Most of you know two very important things about me. One, I have a wife and two kids, and one of those kids has Autism. Two, I’m a swimmer. In 2010, I became involved with an organization called Train 4 Autism. This organization helps me bring those two passions of my life together. Each year I select one athletic event, and use it to raise funds for the Autism related charity of my choosing. This year I’ll be competing in the 2012 USMS Summer Nationals July 5-8 in Omaha. My charity will be the Ozark Center for Autism.
About the event:
2012 USMS Summer Nationals The exciting part of this meet is it will be held in a temporary pool in a large arena, the same pool that just a few days earlier will host our nation’s best swimmers in the US Olympic Trials. I’m also excited about moving into a new age group, and seeing some new competitors. I will compete in 5 or 6 individual events, and 2 to 4 relay events. Those events will be the 50, 100, & 200 meter breaststroke, the 200 meter individual medley, and one or two other events that I will decide on in the near future.
About the charity:
Ozark Center for Autism located in Joplin, MO provides Autism services for children and adults in a 4 state region. Founded in 2007, it’s the only facility of its kind in the area and provides help to many that would not otherwise have access. It’s a non-profit organization that services a relatively low income population. And, it is also still recovering from their facilities being completely destroyed by a tornado on May 22, 2011. It’s obvious the need is great even before you consider they are planning to build a new facility to replace the one they lost, while remaining fully operational.
New twists this year:
- I have started a blog called Swimming Autism Dad that allows you to follow me along in my journey. I’ll post things about my training, fundraising, our own challenges with Autism, and anything else I think will entertain or inform you.
- I am usually very private with my swimming goals, but I’m going to share some with you. Why? I’ll use it as incentive to work harder for the cause. I’ll tell you a goal, and you can contact me to pledge that you’ll donate a certain amount if I reach it. I’ll keep track of the pledges and post where they are periodically on my blog. It will be informal, and on the honor system, it will be up to you to honor your pledge if I reach my goal. The first one is at the end of this email. If you don’t like it, there will be more. They will all be good though.
How can you help? Make a donation. Make a pledge. Follow me on Twitter @TonyRezek. This will be quite a journey for the next couple of months; I think you’ll enjoy it if you join me. Here are some important links in addition to those above.
- My donation page: http://train4autism.kintera.org/trez2012
- Train 4 Autism: http://train4autism.org/
- United States Masters Swimming: http://www.usms.org/
Goal to Pledge for:
FINA (the international governing body of swimming) each year produces World Top 10 lists for each age group in masters swimming. They also keep an all-time top 10 list. I used to have a couple of swims on the all-time list, but over the years, I moved farther down the list, and in 2009, I got bumped off. I want to get back on that list. Right now that means faster than 30.52 in the 50 meter breast, 1:08.21 in the 100 breast, or 2:31.76 in the 200 breast. This could be a moving target, as others could go faster between now & then. I will keep an eye out for faster swims, and if those times change, I’ll post them on my blog before my race. If you want to motivate me, make a pledge to donate if I reach this goal. Just contact me; I’ll put you on the list.
Thank you for your time. I hope you are able to help, for the need is great. Anything helps, big or small.
Chapter President, Kansas City, MO