Our Beginning

Nashville Dolphins started in 2003 when one swimmer with Down Syndrome wanted to improve her swimming skills in order to compete in the Special Olympics, and one volunteer was willing to help her. Today more than 200 swimmers participate in the aquatics programming we provide, ranging from beginners just learning to blow bubbles to long-distance champions practicing several days a week. Because swimming is a lifelong sport with far-reaching benefits for an individual’s health and wellbeing, we serve swimmers of all ages with no age-out policy. And because of the intensity of our mission to bring the physical and emotional benefits of swimming to people with special needs regardless of age, ability or financial circumstances, we provide all programming at no cost to the participant. 

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Our Future 

Because of the success of our programs, the passion of our volunteers, and the incredible determination of our participants, we have grown steadily throughout the years. With no swimmers aging out and new swimmers joining all the time, our numbers continue to increase, as do our offerings. From one-on-one lessons for children entering the water for the first time to overnight trips for our national competitors to our strategic plan to build our own facility in the near future, we continue to devise new ways to meet the diverse needs of our participants and their families. Swimming is a lifelong sport, and we plan to be there every stroke, kick, and smile of the way.




Beth Scruggs

founder and Executive Director

Beth is a native Nashvillian and an avid swimmer. Beth served as the Aquatics Director for Special Olympics Tennessee for 20 years and even traveled to Shanghai, China as US Coach for Special Olympics World Games. Seeing a need in Nashville for more swim programs for children and adults with special needs, she created the Nashville Dolphins in 2003. She graduated from Harpeth Hall and the University of Mississippi where she met her husband Cooley. They have two adult children and three grandchildren.


Dotty Sutter

Director of Finance

Dotty received her degree in accounting from the University of Vermont Business school. In 2010 she joined the Nashville Dolphins as a volunteer to assist with development. Dotty has since been instrumental in developing our administration and operations. She was the original Chairman of the Board and served as chairman from 2013-2015. Dotty and her husband Trey, along with their three children, have been active supporters and volunteers for the Dolphins since 2005.


Megan Kelly

program director

Megan started swimming competitively at the age of 5 and swam until she graduated high school. She has a Bachelors degree in Communications from Florida Gulf Coast University, and a Masters of Elementary Education from Tennessee State University. Megan started with the Nashville Dolphins as a volunteer five years ago, and after taking on various part time roles with the organization, she accepted the full time position as the Program Director.



Board of Directors


Executive Board

Beth Scruggs, Executive Director
Dotty Sutter, Director of Finance
Megan Kelly, Director of Programs
Warren Johnson, President
Wes Williams, Treasurer
Lisa Spellman, Secretary
Amy Adams
Brian Adams
Carlos Aro
Melissa Beasley
Taylor Chenery
Claire McCall
Julia Morris
Bill Oldacre
Skipper Phipps
Mary Ramsey
Robert Ramsey
Kelly Riedinger
Meg Turner
Dudley West


Junior Board

Megan Kelly
Ally Bell
Hayden Bell
Murray Benson
Parker Camp
Lindsay Campanis
Ellen Crosby
Maureen Frazier
Macie Garrett
Kathleen Kestermann
Julie King
Tanya Krisman
Curtis Lovelace
Shep Patterson
Allie Phipps
Matthew Schipani
Taylor Schipani
Ben Sutter
Elliott Sutter
Ed Walsh
Maddie Walsh