The Cranberry Eagle
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Article published September 26, 2012

Swim-A-Thon set at Seneca Valley

Derek Pyda
Butler Eagle

JACKSON TWP — Members of the Seneca Valley Swim Club truly love the sport.

So for them, a Swim-A-Thon just means more time in the water.
SVSC will be holding one from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the intermediate high school pool.
Each participant is responsible for collecting monetary pledges per lap or flat donations leading up to the event, which is being held to raise funds for equipment and repairs to the pool.
“Swimming pools are not cheap and this event will help out with that,” said SVSC coach Brian Blackwell. “At the same time, it will allow the kids to show off their talents.”
“We’re hoping to raise $5,000,” said Melissa Gaguzis, one of the club’s board members. “Our club currently has 70 members between the ages of six and 18 and we’d like to get at least 80 percent of them to take part in this. It’s a good, team-building event.”
Each participant will be swimming up to 200 laps, but those in charge will make sure the event is held in a laid-back atmosphere.
“If a kid swims 50 laps, that’s fine,” said Gaguzis. “And they don’t have to go straight through. They can get out and take a break, get something to drink. We’re also going to have several prizes and fun games for them. We want to make it fun.”
For most of the kids, swimming alone is enough.
“There’s going to be a lot of competition between them to see who can swim the most,” Blackwell said. “A lot of our younger kids are getting into it.”
“I was really excited when I heard about this event,” said Sophia Gaguzis, a 12-year old who is a Gold Swimmer, the highest level within the club for her age group. “A lot of kids were on board once they heard about it.”
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Butler County Humane Society, which is fine with 12-year old Connor Quiggle, a Silver II Swimmer.
“That’s where we got our dog, Marley, about two and a half years ago,” Quiggle said. “I’m excited about raising money for both the swim club and the humane society.
“I’m focused on practicing and doing my best this weekend.”
The club is proud of its swimmers, who work hard to improve.
“The commitment is incredible,” said Melissa Gaguzis. “A lot of these kids are swimming two and a half to three hours per day, six days a week. Their time management skills are amazing.”
Swimming proved to be the perfect fit for Christian Sawyer, 13, who has been a member of SVSC for five years and has earned Silver I swimmer status.
“I tried other sports — football, soccer, baseball and basketball,” he said, “but I like swimming the best.”
For more information or to make a donation, call 724-591-6413.