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Niskayuna Wild Turkeys raise money for Crandall Foundation

Niskayuna Wild Turkeys raise money for Crandall Foundation

Niskayuna Wild Turkeys raise money for Crandall Foundation
The Wild Turkey Swim-a-Thon at the Town of Niskayuna Pool Friday, July 12, 2019.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber/Gazette Photographer

NISKAYUNA — Turkey in the straw? How about turkeys in the swim!

Members of Niskayuna’s Wild Turkeys swim team last weekend raised more than $2,000 at the crew’s annual swimathon to benefit the Donna M. Crandall Foundation.

Kids secured pledges for swimming and diving — and also raised cash through a bake sale and silent auction — to benefit the foundation.

The Crandall foundation provides support for people living with cystic fibrosis. In addition to financial assistance, the foundation provides items that make hospital stays more tolerable.

The air was 78, water was 82 and high spirits were off the numerical chart at the town pool on July 12. Kids bobbed up and down in the water, performed creative dives and chatted with friends. Parents watched from poolside deck chairs and lounge chairs.

“I’ve grown up doing this event, ever since I joined this team,” said Lizzy Ward, 15, a coach and lifeguard who will begin her sophomore year at Niskayuna High School later this summer. “It’s always been one of the most fun nights. You look forward to it.”

Kendall Amorosi, 15, a lifeguard who also will begin her sophomore year, raised about $100 for the event and foundation.

“It’s just to bring awareness to the cause and I really like being on this team. It’s just like one big family and everybody knows each other,” Amorosi said.

Paige Splendido, 16, who will begin her junior year at Niskayuna High School, liked the notion of socializing with her team members and raising money for a good cause.

“You get to hang out with your friends,” said Adam Gathen, 12, who will enter the eighth grade at Van Antwerp Middle School. Gathen’s pal Will Edwards also liked the social aspects of the Turkey party.

“I get to hang out with my friends. I don’t see them in school because I go to a different school,” said Edwards, 13, who will be in the eighth grade at Woodland Hill Montessori School in North Greenbush.

It wasn’t all swim and no play for the Turkeys. A teen-friendly buffet of pizza, salad and watermelon was part of the deal.

“The event is the highlight of the season for the 101 members of the Wild Turkeys and their families,” said Denise Murphy McGraw, a town councilwoman who has been a volunteer with the team for more than a decade.

“It is wonderful to see the children learn about philanthropy, giving back to the community and civic leadership through this fun and safe event,” McGraw added. “The athletes who have grown up in this program have gone from participates to coordinators and that’s very rewarding to watch. Thank you to everyone who has supported this great group of children.”

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