the pioneers in diving. He was diving and teaching others to dive before there were any certifying agencies. We dove together on many trips and I helped him with his classes for many years as a volunteer, an assistant instructor, and eventually as an instructor. In May of 2012, after retiring from his main business, he asked me to help him reopen the shop as a full partner. We continued to dive and work together until he was no longer able to at the age of 88 (he is 91 now) and in May of this year I was able to purchase his half of the business and , at his request, change the name to STC Dive Center.
Both of these people paved the way for STC Dive Center to become what it is today and I am so grateful for all they have contributed to our continued success!
It's Thanksgiving, and as the owner of STC Dive Center I have a lot to be thankful for this year! First I want to thank my wife, Teresa Kitchen, for all the love, encouragement, and support she has provided me with through everything.
I am also thankful for the top-notch staff that I work with to help serve the diving community.
-Terry Orr- Divemaster/Technician
-Chris White- Divemaster/Medical expert
-Brian Hildreth- Divemaster/Navigation expert
-Dan Terry- Training Assistant/Equipment expert
-Stephanie Sheridan- Training assistant/Website & social media manager
-Kiah Kitchen- Helper/Underwater Photographer
We also are lucky to have a great set of experienced divers that I would like to thank for helping throughout the year with our various "I Tried SCUBA" events and our classes.
Richard Hildreth, Paige O'Connor, Alaina O'Connor, Mitch Husak, Derek Kilbride, Kevin Connelly, Terry Harrison, Lisa Buer, Lisa Klein, and Sandra Trogdon. I apologize if I forgot anyone, it was definitely not intentional.
We couldn't do what we do and grow our STC Dive Center community without our excellent facilities
-Altoona Campus (Mike Foote)
-North High School (John Nelson)
- Urbandale Indoor Pool (LeAnn Auxier)
And of course, a big thank you to the most important members of our STC Dive Center community, OUR CUSTOMERS!!!! We wouldn't exist without your continued support through purchases, both big and small, participation in classes, recommendations, and coming in to just talk "SCUBA" with us.
So as we kick off this holiday season I look forward to being able to continue to serve the wonderful community that makes STC Dive Center great. We will be offering special deals, trips, and gifts to meet the needs and wants of all the divers and snorkelers on your list so be sure to stop in and see us!
STC Dive Center
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