Wednesday, April 30, 2008
DALLAS - It's one thing to challenge yourself. But when that challenge involves swimming 10,000 yards - nearly six miles - to raise money for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Polk County, one wonders who would do such a thing.
Lifetime competitive swimmer Shelley Blain Reimer of Dallas, that's who.
She will be swimming at the Dallas Aquatic Center on Saturday, May 10, the week before the local relay to be held at Dallas High School's Gallaspy Field. Since Blain Reimer has shared her commitment to swim the 10,000 yards, several local swimmers will join her in the pool in support of her efforts.
"This year I decided to find a way that I personally could contribute to the event," Blain Reimer said.
"I did not feel inclined to put together a walking relay team, but I began to think about how I could use my skills to be a part of the event."
After much thought about why she wanted to help, she developed her plan.
"Both of my parents have fought or are fighting cancer themselves," Blain Reimer said. "It is a nasty battle and anyone who has gone through it or who is a caretaker knows what I speak of. I wanted to somehow challenge myself to push my physical limits in honor of both my mom and my dad."
Blain Reimer hopes to raise a few hundred dollars to contribute to the American Cancer Society.
"It would fulfill my sense of wanting to contribute, it would give me a very physically challenging event to participate in in honor of people fighting cancer. And besides, it's a healthy way to raise funds," she said.
"Selling sugary doughnuts for fundraisers for sports events and health and wellness activities just seems out of alignment with the message of promoting healthy living."
She added: "Don't get me wrong, I know why those items work for fundraising - because people love buying goodies. I have a bigger mission here, however, to not only raise funds but to do it by participating in a health-promoting activity, swimming."
Blain Reimer shared that she hasn't swam that far in one session since her college days at Willamette University almost two decades ago.
At this time she has enough people committed to swimming that they are expected to complete more than 60,000 combined yards on that one day in support of the Relay for Life of Polk County.
Blain Reimer has been busy gathering donations in support of this effort. Anyone who would like to contribute can send a check made payable to the American Cancer Society in care of Shelley Blain Reimer, 940 Perrydale Rd, Dallas, OR 97338, by May 10.
Blain Reimer will be presenting funds raised from the swimming event at Relay for Life of Polk County, May 16-17 at Dallas High School.