Swimming for success

By ROBERT LINNEHAN | The Cherry Hill Sun

Ushering in the unofficial start of swim season, Cherry Hill Special Education Parent Teacher Association and Voorhees Special need Parents Educators and Kids are teaming together to present Swim for Success, an event to raise funding for programming for special education students in both townships.

The two special needs advocacy organizations are inviting all interested swimmers of all ages and abilities to attend the inaugural fun-filled event at Fox Hollow Swim Club, located at 51 Partridge Lane in Cherry Hill. The event is scheduled for Saturday, June 12 from 9 a.m. to noon with a rain date of Sunday, June 13.

Linda Harowitz, a member of SPEAK and organizer of the event, said swimmers of all abilities can register and see how many laps they can complete in a row, any way they can. Individual swimmers are required to pay a $2 registration fee, she said, and are suggested to bring in at least $10 in donations.

Swimmers can obtain individual and business pledges for their swim to raise funds for programming and events for area children with disabilities and their families. Swimmers who register by June 4 will receive free tee shirts.

The lap swimming isn’t competitive, but there will also be several relay events during the day, Harowitz said. Swim clubs are encouraged to register relay teams for several different races during the day. Relays include a ten person mixed race, a friend and family race, and a parents race.

Teams registering for a relay race are required to pay a $2 registration fee per swimmer. No additional fundraising is needed for the relay teams, Harowitz said, but they certainly won’t be denied.

All of the funding coming in from registration, fundraising, and possibly portions of the concessions will go towards supporting yearly programs for both SPEAK and SEPTA.

“For SPEAK, I can tell you the money will go towards funding our art program. It’s a performing arts program that we ran on Saturdays for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade. The other program we’re very excited about is our Abilities Awareness Week, a weeklong township wide celebration for people with disabilities and what they can achieve,” Harowitz said. “There’s lot of education involved and it’s a very popular and successful event. Those are two events we’d like to continue and any funds that we raised would be used for that and developing new programs.”

In addition to swimming, Swim for Success offers entertainment by DJ Alex Erlam, activities for children, baskets for auction, and food available for purchase. A full concession stand selling breakfast and lunch food will be available.

This is the first time the parent-run non-profit organizations from Voorhees and Cherry Hill have collaborated on a fundraising event, and the organizers hope that turnout will be a strong show of support for the importance of special education programming in the community.

“CHSEPTA is very excited to collaborate with SPEAK and to give special needs kids the opportunity to show the community and themselves that they can make a meaningful contribution, and they can make a difference,” said CHSEPTA President Nancy Muldowney through a press release.

For more information about Swim for Success, or to find out about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Linda Harowitz at Lharowitz@comcast.net.