Milan Swim Club helps raise funds for their community

Milan swimmer Alyssia Hudson Grayer has been selected as the official spokeswoman for the 2013 Swim-A-Cross Plus event sponsored by the American Red Cross. The 12-year-old hopes to raise $12,000 for the non-profit organization. Photo by Joyce Ervin.

Second-grader and Milan Swim Club member Brayden Humes is photographed practicing before the 2012 Swim-A-Cross Plus event sponsored by the American Red Cross. Photo by Joyce Ervin.

The Milan Swim Club made quite a splash, when they supported the American Red Cross fundraiser, Swim-A-Cross Plus, this past summer.  Regional Events Coordinator Mary Kumbier recently sent the club a formal thank you for participating. Sixteen Milan athletes swam a total of 32 miles and raised more than $1,783 with pledges from their sponsors.

Athletes from Lenawee, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties participated in this annual 2012 regional event raising a grand total of $97,000 with 936 competing. All proceeds remain local, Kumbier said, providing critical life-saving programs to the community.

Last year, in Washtenaw and Lenawee Counties only, the Red Cross engaged 1,128 volunteers, responded to 59 local disasters, helped 108 families recover after house fires, opened two shelters following the Dexter tornado and Ann Arbor floods, touching another 400 families whose lives were impacted.

They also equipped 254 families with disaster preparedness education, provided 538 services to active military, veterans and their families, collected 33,169 units of blood, trained 24,151 individuals in CPR, first aid, water safety, and other lifesaving skills, provided treatment for over 3,000 spectators and participants of community events, including two cardiac “saves”, assisted in engaging hundreds of youth in five collegiate and high school Red Cross Clubs, named University of Michigan’s Red Cross Club a Lead Collegiate Club, supporting other Red Cross Clubs across their six state division.

Local volunteers were deployed on more than 36 disaster relief assignments across 26 states and volunteers gave 50,500 hours of service equivalent to donating $1,078,680. That’s quite a list. Kumbier told the athletes, “We couldn’t have done these things without your support.”

This year’s event promises to be even better in spite of bad economic times, as proceeds for 2012 increased by more than 36 per cent. If 12-year old Milan swimmer, Alyssia Hudson Grayer, has her way the totals will increase. Alyssia’s goal and pledge is to swim 300 lengths and raise $1,000 for each year she has been alive, Kumbier said, to bring the total donation to $12,000. Alyssia has been selected as the official spokeswoman for the 2013 Swim-A-Cross Plus event.

Milan Swim Club President Carrie Ritchie said she was very proud of the dedication Milan swimmers made to this worthwhile non-profit organization and their commitment to help others in the community. She also was pleased to learn Alyssia, a Milan club member, was chosen to represent the 2013 Swim-A-Cross Plus event.

For information on the Milan Swim Club, visit www.milanswimming.org. For information on Swim-A-Cross Plus, contact events coordinator, Mary Bumbier at 734.971-5300. The Southeastern Michigan Region American Red Cross is located at 4624 Packard Road, Ann Arbor.

Joyce Ervin is a freelance writer. She can be contacted at: jlervin42 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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