The 7th annual Swim for Melissa is August 11th. Beginning June 1st, swimmers can take that first stroke on a keyboard to begin raising money to help save the tiniest babies.
Amy and Chris George’s two daughters, Lily Baker and Ann Catherine, will be among the first kids to sign up for this year’s swim. It’s named after Ann Catherine’s twin sister Melissa, who died shortly after birth in the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children.
Swimmers can go online, register, form their teams and start raising money for the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. August 11th, those good deeds are rewarded with a trip to the Hampton Cove pool where they swim laps for Melissa and other little miracles.
Amy George says they’ve made it easy for everyone.
“You set up your child's web page which literally takes all of five minutes," said Amy. "Send that link out to your friends and family, grandparents, aunts and uncles and you're done.”
Raising the money online is a lot better than going door to door.
"It's just an easy way. Parents don't have to keep up with money and then just come out on the day for Swim for Melissa like you said and just have a great time at the pool," Amy said.
This year, you can be part of pushing the total raised by Melissa’s fund past the $1.5 million mark.
“The majority of our money comes from these kids who swim," said Amy. "I want to say last year that $98,000 of what we made came just from the swimmers who raised money online.”
That money is used to buy life-saving equipment and fund programs inside the NICU.
“The coolest thing is that those kids really understand why they're doing it. Their parents talk to them," said Amy. "They understand when they come to the pool that Saturday what Swim for Melissa is about, that they're raising money for babies in the NICU, why that's important and that's the part of it as a parent that I love.”
Here’s something else that's cool. Registration for the 7th annual Swim for Melissa opens June 1st. That also happens to be Ann Catherine and Melissa’s birthday.