DRIVING AND DIVING

Swim team holds first annual food drive with high goal

Adrian Enzastiga, Staff Writer

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Think of a coach, director, or your boss – the hard work they force upon you, their constant criticism of your performance – now imagine them belly-flopping face first into a pool.

This is what the swim and dive team hope to see as a result of their first annual food drive in association with Food Bank for the Heartland. Any non-perishable items are being collected. Their goal is to gather 1,000 pounds by Nov. 18.

This fundraiser quickly turned into a challenge among other schools’ swim teams, such as Papillion, Elkhorn, and Millard West. The coach of the team that raised the most by Nov. 18 has to do a bellyflop.

Swim coach Andy Cunningham is determined to  help raise as much as possible, but to make it fair, he set a rule for the contest. He decided that if all the schools’ teams combined get 5,000 pounds, all the coaches have to do a bellyflop.

“If four swim teams can raise 5,000 pounds of food, that’s more than worth it to have a little embarrassment,” Cunningham said.

Varsity team captain and junior Lexi Mandachi is excited to watch this happen.

“That’d be pretty funny, considering all the hard practices he’s made us do,” Mandachi said.

Previously, the swim team has participated in a 5K Turkey Trot to donate food, but this year they are changing it up. Senior Ross Adkins believes this year’s fundraiser is more efficient.

“I think that this is a better alternative to what we have done before, because with this there is an actual goal for how much food we want to bring in so that’s going to lead to more people bringing in stuff,” Adkins said

The change in type of fundraiser also makes it easier on the kids.

“The kids are pretty excited because they don’t have to wake up on Thanksgiving morning and do a 5K, unless they don’t raise 1,000 pounds. Then we’ll be running,” Cunningham said.

Taking items over almost a four week period instead of just participating in a one-day event helps to get more food to those in need sooner.

“There are a lot of people out in the world who can’t afford to feed themselves and their families. It gets really difficult in the winter. We should give money, give resources to those people to help them live,” Adkins said.

Not only does the swim team bring in food, but kids from Cunningham’s swim classes are donating too, to help them reach their goal of 1,000 pounds.

“I wanted to be able to take a truckful to the Food Bank and drop it off the week before Thanksgiving, so hopefully we can give some food that people will enjoy over the holidays,” Cunningham said.

The other team captain Rachel Holt thinks it is such a unique experience to play in a club or sport while also helping those in one’s community.

“I just think it’s awesome that the swim team is able to do this, to have all our close friends and be able to help the community,” Holt said.

It is important to keep in mind those in need. In the case of the swim team, they have a bit more motivation to help, since it means being able to watch their coach engage in a stunt so embarrassing.

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