$10,000 goal for new hospital foundation
Teen swimming from Alcatraz to SF Bay
Pictured at right is Caroline Storms.
Caroline Storms is going to try something several people have failed, even died from years ago. The 15-year-old plans to swim 1.50 miles from Alcatraz to the San Francisco Bay. She’s doing it to raise money for Margaret Mary Health Foundation, a new non-profit organization aimed at improving the long-term wellness of the community. This is all part of the 11th annual Swim with the Centurions race on Sept. 28, and she’ll join 300 others in the water.
Caroline, a competitive swimmer and Oldenburg Academy sophomore, learned about it from swim team assistant Celeste Manriquez, who has finished the Bay swim race twice.
“I knew the foundation was just starting and could probably use help,” she said as to why she chose MMHF as the beneficiary. In addition, she is interested in becoming a physician someday, and foundations like this help maintain a hospital’s vitality and wellness of the community. “So it would help me in my future and everyone else’s in Batesville.”
Mary Dickey, the foundation president, is thrilled at the young woman’s ambition. “We are so grateful to Caroline for thinking of the Margaret Mary Health Foundation. It is so impressive to us that not only is she taking on such an incredible challenge, but she has chosen to help raise money for the Foundation. She is truly an inspiration and a great role model!”
A swimmer since she was 5, the young lady has been swimming daily at 5:30 in the morning at Batesville Memorial Pool, but with school and golf starting, she is not in the water as much as she was this summer. Besides swimming for her school, Caroline also swims for the Cincinnati Marlins team, and actually did a two mile open swim at an Ohio state park this summer.
But this open swim will be much different. She will have to deal with the infamous San Francisco Bay currents and the cold water. Alcatraz, the former federal “escape-proof” prison, closed 50 years ago, and was also the subject of movies such as 1979’s “Escape From Alcatraz.” It was inspired from the true story of three prisoners who escaped from the island but all that were found were their personal belongings in the bay. Two other inmates had also tried to swim to shore but had drowned.
Storms will wear a wetsuit to combat the 52-56 degree temperature. She’ll swim freestyle because it’s faster, but knows some prefer breast stroke because they can put their sight on the building to stay in a straight line. She’ll go to Manriquez for technique advice and other Bay tips. “The only part of my body that will be exposed is my face, hands and feet. They say once you get over the initial shock of the water, and you start racing, it doesn’t bother you,” she said.
She’s not worried about sharks or other sea creatures. She heard some previous Alcatraz Centurions participants were swimming along with seals. She expects to finish in 45 minutes or less. Caroline used to sprint competitively, so this distance event is different for her. Her strategy is “I’ll jump in and swim fast the first 500 yards and then get ahead and develop a pace,” she said. She doesn’t expect to be sore afterwards since she’s also been jogging and biking when not in the water. A visit to the famous prison may also be on the schedule once she and her dad, Shawwn Storms, arrive Thursday, two days prior to the race.
Her goal is to raise $10,000 for the foundation. She and her dad sent out 500 letters to area businesses for support, plus an email blast to 50 friends and family. Mom Diana is the one behind the wheel taking Caroline and two younger sisters to Cincinnati for swim practice several times a week starting in September. Caroline has raised over $6,400 so far.
If interested in donating, go to the website at www.mmhealth.kintera.org/carolineswimsalcatraz. Persons may contribute any amount. Tax-deductible checks made payable to the Margaret Mary Health Foundation may be mailed to Mary Dickey, MMHF, P.O. Box 226, Batesville, IN 47006.
Saluting our soldiers
First tribute race recognizes Seig, Bishop and others
The public is invited to salute soldiers in a special way on Saturday, Sept. 7. The first Salute to Soldier 5K race sponsored by the Sunman Kenneth L Diver American Legion Post #337 will kick off the Sunman Wine and Fireworks Festival, but moreover, it is a way to remember those who are fighting for our country, particularly those who have given their life.
“Don’t forget the soldiers. It’s a big deal what they do. We care and we’re behind you.” That’s the message behind the race, said Rita Seig . Her cousin, Pfc. Anthony Seig was killed in action Sept. 9, 2006 in Iraq. This event is to remember him and others who have fought or currently are for our country.
The 5K route will be lined with over 1,000 American flags, many purchased to honor the military and veterans from current wars to past ones.
“It will be really nice. A lot of locals will see names of people they know,” she added. Proceeds will go to the Let Us Never Forget fund, a foundation set up for 70 Tri-state fallen soldiers. Scholarships are set up in each soldier’s name. Another portion will go to the Legion as well.
The 5K is much more than a race. Fifteen minutes before the race, a 21-gun salute will occur and other patriotic symbolic events. After the race, the Patriot Guard will flank the finish line. The winners of the race will then receive awards from two military mothers, Seig’s mother, Linda, and Cpl. John Bishop’s mother, Sarah Thomas of Columbus. The former Versailles resident was also killed in action in Sept. 8, 2010. Tony Seig was a 2005 East Central graduate. Bishop has many family members in the area.
Beginning around noon, the legion will host a veteran tribute at the Sunman Community Park as part of the Festival.
“It will make it an important moment so you feel what the soldiers and veterans did for us,” Seig said.
The race begins at 9 a.m. with registration at 7:45 a.m. Seig is already excited about the response, with almost 200 signed up, coming from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The race begins at the legion hall in Sunman on Eastern Avenue and ends there as well. Age categories for 19 and under and up to 60 and over for both walkers and runners are organized. Top three in each category will be recognized.
They are also encouraging Sunman residents to decorate their homes in a patriotic manner. “We wanted to do something for him (Seig) and for the town. The town was so good and amazing at the time. And the Legion has been there for his family,” Seig commented.
Anyone interested in signing up for the 5K can do so by going online at www.stuartroadracing.com or go to FCN Bank in Sunman for forms. You can also call Seig for information and forms at 209 9945, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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