Starfish swimmers raise 24K at Niskayuna pool

The Starfish Swim Club held a SwimAThon for Cystic Fibrosis at the Niskayuna High School swimming pool on Saturday morning January 23, 2016. (MARC SCHULTZ/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER)The Starfish Swim Club held a SwimAThon for Cystic Fibrosis at the Niskayuna High School swimming pool on Saturday morning January 23, 2016. (MARC SCHULTZ/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER)

BY MICHAEL KELLY
Gazette Sportswriter

NISKAYUNA — For nearly four hours, members of the Starfish Swim Club exhausted themselves Saturday with one lap after another in the Niskayuna High School pool.

For nearly two months prior to the club’s 16th annual “Swim Mania” event, those swimmers exhausted themselves working toward something bigger.

As part of the swim-athon fundraiser, the club with roughly 250 members from across the Capital Region helped pool together nearly $24,000 in total. At least $5,000 of that money will head to the Donna M. Crandall Foundation, which provides financial help to cystic fibrosis patients and their families. Money from the event also goes toward helping to cover the Starfish’s yearly expenses, plus USA Swimming.

Denise Murphy McGraw, the president of the Starfish, said this year’s event was financially the most successful in its history. That’s great, she said, but mainly because it means the lesson the club tries to impart from the effort is taking hold.

“We really just want them all to participate,” she said. “For us as a club, the importance is to teach them about community leadership and to give back to their communities when they can.”

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About the Author

Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly is a sports reporter for Your Clifton Park and Your Niskayuna, weekly print publications of The Daily Gazette. Kelly grew up in Clifton Park and graduated from Shenendehowa High School in 2006. He is also a 2010 graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. Kelly's work has been honored by the New York News Publishers Association, the New York State Associated Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. His work has previously been featured in The (Amsterdam) Recorder, The Saratogian, and Albany Times Union.