Swim-A-Thon Success!

                The 2013 NOVA Swim-A-Thon was held on April 13, and we're hoping for our best fundraising event ever. Over 400 swimmers swam that day, which is about 51% of our competitive team and far more than last year. We don't know yet if we met our goal of $55,000, but early indications are positive! A new twist this year was holding the event in the evening, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The theme was "Disco Dollars," and we celebrated with a DJ, great decorations, a mini food court outside and awesome levels of excitement.  If you weren't there, you missed out! Read more about it here...

                The event got underway before 4:00 p.m. - we had a line of swimmers ready to check in at 3:45 p.m.! We appreciated everyone's patience during check-in; the process took extra time but allowed us to gather information about swimmer and group participation levels - luckily, the weather outside was perfect. Swimmers registered and picked up their pool blue t-shirts and set up on deck, ready to swim. A big thank you goes out to our volunteers who helped get everyone checked in and passed out t-shirts. DJ Andrew Sim pumped up the crowd with disco music as well as songs even the youngest swimmer knew.  Shortly after 4:00 p.m., we already had over 175 swimmers in the water! We are so proud of the younger swimmers, many of them in their first Swim-A-Thon, who worked so hard to meet their goals.

                The fun continued with door prizes from local businesses like Saladworks, Genghis Grill and The Daily Grind. Other prizes included merchandise and gift certificates from our own Virginia Swim Shop, Dolfin and Speedo. A last minute addition to the event was a silent auction which included gift certificates from Tweed, By Invitation Only and Color Me Mine as well as Speedo, USA Swimming and Dolfin. The auction itself raised almost $400.

                We were really pleased to see so many of our senior swimmers, who already did their Swim-A-Thon laps that morning, come back to enjoy the event. The seniors got to pick up a bag full of gift cards, coupons, NOVA and USA Swimming gear and other cool stuff, as well as choose a gift from USA Swimming/Speedo.  The seniors were a huge help in promoting the silent auction, running the Chick-fil-A spin wheel and counting laps for younger swimmers. They set a great example of team spirit for ALL of our NOVA swimmers that day.

                During the turnover in swimmers between sessions, the food trucks outside got busy. We featured four vendors - Chik-fil-A, Joey's Hot Dogs, Kona Ice, and Boka Tako. It was great to be able to grab dinner at the event, and we heard lots of positive feedback about having food available. Some of these vendors generously supported the Swim-A-Thon by donating a portion of their proceeds back to NOVA.

                The second session got underway at 6:00 p.m. with almost 140 swimmers taking part. Although the swimming was a bit more serious, the fun continued with the DJ, snacks, and more door prizes. Most of these older swimmers finished by 7:45 p.m., allowing the awesome clean-up crew to get to work. We thank them, as well as all of our other parent helpers, who made the event run so smoothly and kept our swimmers fueled up.

                Another big part of the success this year was the addition of various sponsors, which helped defray our costs and will ensure that more of the dollars raised come back to NOVA to support our ongoing costs, long-term expansion plans, and special outreach programs. In addition, 5% of the proceeds goes to the USA Swimming Foundation, which supports the USA Olympic team as well as learn-to-swim programs across America. Our Gold Sponsors this year included J.A. Heisler Contracting Company and eTec Mechanical Corporation. Silver Sponsors were Stumpf & Associates and Precision Print & Copy. Bronze Sponsors were Janney - The Strange-Baber Group, Meadows Urquhart Acree and Cook LLP,  Chick-fil-A Short Pump Town Center and Corporate Imprints. Our Lane Sponsors were CV Networks, Dolfin Swimwear, Martin's, Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, Plannerelf.com, Richmond Oxygen, Rutherford Supply, Speedo, The Wilton Companies, TNT Transportation Services, West End Handyman, the Branin Family, Greg & Bea Cope and the Langenburg Family. We thank each of these sponsors for their support.

                We are really pleased with results to date, and for those of you who have not turned in your paperwork, please try to turn in your pledges as soon as possible; the deadline, May 15, is coming quickly! We want to hurry this along for a few reasons: to see how quickly we can meet our goal of $55,000; to be able to announce the winners of the group prizes; and to get swimmers individual prizes as soon as possible. Watch for updated results each week in Noteworthy News.

                The Swim-A-Thon is an important fundraising event at NOVA, because it is driven by our swimmers. It builds a sense of community and shared accomplishment, while allowing the kids to make a truly meaningful contribution to the club. Thanks to swimmers, parents and coaches for making it a huge success this year, and, if you didn't make it this year, we'll see you next time! 

Swim-a-thon photo gallery