URBANA – Though they swim in different lanes, on different teams, Urbana swimmers will be coming together for a common cause on Wednesday.
At the sixth annual "Make a Difference" meet, the Urbana, University Laboratory and Schlarman high schools' girls' swim teams will compete against each other in the lanes and work together to raise money for Crisis Nursery outside of the pool.
"It's really nice the way that the schools are able to cooperate," said Uni junior Isaure Hostetter. "The schools are able to come together to accomplish more than we would on our own."
She said that, at her school, "the students help raise awareness and the parents help with organization" of the event.
At UHS, "it's juniors who choose a charity and mostly run it, and we pass out (a list of needed items) and we make collections at practice," said junior Anna Hough.
Meanwhile, said her mother Renee Hough, "the mothers are e-mailing back and forth, and we're just sort of collaborating to get it done."
Renee Hough said the annual event generally goes toward an Urbana charitable organization, and said Crisis Nursery "was just a logical choice." Attendees to the 4:30 p.m. meet are asked to bring an item (or items) to donate.
She said attendees to the meet should bring something from the Nursery's wish list, including "things like children's snacks, clothing, diapers, formula."
"Toothbrushes," added Anna.
The fundraiser began when parents were inspired by a local food drive that schools participated in.
Last year the swim teams had two carloads of donations for the Center for Women in Transition. Anna Hough hopes this year will top that.
Marilinda Parca, Hostetter's mother, said she is proud the teams are working together to help people perhaps not as lucky as they are.
"It's wonderful," she said. "It will allow them to get to know each other as people and not only as busmates across town (and) as competitors"
Anna Hough is looking forward to that.
"I went to middle school with a lot of them," she said. "It's nice to see them."
If you go
What: Urbana and University Laboratory high schools' girls swim teams raise money for Crisis Nursery at their annual meet-up.
When: Wednesday, 4:30 p.m., Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center, 102 E. Michigan, U.
What to bring: An item to donate to Crisis Nursery. See www.crisisnursery.net and click "Helping Crisis Nursury" and then "Needs List" and "Wish List."