By ABBY SLANKER
The Canfield Swim and Tennis Club Swim Team had its second annual Hour of Power to raise money for the American Cancer Society July 26.
Under the direction of Head Coach Mike Barringer and Assistant Coaches Emily King and Ryan O’Malley, members of the swim team ages 9-10 and 11 and up swam relays for one full hour, while members 8 and under swam laps for one full hour.
The event was introduced to the team by Barringer last year, who experienced it with his college swim team. The swimmers raised $4,500 during the event last year.
“My college swim team participated in the nationwide Hour of Power, during which several teams across the country swam at the exact same hour to raise money. The idea was to swim as hard as you could to simulate the struggles cancer patients go through. I loved the event and its purpose so much, I wanted to try it out here with the kids,” Barringer said.
Swim team members also made posters and signs dedicated to family members or friends who passed away or survived cancer.
“Not only did we want to raise money for the American Cancer Society, we also wanted the kids to see this as a learning experience. Swimming non-stop for an hour is brutal. We wanted them to understand more about the struggles cancer patients go through as they were struggling in the water,” Barringer said.
The swimmers were given information prior to the event highlighting the dangers of skin cancer.
“When we gave them information before the event, we tried to hit on the fact that, as swimmers, skin cancer is something they need to be aware of. It is preventable and since they are out in the sun so much, we encourage as much sunscreen as possible for them,” Barringer said.
According to Barringer, the event had several purposes.
“Not only is this event fun, it also raised awareness, raised money and was a good workout for the kids. It was not a wasted practice at all,” Barringer said.
The swimmers received T-shirts as a souvenir of their Hour of Power swim and as a reminder of their commitment to a good cause.