Two local high schools – Holy Innocents’ and Pace – are sending teams to Lake Lanier in Gainesville Sept. 28 for the annual Swim Across America, a swim event that raises funds for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

But each will go motivated by the cancer deaths of a teacher or a loved one or to swim for former teammates and alumni who have battled the disease and won.

Holy Innocents’ is aiming to accomplish its goal of contributing $50,000 over a four-year span (the goal for 2019 is $15,000). The Golden Bears are swimming in memory of their physical education teacher Lucie Bornholm, 57, who died of lung cancer in 2017. Bornholm, nicknamed Coach B, was a 31-year veteran of the school.

Pace began by swimming in honor of a recent Knights graduate, a member of the swim team, who was treated at the center. The team swims not only for those they know who fought cancer, but especially for all Pace alumni who have battled the disease. Pace student Amalie Little is swimming in the event for her grandmother, who died from cancer when Amalie was only 3 years old.

More than 15 Olympians are expected to swim the open water event and participate in an autograph clinic for the more than 600 registered swimmers and Olympians, 200-plus land volunteers and more than 250 spectators. Swimmers can swim individually or as part of a team, and can select from half-mile, 1-mile and 5K distances as well as an all-ages duck splash zone.

If you’re not a swimmer, donating and/or volunteering is still an option, as Swim Across America runs on volunteers. Donations can be made by sending a check to Swim Across America, c/o Nancy Peek, P.O. Box 1078, Tucker, GA 30085.

You can donate by visiting www.swimacrossamerica.org and clicking on one of the local team members’ info.

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