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    29th April 2011

    No More Wheelchairs video

    When talking about Swim With Mike the other day, I mentioned a new song that I recorded this spring, “No More Wheelchairs.” Well, my brother Eric liked it so much that he decided to make a cool mash-up video to the song using clips of people with disabilities doing amazing things. He also put together a simple website that we’ll hopefully be able to use in the future for raising awareness/funding for various disability related organizations, such as Swim With Mike, the Craig Hospital Foundation, Joni and Friends, and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

    Check out the website and the video at www.nomorewheelchairs.com!

    26th April 2011

    Trip to LA/USC/Swim With Mike: Report #2

    Report #2 is really just going to be a funny/awkward story:

    I rode on the LA Metro bus lines from LAX (the airport) to the USC campus and back when I was out for Swim With Mike. I didn’t have any problems on the way from the airport to the school, but on the way back, there was a strange occurrence. To get on these buses, though I could stand up and get on using the handrails, they make people in wheelchairs use the pneumatic lift. Not a problem, usually.

    Well, when I went to catch the bus back to LAX after the swim-a-thon, the driver put the lift down and I got on it, but then the lift got stuck in the “down position” and would not move, which meant that the doors wouldn’t close and that meant the bus wasn’t going to go anywhere – which meant that everyone was going to get off that bus and wait for the next one… all the while staring at me who caused the bus to stop working. Fortunately, a bus driver from another line came and helped after a few minutes and he got the lift to work, and then I was able to get on and everyone else was able to get back on, and the people rejoiced in their own little ways – which included one lady trying to sell us pink bunny ears, 2/$5, real good deal.

    24th April 2011

    Trip to LA/USC/Swim With Mike: Report #1

    I went to LA last weekend for the big Swim With Mike swim-a-thon fundraiser. I stayed with my friend Colin, who is another Swim recipient and is doing a grad program in landscape architecture at USC. That dude is amazing. I had a great time hanging out with Colin and his brother/brother’s wife and 21-month-old son.

    And then there was the Swim With Mike event itself. Which was crazy. And incredible. Hundreds of swimmers. Hundreds of volunteers – or at least it seemed like it. Maybe something like 50 recipients or alumni showed up. The USC marching band. The USC Song Girls. A relay race with football players racing football coaches across the pool… while they push Song Girls on inner tubes. (Whoever thought of that one? Hey, you know what will get people to donate?… We could have this relay race…).

    Oh, and over $1.3 million raised.

    Not bad for a swim-a-thon. The founders of the event are trying to set up a fund so they can have an endowed chairmanship position for when they decide to retire from working on the program, so this year’s fundraiser could go a little ways toward setting that up. All around, it was a pretty amazing weekend. I’ll have more story soon. Promise.

    6th April 2011

    Sponsor Me for the Swim With Mike Swim-A-Thon

    Ok, so I often promise that I will write on this thing more often. I really would like to. Maybe I can somehow link it with my facebook so that I can update both worlds at the same time. Or I could turn it into a twitter like page and just write 140 character updates. That wouldn’t be so hard.

    But for some reason, I always feel like I want to do more than just a brief update. I like telling stories – or I just haven’t said anything on here for ages and feel like I need to give an update. Well, I will update you. But first I have a request:

    I am swimming at the Swim With Mike Swim-A-Thon at the University of Southern California on April 16, 2011, and I am still trying to get sponsors for my swim.

    Swim With Mike runs a scholarship for physically challenged athletes, and this year I am one of 45 recipients. If you want to know more, you can go to the Swim With Mike page, or check out the post I wrote about it last year.

    To sponsor me as a swimmer, please go to my Swim With Mike page.

    Additionally, as part of my ideas about how to raise funds for the program, I recorded a song that I wrote about dreaming of a world where nobody needs wheelchairs any longer. Because I am currently a full time student I haven’t had enough time to do all of the things that I would have liked to with the song, like creating a video with other Swim With Mike recipients, but hopefully in the future I will do so and we’ll be able to use the song more effectively. As it is, I am offering it as a free download on the Sauni’s Big Jump website. All I ask is that if you download and enjoy the song, you also consider making a donation to Swim With Mike by sponsoring me for the swim.

    You don’t have to give a lot. You’re probably going to go out and put $5 on your credit card at Starbucks or Taco Bell today anyway – why not give $1 or $2 or $5 to help send disabled athletes back to school?

    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.