A 12-hour swimming marathon is being planned by Central Alberta swimmers for later this month.
The third annual Chasing for a Cure is set to take place at Sylvan Lake Aquatic Centre Mar. 23, with teams of five or more swimmers taking part in a continuous relay. The event has raised more than $15,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society since it was first held in 2011 and organizer Samantha Murdoch is hoping this year will be the most successful yet.
“The first and second year total together was $15,000, so our goal is to beat last year,” she said. “We raised $8,000 last year, so we’re hoping for around $10,000 this year.”
Beginning at 6:30 a.m., teams will take part in the continuous relay, with the aim of having one participant in the water at all times throughout the 12-hour event. Swimmers may, however, choose to enter and exit the water at any time they wish.
Organizing the event has special meaning for Murdoch, whose younger brother Chase was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was 22 months old.
Chase, now 16, recently competed at the Western Canadian Swimming Championships in Saskatoon, and will join his sister in the pool to support others who have been affected by cancer.
“We attended a lot of cancer camps, and so that kind of stuck with us throughout our whole life,” said Samantha Murdoch. “Raising funds for cancer patients is just something that I need to do in a way. Anything that can help other families is worthwhile.”
Support in previous years, from people and businesses within the community, has been overwhelming, according to Murdoch.
“Businesses in and around the Sylvan area have been phenomenal,” she said. “Tim Hortons especially have been so phenomenal, it’s hard for us to express how much they did for us.
“Overall, the town and everywhere in Central Alberta that knows about the event is extremely supportive of it.”
Because she’s a fulltime student at the University of Alberta, Murdoch has had to enlist the help of her mother, Teresa, with organizing this year’s event. Together with their family, they too will swim for the full 12-hour duration.
“(Swimming) is definitely something that we share and love together,” she said. “It’s a long day, but it’s worth it.”
Teams are collecting pledges prior to the event, and 100 per cent of proceeds raised will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.
The help of local businesses is being sought to help cover the cost of renting the pool for the day. Businesses may sponsor a lane for $195, and at press time, only two lanes remained unsponsored.
Those interested in sponsoring one or both of the remaining lanes are asked to send an email to email@example.com
More information about the event, as well as a link to where online donations may be made, can be found at http://chasingforacure.yolasite.com
Donations are also being accepted at The Paint Stop in Sylvan Lake, Sylvan Lake Aquatic Centre, and Spruce View School.