7th-grader swims to raise money for cancer research

For Walker seventh-grader Mary-Claire Rimmer, staying active is a way of life. She has been at Walker since first grade and has participated in the Lower School Run Club, which meets before school, volleyball, basketball, lacrosse and swimming. She also swims outside of school at Tidal Waves Swimming, a year-round team. She says her favorite things about Walker are the people and the community. 

“Because Walker isn’t a big private school, I’ve gotten to know a lot more people, and I’ve gained more valuable friendships,” she says. 

In early October, Mary-Claire put her passion for swimming to work to help others when she participated in Swim Across America, a cancer-awareness fundraiser. This was her second time participating in the event. She was introduced to the fundraiser in 2019 by one of her year-round swim team peers. 

At the fundraiser, there are three different swim lengths participants can complete: the half-mile, the mile, or the 5K. Mary-Claire swam the mile both times. She says that the events were slightly different each time, mainly because of the Covid protocols they had to follow this year. 

In addition to swimming, there is a fundraising aspect to Swim Across America. Each team or individual swimmer raises money by asking for donations. All of the money raised goes directly to help fund cancer research. Between the two years, Mary-Claire has raised more than $7,000. At the event, families share their stories about battling cancer. Mary-Claire says the stories are so touching that it makes training for the swim and the process of raising money so much more worthwhile knowing it’s going to help fund research that could change someone’s life. 

Mary-Claire says she likes this particular fundraising event because it is not a race for time, but rather an event to help raise awareness about cancer and to have a great time with people who support a great cause. Her favorite part of participating in Swim Across America is the people she gets to meet. 

“Everyone at the event wants to be there and wants to help raise awareness about cancer and help fund more cancer research to help those in need,” Mary-Claire says. Mary-Claire encourages anyone who can swim to participate in the event because it’s a great way to get involved in the community and to help those in need or to donate to help support cancer research. 

This article was written by Maddie Meyers, Walker Class of 2021.
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