The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 13, 2013

Holiday celebration: Seniors, swimming achievers honored

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

— DANVILLE — Staff, board members and volunteers of the Danville Area Community Center cooked a holiday dinner with all the trimmings for seniors and swimmers completing at least 100 miles in the center pool this year.

Not only did they make the dinner, they personally served it to the approximately 140 guests seated at tables in the gym.

Several seniors were pleasantly surprised after being honored for supporting the center during the annual seniors Christmas party Thursday. Also recognized were 37 people who each swam 100 miles in the center’s indoor pool.

Pearl Stump was recognized for making handmade purses for an auction to support the center.

Pat Baylor was honored for artwork she donates to the center and for the thousands of Beanie Babies she donated for a center fundraiser.

Bob Barni was recognized for his landscaping work at the facility.

“It has been a blessing working with you. I enjoy your company and friendship,” Joann Gray, director of senior fitness, told attendees.

The youngest swimmer finishing 100 miles honored was Cole Hasenbalg, 11, of Riverside, said Billie Ingraham, director of programs. Ingraham was dressed as Mrs. Claus. Helping her was Jeanne Ford, assistant aquatics director.

Cole said he needed some motivation after completing 30 miles in the water and decided to hold a fundraiser. He was able to collect $500 from sponsors to benefit orphans. The sixth-grader did the project for his physical education requirement for his home schooling.

Ingraham thanked Marty Walzer and Dr. Bill Gibson for coming up with the idea. “We thought maybe 40 people would sign up for this. We had 166 people,” she said of the program that started early this year. One hundred-mile club members receive blue T-shirts.

As of Wednesday night, the swimmers had logged a total of 7,946 miles which is 278,109 laps.

Among what Ingraham called some crazy statistics were Jim Breyfogle swimming 401 miles, Charles Gatski completing 354 miles and Morris Feick swimming 302 miles.

Craig Reinaker swam 289 miles, Frank Pursel finished 273 miles and Christi Shultz completed 228 miles.

Gatski achieved the most days coming to swim with 263 days, she said.

The first to log 100 miles were Tom Johns, on March 5, and Breyfogle, on March 11.

Ingraham said she thought Frank Pursel is the oldest member of the 100-mile club.

The most distance swam in one day was on Feb. 5 with 1,630 laps.

The most swimmers in one day was also Feb. 5 with 43 people.

“We had 14 people reach 100 miles by June 30,” she said.

The Pennsylvania Alpiners, made up of Dr. Will Blodgett, Stan Sloditskie and Marty Keller, provided music. The numbers included a polka written by Sloditskie.

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