Rec canoeing event to raise money for cystic fibrosis

Rec canoeing event to raise money for cystic fibrosis

Students watch on during a previous Splash for CF, an event that raises support and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis through the Laps for CF Foundation. Photo Courtesy of Lauren Lambert

Laura Testino

In recent summers, incoming freshmen have been bussed to the Student Recreation Center during their Bama Bound session, and often end up playing battleship: four students per canoe in the pool, equipped with buckets to try and sink the opponents’ ships. And, with the exception of a few semesters in intramurals, they never play again.

This weekend, battleship will return to campus at the Aquatic Center as part of Splash for CF, a fundraiser for Laps for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Splash has been held at the University for the past decade, but will be incorporating additional events this year.

Lauren Lambert, the acting director for the Laps for CF Foundation, was a student at the University when Splash first began, and has been working with Laps since 2012. She remembers the electric atmosphere as students cheered on Emily Schreiber, the founder of Laps. Schreiber was 9 years old when she was diagnosed with CF, a condition that largely affects the lungs, and organized the foundation immediately after.

“I was drawn to a position with Laps for CF because of the way the foundation began, and what has been accomplished in such a short time,” Lambert says.

Schreiber raised $60,000 in the first year, and since, Laps has donated over $2 million to the CF Care Centers at Children’s of Alabama and UAB, Lambert said.

This year, Splash will include a dive exhibition by the UA swimming and diving team, as it has in years past, but will also include other games and giveaways and an appearance by Big Al, in addition to canoe battleship. Students can also donate $20 in exchange for a Splash for CF T-shirt.

“As fun as it is to come and watch the exhibitions, we really wanted a way for people to be able to participate in the event itself,” Lambert said. “Canoe battleship is the perfect way to get people involved and excited about the event. They can even fund raise for their ‘team’ or group and have the chance to get a bigger bucket in their canoe.”

Karli Guyther, a senior majoring in public relations and marketing, is the account executive for the Splash event as part of a campaigns course she is taking at the University. She hopes to raise awareness and fundraising through Splash and contribute an additional $3,000 at this year’s event, she said.

After Saturday’s event at the Aquatic Center, students can also donate to the organization another Splash event at Rounders Bar next Thursday. If students attend Splash on Saturday, they can donate $5 for a ticket to Rounder’s event, or donate $10 at the door on Thursday. At Rounders, students will have access to live music by Basie Blonde, food and more giveaways.

“We’ll have Mr. T there with barbecue sandwiches – everyone loves Mr. T at the bars,” Guyther said. “We’ll have the spinning wheel with giveaways again, and any leftovers giveaways and stuff we don’t use on [Saturday] we’ll give away at the bar as well.”

Students can sign up for canoe battleship in the Ferguson Center until Friday. There is no admission fee to Saturday’s event, but participants are encouraged to bring cash rather than cards to participate in the giveaways and games.