DENVER - Swim teams are in going full force across metro Denver. However, there is one prominent local swimmer missing this summer.
Over the winter, 14-year-old Ethan McNamee died from an accidental overdose to prescription medication. Starting as a young boy, McNamee was a champion swimmer who was a leader on three different Denver teams. McNamee still holds Colorado state records in the 9-10 Boys 200 Medley Relay and Boys 11-12 Freestyle Relay. McNamee's friends, teammates and even his competitors came together on June 30 to honor him and help other kids.
One of the pools where McNamee swam hosted the Swim-E-Than.
Colorado Athletic Club-Monaco swim coach Katie Kleeman loved having him on her team. Every year, the Monaco Marlins host a swim-a-thon to raise money for a local non-profit. This year, following McNamee's death, Kleeman knew she wanted to celebrate his life.
On Monday, they raised $7,000 in just four hours.
Donations ($10/swimmer, $25/family) will go to the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program at Children's Hospital Colorado. The program works with children to identify and redirect emotional and psychological difficulties. As stated on the hospital's website: "By giving kids an outlet for expression, creative arts therapy can help kids get better, faster."
Ethan McNamee's mother is touched Swim-E-Than organizers are supporting this program in his memory.
Tracy Konkol is so proud of how her son looked out for others.
"Many of his friends and classmates told me after he died that he always made them feel better about themselves when they were feeling down. I think this event will be a testament to Ethan - how well loved he was and how he made an impact on his immediate community."
For more information on Swim-E-Than, visit http://on.fb.me/1yUjfwf.
To make a donation, visit: http://bit.ly/1nLEUzm.
For more information about the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program at Children's Hospital Colorado, visit: http://bit.ly/1jUG3C3.
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