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Campus High team to swim 100 miles for Make-A-Wish Kansas

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, at 2:55 p.m.

For the second year, the Campus High School boys’ swimming and diving team plans to swim 100 miles to raise money for Make-A-Wish Kansas.

The five-member team will begin swimming 3:30 p.m. Friday and continue throughout the weekend until they complete 100 miles, likely Sunday afternoon or evening. They will swim in relay style, each swimmer completing 71 lengths of the pool – one mile – before tagging the next swimmer.

Each swimmer is accepting sponsorships and donations to benefit Make-A-Wish, a group that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Last year the team raised $5,700 – enough to sponsor a local child’s trip to Walt Disney World.

“The minute this was over last year, the guys were like, ‘We have to do that again? When can we do it?’ ” said Kelly Kennedy, swim coach at Campus. “When we started the season this year, they just didn’t forget.”

Kennedy said he organized last year’s fundraiser as a way to thank Make-A-Wish for granting his daughter’s wish a decade ago. Aubrey Kennedy, who lost a kidney because of a cancerous tumor when she was 4, is 14 now and cancer-free, her father said. The Kennedy family still remembers the Disney World trip they took during her treatment, thanks to Make-A-Wish.

“I always said I’d pay them back somehow,” Kelly Kennedy said.

This year’s participants – Alex Adamson, Brandon Elkins, Jonathan Fleming, Jon Greenlee and Tim Pitts – hope to raise $6,000. Each will swim about a mile at a time and rest for about two hours between swims. Together the boys will swim more than 3,500 laps; they plan to swim the final length of the pool together on Sunday, Kennedy said.

“Last year they were dead tired, but the sense of accomplishment was unbelievable,” he said. “They kind of got their second and third winds.”

To make a donation, contact Kennedy at 316-200-0120.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.

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