Swim for Melissa offers fun for children, raises money for babies in need

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - For 13 years, children across Huntsville have jumped in the pool to raise money for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children. This year was no different!

Most of the children have been raising money all summer for the Swim for Melissa event.

"The best part of all is they know why they're here," says Amy George. "Their parents have talked to them about it, they show up and they say, Miss. Amy, I'm here to swim for the babies."

George is the founder of the Melissa George Fund. She and her husband Chris started the fund after the death of their daughter Melissa. Read more about their story here.

This year, the money raised at Swim for Melissa and the Miracle Bash will go to buy new equipment for Huntsville Hospital's newest Kid Care Transport Ambulance.

"When a critically ill baby is born at any outlying hospital and has to be transported to Huntsville Hospital, via our Kids Care ambulance, seconds count," says George. "I mean we are talking about precious minutes."

They are raising money for a new voyager isolette, which will help regulate the infant's temperature, monitor vital signs and contains a ventilator for babies who need help breathing.

The Melissa George Fund has purchased hundreds of items for Huntsville Hospital's regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU); Beds, incubators, computer systems, as well as established a family support program, and continuing education for the nursing staff.

In it's 13 years, Melissa's fund has raised more than $3 million.

George says her only goal for the foundation is to see it continue to do good, and continue to help families and babies in the community.

Melissa's Fund is under the management of the Huntsville Hospital Foundation. Organizers say the Miracle Bash and the Swim for Melissa brought in estimated net proceeds of $174,000.

More than 200 children participated in today's swim.

The top individual fundraiser was Berkley Stutts.

The top fundraising teams:

1.  Melissa’s Miracles
2. Merchildren for Miracle - also won Biggest Splash Award (most team spirit)
3. Melissa’s Rainbows
4. Groovy Guppies
5. Grow Jack Grow

Donations to the fund are made through the Huntsville Hospital Foundation.