Not only do they plan to swim the Channel from England to France--and back--during the Olympics this July, they want to beat the previous relay record of eighteen hours and fifty-nine minutes. In addition to seeking pledges in support of their own swims, they're recruiting local high school teams to take part in joint fund-raisers--last fall, four teams raised almost $4,900 for the cause--and inviting non-swimmers to make a "virtual" Channel crossing to benefit A2A3.
"I essentially stole [the idea] from an Australian who was swimming the Channel for charity," Mercer admits. "Supporters can swim, run, or walk the channel 'virtually' on their own schedule. For a $20 donation, people can track their progress online, on our website, and then will receive a commemorative 'Channel for ALS' pin for their effort.
"We actually have a woman from Boston, named Susan Rice, who stumbled upon our website and decided to do the virtual crossing," Mercer adds. "She, however, took it a step further and asked for her own fund-raising page. We gave her one, and she has now raised over $1,000. And the best part is that she hates swimming!"