At least 15 swimmers participated in the 'Scoops For Troops' inaugural swim-a-thon to help veterans and their families enjoy the Travis Mills Foundation retreat facility in Maine.
The organization was created by 10-year-old Michael Ahern who came up with the idea after meeting a veteran and his family.
The idea behind the inaugural swim-a-thon comes from Michael's sister, Kara. Kara is a swimmer and wanted to help her brother's organization with fundraising efforts. Fifteen sponsored swimmers from Berlin and Plainville completed at least 100 laps as a part of the fundraising effort at the Shuttle Meadow Country Club, on Saturday.
"I always think about the veterans and their children," said Michael Ahern. "I think about what the children have to go through and the veterans too."
Initially, Kara had a $1,000 fundraising goal but the swim-a-thon helped bring in close to $5,000.
"It wasn't really that hard, just knowing that it was for a great cause just made it even better," said Kara Ahern. "I thought because I'm a swimmer and all of my friends are basically, I thought it would be a great idea."
This year did present some challenges for the duo.
"Normally, we do meet and greets in person in Connecticut or in Maine but because of COVID, we had to put a stop to that and we had to do it all online," said Kara Ahern.
Even with those challenges, within the past year, they were able to bring in $33,000 to Michael's organization to help send veterans and their families to the Travis Mills Foundation.
"It feels very good," said Michael. "When they go on vacation at the foundation, they can do any sport and pretty much anything that they want to do."
The duo has plans to host another swim-a-thon in the future.