Swim for Melissa Brings in Big Bucks for Huntsville Hospital NICU

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The 7th annual "Swim for Melissa" made a big splash at Hampton Cove Pool on Saturday.

The event is the second part in a weekend-long fundraiser. The "Miracle Bash" silent auction, dinner, and dancing event was held on Friday night at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.

This year's "Miracle Bash" and "Swim for Melissa" raised more than $125,000 for the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. To date, the fund has raised over $1,500,000 since it was started seven years ago.

The money raised helps to buy lifesaving equipment for the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children.

The fund was started by Chris and Amy George after one of their twins, Melissa, passed away in the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children. 

The George's daughters, Ann Catherine and her younger sister, Lily Baker, spent Saturday in the pool raising money in honor of Melissa.

"This fundraiser is a way for us to not only celebrate Ann Catherine's life, but to remember Melissa. I think that's something that all the NICU parents at 'Swim for Melissa' today have in common, we are able to remember and give back," said Amy.

Melika Nixon's twins were born the same year that Melissa and Ann Catherine were at the NICU.

Nixon said, "We went through the emotional roller coaster that all NICU parents go on. Not knowing what's happening, the fear of the unknown, and being unsure of your children's future are feelings you don't want to experience as a parent."

Aiden and Isaac Nixon worked hard all summer with their team, The Invincible Sharks, to raise money for "Swim for Melissa." They set up lemonade stands, organized fundraisers, and even went door-to-door asking for donations.

"They are starting to understand what the NICU is and how that is a part of their lives," said Nixon. "They worked so hard to raise money for this summer's event and they only want to make their fundraising bigger and better next year."

So how much do the boys plan to raise for next year's event?

According to their mother, they have set their goal $1,000,000.

"I'm not sure if we will get quite that much," said Nixon, "But I definitely have faith in them."

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