|Wow, did you know Frank Coy is over 70? He was 68 in 2007 (http://www.niagarathisweek.com/news/article/207347)|
Frank’s Friends Swim Some Laps for YMCA Strong Kids
In Uncategorized on April 4, 2011 at 6:45 pm
YMCA kids fundraisers enlists young swimmers
Frank Coy had a personal reason for starting a swimming fundraiser for a YMCA kids program six years ago.
When he started his 10-kilometre swim to raise funds for the Strong Kids campaign, he was already an avid swimmer, coming to the pool five days a week.
Problem was, the lane swimming sessions were only 90 minutes long. “I wanted to swim longer,” he said.
Since then, Coy’s efforts have raised nearly $50,000 for the campaign, which provides recreation and exercise opportunities for children who may otherwise not be able to afford it.
In recent years, though, he’s had to slow down, bringing in his son, Frank Jr. to swim half the laps for the last couple. And this year, with a bad shoulder, Coy decided he’d only be able to do a handful of the 400 laps needed to complete the 10-km. swim.
“I didn’t think I could swim 10K or even five,” he said. But that doesn’t mean the event, known for the past five years as Frank and Frank’s 10K Swim for Kids, is petering out. In a way, it’s just beginning.
Now it’s called Frank and Friends’ 10K Swim.
One of Frank’s new friends is Christine Arsenault, a mother who frequently brings her children to the Y. Recently, Arsenault met the centre’s director, Sally Jane Southern-Grice, and told her of her upcoming aquatics plan — swimming across Lake Ontario.
Upon hearing this and knowing another long-distance swimmer was needed, Southern-Grice asked if Arsenault would like to fill Frank’s shoes, or perhaps flippers.
“I said I would love to,” Arsenault said. “To be able to use my swimming and offer it the Y — it’s perfect.”
While Aresenault spent much of Thursday in the pool completing the laps, she wasn’t alone. In the lanes beside her were a few more of Frank’s new friends, many of them kids themselves.
Southern-Grice said it just made sense to get kids involved in the campaign. “We thought what’s better than children swimming for children,” she said.
She laughed as she thought of what it must have looked like for the regulars at the pool, seeing all these kids there on a weekday. “They’re supposed to be in school.”