BATESVILLE – Margaret Mary Health Foundation executive director Mary Dickey was floored when Caroline Storms told her she wanted to swim from Alcatraz Island across the bay to San Francisco to raise $10,000 for the nonprofit.
Dickey recalls, “She wanted to do something for an organization that would benefit a lot of people. I thought it was amazing and such a mature thing for a sophomore in high school.”
On Sept. 28, the Oldenburg Academy student will take part in the 11th Annual Alcatraz Classic: Swim with the Centurions™ 2013, sponsored by Water World Swim, Corte Madera, Calif. She imagines the race’s toughest part will be “getting in and going ... (That will) take the most courage.” The teen will be surrounded by members of the elite Alcatraz 100 Club who have completed the 1.25-mile swim at least 100 times.
As the daughter of Shawwn and Diana Storms focuses on the finish line near the flags at Aquatic Park, Caroline will use her best stroke, freestyle, “because it’s the easiest stroke to do for a long distance.”
She and her dad will leave for California on Thursday Sept. 26, and fly home on the Saturday night red eye. Before the Alcatraz Classic, the athlete will practice wearing her wet suit at a blocked-off beach area “just to get used to the cold water.”
Storms chose to raise dollars for MMHF because “I know some people on the board there. I know their kids. It’s a foundation that’s just starting off and I thought they could use a little help.” The director explains, “The money that is being raised by the foundation now is basically building an endowment for the future.”
“We’re just very pleased that she came to us and had the vision as a 15-year-old to understand how important” the foundation’s mission is. “It’s about insuring the long-term health and wellness of our community ... Our purpose is to make sure the hospital can continue to provide the quality of care and services ... in the future.”