Students from Campus and Clearwater to swim for charity
By Travis Mounts, TSnews
HAYSVILLE – The 10th annual Swim to a Wish charity event to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation will be held next week.
Each year, five swimmers from Campus High School team up to swim a total of 100 miles in a relay format, going non-stop from late Friday afternoon to midday Sunday. This year, they will be joined by a Clearwater High swimmer, who has been part of the Colts’ swimming team through a cooperative program between the two schools.
The Campus swimmers taking part are Logan Roberts, Kaden Davis, Sebastian Ybarra, Matthew Glidden and Quentin Thomas. Teammate Eli Winter of Clearwater will join them, swimming on the fifth leg alongside a Campus teammate.
Over the past nine years, this event has raised more than $270,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which helps make wishes come true for children with critical illnesses.
Campus head swim coach Kelly Kennedy hopes this will be a milestone year.
“I’m hoping for year 10, we jump over $300,000,” he said. The goal for Campus this year is $15,000, and the overall goal for the event is $25,000.
This was a Campus-only event its first year, but soon other schools started to participate. The number of participating schools changes each year, but as many as 10 schools have competed at the same time. The pandemic shrunk last year’s event.
There are six schools participating in 2022 – seven, if you count Clearwater. Also swimming at the Glenn Crum Natatorium at Campus will be Derby and Wichita North high schools. Wichita Northwest will swim at its pool. Salina Central and Salina South are back after missing last year, and will swim together at the Salina School District pool.
Kennedy never expected the event to go this many years when he and assistant coach Steve Crum decided to create Swim to a Wish a decade ago.
“We threw together the first year. We didn’t know what we were doing. We thought we’d only do one or two years,” he said. “I’m more proud of the fact that the kids want to do it. It’s not that Steve and I started this. The boys say at the start of each year, ‘I want to do Swim to a Wish.’”
It is an exhausting effort for the boys, who swim just a week after wrapping up their swim season. Each participant swims one mile, then gives way to the next four swimmers before hopping into the pool again. Each mile is 71 lengths of the 25-yard pool. They are only able to sleep for small stretches.
The public is invited to come by and take part. Monetary donations are the best way to help, of course. They can be made online or in person at the natatorium. You can swim a “support mile,” hopping into the pool to swim with one of the participants. Donations of food or water and Gatorade also are welcome. A number of local businesses donated food, and radio and TV stations have hosted coaches and swimmers to promote the event.
To donate online, visit https://wish.org/mokan/10th-annual-swim-wish.