Friends' Central Aquatics (FCA) was thrilled to present a check for $11,000 to Simon's Heart, a locally based organization dedicated to raising awareness about the conditions and warning signs that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death in young athletes and children.
Friends' Central School was honored to partner with Simon's Fund to hold a free heart screening event on the School's City Avenue campus for students ages 12-19 on April 8. Darren Sudman, co-founder of Simon's Heart, was on hand at the screening to receive the donation check from FCA Director Iain Anderson.
Simon's Heart was founded by Darren and Phyllis Sudman after the death of their infant son, Simon, in 2005. Simon was a seemingly healthy three-month-old baby boy who died suddenly in his sleep. After encouragement from their pediatrician to get their hearts checked, Phyllis discovered a heart condition called Long QT Syndrome, which has been linked to approximately 15% of sudden infant deaths. The Sudmans started Simon's Heart so that no other parent would lose a child to a heart condition that was detectable and treatable. To date, Simon's Heart has provided 15,564 heart screenings to school-aged children and saved 113 lives.
Every other year, FCA hosts a Swim-A-Thon to raise money and awareness for a designated charitable cause and the FCA program. Past Swim-A-Thons have raised money to help a Louisiana swim team that lost its home to Hurricane Katrina, helped American swimmers as they train for and compete in the Olympics; supported "Make A Splash" Foundation, a USA Swimming Foundation initiative focused on promoting water safety for children in economically underprivileged communities; and raised money for the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation (FCEF), created to honor the memory of swimmer Fran Crippen by supporting athletes in the pursuit of their athletic dreams. In 2015, FCA partnered with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a locally based organization dedicated to finding cures for childhood cancer.
The Swim-A-Thon, held in November 2017, was an outstanding success, in large part because the swimmers felt so inspired by the mission of Simon's Heart. There were over 110 participants, and, altogether, the FCA swimmers swam approximately 9,182 laps, 459,100 yards, which is the rough equivalent of 278 miles!
"We are so incredibly touched by this contribution," expressed Sudman. "Every donation is needed and appreciated, but when it comes from students who collectively swam 280 miles (approximately Philly to Boston) so we can protect hearts and save lives, well ... that's pretty inspiring! Thank you, Friends' Central Aquatics. I'll remember this one for a long time."
Congratulations and fantastic job by each FCA swimmer – what a tremendous athletic and philanthropic effort for a very worthy cause!
Please see below for the "Top 3" lap swimmers and "Top 3" fundraisers of the Friends' Central Aquatics Swim-a-Thon.
3rd - Ethan Shade
2nd - Max Strick
1st - Caroline Whitney: 57 laps
3rd - Sophie Smith
2nd - Maddie Nielson
1st - Victoria Laabs: $1,553
3rd - Jamie Oswald
2nd - Chloe English
1st - Claire Pillar: 278 laps
3rd - Oliver Stifel
2nd - Cooper Johnson
1st - Cameron Smith: $710
3rd - Charlotte Morales
2nd - Max Serota
1st - Maddie Anderson: 336 laps
3rd - Max Serota
2nd - Charlotte Morales
1st - Maddie Anderson: $2,067