Lakeside Aquatic Club Pink Out Event Raises Money for Breast Cancer Research
Lakeside Aquatic Club (LAC) started as a summer recreation team in 1982. After recognizing the team’s potential, a group of dedicated parents began raising funds so the team could join USA Swimming to compete at national-level meets. Since then, the club has grown to over 500 swimmers with consistent participants and top finishers at Junior National Championships, National Championships, and the Olympic Trials.
In addition to the team’s success in the pool, LAC strives to make a positive impact on the community. “It is important for the kids to understand the importance of giving back to the community and to be involved with community events outside the pool,” said Julie Porter, LAC Pink Out committee member.
After being involved with Swim Across America, Inc., an organization that raises money and awareness for cancer research, prevention, and treatment through swimming-related events, LAC decided to host two “Pink Out” themed swim meets in October 2012 to raise money for breast cancer research.
All of the North Texas swimming teams were invited to participate in the meets. In all, 671 swimmers competed for the prized pink rubber duckies that were given to each heat winner. LAC sold pink T-shirts, swim caps, and rally bands at the meets to aid in the fundraising efforts.
The Pink Out meets featured a ”Dedication Wall of Ribbons,” where spectators and athletes could donate money in return for a ribbon to hang on the wall, either in remembrance of someone special or in support of someone’s current fight with cancer.
“I got a little misty when one of the swimmers filled out his ribbon for the dedication wall and it said, ‘I swim for Ant (sic) Erin,’” said Leslie Lucas, an LAC Pink Out committee chair. “It was very touching to know the swimmers realized they were swimming for a greater cause.”
The Pink Out swim meets were very successful in not only raising money, but also creating awareness.
UT Southwestern Medical Center was chosen to be the recipient of the funds because of the outstanding care one of the committee members received during her breast cancer treatment. Members of the LAC Committee recently presented a framed collage of meet pictures to James Willson, M.D., and David Euhus, M.D., and a check for nearly $6,000 for breast cancer research.
LAC is already planning for next year’s Pink Out swim meets with hopes of expanding the program into an annual event.