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Young Swimmers Make a Splash for Disaster Relief

swimming long island
"We are humbled to see so many young children embrace our cause while having fun.”

BELLMORE, N.Y., July 24, 2013—Nearly 150 young swimmers dove into Newbridge Park Pool to raise funds for the American Red Cross at the 8th Annual Town of Hempstead Swim-A-Cross, July 24. Nearly $6,800 was raised at this year’s event to benefit local disaster relief and lifesaving programs.

“Aquatics is a huge part of our mission as is disaster relief—the combination is a win-win situation,” said John Miller, CEO of the Long Island Red Cross. “We can’t thank Kate Murray and the Town of Hempstead enough for hosting this event, and we are humbled to see so many young children embrace our cause while having fun.”

Ranging in age from 6-17, the swimmers are members of teams from the eight pools operated by the Town of Hempstead: Averill of Elmont; Echo of West Hempstead; Forest City of Wantagh; Malibu of Lido Beach; Newbridge of Bellmore; Oceanside; Rath of Franklin Square; and Veterans of East Meadow.

Trophies were presented to the top three fundraising teams. Malibu had raised the most money, contributing $1,728 to the cause. Rath’s swim team came in second, with $1,691, and Forest City’s squad was third, with $1,271.

Ella Maldonado, from Malibu, took top honors by raising $532. She was rewarded for her efforts with two tickets to a New York Islanders game and the opportunity to high-five the players outside of the locker room.

All of the swimmers were treated to ice cream, courtesy of Valde Ice Cream—a welcomed treat on a warm, summer day.

According to Miller, the event is important because disasters take place every day. Each year, the American Red Cross on Long Island provides food, clothing and shelter to hundreds of Long Islanders after local disasters like house fires, building collapses and flooding. Additionally, during the last two hurricane seasons the Red Cross sheltered, fed and delivered relief supplies to tens of thousands of Long Islanders affected by Sandy and Irene. Even today, the Red Cross continues to support Sandy survivors on their path to recovery.

Being a non-profit, the Long Island Red Cross relies on the generosity of donors to be prepared to respond and provide that relief.

To learn more about the American Red Cross on Long Island, visit

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.