As I wrap up my second season here at Bates I am getting ready to put the final touches on the year. June 21st we are starting three weeks of Bates College Swim Camp, and on July 18th I will jump in the water for a mile swim off the Nantasket Beach in Hull, MA for the Swim Across America cancer research event. My first open water swim!
In my mind, this event is the culmination of great year in which we showed that we are a program that not only swims fast (24 school records), succeeds academically (an Academic All-American Team and 4 individual Academic All-Americans), but also strives to do right both in the community (our lesson program) and philanthropically (Swim Across America).
This year was a phenomenal year for Bates Swimming and Diving. Surprisingly (and respectfully), part of what it made it wonderful was being there with, and for, John Harvey '09 while he dealt with the passing of his father to pancreatic cancer. Trust me, I know it is never good to lose a family member or loved one to a disease like this, but in the end John continued to support the program and each individual - showing us all what it truly means to be part of a family. We wanted to be there for John and his family, and he knew we would do anything for him - and that is exactly what makes his gift to us so amazing. While we were "there for him," he remained strong and supportive for us.
He cheered for us.
He got excited for us.
And he cried both tears of happiness and sorrow with us.
He was living like his father surely wanted him to. That was a message that will stick with me forever. One that will make me a better friend, coach, husband, and father - forever. So I thank him, and this July 18th, I'll be jumping in with other members of the team to swim in honor of Chuck Harvey, and all others near and dear to our hearts that we have lost.
I also want to thank Abigail Hanson '12 for leading our team into our second year of supporting such a great cause. Last year we raised nearly $2,500 as a team, and Abigail showed up at the shores of Nantasket Beach to represent us during the swim. She had a great time, and her passion for the event has caused many more of us to get involved and help out.
If you click on the title above (or here) you will go directly to our team page where you can either sign up to swim, or simply donate to the cause if you would like. I also welcome any and all alums that want to get together and either join us, or swim on their own near home. I will definitely grab your t-shirt and certificate and send it you!
Enjoy the summer and stay posted for more updates!