Though the final tally from Saturday's Coaches vs. Cancer event in Knoxville is not yet available, the current total more than surpasses the $24,000 raised in 2011. One seventh grade student helped add to what will be an even more impressive total.
Lauren Clingman, 13, daughter of Chris and Kathy Clingman, raised over $800 through her participation in Laps for Hope, a swimming fund raiser held Saturday. The Clingman family Christmas card included requests for pledges, and many people responded.
"Everybody knew I could do it," Lauren said. She swam 40 laps on Saturday as part of the event. As if that was not enough, she participated in a swim meet the same day.
Lauren arrived in Knoxville at Saturday's game, after the meet, only moments before she learned she would be introduced at the same time others were being recognized for their efforts.
"I was kind of shocked," Lauren said. Lauren swims approximately three times a week. There is no question how she feels about her participation in Laps for Hope.
"I would do it again," she said.
Laps for Hope has raised at least $4,900 for the event. There were 38 swimmers who participated, 18 of them from the Knoxville-Indianola Swim Team. The bulk of those swimmers came from Indianola, as Knoxville only sends a few swimmers to be part of the team.
"The whole thing all day was just awesome," Laps for Hope organizer Jerry Ayers said.
Girls' Basketball Coach Jim Uitermarkt, the man who spearheads this event every year, said over $35,000 has been raised.
"I still can't tell you an exact number," Uitermarkt said this morning. Donations have continued to come in, days after the event.
"I don't know what words to use," Uitermarkt said of the support Knoxville has shown for the event. "'Unbelievable' is probably an understatement."
Look for a full report on Coaches vs. Cancer, including the most recent and most accurate fund raising total, in the Jan. 27 Journal-Express.