HAYSVILLE, Kan. (KSNW) – Swimmers will be back in the pool at Haysville Campus High School for a good cause this weekend, as the ninth annual Swim to a Wish gets going.
The around the clock event raises money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Missouri and Kansas. It is an organization that is near and dear to the hear of Colts head swimming coach Kelly Kennedy.
It is the pool where Kennedy tries to give back to the organization that was there for his family during their darkest moment back in 2003.
“My daughter, when she was four years old had what they call a Wilms’ tumor, which her adrenal gland just turned to cancer,” said Kennedy. “She had a tumor the size of a football and it weighed four pounds.”
A potentially life threatening ordeal for his daughter, Aubrey.
That’s when the Make-A-Wish Foundation stepped up to try and help ease some of the pain.
“Make-a-Wish sent us to Disney World for a week, sent the whole family and it created, it brought the spark back to our family,” said Kennedy.
Aubrey, now 21, would recover and as Kennedy puts it, became the face of how he’s not only tried to pay Make-A-Wish back but also pay it forward.
With the help of his lifelong friend and assistant swimming coach Steve Crum, they started ‘Swim To A Wish’ back in 2013.
“I always knew he wanted to pay them back and this is a perfect opportunity,” said Crum.
Both Crum and Kennedy say the event has swimmers in the pool for more than 40 hours starting Friday and going through Sunday.
“In eight years, we jumped a little over a quarter of a million dollars last year,” said Kennedy.
The event will have just two schools, Derby and Campus, participating this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regardless, both Crum and Kennedy say the impact will still be the same.
“Knowing what is going to be done with what we are helping to raise for, that we are going to give those kids a chance to maybe go do something they want to do or get something that they want to just try and make things a little easier for the struggles that they and their family are going through,” said Crum.
The event will get going over at Campus High School beginning at 4:15 p.m. on Friday.
“We are still ready to go, that’s what we are going to do, we are going to do it as long as we possibly can,” said Kennedy.
If you would like to donate to Swim To A Wish, you can visit 2021 Swim To A Wish – Make-A-Wish Foundation
You can also drop off donations at Campus High School during the event.