The Ramapo swim team participated in a fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 21 to benefit Michael Heaney, a graduate of The College of New Jersey and a former member of their swim team.
Heaney was in a severe accident on April 11, 2012. He was on his bicycle and was struck by a car and suffered devastating injuries. He is currently in a semi-vegetative state.
The fundraiser, an ocean mile swim in Belmar, New Jersey titled “Meters for Mike” took place this weekend and all proceeds went to Heaney’s recovery. Each participant paid a $25 entry fee and received a t-shirt. The fastest three male and female participants each won an award.
Ramapo College and many other colleges including TCNJ and Montclair State University swam in this event as a tribute to Heaney. Members of the Ramapo swim team were very excited to contribute.
Women’s swim team captain Maggie Nagle said, “It was a great warm up for the season, we start Monday and this was a perfect way to get things started, all while doing it for a great cause.”
Men’s captain Phil Sokoloff said, “This was something we all felt very strongly about doing. Michael’s accident is very unfortunate and I speak for all of the Ramapo swim team when I say we truly hope he can get better, and hopefully what all participants did today will go a long way for him.”
Kyle Plucinsky, a former swimmer for Ramapo, is now an assistant coach for the team. Last year, Plucinsky got the team to pay $5 each to buy “Meters for Mike” T-shirts to raise money for Heaney and TCNJ.
When the team got word of this ocean mile swim event last weekend, everyone was excited to help out once again. The Ramapo swim team and swim teams from other colleges participated and donated to help give Heaney a chance to get better.
The Ramapo swim team hopes he continues to recover from his injuries, and that they made a difference by participating in the fundraiser.